On the same day that once-top prospect and former Olympian Felix Verdejo is being linked to an ongoing investigation surrounding a missing pregnant woman in Puerto Rico, Roberto Alomar is being whacked by Major League Baseball. The Hall of Fame second baseman has been placed on the league’s ineligible list — meaning baseball has effectively cut ties with him forever — after an external law firm presented its investigatory findings of a 2014 sexual misconduct allegation to Commissioner Rob Manfred, as first reported by SportsNet in Canada.
[And, As Deadspin’s resident Nuyorican, I’m here to tell you that it’s not a great day for Puerto Rican athletes.]
Alomar, a 12-time All-Star, had a contract as an MLB consultant in Puerto Rico, which has since been terminated. He was also on MLB commissioner Rob Manfred’s competition committee. Not anymore.
Additionally, the Blue Jays — for whom Alomar worked as a special assistant previously — are severing ties with infielder, who also played with the organization between 1991 and 1995, winning World Series titles in ’92 and ’93 . The Blue Jays released a statement from President and CEO Mark Shapiro, who said the organization, “supports Major League Baseball’s decision to terminate Roberto Alomar’s consultant contract.” He will be removed from the team’s “Level of Excellence,” and his banner will come down at Rogers Centre.
Despite his banishment from all-things-baseball, Alomar’s plaque will remain in Cooperstown, the Baseball Hall of Fame announced a short time later.
Manfred addressed the allegations with a public statement of his own, confirming the reports of Alomar’s termination.
“At my office’s request, an independent investigation was conducted by an external legal firm to review an allegation of sexual misconduct reported by a baseball industry employee earlier this year involving Mr. Alomar in 2014,” Manfred’s statement read. “Having reviewed all of the available evidence from the now completed investigation, I have concluded that Mr. Alomar violated MLB’s policies, and that termination of his consultant contract and placement on MLB’s Ineligible List are warranted.”
Alomar released his own bilingual statement on Twitter, noting that he’s disappointed, surprised, and upset by the news, and maintains an understanding of MLB’s position, which he attributed to “the current social climate.”
Flying in the face of that assertion is the fact that Alomar was embroiled in plenty of other controversies over his career, some of which alleged sexual abuse. Ex-girlfriend Ilya Dall sued Alomar, alleging that he demanded sex without a condom despite showing signs of AIDS. The case was settled for $15 million and the accusations were never proven in court. However, his then-girlfriend-turned-first-wife — who defended him at the time of the Dall lawsuit, calling it “a vile lie” — Puerto Rican model and actress Maria Del Pilar Rivera, aka Maripily, accused Alomar of exposing her to HIV the next year. This led to their eventual divorce, and he’s since remarried.
On the field, he is notoriously remembered for spitting in the face of umpire John Hirschbeck.