Baseball Cannot Tolerate Violence Against Women

Baseball has at least one fewer fan thanks to Alfredo Simon's alleged actions. (via Keith Allison)

Baseball has at least one fewer fan thanks to Alfredo Simon’s alleged actions. (via Keith Allison)

Baseball has a problem, and now that Bud Selig has stepped down, his successor commissioner, Rob Manfred, has a problem. It’s a problem that can be summed up in the following sentence: My wife is no longer a baseball fan.

No, my wife is not someone famous who is now poised to trash MLB all over the media. That’s not it. Rather, she grew up in Baltimore attending games at Camden Yards. We have the ticket stubs from the game when Cal Ripken broke Lou Gehrig’s record. She speaks with starry eyes about being taken to games as a child. In our seven year relationship, we’ve made a habit of driving from Louisville to Cincinnati for games whenever we can because we love watching baseball together.

But last year, something happened that changed all that. Reds pitcher Alfredo Simon was accused of rape and neither the team nor MLB said a word about it. The prosecutor opted not to bring charges for reasons that are unclear, but there is still a pending civil suit on the case and the reasons for it not being brought to trial are murky, at best. Of course, we were aware that sports teams tended to ignore such things, but it’s different when it hits a team you follow closely. And, for my wife, that was enough. As with many women, she sees this kind of thing all the time. Excuses are made for the accused and then everyone forgets anything was ever said. It leaves a chronic bad taste in your mouth once you start to see it.

I didn’t want to go only off of our feelings though, so in preparation for this article, I spoke with Laurie Jordan, who holds an M.A. in women’s studies and has taught the subject at both Bowling Green State University and the University of Alabama. She’s also a baseball fan. Here’s some of what she had to say about it:

By quietly saying only that they have no comment when their players are accused of domestic violence or rape, teams tell players that they’re happy to look the other way, that they will suffer no consequences at work. They tell women (or men, for that matter) that there’s no point in coming forward because no one will believe them or — even worse — no one will care.

That’s not a flattering portrait. Fans are supposed to be your supporters, but it’s clear that baseball is starting to generate some very negative reactions from parts of its fan base. And it’s not only from women, either. Once news of this broke, I found myself too uncomfortable to watch any games in which Simon took part. This kind of reaction hasn’t become widespread, yet, but that doesn’t mean it couldn’t become so in a hurry. Take the NFL, for instance.

This year, the NFL, as you are almost certainly aware, was forced to deal with a very public domestic violence scandal. The league dealt with it… poorly. Major League Baseball needs to be careful. Much of the flak the NFL caught had to do with the tiny punishment given to Ray Rice. The punishment seemed even more inadequate when compared to equally harsh suspensions that had been handed out for much lesser offenses.

MLB has made a show of severely punishing the users of performance-enhancing drugs. New commissioner Rob Manfred has reportedly been at the forefront of these policies. Alex Rodriguez was recently suspended for an entire season because of his actions.

Now, let me ask you a question – which is worse? Taking steroids so you hit more home runs or beating and raping women? I can tell you my answer. While we can, I suppose, argue that one has to do with baseball and another does not, I would much rather cheer for a steroid user than a rapist or abuser. I’d wager that’s true of most of you out there.

I’m too cynical to think that major league owners care much about people. Pretty much everything they’ve ever done shows they care about profits and little else. For the most part, that’s fine. Owners will stop doing something the moment they think it could cost them money. The problem comes when something benefits one team but harms the league.

Imagine this scenario: A star player is accused of rape. The normal he said/she said takes place and despite the high likelihood that the alleged victim is telling the truth, nothing of substance happens. This has been the normal route for things in major league baseball. It’s an outgrowth of victim blaming, which happens because people don’t like being confronted with terrible things. We are attached to the players on our favorite team. We want them to be good. We see evidence that they aren’t good, but our brains can’t handle it, so we decide the accuser is the problem.

But imagine that a video surfaces as it did in the Ray Rice case. Now the odds that a player has done something terrible have increased from 95 percent to 100 percent. How long do you suspend that player for? A-Rod got 162 games for steroids. Do you give less than that and risk the backlash? Do you give more? It’s only a matter of time. Eventually a star – a genuine star – on some team, in some sport, will be caught doing something that the general population simply can’t excuse. And then what do you do?

In a case as unequivocal as that, I’ll tell you what I’d like to see: lifetime ban. That’s it. You’re done. We don’t need that in the game. But would the team agree? What if it could cost a pennant? Major League Baseball needs to be prepared to step in because teams cannot be trusted to police themselves where money might be lost.

But it isn’t even that simple because, of course, there’s the players union to deal with. To address these concerns, I spoke to Dave Cann, a lawyer specializing in union law. “They would want to fight it,” he said, regarding the union. This is obvious, of course, but it gets more complicated in a hurry:

The Epistemology of Hitting; or, What Constitutes a Fact about Nolan Arenado?
As we pursue truth, are we striving too much for certainty?

As a general principle of employment law, you can discipline an employee for off-the-clock conduct. If you can draw a nexus of employment, an employer can impose discipline. DUIs for a school bus driver, fraud for banker, etc. An argument could be made, maybe has been made, that MLB franchise employees are, first and foremost public figures whose public image is marketable, and that DV charges strike at the heart of that. In the case of MLB, the commissioner can investigate and reprimand players for anything that tarnishes the image of baseball, and teams are similarly empowered. Of course, the grievance and arbitration clauses should provide the player with due process.

So, as a matter of course, baseball can discipline players for tarnishing the image of the game. This is an established legal fact.

Further, Cann said, “standard of conduct clauses” are widely used in employment contracts. In MLB contracts, section 7(b)(1) gives a team the right to terminate an employee’s contract if the employee fails, refuses or neglects to “conform his response conduct to the standards of good citizenship or good sportsmanship.” In short, he said, “the union would want to fight the right to fire an employee for off-the field conduct, but MLB is allowed to fire them.”

So, union pushback or not, MLB does have the authority to sanction players for acts such as rape and domestic violence. Indeed, it’s hard to imagine the union going to the mat for a particular player over this, as it would be publicly perceived as sticking up for a very bad cause and they’ve already agreed that MLB has that power.

But what about when there’s less than complete certainty. The vast majority of rapes do not end in conviction even though the vast majority of accusers tell the truth. Indeed, a minority of all instances of rapes and domestic violence are even reported because of the perception that it will not do any good. I asked Laurie Jordan how she thinks it should be handled:

I’ve thought a lot about it and I just don’t think there’s a perfect way for MLB to deal with it. What I want is for the league and teams to acknowledge these incidents when they happen, to condemn the alleged acts, and to commit to expecting better of their players. More than that, though, I want a change in the culture. I want the hard work to be done on the front end, not after the fact. I want them to be proactive in working with experts to develop policies and education to prevent domestic violence before it happens. I’m not talking about a one-hour session developed by MLB and endured during spring training each year. I’m talking about partnering with groups that work with domestic violence survivors to develop meaningful programs that actually have a chance of making a difference.

What we see there is a desire for MLB to acknowledge that there is a problem and that it should be addressed. This doesn’t seem too much to ask. I’d like to see it, too. This solution is infinitely better than the blind eye MLB is currently turning. Indeed, given how it’s treated PEDs, MLB can’t afford to merely let the justice system do its job. In the case of a civil suit where the player is found liable, there should certainly be a very substantial suspension, and it is more than possible for there to be other instances which, while not meeting the standard to send someone to jail, would merit suspension. MLB has to do better than pretending it doesn’t have perpetrators of violence against women in its ranks. Josh Lueke, who just signed with a Mexican League team, pitched 30 innings for the Rays last year. People took note of his past, but MLB had nothing to say.

Jordan said one more thing that gets to the very heart of the problem with ignoring domestic abuse: “It can be difficult to reconcile the baseball fan in me with my beliefs in what it means to be a good person. I generally don’t spend my money to support the work of people who assault women. I’m not buying Chris Brown records. I don’t see Mel Gibson movies and I’ve sworn off Alec Baldwin. Baseball is trickier. I’ve been a Reds fan since I was little. I had the 1975 and 1976 autographed pennants hanging on my bedroom wall before I even started kindergarten.”

Baseball, you will note, is holding on for her. For now. But if you are part of an industry that embraces kids and tradition and apple pie and wholesomeness whenever it can, do you really want any portion of your fans thinking about how it can be difficult to reconcile watching your games with what it means to be a good person? Especially by way of defending people and actions which are definitively not good. Indeed, the public reactions to the Ray Rice and Bill Cosby scandals in the past year may tell us that there is a sea-change underway in how these kinds of actions are viewed by the general public. Why choose that hill to die on and risk the damage to your brand that the NFL suffered this year?

So, Rob Manfred, from my heart to your head, I’d ask you to please come up with a sensible and sensitive domestic violence policy for baseball. The current tactic of ignoring the problem has already driven away some fans and is slowly doing the same to others. Watching a baseball game is supposed to be fun. It’s not supposed to make us feel dirty.


Jason teaches high school English, writes fiction, runs a small writing program and writes about education and literature. He also writes for Redleg Nation and both writes and edits for The Hardball Times. Follow him on Twitter @JasonLinden, visit his website or email him here.
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Steven Conley
Guest

Agree that more needs to be done about this , bigger punishments etc… I also think that renouncing ones fanhood because the team employed a bad seed at one point or another is completely ridiculous. You can’t have been much of a fan to begin with to just quit the whole thing. Don’t let one bad apple ruin your love for the game, ever. cheers !

Shinriko
Guest
Shinriko

And yet no mention of the fact that a player whose actions resulted in the DEATH of his girlfriend is being commemorated by a uniform patch.

http://espn.go.com/mlb/story/_/id/12189628/st-louis-cardinals-wear-jersey-patches-honoring-oscar-taveras

I think MLB’s attitude toward drunk driving is a more serious issue.

David
Guest
David

Why do we have to have a pissing match about what is worse? Both are bad and should absolutely be addressed. Stop trying to throw the straw man into the conversation.

Shinriko
Guest
Shinriko

He killed someone. He gets a patch.

That attitude is a lot more of a problem then domestic abuse.

No one is saying domestic abuse isn’t something that should be addressed, but MLB’s attitude toward drunk driving is a lot more problematic.

MLB’s approach to domestic violence has been in line with the rest of the country. I don’t see drunk drivers being celebrated at my workplace.

Cool Lester Smooth
Guest
Cool Lester Smooth

Is your point that the rest of the country has deeply fucked up attitudes towards domestic violence, and that the MLB should take a leadership role in changing attitudes?

Because I agree!

hopbitters
Guest
hopbitters

He was a member of the team. They liked him. It’s nothing more or less than that.

Detroit Michael
Guest
Detroit Michael

Note that Rob Manfred said that he is confident that MLB will have a domestic violence policy before spring training. http://www.latimes.com/sports/la-sp-manfred-transcript-20150204-story.html#page=2

Tim
Guest

Every major corporation in this country employs someone you probably would object too you are going to have a lot of boycotting to do, just because its a baseball player does not mean he should not have the right to due process. We quickly forget the Duke Lacrosse team lives were destroyed.

David
Guest
David

What about the rights of the victim? I’m not saying you should eliminate due process, but c’mon, the Duke case is very statistically rare. Don’t be that person. Don’t be dense.

Marc Schneider
Guest
Marc Schneider

But, by saying that baseball should say something whenever someone is accused of rape, you are, in effect, saying that due process is not important. What if Simon is not guilty? Saying that charges were not brought for “reasons that are murky” is the worst kind of demagoguery. Presumably, they didn’t bring charges because the prosecutors could not build a case that could win in court. The author’s implication is that the prosecutors didn’t care of something And, really, what is baseball supposed to say? Gee, he’s been accused but not actually charged, so he can’t play anymore. Domestic violence… Read more »

Haven Monahan
Guest
Haven Monahan

“…the Duke case is very statistically rare”

Is it? Seems like a fair number of these high-profile rape accusations end up being completely bogus. Duke Lacrosse. Dominique Strauss-Khan. The recent UVa fiasco.

I don’t think anyone really knows how prevalent false rape accusations are.

bucdaddy
Guest
bucdaddy

“come up with a sensible and sensitive domestic violence policy” Agree this must be done. Note that, wow, it’s going to be very difficult. The hardest part might be not turning the accusation into an automatic conviction. Think about anyone publicly accused of child molestation. Once the accusation is out there, right or wrong, true or false, the accused’s life is pretty much over. For some reason, rape and violence aren’t placed on quite the same level for opprobrium to be directed at the accused. I’m not exactly sure why, they’re all heinous crimes, perpetrated against largely defenseless victims (in… Read more »

Chuck Finley
Guest
Chuck Finley

…in the sense that virtually any woman would be no match in a physical confrontation with a 6-foot-2, 230-pound man in pro-athlete condition

My ex-wife begs to differ, though, to be fair, I was only 220.

Marc Schneider
Guest
Marc Schneider

It’s not just the Duke case. How about the University of Virginia where Rolling Stone wrote an article about a female student being gang raped and the story has been completely discredited. It is not an isolated incident. “It is a complicated issue, but for every body who spends time in prison for something like what you describe, there are countless others living in fear because those who raped and abused them are still running around, and in many cases, actively stalking them.” That’s an absurd statement. First, you have no idea if there are “countless others.” Second, even if… Read more »

Cool Lester Smooth
Guest
Cool Lester Smooth

…what? Read a book. Most rape survivors don’t come forward or press charges. Far, far, far more rapists are never even accused of rape than innocent men are convicted of it.

Casey Bell
Guest

I think the reason why alleged rape victims are given less credibility than alleged victims of other violent crimes is because rape is often much harder to prove. There are usually no witnesses and the physical evidence is sometimes inconclusive. A lot
of rape cases are basicly he-said, she-said so it’s not easy to convince a full jury that’
the accused is guity. It’s not that prosecutors and juries are unsympathetic towards alleged rape victims, it’s that they are trying to be open-minded regarding the accused as well.

Cool Lester Smooth
Guest
Cool Lester Smooth

Rape survivors are far more likely to not report it than they are to press charges. If they do, you should believe their account of events, while also recognizing that their experience may not fit the legal standards of rape.

In the case of athletes, cops have been known to cover up evidence (look at the Jameis Winston case), so you really should try to believe them.

james wilson
Guest
james wilson

A high likelihood, you say. A “study” shows false rape accusations run 2-8%. Which is it? A study with a 400% range is no study. That is the kind of propaganda used to gin up cases like the Duke LaCrosse persecution. It is very likely that most non-stranger rape is not reported. It is also likely that false accusation among reported non-stranger rape is much higher than the 8% feminist propaganda. Add to that the obvious fact that most professional athletes make a great deal of money even at the minimums and have a chumps taste in women, and cha-ching,… Read more »

DJP53916
Guest
DJP53916

It’s good that Manfred is talking about having a policy. Before we pass judgements on if it goes to far or if it goes far enough, it’s best to see what the proposed policy is. Ideally, any policy that is proposed and ultimately implemented will allow the accused a chance at proper due process, will allow the accuser an opportunity to present their case free of harassment and intimidation, and makes a statement the league and the 30 franchises take this matter seriously. Unfortunately, this will always be easier said than done. I think, going forward, it’s probably not terribly… Read more »

LTP
Guest
LTP

This is my take as well. It’s a tricky issue. Maybe have an independent committee investigate cases that don’t result in conviction and, based on a preponderance of evidence standard (rather than beyond a reasonable doubt like the legal system), dole out more minor punishments, like an 80 game suspension plus a fine, or something.

Marc Schneider
Guest
Marc Schneider

Baseball, like any business, has a right to hold players to higher standards than the legal system. It doesn’t have to have proof beyond a reasonable doubt. On the other hand, it can’t become a parallel judicial system. People want Manfred to create a policy; what would that policy be-“we don’t like rapists and want them out of baseball?” What people seem to be saying is that the judicial system can’t be trusted to handle domestic violence issues so baseball should handle them in a more pro-victim way. But I don’t know how you do that without in some way… Read more »

Cool Lester Smooth
Guest
Cool Lester Smooth

But they can (and, I believe, should) base these decisions upon a preponderance of evidence, rather than a reasonable doubt, because they are allowed to do so being outside the criminal justice system.

Everyone throwing around that “2-8%” figure needs to understand that it means that 92-98% of reported rapes were not fabricated, and most rapes go unreported.

We shouldn’t assume guilt, but we also have to assume that the victim is telling the truth.

Frank Jackson
Guest
Frank Jackson

I don’t see why baseball has to do anything. If it’s a working stiff committing the misdeed, his actions don’t make the headlines and there’s no public outrage. Some big corporations may have programs about this sort of thing, but what about a guy who works for a small business that can barely afford to keep its doors open, much less establish a program on domestic violence? Or what about a guy who is self-employed? Then what? If any individual breaks the law, arrest him, and let due process take its course. Unless he’s acting under the course and scope… Read more »

pft
Guest
pft

MLB teams get a lot of tax breaks for new stadiums, so its not just some individual. They also get the privilege of an anti-trust exemption worth billions, and permits them to exploit American born minor league players by paying them less than minimum wage. Their players need to be held to higher standards to maintain those privileges

pft
Guest
pft

Why draw the line with woman. Child abuse, elderly abuse, DUI’s, etc are all other crimes that should be grounds for suspension w/o pay.

Perhaps a stronger policy on DUI would have prevented the untimely death of Taveras and his 18 yo GF who was a victim of his reckless driving under the influence.

Its funny, the one crime that hurts nobody but the player is the one penalized the most severely (steroid use)

DJP53916
Guest
DJP53916

If I had to guess (and I admit this is 100% just guessing), a “Domestic Violence” policy probably would cover anyone who shares a home with a ballplayer, be it a wife, girlfriend, husband, boyfriend, parent, etc.

Rape and sexual assault would also make sense to add on to such a policy.

Guess we will see what ultimately gets proposed.

Bruce Markusen
Guest
Bruce Markusen

Part of the problem is not just that the teams pander to their own players, but so do the various player unions. When the NFL or MLB tries to discipline a player for committing a crime (such as spousal abuse), the unions immediately throw up their hands, and say, “No.” and then the union’s defenders in the media say, “Well, the union has to do that. It’s just doing its job.” No, the union does not have to step in. Since when does a union have to defend one of its members for ANY and EVERY infraction, especially when the… Read more »

bucdaddy
Guest
bucdaddy

There’s a slippery slope argument there, somewhat similar to the ACLU defending neo-Nazis’ right to parade in Skokie, Ill. If the union says, we’ll defend our players … up to an unspecified point, then what are the players who have legitimate grievances to believe?

Alex
Guest
Alex

If you’re a player paying the union for representation you would be pretty upset if they decided not to represent you for PR reasons. Not to say that it never happens, but it should be extremely rare.

Brandon
Guest
Brandon

This take is a little too hot for me

james wilson
Guest
james wilson

Civil suit. Five to ten million. Reading the link to the accusations, it immediately becomes clear why mlb is doing nothing to railroad Simon. “He introduced the woman to Reds pitcher Johnny Cueto and Simon, who bought her drinks and then said, “We are getting out of here,” before hailing a taxi to take them to the Mayflower Renaissance Hotel. According to the complaint, the woman was “visibly intoxicated” and unable to consent.” At 2:30 am. Did your wife read this far? This is the standard in Feminist Utopia, we get that, but mlb? Since you are apparently quoting from… Read more »

James Wilson's Mother
Guest
James Wilson's Mother

Shame on you, James. For every second you’re wasting your selfish and slutshaming breath rushing to the defense of accused rapists. Where in the hell are your priorities?

james wilson
Guest
james wilson

Yes, mother, where were you when those Duke players were hounded by the state and their own school? Oh, that’s right, you were on the faculty signing the petition to expel them before the trial. Grow a set, sissy, and sign your own name. There’s no crying in baseball.

Casey Bell
Guest

Here we go again! First there was the Duke Lacrosse players who were accused of sexual crimes by a stripper at a party. In a rush to judgement people were outraged and the reputations of the players and the school were trashed. Later it came out that the accuser had lied and the prosecutor had his law license taken away for unethical practices. The boys were cleared and the accuser was later charged with murder in an unrelated case. More recently we had the Rolling Stone article about a gang rape that allegedly took place at a fraternity at the… Read more »

Vince
Guest
Vince

Please explain how convicting people who may not have committed sexual assault helps fight the epidemic. I’m so eager to hear your insights.

Casey Bell
Guest

Well, well, well! When the very first sentence of your response to my comment includes a slur (“prick”) it is clear that you are about to make a brilliant and well-reasoned input to the converstation (<>). FYI, there is no epidemic of sexual assaults in this country, but even if there were, it would not justify rushing to judgement every time some is accused of committing a rape or assault. Do you really want to discard the concept of presumed innocent until proven guilty? You’ll be singing a different tune when you’re the one being charged with something you didn’t… Read more »

Vince
Guest
Vince

It is sad how eager people are to infringe upon the rights of others to make themselves feel superior. I’ll make you and your wife a deal – Alfredo Simon gets suspended without pay for nothing more than an accusation, you get to congratulate yourself for how sensitive and progressive you are, but then you have to stop writing the moment you are accused of a crime. No trial, no lawyer, no hearing. Automatically guilty and immediately thrown out on your ass. Deal? You seem to think that a 2-8% false complaint rate (that seems not to be universally accepted)… Read more »

Vince
Guest
Vince

You’ve totally lost it.

Paul G.
Guest
Paul G.

Forget it, he’s trolling.

Casey Bell's Mother
Guest
Casey Bell's Mother

You can scream due process until you’re blue in the face, and you’re just as loudly communicating to everybody that is forced to hear you that your priorities are in defending the status quo more than in helping the rest of us solve a completely obvious sexual assault problem. How can you hate women to such a degree that you won’t even trust them to let you know that so many of them are being sexually abused and assaulted. Your only priority is defending the status quo, which is doing absolutely nothing to stop this horrible trend. How can you… Read more »

Vince
Guest
Vince

What the hell are you talking about? You cannot promote some kind of greater justice through individual instances of injustice. It’s just not possible.

Casey Bell's Mother
Guest
Casey Bell's Mother

What should we do to curb sexual assault? Nothing? We would all make the world a better place by accepting that the principle of due process prevents us from doing anything?

Vince
Guest
Vince

I can’t believe that this has to explained to someone that evidently has the capacity to type, but what we should do is FIND OUT WHAT HAPPENED! You don’t know – I don’t know – Rob Manfred doesn’t know.

Casey Bell's Mother
Guest
Casey Bell's Mother

OHHHHHHHH RIGHT, LET’S JUST FIND OUT WHAT HAPPENED!!! THAT’LL ALWAYS WORK!!! IDIOT!

Casey Bell's Mother
Guest
Casey Bell's Mother

EVERYONE PLEASE RESUME YOUR NORMAL AND WHOLLY IMPORTANT BASEBALL FANDOM, NOTHING TO SEE HERE, NO NEED TO WORRY ABOUT DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AND SEXUAL ASSAULT. THEY ARE ALL JUST FEMINAZI CONSPIRACIES.

Casey Bell
Guest

Along with all your other issues, your Caps Lock key appears to be stuck.
You really ought to get your keyboard fixed or get a new keyboard. Just sayin….

Vince
Guest
Vince

So in your world, the Duke guys did it?

What color is the sky?

Casey Bell's Mother
Guest
Casey Bell's Mother

It’s clear to me that I have greatly erred, oh rational one. For now I see the real problem is false accusations. WHEN WILL COMMISIONER MANFRED STOP AIDING ALL OF THESE FALE ACCUSERS!! HE NEEDS TO PUBLICLY COME OUT AND MAKE BASEBALL’S STANCE CLEAR THAT IT WILL NOT TOLERATE FALSE ALLEGATIONS OF RAPE AND SEXUAL ASSAULT! MEN—THE TRUE VICTIMS OF SEXUAL ASSAULT IN THIS COUNTRY!

james wilson
Guest
james wilson

Just so you understand, Linden, this feminist manboob troll totally owns to the package of bullshit you tried to peddle.

Joe Pilla
Guest
Joe Pilla

Jason, I appreciate your thoughtful piece for something it certainly DID encourage: MLB should learn from the slow reaction of the NFL and instead show awareness of and sensitivity towards increasing public anathema to players who commit domestic violence, and establish, with the MLBPA, a reasonable protocol for team and league action based on revelation of a domestic violence incident. Whether that action involves sanction of the player by MLB before the law has taken its course is just one matter that MLB and MLBPA should negotiate. But NOW is the time to do it, not to wait for an… Read more »

Paul G.
Guest
Paul G.

I agree that players who are also violent criminals need to be punished by baseball. However, due process is extremely important. You cannot be banning or even suspending players without pay because of accusations. That way leads to utter madness and injustice. You cannot solve the injustice of rape and of guilty men going free by punishing the innocent and the not guilty. Multiplying negatives does not work in ethics unless your ethics are very skewed. Rape, and for that matter violent crime in general, is something that really needs to be handled by the courts. MLB is not well… Read more »

Cool Lester Smooth
Guest
Cool Lester Smooth

But they can use a preponderance of evidence rather than reasonable doubt, which is what the colleges who aren’t cocking things up do.

Paul G.
Guest
Paul G.

Actually, the colleges that are cocking things up are using preponderance of the evidence as the standard. However, that is typically the least of the problems with these tribunals (or at least the problem ones) as they often include such absurdities as defendants effectively not allowed to defend themselves, the accused not required to testify, and judgments being made by academics and school administrators with no legal expertise whatsoever. It is preponderance of the evidence with the thumb firmly on the scale for conviction. That said, preponderance of the evidence is a dangerous standard to use when the consequences are… Read more »

Cool Lester Smooth
Guest
Cool Lester Smooth

Oh, a flat ban would have to be for a conviction in court. But they could do smaller bans, like year-long ones, if the guy pretty clearly did it but there’s not scientific certainty.

james wilson
Guest
james wilson

MLB is not a moral organization, and must not pretend to be so any more than they already are, which is far too much.

The Red Sox have a history of dumping players who they know to be bad actors on the wife-gf front. Also of guys who go after other player’s women. Each team has that right and responsibility to exercise, or not, but the Commissioner already demonstrated that he is a moral lightweight.

That guy
Guest
That guy

How about focuing on punishments for all violent acts instead of just violence against women? I agree violence against women is garbage and should be punished, but it shouldnt be held to any higher standard of scutiny or punishment than violence against a man, drunk driving, drunk driving causing bodily harm or death or whatever.

Violence is violence, no matter the gender.

ParappaTheDapper
Guest
ParappaTheDapper

http://www.sbnation.com/mlb/2014/7/28/5936835/ray-rice-chuck-knoblauch-minnesota-twins-mlb-domestic-abuse-violence The above is a good article that makes a pretty strong case that MLB’s track record on issues of domestic and sexual violence is utterly vile. The point that resonates most with me from your article is the disparity between the league’s (eventual) response to performance enhancing drugs and the league’s response to a culture of violence against women. It’s pretty clear that the difference is the former is seen as more likely to erode the fans’ fervor and willingness to spend money and to generate advertising dollars. The solution, then, is to be as abrasive and strident as… Read more »