There hasn’t really been any issues thus far in baseball in terms of domestic violence issues which lets Commissioner Rob Manfred set the precedent if and when there is a new case.
Bates highlighted numerous instances in which players were arrested for domestic violence but received little to no reprimand from the Major League Baseball.
The policy also allows a penalty to be appealed. How that unfolded is likely a big reason why Major League Baseball and the players union came to this agreement. “We believe that these efforts will foster not only an approach of education and prevention but also a united stance against these matters throughout our sport and our communities”.
“Players are husbands, fathers, sons and boyfriends”. In short, under the policy, the league can not make players sit out without pay at extended length until officially issuing a suspension.
The deal creates a joint policy board to provide treatment, which could include mandatory counseling and psychological evaluation. Any player who fails to comply with the treatment plan will be subject to discipline. It could also force players to give up weapons or to adhere to “other reasonable directives designed to promote the safety of the player’s partner, children, or victims”.
The domestic violence policy is a first for the league. The policy has a dual treatment and intervention program along with a disciplinary program. The commissioner already had that power under the “just cause” provision of the collective bargaining agreement.
A player accused of domestic violence, sexual assault or child abuse may be placed on paid administrative leave for up to a week while allegations are investigated before making a disciplinary decision. While no minimum or maximum penalty is listed among the guidelines, there is at the least a plan in place for Commissioner Rob Manfred to doll out the appropriate punishment if necessary. Manfred’s authority to discipline is not dependent on whether the player is convicted or pleads guilty to a crime. A challenge to discipline will be governed by the “just cause” standard. Manfred can suspend a player without with pay for up to seven days, to avoid the nasty scene of him playing in games while fans are reading allegations against him in police reports.
The commissioner also can delay discipline until the conclusion of legal proceedings, with the option of reinstating the player until then or keeping the player on paid leave.