Monday, July 30, 2018

So about this Roberto Osuna thing...

I don't like it.

But let's take a look at what we (meaning, "what's been published online") know regarding the matter.


Toronto announced that a trade has been finalized between the Astros and the Blue Jays that will send Ken Giles, Hector Perez, and David Paulino to Toronto in exchange for closer Roberto Osuna. Here's what we know:

May 8, 2018

Roberto Osuna was charged with one count of assault against a then-unnamed woman early in the morning of Tuesday, May 8. Her name was withheld to protect her identity. Manager John Gibbons:
You're dealing with human beings, regardless of walk of life. Hopefully there's nothing there. I love the kid, not because of what he's done for us on the field, but because of who he is and my relationship with him over the years...Really, society in general, there's got to be a zero-tolerance policy, you've got to protect the vulnerable and those who can't protect themselves. Hopefully when it's all said and done, he's back with us, it's behind him, and things turn out fine.

The standard suspension for investigation by MLB is seven days. Toronto GM Ross Atkins:
There are scenarios where this leave could be extended, this leave could be shortened, it could be seven days. The seven-day is the default. You can't express (the reaction to the assault charge) it in words, the feeling you have. It's a physical feeling, an emotional feeling that you hate to get and hate to have. 

Osuna was released from jail later that morning and met with Atkins, Gibbons, and other officials at the Rogers Centre. He was not allowed to be around the Blue Jays while the suspension was in effect and the Blue Jays' Osuna shirt giveaway scheduled for two days later was cancelled and replaced.

At 12:17pm Sportsnet's Hazel Mae confirmed with a source within Toronto Police that the assault was against Osuna's girlfriend.

Later that afternoon, MLB released a statement:
MLB takes all allegations of this nature very seriously. We are investigating the circumstances and have placed Roberto Osuna on administrative leave in accordance with the joint MLB-MLBPA Domestic Violence Policy.

The Blue Jays released their own statement at 1:34pm.
We are aware of the incident involving Roberto and fully support the decision by the Commissioner's Office to place him on administrative leave. We are taking the matter extremely seriously, as the type of conduct associated with this incident is not reflective of our values as an organization. As this remains an ongoing investigation by Toronto Police, the Club will not comment further on the matter. 

His "administrative leave" was extended twice by MLB as the Commissioner's Office continued to investigate the details.

Jon Heyman reported on May 24 that Osuna's assault was "said by people familiar with the case to be serious and involve allegations of a physical nature, which would draw a significant ban; though, word it that he denies doing physical harm."

On Friday, June 22, MLB handed down it's 3rd-longest ban for domestic violence, a 75-game suspension, breaking its precedent of waiting until criminal proceedings are finalized. A week later Ross Atkins told's Shi Davidi that he expected Osuna to resume his normal spot in the back end of the Blue Jays' bullpen upon his return:
Roberto is our closer. We're running a baseball team and our goal is to win championships. Roberto could potentially be very much a part of that. The word that comes to mind for me when you talk about that is empathy. That's not just for Roberto, that's for everyone involved, that's where we're going to spend our time and energy, on being empathetic and trying to understand. We don't have a background in investigations.

Back to today, Jeff Luhnow released a statement. Via Mark Berman:
We are excited to welcome Roberto Osuna to our team. The due diligence by our front office was unprecedented. We are confident that Osuna is remorseful, has willfully complied with all consequences related to his past behavior, has proactively engaged in counseling, and will fully comply with our zero tolerance policy related to abuse of any kind. Roberto has some great examples of character in our existing clubhouse that we believe will help him as he and his family establish a fresh start and as he continues with the Houston Astros. We look forward to Osuna's contributions as we head into the back half of the season. 

Osuna, again via Mark Berman:
I am excited to join the Houston Astros and move forward with a fresh start to my career. The positive character of my new teammates is a big reason for their success and I look forward to bringing a positive contribution to this great group of guys as we work towards many more winning seasons. I thank Jeff Luhnow and the entire Astros organization for believing in me - I will not let them down. 

Osuna was suspended for 75 games, and is eligible to return on August 5. Before that, however, Osuna's next hearing is on August 1 - the day after the trade deadline. Ken Rosenthal:
If Osuna is found guilty, he might face travel restrictions. But if his case is resolved before then through a "peace bond," in which he would make certain promises and face certain conditions, including an agreement to undergo counseling, the charge could be dropped. 

Unlike players who are suspended for PED use (or substances related to PEDs), those suspended under the Joint Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault and Child Abuse policy *can* play in the postseason.

If you recall the Astros had a player - Danry Vasquez - in Corpus when he was charged with assaulting his girlfriend at Whataburger Field. Now, to be fair, the Astros released Danry Vasquez on August 17, 2016 after he was arrested for domestic violence - almost two years before the video of Vasquez's assault of his girlfriend was released to the public, resulting in the following tweets:

So the Vasquez case is a little different, I guess, from the Osuna case. I guess we'll know more in the hearing.