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.


John Martin said...

I don't like it and I wouldn't have done it, but it's not like I had a say in the matter.

Hopefully the Astros can give him the help and support his family needs and he is truly remorseful and committed to making the right changes in his life. If he can be the elite closer that he appeared to be on his way to becoming in Toronto, bonus.

Wallee Wright said...

Guys, now that we got the kid tied to the stake and the kindling stacked at his feet, perhaps before we strike the match we should at least get a clarification of what was reportedly related to Heyman "by people familiar with the case" as "serious and involve allegations of a physical nature" - after all, Jon has always been a reliable source for baseball news and MLB didn't wait for criminal proceedings before handing down a 75-game suspension.
I'm not trying to defend the kid, or minimize or justify in any way the evil of abusive behavior, but this smells a bit of the #metoo fad accompanied by righteous hand-wringing from the commish's office - I'd rather know the full story before I criticize a Front Office that has consistently done the right thing on behalf of the team and the city.

Anonymous said...

Nice Defense Wallie. A man would never have to defend himself against something like this much less accept a 75 game suspension. He did not defend himself! Now we know luhnow has what it takes to repeat. Go Stros!

Anonymous said...

Did we really trade for woman beater? Wtf? Is this part of making America great again?

ABlindHog said...

The only thing I know for sure after reading all I could find on this subject is that Osuna stands accused of an act he has yet to be tried for. Being accused is not an acceptable reason to castigate this man. In the virtue signalling world of the liberal fascists whose bad behaviour has gone uncorrected it is important to take the time to stop and remind them to mind their manners. Trump derangement syndrome is not an excuse to go around saying fuck you Wallee, or to refer to the duelly elected President, and representative of the Americans that elected him as an orangutan. I am sorry you are not standing in front of me, you really deserve my personal attention. Go home and try to recall the lessons your mother and your kindergarten teacher tried to teach you. If your manners are not properly affixed to you they slip away just when you need them most. This will continue to hinder your ability to succeed in life if you are unable to correct it.

Anonymous said...

By the time Altuve, Correa & Osuna join the team, we'll be in 3rd place chasing Seattle & Oakland.

Anonymous said...

Yes just accused but if someone takes 2 million from you and you agree to be suspended for 75 games without defending yourself at all you look guilty as shit.

Reuben said...

“Yes just accused but if someone takes 2 million from you and you agree to be suspended for 75 games without defending yourself at all you look guilty as shit.”

This is pretty much how I feel. I’d rather be too quick to “condemn” an abuser than too slow to believe/defend their victims. And let’s keep in mind that court rulings and punishment are different than not wanting a guy to play for the baseball team you like. OJ Simpson was never convicted of the crime of murder, but I think most of us would not be pleased if he was hired by the Texans or whatever team.

Just a terrible, awful message for the Astros to send, especially when the market is glutted with RP options. No slight margin of victory probability is worth being associated with this.