Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Steal My Sunshine


A lot of the issues of baseball exist in grey areas. Oh, this new rule doesn't work, but it doesn't not work well enough for it to be repealed. Oh, several umpires are bad, but not enough of them are bad to enforce automated strike-calling. Oh, the money disparity in baseball is awful but not enough for anything to be really enforced.

Arguably the biggest grey area in baseball is its domestic assault policy. Where unless the other person really presses charges, it's likely that they're just gonna let you back into the majors anyhow. 

Mike Clevinger, after the season, was involved in some sort of domestic dispute, which was handled after the White Sox had finalized the details of their contract with him. Because the investigation into Clevinger's homelife turned up, apparently, no evidence of foul play, he was let off the hook and allowed to play this year without a suspension. Funnily enough, Clevinger was given a similar nonexistent punishment a couple years ago when he broke COVID protocols in Chicago, though he eventually missed a year and a half of playing time, due to a karmically-timed injury. 

And so the grey areas strike again. Mike Clevinger did something wrong, enough for it to be reported on, but not enough to warrant a suspension or much more than a small mark on his resume. Mike Clevinger is still going to be a valued starter with the White Sox this year, regardless of whether he did or didn't beat someone up in the offseason. And that's honestly how it goes. You look around the league and you see all these players, like Aroldis Chapman, Marcell Ozuna, Domingo German, Julis Urias, and Jeurys Familia, who've had suspensions for domestic violence charges but still get to play in the majors, virtually unscathed. Several of these guys, especially Urias, have almost completely wiped these from the radar.

Even Trevor Bauer, who fell the hardest thanks to claims of sexual assault, will be playing in Japan for the BayStars this season, meaning even Japan lets people play again regardless of things they're caught doing.

So now we have Clevinger, who came out of MLB's investigation clean, despite a cloud or two preventing the White Sox from completely heralding him as a rotation fix. Are we just expected to continue on as if nothing's happened? Do we just watch him have a decent season and put this knowledge out of our minds? Do we still wait for the other shoe to drop, or for him to get caught doing something else? 

Look, I know that it's taboo sometimes to do posts on serious topics and things like that, but it's a grey area I can't seem to get past, because, like with HGHs and steroids, they got caught breaking the rules and are only let off with a small enough punishment, you hope they're learned from it, and here they are doing what they did before. I feel weird watching people like Starling Marte and Fernando Tatis do well because they've got caught taking HGHs. I feel weird watching Domingo German get a starting role considering how much time he missed due to domestic violence. It's just something I don't know exactly how to feel about, and I think I need to take the more strict approach, like I have by not collecting any of the Rays players that protested Pride Night last year. 

Mike Clevinger is probably gonna have a solid comeback year if he keeps his control and velocity in line. But will baseball ever forgive him? And why do I feel bad that the answer is 'probably'?

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