Another day, another professional athlete is arrested on domestic violence charges. This time it is New York Mets closer Jeurys Familia, who was arrested earlier this week after getting into a physical altercation with his wife, Bianca at their apartment in Fort Lee, New Jersey.
According to authorities, they found his wife with scratches on her chest and bruises to her right cheek. In addition, reports showed that Familia tried to pull his best Ron Mexico/Carlos Danger impression when he tired to pass his middle name, Mojica to authorities in their briefings in order to “keep the Mets from finding out.”
This coming from the same guy who just filmed a commercial for the National Coalition against Domestic Violence with Yankees manager Joe Girardi and NYC Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito.
The question now is what do the Mets do? What will MLB do? There is precedent for MLB to drop the hammer in cases like this. Unlike the NFL, Major League Baseball has been strict on this issue.
MLB levied a 30-game suspension on Aroldis Chapman after allegations he choked his girlfriend, and fired a gun in his garage.
Atlanta’s Hector Olivera was suspended 82 games when he was arrested for assault and battery on a woman in Washington D.C.
And, Jose Reyes was suspended 51 games after his altercation with his wife while on vacation in Hawaii. The arrest and suspension was too much for the Colorado Rockies who released him. But, for the Mets, they believed in giving Reyes a second chance.
The question is do the Mets believe in second chances again? The Mets could be looked upon as the ultimate hypocrite if they toss Familia aside after MLB levies its suspension, while still keeping Reyes, a domestic violence abuser in his own right.
The fact is, the Mets should move on from Familia, just as they should have never reunited with Reyes based on the same thing: image.
Just ask the New York Giants if image matters, because they have spent a better part of the last two weeks trying to clean it up after the Josh Brown fiasco.
There is a very good chance the Mets won’t have Familia for the first two months of the season, if baseball’s domestic abuse policy means anything. Therefore they will have to go out and find a closer this offseason. If they do, they shouldn’t feel obligated to hand the job back to Familia, just like they weren’t obligated to give the closer’s role back to Jenrry Mejia , before he was banned for life for steroid use.
This list of free agent prospects is interesting, if not uninspiring. Chapman leads the pack, and will command a heavy price after winning a World Series title with the Cubs. He’s 28-years-old and still throws in the 100’s. He is also capable of being erratic as well. While Chapman is the best on the market, the high price tag, along with his own baggage probably will keep him away from Queens.
The other two free agent options are more likely. LA’s Kenley Jansen and Washington’s Mark Melancon. At 31-years old, Melancon has logged his fair share of innings, but has been a fairly stable closer the past three years with both Pittsburgh and Washington. He saved 133 ball games in the last three seasons combined. He also gave up only 47 earned runs in 219 innings, or a 1.93 ERA in that time span.
Jansen is two years younger than Melancon, and is considered the second best closer on the market behind Chapman. He saved 47 games for LA in 2016 with a 1.83 ERA. In the last three seasons he has nailed down 127 saves.
If the Mets were to sign either Melancon or Jansen, or any competent closer, it would likely mean the end of Familia. There would be no need to give Familia the closer’s job back especially if someone else is doing just fine at the job. The Mets should not rest on their laurels and simply hand the job to Addison Reed and ask him to keep the seat warm.
Familia did this to himself; much the way Reyes nearly destroyed his own career. If character and image matter, the Mets should prepare as if Familia won’t be apart of the 2017 roster.