Baseball’s Intrusive Domestic Abuse Policy

Last year I wrote about Major League Baseball’s domestic abuse policy, which is, pardon the pun, bats. Here is another example.

Red Sox knckcle-baller Steven Wright has been suspended for 15 games under the MLB-MLBPA Joint Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault and Child Abuse Policy. Fifteen games is a lot: that’s three starts for a starting pitcher like Wright, and almost 10% of a player’s salary. Wright’s salary is about a million dollars for the upcoming season, and unlike an established star, he isn’t a multi-millionaire. Losing about a hundred grand will hurt, and not just him, but his whole family.

The suspension relates to a mid-December incident in Tennessee in which Wright was arrested and charged with domestic assault and prevention of a 911 call.  Wright was not charged with physical abuse to his wife or any other household members; this was apparently “verbal abuse”—the pitcher’s conduct was so emotional and threatening that his wife was frightened. A plea deal has the charges on the road to being discharged if Wright does not commit any infractions in the next year. He has told reporters that he and his wife are being counseled.

Never mind: Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred suspended him anyway, under this policy: Continue reading

Ethics Hero: Boston Red Sox Pitcher Steven Wright


On Sunday, Boston Red Sox knuckleballer Steven Wright hit Toronto first baseman Chris Colabello square in the helmet, and not with his usual floating trick pitch, but with an 87 mph fastball, making a frightening sound and causing  Colabello to collapse on the field.  After being checked out by the team trainer and allowing the replay of his life that flashed before his eyes to wind up, Wright’s beanee took first base and remained in the game.

Wright appeared visibly upset on the mound,and apologized to Colabello when he made his way to first.

The next morning, Colabello found an expensive bottle of liquor in his locker, a present from Wright. He was surprised. “He went above and beyond in my eyes,” the player with the sore head said. “It was pretty obvious there was no intent [to throw a beanball]. You could see by his reaction.” Continue reading