It certainly is in the most abhorrent company as one will find, but closer Aroldis Chapman knows what Domingo German is dealing with as he returns to the Yankees’ clubhouse after he was suspended for the 2020 season for violating Major League Baseball’s domestic violence policy.
Granted, German’s experience being reintroduced to an MLB clubhouse is in no way a comparison to what his wife went through.
Sunday morning saw The Athletic’s Lindsey Adler detail more on the 2019 incident, which saw an intoxicated German slap his wife at former-teammate CC Sabathia’s charity event before he “became physically violent toward his girlfriend until she hid in a locked room.”
Yet after serving his suspension, German still has a place in the Yankees’ clubhouse, just as they welcomed Aroldis Chapman into their ranks after he was suspended 30 games by Major League Baseball for using a handgun during a domestic-violence incident with his girlfriend in 2015 — when he was a member of the Chicago Cubs.
“We had a long conversation yesterday and we kind of talked about some of the different things that have happened with him in the past year or so,” Chapman said via Zoom on Sunday afternoon. “We spoke candidly about it, spoke about all the different things. In the end, it’s definitely a private conversation. I don’t want to give out any details about it, but I had a good opportunity to chat with him about it and speak frankly with him.
“The experience I had and his experience is somewhat different,” he continued. “If you’ll remember, I was coming into a new team. Didn’t really know my teammates at the time and that’s completely different from his situation. He’s returning to his team where practically 99% of the players he knows and has had some kind of relationship with them.”
German’s standing with his teammates is mixed, to say the least. Reliever Zack Britton told reporters on Saturday: “Sometimes, you don’t get to control who your teammates are. I don’t agree with what he did, I don’t think it has any place in the game or off the field at all.”
Chapman noted that German has been “keeping to himself a little more than usual,” but he and his Yankees teammates “have to find a way to support him.”
But it begins with addressing his teammates, which he has yet to do so as of yet.
“Among the many things we talked about, that was one of the things we spoke about, how important it would be to speak with all your teammates,” Chapman said. “We feel that we have a relationship in this clubhouse and to take into consideration all the time we spent here in the clubhouse, training, working. Sometimes we spend more time here than with our own families at home. That feeling of having a family in this clubhouse is always there and it’s important and that’s why I felt that one of the things I mentioned, it’s important to address your family first, your teammates before you speak with the media.
“It was important to do so with your teammates and it will be very beneficial when he does so.”