New York Yankees starting pitcher Domingo German used his first public statements since being suspended for violating Major League Baseball’s domestic violence policy in 2019 to apologize to the Yankees, the Steinbrenner family, “those around me who love me,” but not specifically his victim.
German was shown the bench for the entire 2020 MLB season by the league after he reportedly slapped his girlfriend at former teammate CC Sabathia’s charity event before he “became physically violent toward [her] until she hid in a locked room,” according to The Athletic’s Lindsey Adler.
He disclosed that he is still with his girlfriend after going through mandatory counseling and “a small period of rehabilitation.”
“We talk about it a lot, many, many times. We promised to each other not to go through something like this ever again,” he said. “It was the first time it happened and I think that has been the best way to really get through all of this and creating a safe environment is from just communicating and understanding each other in a better way.”
Most of his apology and his mission moving forward revolved around baseball.
“When my team needed me the most in 2019, before we started the playoffs, I wasn’t there for them,” German said. “For that, I ask for your forgiveness. It was very difficult for me not to be pitching and helping my team. Having to watch from afar hurt me a lot but I also understand that I am responsible for putting myself in that position.”
German has received the backing from manager Aaron Boone and Yankees management before he addressed his Yankees teammates on Tuesday at George M. Steinbrenner Field in Tampa, FL.
“The only acceptable way to move forward was to address them face-to-face,” German said. “There are a lot of young players who wear this uniform and I want them to understand the great damage that can be done when mistakes like mine can be made.”
The 28-year-old has not received support from all his teammates, though. Reliever Zack Britton most notably told reporters on Saturday that: “: “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.”
German revealed that he and Britton did speak after his comments.
“He has a right to do that, to comment,” German said. “I understood where he was coming from. The good thing was I had the opportunity to talk with him and he basically told me, gave me pretty good advice on how I can improve, and at the same time, the comments he made were not to be taken personally.”