Red Sox righty Steven Wright has been suspended for 15 games under the MLB-MLBPA Joint Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault and Child Abuse Policy, as Evan Drellich of NBC Sports Boston first reported. It is believed that Wright will decline to appeal the suspension, Drellich adds.
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. So far as is known publicly, Wright has not been accused of any physical harm to his wife or any other household members; rather, in a statement at the time, the family called it a “verbal argument” in a “situation” that “was purely emotional.”
Not long after, the case against Wright was “retired,” meaning the criminal case is on track to be dismissed so long as Wright does not commit any infractions in the next year. He has told reporters that he and his wife are participating in joint counseling.
Of course, those facts do not necessarily mean that Wright did not commit an act that is subject to discipline under the policy. Clearly, commissioner Rob Manfred found that he did, as he is entitled to do without respect to whether charges are ever filed or pursued in court.
Here’s the full definition from the policy itself:
“Domestic violence includes, but is not limited to, physical or sexual violence, emotional and/or psychological intimidation, verbal violence, stalking, economic control, harassment, physical intimidation, or injury. Notwithstanding this definition, a single incident of abusive behavior in any intimate relationship, or a single incident of abusive behavior involving a female member of a Player’s family who is domiciled with him, may subject a Player to discipline under this Policy.”
Manfred is vested with broad authority to issue punishments upon finding a violation. As Drellich notes, this 15-game term coincides with the shortest prior suspension issued to this point, that of Mets reliever Jeurys Familia. Wright, who may open the year on the DL owing to a knee injury, will serve the suspension once he is at full health.