Major League Baseball has launched an investigation into free-agent reliever Sam Dyson after a pair of Instagram posts made by his ex-girlfriend alluded to abuse, Ken Rosenthal and Katie Strang of The Athletic report (subscription required). NBC Sports’ Craig Calcaterra also covered the topic earlier this morning.
Specific incidents aren’t detailed, though the posts do make reference to objects being thrown at the alleged victim. Dyson is not mentioned by name, but Rosenthal and Strang have confirmed that he is indeed the person being referenced within. Additionally, there are broader references to the alleged victim’s physical and emotional well-being.
“I’ve allowed my physical health, my emotional health and my mental health to diminish to nothing. I’ve allowed more things to happen than I want to admit,” one post reads. Another concludes by stating: “No one deserves to be intimidated, scared, worthless and hopeless.”
As with the early stages of nearly all investigations under MLB’s joint domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse policy, details are rather scarce, and the potential for punitive action against Dyson at this juncture can’t be known. Dyson is currently a free agent, so he needn’t be placed on administrative leave. And given that he underwent season-ending shoulder surgery that is expected to keep him out for most, if not all of the 2020 season, the specifics of how the league would handle a potential suspension are also difficult to forecast. For now, the league has arranged to interview the alleged victim in the “near future,” per The Athletic report.
This wouldn’t be the first instance of social media posts leading to league-issued punishment under the domestic violence policy. Allegations against Addison Russell first surfaced when a friend of his ex-wife spoke out on Instagram, and while that didn’t lead to an immediate ban for the Cubs infielder, Russell’s ex-wife herself came forward a year later and offered more detailed accounts that culminated in a 40-game suspension. Back in 2017, free-agent catcher Derek Norris was suspended for the final month of the season under similar circumstances, when his ex-fiancee alleged both physical and emotional abuse in an Instagram post that also declined to mention him by name.
Major League Baseball is also still in the process of investigating Yankees right-hander Domingo German under the same policy. German was placed on administrative leave late in the season and barred from appearing in the postseason with the Yankees.