The Nationals obviously wanted an old-school manager when they hired 66-year-old Dusty Baker, but I’m sure the team wishes Baker would keep his old-school outlook on domestic violence to himself.
When meeting with reporters at the Winter Meetings on Tuesday, Baker was asked about the ongoing domestic violence investigation involving Aroldis Chapman. Baker, who brought Chapman into the league with the Reds in 2010, basically defended the fireballer while admitting he knew nothing about the investigation.
“I don’t believe reports. Who knows why? I’m not one to judge on how the whole thing happened,” Baker said, via ASAP Sports Transcripts. “I’ll go on record and say I wouldn’t mind having Chapman. No, no, he is a tremendous young man with a great family, mom and dad, and what he went through to get here and what his family had to go through to get here. I was with him through the whole process.”
Rather than leaving it at that, Baker went on to admit that he “didn’t read” Jeff Passan’s report about the Chapman incident, which included information from an actual police report. He then wandered into victim-blaming territory.
“I mean, who’s to say the allegations are true, number one. And who’s to say what you would have done or what caused the problem,” Baker said.
Baker was then asked if he thinks it’s a good thing that Major League Baseball now has a domestic violence policy. A simple “yes” would have done the trick.
“Yeah. I think it’s a great thing,” he said. “I mean, I got a buddy at home that’s being abused by his wife. So I think this policy needs to go further than the player. I think the policy should go to whoever’s involved. Sometimes abusers don’t always have pants on.
“I think we need to get them both in a room and try to come up with something. It’s a bad situation.”
Chapman hasn’t been convicted of anything, but that doesn’t excuse Baker’s ignorance. He should at least read about Chapman being accused of choking his girlfriend and the other disturbing allegations before he comes out with stuff like “abusers don’t always have pants on.”
The allegations against Chapman are serious enough that at least one MLB team stopped pursuing him when they learned about them. You can understand Baker wanting to defend his former player, but that’s not the way to go about it.
H/T Hardball Talk
Photo: Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports