Old character questions re-emerge for Chapman

By: Bob Elliott

Canadian Baseball Network

NASHVILLE _ Early in 2010 we asked four international scouts who had seen Aroldis Chapman throw a bullpen session how much interest they -- and their teams -- had in signing the free agent.

Two were all in, one calling him the hardest throwing left-hander he’d ever seen.

The other two were out ... zero interest.

Of the two who were out they made their decisions not based on control or velocity.

One had seen Chapman’s picture in the paper four times and three times he was sporting a different-sized diamond ear ring.

The other was going to tell his club not to invest because of the stories about the fast, high-priced cars Chapman had already purchased before signing.

The Cincinnati Reds won the bidding war outbidding the Blue Jays to sign Chapman on Jan. 10, 2010 to a five-year, $30 million deal.

Chapman regularly hit triple digits with the Reds but the two scouts who passed on Chapman because of make-up issues are probably thinking they had things right as the Los Angeles Dodgers-Reds deal was put on hold at the winter meetings late Monday night.

The Dodgers were supposed to send a pair of prospects to the Reds. And they still might. But for now the trade is on hold.

Chapman was reported to have allegedly fired eight gun shots into the garage of his Miami-area home following an Oct. 30 argument with his girlfriend, who told police Chapman choked her and pushed her against a wall, according to a story by Yahoo! Sports.

Paid to get the Reds out of jams, Chapman is in the midst of one. 

Major League Baseball began a domestic violence investigation into the incident in Davie, Fla., Chapman was neither charged nor arrested but more than a dozen officers responded to the call, according to police reports.

Reds president Walt Jocketty, said trading Chapman to the Dodgers or elsewhere is still possible and talked to several clubs. Jocketty said the investigation is not what held up the trade.

This domestic abuse charge is not the first trouble spot for Champman, arrested after police clocked him driving his car at 93 mph on suspended license in 2012 and faced a civil lawsuit, accusing he helped Cuban authorities jail them to avoid penalties (since dismissed):

While the case is closed in Florida, baseball is only beginning its investigation. A new domestic violence policy was adopted in August. Chapman joins a list of Colorado Rockies shortstop Jose Reyes, charged with abuse of a family member last month in Hawaii and Dodgers’ Yasiel Puig had an alleged altercation with his sister in a Miami bar in November. 

Chapman’s former manager Dusty Baker was supportive.

“He’s a heck of a guy. I mean, a heck of a guy,” manager Dusty Baker told reporters. “I’ll go on record and say I wouldn’t mind having Chapman. 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.’’

Baker had not read the police report.

The investigators from New York will ... and the Florida State Attorney’s office has since requested reports from the Davie Police Department so it can review things.

SPINK WINNER: Dan Shaugnessy, of the Boston Globe, won the 2016 J.G. Taylor Spink award in Baseball Writers Association of America voting. He will be honored by the Baseball Hall of Fame during the induction ceremonies in Cooperstown next July.

Before the Boston Globe he wrote for the Baltimore Evening Sun and Washington Star. He has written several books including his most famous one, “The Curse of the Bambino.” 

Shaughnessy received 185 votes from the 417 ballots cast and is the 67th winner of the award since 1962. The late Furman Bisher, of Atlanta was second with 157 votes. Juan Vene of New York received 74. 

TOO LONG ON DL: Jays third base prospect Mitch Nay was placed on the disabled list Aug. 17 after a slide and was not able to play during Arizona Fall League due to a staph infection.
Nay, 22, a former first-round pick hit .243 with five homers and 42 RBIs in 109 games with a .656 OPS.