It’s not a placekicker in trouble with the law this time because of trouble with the woman in his life. It’s not Josh Brown, a guy Giants fans knew precious little about until they found out about the history of domestic violence in his life, even as Brown continues to maintain he never raised a hand to his wife, Molly, as if that is the only kind of violence in a relationship like theirs.
It’s not a placekicker in a sport where even guys with good contracts, like the one the Giants willingly gave Brown, so often seem to come and go.
This time it’s not even Jose Reyes, once a star player in New York, who was playing for somebody else’s baseball team when he was arrested in Hawaii for an alleged crime against his wife, even if the charges against Reyes were eventually dropped. The Mets did bring him back after that, then everybody talked about what a good citizen Reyes was in the Mets’ clubhouse, as he became such a good player for them in their run at a wild-card spot in the National League.
Not a guy like Reyes: Whose best history with the Mets and with their fans was really something from the past. Who played hard after the Mets brought him back. Who managed, by producing on the field, to change the off-field narrative on himself the way Latrell Sprewell, who tried to choke his coach one time, managed to do that by playing hard for the Knicks. You wonder if there will ever be a team for Josh Brown like that, or a second chance.
But this time it is the popular closer for the Mets, Jeurys Familia, who has been accused of domestic violence at his home in Fort Lee, N.J. at two in the morning. This time it is a talented young guy who seemed to come from nowhere to become the Mets closer early in their World Series year, becoming somebody with one of the biggest sports jobs in the process. Not only did he have one of the most prominent jobs in town, he was a young man who had added his voice to the voices of other prominent local athletes speaking out against, yeah, wait for it, domestic violence.
The rush to run Josh Brown out of here was pretty easy. The story wasn’t just about him, it was about the people running the Giants, and their decision to offer a new contract to Brown, even if they didn’t know all the details about his marriage. They knew enough. So it was about the Giants, and it was about Roger Goodell, the NFL commissioner, who once again explained to us how difficult and complicated it is for the league to enforce its new policies on domestic violence. As if we hadn’t already figured that out for ourselves. It is interesting, with the mess the league has so often made out of these cases, that Goodell sometimes seems to lecture the rest of us on the subject.
The biggest outs of the World Series that just ended, as big and important a World Series as there has ever been, didn’t just come in the bottom of the 10th in Game 7 for the Chicago Cubs. They also came in the bottom of the 9th, after Aroldis Chapman had been rocked for three runs in the bottom of the 8th, and the Indians had come back to tie the game. Chapman came back and put the Indians down in the ninth, showed he had enough arm and enough heart to do that, and the Cubs put two runs on the board and held on.
This all happened a few days after the first anniversary of the police being called to Chapman’s home in Florida – the same weekend that Reyes was accused of putting his wife into a door at a Maui hotel – because his girlfriend said she had been chased out of that house, and Chapman was firing a gun in his garage. Chapman wasn’t charged, either. He got himself good and suspended by Commissioner Rob Manfred the way Reyes did.
And there, on the field in Cleveland the other night, was the same girlfriend who had called the cops. That is the way their story ends, at least for now.
So Chapman celebrated one way one year after the police showed up at his home because of his alleged, bad behavior with a woman. But one year after Chapman and one year after Reyes, an assault charge is filed in Jersey against Jeurys Familia. Now what do we do with Familia and what does Major League Baseball do when it has all the facts? Is the level of outrage the same about him as it was about Josh Brown. There is just this one call to the police on Familia. There were a lot more than that with Molly Brown.
But the calls keep coming on professional athletes. It doesn’t mean they are all guilty as charged, doesn’t mean they don’t get the presumption of innocence, even for another alleged crime against a woman. Doesn’t mean Chapman and Reyes and Familia are all the same guy, and ought to get the same month’s suspension from Manfred.
But if these calls do keep coming, if the 911 calls from wives and girlfriends are going to be a permanent part of the soundtrack of baseball, then maybe a month for what caused that first call isn’t enough. Maybe the ballplayers are the ones who need to get hit a little harder, until they get the message they sometimes impart about domestic violence in America.
CUBS, BLUESHIRTS, AND THE GIANTS’ NEXT STEP
– There was half as much waiting once for New York Rangers fans as there was for the Cubs until the bottom of the 10th early Thursday morning.
But if you watched the scenes from Chicago the past few nights and days, it does take you back to June of 1994, and the night the Rangers got their own Game 7 off the Vancouver Canucks, and Rangers’ fans were the ones carrying signs that talked about how now they could finally die in peace.
Aroldis Chapman celebrated the Cubs’ World Series title almsot exactly one year after the police showed up at his home because of his alleged, bad behavior with a woman.
(Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Same signs Red Sox fans carried in 2004.
And ones Indians fans will carry someday, if the baseball gods are ever willing, that is.
By the way?
The Rangers still have that one Stanley Cup to show for the last 76 years of NHL hockey.
The general manager of that team was Neil Smith, who is constantly ignored when the Rangers celebrate their past.
Apparently that ’94 team put itself together.
Apparently Mark Messier traded himself to New York.
How about Phil Jackson stops obsessing about his system and just tells everybody to throw Porzingis the ball first chance they get?
– Are the Giants really going to let a couple of rookie quarterbacks, or Kirk Cousins, beat them out of the NFC East this season?
Maybe this is the Sunday when the Giants look like a real contender again, for the first time in years.
Both sides of the ball.
Maybe this is the Sunday when the Giants look as if all the money Jerry Reese has spent the last couple of years is worth it.
How long does Prokhorov, who was going to beat the Knicks and everybody else, really stay in the basketball business?
What’s the matter this week, cat got James Comey’s tongue?
Or maybe somebody pointed out to this guy that the Director of the FBI isn’t supposed to run his mouth like a perp.
Do you think Trump ever considers charging Chris Christie for all his extra Bridgegate baggage when he gets on the Trump team plane?
– Even when it was 3-1 for the Indians, I was reminding people what it was like when Earl Weaver’s Orioles were up 3-1 in 1979 and he was the genius of that World Series.
Then his hitters stopped getting big hits and his pitchers didn’t get enough big outs, and the Pirates ran the table the way the Cubs just did.
Hey, I’m just glad nobody suggested that the Cubs-Indians’ election was rigged.
Man, I would like to have known what Tim McCarver thought about the 2016 World Series, while it was happening.
I’m thinking that Alex Rodriguez and Pete Rose probably aren’t going to take their act on the road.
– Listen, Reese is a good man.
He will always have those two Giants’ Super Bowls as a general manager.
But he was asked fair questions about Josh Brown the other day and should have answered them.
He’s the guy who wanted Brown on his football team.
New York Giants General Manager Jerry Reese needs to acknowledge that he is the guy who wanted Josh Brown on his football team.
He’s the guy who offered Brown that two-year contract.
He could have spent two minutes talking about him the other day.
Don’t you sometimes think that when Trump talks about Brexit there are people in the audience who think that’s the meal they had before lunch?
– There were so many things to love about this World Series.
You had to love the way Joe Maddon, the coolest guy in the room, finally won it all.
You had to love the passion of Anthony Rizzo, and the smile on Kris Bryant’s face before he even fielded the last ground ball of the ’16 Series.
Had to love the way Jon Lester came out of the bullpen, and the way Mike Montgomery came out of the same place to throw just two pitches and officially end 108 years of waiting on the North Side of Chicago.
But mostly you had to love the way a baseball team rallied around a 39-year-old catcher, David Ross, playing his last game, after such a long and distinguished career in major league baseball.
You had to love Ross getting one more big knock, off Andrew Miller, over the center-field fence at Progressive Field.
Finally you had to love Ross’s teammates putting him on their shoulders and carrying him around the field.
It was just one more moment in the ’16 World Series to remind all who love baseball why they loved it in the first place.
I keep wondering how the Cubs managed to do this without using the triangle offense.
Source: NY Daily News Headlines Sports News