Signing Chapman a smart baseball move, but past remains troubling

The Yankees acquired top prospect Gleyber Torres in July and then brought Aroldis Chapman back to the Bronx late Wednesday night.

The Cubs captured their first World Series title in over a century, which is kind of a big deal, too.

And we all got to see plenty of Bill Murray and Eddie Vedder and John Cusack and the Jagermeister lady behind the dugout throughout October.

See, sometimes a baseball trade truly does work out for all involved.

Believe me, this in no way — repeat, in no way — justifies, diminishes, overlooks or excuses the domestic-violence suspension Chapman served at the start of 2016 with the Yankees.

That forever remains a part of his story, part of his Wikipedia page, part of his stained legacy, even if he wasn’t actually charged by authorities for, according to initial police reports, allegedly firing eight gunshots in the garage of his Florida home on Halloween of 2015 following an argument with his girlfriend in which she told police that he choked her and shoved her against a wall.

Despite the lack of formal charges, MLB still saw fit to suspend Chapman for 30 games to start last season, making him the first to be penalized under MLB’s overdue DV policy. It also spoke volumes that neither the Cuban-born pitcher nor the Players Association decided to appeal the ban when it was handed down.

But just like Jose Reyes received a standing ovation at Citi Field before his first at-bat upon returning last season to the Mets following his 51-game suspension for his own domestic-violence incident — a reception I certainly didn’t expect or endorse at the time — Chapman is fully entitled to continue his career on the playing field and to attempt to rebuild his reputation.

The flamethrower receives $86 million over five years now from Boss Hal and the Yankees — the highest total ever for a closer, btw, Mariano fans. And it certainly appears that Brian Cashman played his cards masterfully in that regard at last season’s trade deadline in accruing a passel of big-time prospects for Chapman and fellow reliever Andrew Miller, as well as in seller deals involving Carlos Beltran and Ivan Nova.

Torres batted over .400 and was named MVP of the Arizona Fall League, becoming at 19 the youngest to ever win that award. The stud shortstop is expected to start the 2017 campaign at Double-A Trenton, but Chapman probably will still be the Bombers’ closer by the time Torres arrives in the Bronx.

Teaming again with Dellin Betances, Chapman provides the Yanks another all-important big arm capable of triple-digit heat at the end of games. This also allows Betances to return to his familiar role as one of the best setup men in the sport.

From a purely baseball perspective, adding a four-time All-Star closer to a team with a need at that position and no draft pick compensation attached is a worthwhile move for the Yanks, even if the dollars and years are a little high.

But the signing doesn’t at all change Chapman’s past, which should not be so easily overlooked.


Phil Jackson really should just stop talking now.

About the triangle, about the Warriors, about LeBron and his posse, and especially negatively about Carmelo.

Everything Zen, everything Zen? I don’t think so.

That’s right, I just quoted Bush in a sports column. Do you prefer Glycerine or Machinehead next?

That said, Odell Beckham Jr. probably should cool it with the Stevie Wonder blindness references.

Back to the Knicks, they are much more watchable than the past couple of seasons, of that there is no question.

But Wednesday night showed that they still are nowhere close to the Cavs, especially without their biggest difference maker so far this season, Derrick Rose.

How noncompetitive was it? Did you catch the video of LeBron and his teammates disrespectfully playing “flippy cups” (OK, bottles) on the bench near the end of the game?

The Cavs doing the Water Bottle Challenge somehow upstaged the Knicks’ Mannequin Challenge.

I was hard on Garth Snow and the Islanders over their terrible start to the season, and 100 percent deservedly so, IMO.

They certainly have looked much better in going 4-0-1 over their last five after Monday’s win over the Rangers. Their PK has vastly improved, and they’ve even started to generate some much-needed secondary scoring.

All the same, that they also remain in last place in the East headed into Thursday’s home match against St. Louis leaves me firmly in the “(plexi)-glass half-empty” crowd for now.

As for the Rangers, who started out scoring goals like the early-80s Edmonton Oilers, all it took was a couple of injuries and a couple of poor performances from King Henrik for those Manhattan-based panic buttons to be dusted off, right?

I also am starting to think that old friend John Tortorella’s Columbus Blue Jackets just might be the best team in the Metro Division.

Also, to paraphrase Torts, stop Grammar Policing, Pat Leonard. Going forward …

It’s not until Dec. 23, but Happy Festivus and Happy Cespedes for the rest of us.

It doesn’t really matter to me if Bryce Petty or Tom Petty plays QB for the Jets.

Now, Lori Petty, she showed a big arm in “A League of Their Own.”

Finally, hard to believe Jeter got scooped so badly on his little website over the news of his May 14 jersey retirement ceremony.

Oh, really? #MetsTwitter probably thinks it was Harvey’s fault.


Speaking of Jeter, the retired captain endorsed George Steinbrenner for the Hall of Fame on Wednesday.

Today’s Top-5: My favorite “Boss” moments from Seinfeld.

5. George Costanza gets hired by the Yankees.

“Well, I wish I could say the same, but I must say, with all due respect, I find it very hard to see the logic behind some of the moves you have made with this fine organization. In the past 20 years you have caused myself, and the city of New York, a good deal of distress, as we have watched you take our beloved Yankees and reduce them to a laughingstock, all for the glorification of your massive ego!

Steinbrenner: “Hire this man!”

The Yankees spend big to bring Aroldis Chapman back to the Bronx.

The Yankees spend big to bring Aroldis Chapman back to the Bronx.

(New York Daily News)

4. The Boss thinks George is a communist and can help the Yanks sign Cuban players.

Embedding disabled on The YouTube. Welp.

3. Steinbrenner butchers a Pat Benatar song.

The Knicks have been playing better — even with Carmelo Anthony holding the ball, right Phil? — but LeBron James and the Cavs manhandled them Wednesday night.

The Knicks have been playing better — even with Carmelo Anthony holding the ball, right Phil? — but LeBron James and the Cavs manhandled them Wednesday night.

(Brad Penner/USA Today Sports)

2. George tries to get fired by the Boss.

1. “Jerry, Mr. Steinbrenner’s here, George is dead, call me back!”

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Source: NY Daily News Headlines Sports News

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