The Atlantic City, NJ Police Department arrested and charged Odubel Herrera with Simple Assault. The incident stemmed from a domestic violence incident at the Golden Nugget Hotel and Casino on Monday night. Major League Baseball has placed Herrera on administrative leave.
Herrera allegedly assaulted his 20-year-old girlfriend. Here is the press release by Atlantic City Police:
The Abbreviated Facts:
A.C. Police responded to the Golden Nugget Hotel after receiving a report of a domestic disturbance. The victim, Herrera’s 20-year-old girlfriend, had multiple scratches on her body. She refused any medical attention. The police found Herrera in his hotel room and arrested him for simple assault.
I am very familiar with domestic assault investigations from previous work experience. The initial reports always seem cut and dry. In Pennsylvania, there is mostly an arrest when it comes to visible injuries. In fact, Police are often required to make an arrest without a warrant when they observe visible injury. The PA statute can be found here: https://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/legis/LI/consCheck.cfm?txtType=HTM&ttl=18&div=0&chpt=27&sctn=11&subsctn=0
However, the investigation needs to be allowed to come to a conclusion. All too often the public demands instant justice, which can never be the case. We must remember that in our criminal justice system a defendant is innocent until proven guilty. Sadly, the court of public opinion has it reversed. Just look at Twitter after the story broke. People are calling for Herrera to be released. The investigation needs to be allowed to find witnesses and determine if Herrera was the actual aggressor.
Emotions aside, The Police and MLB must Do their investigation.
Please do not read into this as that I am someone who is not sensitive to the issue. Domestic violence is NEVER acceptable and I get that it is a very emotional topic. In fact, I have personal as well as professional experience dealing with domestic violence. Therefore, I am very sensitive to the issue at hand.
There are very few instances, and they are extreme, where a man should ever hit a woman. If the man’s life is in danger, for instance. So if Herrera is the abuser, I am onboard. CUT HIM IMMEDIATELY. However, the public has to also understand that men can be, and are victims of domestic abuse as well.
Just to play devil’s advocate what if she was the aggressor? What if she was assaulting him, and Herrera was pushing her away from him? I am not saying this is the case, I am simply saying that is something that COULD happen, therefore we need to let the investigation conclude.
Will Herrera Play for the Phillies Again?
The Phillies will have to make a tough decision. By rule, they would have to continue to pay Herrera $23.7 million through 2021, according to Jim Salisbury.
MLB put Herrera on administrative leave for seven days, according to GM Matt Klentak. He also stated that he and Gabe Kapler spoke to Herrera who apologized for the incident. The question is was he sincere and did he feel remorse?
It’s hard to imagine that anyone who assaults a woman would get a second chance with their current team. Phillies fans must be patient and allow the investigation to proceed. Baseball fans need to try to treat Herrera the same as every citizen. He will get his due process.T
THE GABE KAPLER FOUNDATION: Ending the cycle of domestic violence
“Domestic Violence is never acceptable, and obviously we are not in a position to talk about this specific incident with Odubel,” Kapler stated. “We are able to talk about it more globally. It’s unacceptable every time.”
Kapler started the foundation in the mid-2000s. He started the foundation with his wife, at the time, Lisa. Lisa had been in an abusive relationship in high school. “In the Mid 2000s I developed an organization devoted to preventing domestic violence,” Kapler added. “….built a shelter in southern California. Was out raising awareness by speaking in high schools with my then wife Lisa.”
Just last week Kapler basically stated that the centerfield position was up for grabs. Herrera hasn’t been playing well, but was something else there? Could Kapler have noticed signs that he could possibly be an abuser? Either way, with Kapler’s history, I can’t imagine him welcoming Herrera back into the clubhouse.
Phillies Initial Response
The Phillies replaced Herrera with Nick Williams. For now, Williams will play left field against right-handed pitchers. Andrew McCutchen will play center. Scott Kingery will play center field against left-handed pitchers.
The Phillies reacted swiftly and asked MLB that Herrera be removed from the All-Star Ballot. Moving forward, patience is the key regarding this incident as the investigation develops. The internal investigation and any follow-up discipline will be handled through MLB.
For now, we must be patient and allow the investigation to conclude. This is a distraction that came at the worst possible time, during a very tough stretch. The Phillies were able to put it behind them and take the first game of a three-game set with the Cardinals. Hopefully, they can continue to do just that and win games. For now, let’s focus on the Phillies doing things right. RING THE BELL
Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports