Quick, what does Aroldis Chapman, Yasiel Puig, and Jose Reyes all have in common? They are good ballplayers, and of course now, Reyes is retired. They all have something else in common, they’ve been on the MLB’s banned players list for violating the 2015 MLB policy on domestic incidents. Before 2015, there was no such blanket policy under which the MLB had to take actions, there were still incidents of course, and those of us that are a certain age well remember Phillies player, Brett Myers and his wife’s incident in Boston some years ago.
We all know that Phillies player Odubel Herrera also made the ‘list’ when in Atlantic City, somehow he and his girlfriend got into an altercation. This isn’t an article to say that these type of incidents are ok, obviously they are not, but what should be done above and beyond the penalty that the MLB hands out?
The baseball blog ‘Beyond The Box Score’ quipped that the MLB policy may not be working as planned in this article by a lawyer. Players that have completed the suspensions have gone on with their MLB careers, and now they have still been enshrined on the list of players that have violated the policy even though players who have done this previously don’t appear anywhere.
So where does that leave Odubel Herrera and the Phillies? He was signed to a multi-year deal, and one off day in Atlantic City was enough to derail his whole life, we’ve not heard from him much since. The Phillies still have Odubel under contract for ’20 – why wouldn’t they play him? The bridges have been mended and the roads patched between him and his girlfriend, as it was soon after the incident.
Herrera was a commodity for the Phillies for four seasons heading into 2019, he was supposed to be patrolling the center field confines of Citizens Bank Park for many years. His style of play became criticized in Philadelphia for his at times, lackadaisical play, not running out ground balls, and just a general lack of knowledge or awareness on the basepaths sometimes.
If anything, maybe he should get a haircut, get rid of the elaborate hairdos and get back to getting his head into the game of baseball. Maybe it’s too late for that, when the millions of dollars of a baseball contract kick in, players can change. Herrera wasn’t playing too good for the first 39 games of 2019 before his spat changed the direction of his baseball career. Should he deserve another chance to play baseball? I think the answer is yes, will he make the most of it and return to the form of a hustling hungry baseball player like he was before the Phillies handed him wads to cash to play? We’ll see.