Yankees Domingo German will serve suspension only if 2020 season permits

Domingo German, New York Yankees. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Domingo German, New York Yankees. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) /

New York Yankees pitcher Domingo German is supposed to serve the remaining 63 of his 81 game suspension this season. With the possibility of no baseball in 2020, it could mean he is “let off the hook.”

Domingo German won 18 games during the 2019 regular season and was on track to become the next ace for the New York Yankees. with Luis Severino out until mid-September, German filled the void on the mound.

Unfortunately, the young Dominican’s season was cut short after Major League Baseball’s investigation into a domestic violence issue he was part of. The final result was an 81 game suspension that would carry over from his last start on Sept. 19, to a projected June 5 reinstatement this season.

With COVID-19 keeping the 2020 season at the starting blocks, MLB and the MLBPA referred to their agreement on suspensions for domestic abuse.

Provided there is a shortened season, which is almost certain, German will serve his 63 games if the season plays more than 63. If he serves his suspension in 2020 and there is still baseball to be played after serving, German will be eligible to pitch during the 2020 postseason as well as the remainder of the regular season.

Let’s say there is no baseball in 2020, German will basically be “let off the hook” and will be eligible to play on day one of the 2021 season. This begs the question: Is Domingo German possibly not serving a suspension bad for baseball?

The late George Steinbrenner and the Yankees have been notorious for giving players second chances. Three that stick out like sore thumbs are Dwight “Doc” Gooden, Darryl Strawberry, and Steve Howe. Howe served an astounding seven suspensions and Steinbrenner gave him the chance to play anyway.

The boss’ motto spoke of winning only coming second to breathing. For some, this meant his ways were charitable. But for those who were not fans of the New York Yankees, they believed Steinbrenner cared about winning more than the person he was giving the chance to.

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Most things at this point regarding baseball are hypothetical, but if the 2020 season gets bagged, German will not serve his full suspension. It seems unfair that a guy who was suspended for domestic violence would get to play after only serving 18 games of the 81 game suspension. Shouldn’t he have to sit the full 81 no matter what? The league and player’s association doesn’t think so.

If German’s situation is the new normal, then what happens to members of the Astros that were suspended for 162 games as part of the sign-stealing scandal. Do they “get off the hook as well? This is where rules may undermine ethics.

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The Yankees would benefit from having the strong arm of Domingo German back in their already elite rotation, but it may come at a price. The Bronx Bombers and the MLB could suffer from revenue loss because of people who don’t want to watch pitchers that were accused of domestic violence. This, in turn, could be bad for baseball.