New York

Mets' All-Star Closer Familia Suspended 15 Games for Violating League's Domestic Violence Policy

What to Know

  • Jeurys Familia was arrested on Halloween on a charge of simple assault
  • The case was dropped in December after his wife told a judge he didn't harm her
  • The league suspension will be unpaid and begin on Opening Day of the Mets' 2017 regular season

Mets' star relief pitcher Jeurys Familia has been suspended 15 games for violating Major League Baseball's domestic violence policy, the league announced Wednesday.

The unpaid suspension, which will begin on opening day of the team's 2017 regular season, comes despite a judge dropping the charge against Familia in December after his wife told a prosecutor that her husband did not hurt her.

MLB Commissioner Robert Manfred acknowledged as much in a statement, saying, according to senior baseball writer Ken Rosenthal, "The evidence reviewed by my office does not support a determination that Mr. Familia physically assaulted his wife, or threatened her or others with physical force or harm, on October 31, 2016. Nevertheless, I have concluded that Mr. Familia's overall conduct that night was inappropriate, violated the Policy, and warrants discipline."

"It is clear that Mr. Familia regrets what transpired that night and takes full responsibility for his actions," the statement said. 

Manfred added that Familia has already undergone 12 90-minute counseling sessions with a domestic violence counselor and "received a favorable evaluation." Familia has also agreed to talk to other players about what he learned through the process and to donate time and money to local anti-domestic violence organizations, Manfred said.

For his part, Familia reiterated he never physically harmed his wife.

"I did, however, act in an unacceptable manner and am terribly disappointed in myself. I am alone to blame for the problems of that evening," the 27-year-old All-Star said in the statement obtained by Rosenthal.

Familia said he has learned from his experience and grown as a husband, father and man. He also apologized to the Mets' organization, his teammates and his fans, and said he looked forward to rejoining the squad. 

Familia had been charged with simple assault and had pleaded not guilty after his wife, Bianca Rivas, made several frantic 911 calls to Fort Lee police on the morning of Oct. 31, in which she described her husband as "drunk." 

The Dominican Republic native set a franchise record with 51 saves last season. He previously was involved in an ad campaign for an anti-domestic violence group, which has since ended its relationship with him.

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