Hal Steinbrenner clarifies controversial comments about Aroldis Chapman
Hal Steinbrenner would like a do-over after his comments about newly acquired closer Aroldis Chapman created a stir Thursday.
Speaking glowingly of Chapman’s tenure with the Yankees last season and of his popularity with Yankees fans, Steinbrenner – the team’s managing general partner – raised some eyebrows with this quote (via USA Today):
“Quite frankly, it was manageable the minute he got here last year. He was great. Look, he admitted that he messed up. He paid the penalty. Sooner or later, we forget, right? That’s the way we’re supposed to be in life. He did everything right. And said everything right when he was with us, as far as I’m concerned.”
Steinbrenner was referring, of course, to the fact that Major League Baseball suspended Chapman for the first 30 games of the 2016 season for violating its domestic violence policy. That was tied to an incident in October of 2015, when Chapman allegedly pushed and choked his girlfriend before firing his gun eight times into a wall in his garage. No charges were filed, but MLB still disciplined Chapman.
Later on Thursday, Steinbrenner clarified his remarks, telling Newsday that he is sure he said “forgive” and not “forget.”
“I thought I said ‘forgive,’ ” Steinbrenner said. “We forgive. That’s what we do — forgive.”
The Yankees acquired Chapman from the Reds in December of 2015, traded him to the Cubs last July and then signed him to a five-year, $86 million deal as a free agent this offseason.