Mets' Familia suspended 15 games for domestic violence

The MLB's hammer has finally been dropped on New York Mets closer Jeurys Familia, as the righty will serve a 15 game suspension to open 2017.

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 October 31, in which she described her husband as "drunk".

In a statement, Familia said, "it is important that it be known that I never physically touched, harmed or threatened my wife that evening, adding, "I did, however, act in an unacceptable manner and am terribly disappointed in myself".

Familia denied hitting his wife that night and described his actions as "inappropriate behavior".

Shortly after the announcement, Familia also released a statement.

Familia was charged with simple assault.

In a statement, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred said that after speaking with Familia and Rivas in person, along with the Fort Lee Prosecutor, evidence regarding the case "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". 'I have learned from this experience, and have grown as a husband, a father, and a man'.

More news: California adds 22900 jobs in February; unemployment rate ticks down to 5%

Although the couple had argued that night, his wife said he was not responsible for the bruise or the scratch.

Along with his suspension, Familia will lose 18 days' worth of pay, or roughly $700,000, and will be required to speak with other players about domestic violence issues and donate his time and money to domestic violence prevention organizations.

Familia has already completed 12 90-minute counseling sessions, per Rosenthal, and will also make a contribution to a charity. A key piece in the Mets bullpen, Terry Collins and crew will look forward to him closing out games. "Out of respect for my teammates and my family, I will have no further comment".

Addison Reed is expected to fill in as the Mets' closer in Familia's absence.

In a 30-second ad spot, Familia is seen in a moodily-lit locker room, flexing and preparing for a game. A suspension imposed by the commissioner under the domestic abuse protocols does not allow for a stay that would let Familia continue playing during an appeal.

The Dominican Republic native set a franchise record with 51 saves last season.

Major League Baseball needs a strong, clear set of mandatory guidelines for suspending players under its domestic violence policy.

  • Tabitha Byrd