BOSTON (CBS) — Steven Wright’s health status heading into opening day was a question mark for the Red Sox. Now, it won’t matter much.
That’s because Wright was issued a 15-game suspension by Major League Baseball for violating its domestic violence policy. Wright has agreed to not appeal the decision, and he’s eligible to continue to participate in all spring training activities.
“Mr. Wright cooperated with the investigation,” MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said. “While it is clear that Mr. Wright regrets what transpired that evening, takes full responsibility for his actions, and has committed himself to the treatment and counseling components of the Policy, I have concluded that Mr. Wright’s conduct on December 8th violated the policy and warrants discipline. In addition to serving a 15-game suspension, Mr. Wright has agreed to speak to other players about what he has learned through this process, and to donate time and money to local organizations aimed at the prevention of, and the treatment of victims of, domestic violence.”
Wright, 33, was arrested in December and charged with domestic assault at his home in Tennessee. He addressed the matter when he arrived at spring training, saying that his altercation with his wife was verbal in nature.
“It’s just hard. You get labeled as somebody that’s a wife-beater when you don’t even make physical contact,” Wright said. “I’m looking forward to telling that side of the story, about what happens, because people will understand a little bit more about what happened. It’s not what you’re reading as far as you hear about domestic violence.”
MLB and the MLBPA reached an agreement in 2015 which affords Manfred to issue punishments on such matters as he sees fit.
“We fully support MLB’s Domestic Violence Policy, the discipline set forth by the Commissioner’s office, and Steven’s acceptance of the ruling,” the Red Sox said in a statement. “While we are disappointed that this incident occurred, we are encouraged that Steven is taking meaningful steps to learn from this unfortunate incident.”
Wright will have to serve the suspension when he is placed on the Red Sox’ active list, which means any time spent on the disabled list to start the season would not count toward the suspension. Wright is recovering from knee surgery.
Wright made the American League All-Star team in 2016, when he went 13-6 with a 3.33 ERA in 24 starts. His season was shortened, though, by a shoulder injury, which he suffered after former manager John Farrell inserted him as a pinch runner. He made just five starts in 2017, going 1-3 with an 8.25 ERA, before undergoing knee surgery.