Tampa Bay Rays: Derek Norris Under Investigation by MLB
According to a report from ESPN, Tampa Bay Rays catcher Derek Norris is under investigation by MLB from allegations of domestic violence.
Allegations of domestic violence against Tampa Bay Rays catcher Derek Norris are under investigation by MLB following a post made on Instagram by his ex-fiancée Kristen Eck according to a report by Jerry Crasnick of ESPN, which was confirmed by MLB.
The post, which became known on Tuesday, did not identify Norris by name, but in an interview with MLB Network two years ago, Eck discussed a charity that the wives and girlfriends of San Diego Padres players were having, and identified Norris as her fiancée.
Eck wrote that she had been “physically and emotionally abused by this beautiful man I thought I was going to marry.”
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Domestic violence issues has become a top priority of MLB, as evident by a policy that they put into place in 2015 that gives MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred the sole authority to impose punishments regardless whether or not a criminal conviction has been made.
While MLB investigates the allegations made by Eck, Norris is likely to be suspended with pay during this time.
With findings from the investigation Manfred will determine whether a punishment is warranted. If the investigation proves that Norris indeed did physically and emotionally abuse Eck, the severity of a suspension will be contingent of those findings.
A statement from Norris’ agent was sent to Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times, stating:
"“First, I want to be absolutely clear that abuse of any form, is completely unacceptable. Allegations regarding this issue are a very serious matter and should not be taken lightly under any circumstances. That being said, in this circumstance, the comments made by my ex-fiancée could not be further from the truth. I have NEVER been physically or emotionally abusive towards her, or anyone else in my life.“I plan to go above and beyond to assist MLB with their investigation into this matter.”"
"The team in a statement to Topkin: “The Rays wholly support MLB’s Domestic Violence policy. We take these allegations very seriously and will fully cooperate with the Commissioner’s Office on this matter.”"
The most recent player punishment for domestic violence involved New York Mets closer Jeurys Familia, who handed a 15-game suspension stemming from an offseason arrest after an altercation with his wife. Although the charges were dropped, the suspension was warranted based on the violation of the policy.
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Other players have been suspended, with the severity ranging from 30-games to New York Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman last season, a 52-game suspension last year to Jose Reyes and an 82-game suspension to former Atlanta Braves outfielder Hector Olivera.