Callaspo Revisited

On May 10 infielder was taken into custody on suspicion of domestic violence. Callaspo was taken in for questioning and missed the team flight to Houston to begin this road trip. The Diamondbacks took swift action and placed Callaspo on the restricted list until this matter was straightened out. The restricted list is a provision where a player is not available to play and is not paid while he remains on the list. A team can keep a player on the restricted list for 10 days then they need to make a decision as to his status. All eyes would be on the Arizona Diamondbacks to see how they handled this situation. With a new ownership group in place everyone was curious whether character counted as much now as it did during the Colangelo era. Players involved with off-field problems had a very short leash when Jerry was at the helm. It did not matter how big a star or what kind of draw they were to the box office. When Diamondbacks reliever Bobby Chouinard was arrested and charged with domestic violence he was given his walking papers soon after charges were formally made against him. When Phoenix Suns guard Jason Kidd was accused of domestic violence he soon found himself leaving Phoenix and heading to New Jersey. There appeared to be a zero-tolerance policy for this type of offense.

The new owners for the Arizona Diamondbacks have been placed under a microscope as fans watch to see how they will handle off-field behavior and adversity. With the hiring of Wally Backman as manager, the team within a couple of days found themselves in a bit of turmoil when it was revealed that Backman had off-field issues from a financial perspective as well as driving under the influence. The team quickly back pedaled and revoked their job offer to Backman and set him packing. That situation left fans wondering whether the team had done due diligence in doing a background check before making a job offer. Given that the organization was still in a state of transition everyone was willing to let that slide as falling through the cracks so to speak. Last season when federal investigators raided the house of pitcher Jason Grimsley and charged him with receiving shipments of Human Growth Hormone (HGH), the Diamondbacks were quick to act. Managing partner Ken Kendrick quickly distanced the team from Grimsley and went further to deny any and all payment on his contract. When news broke on Alberto Callaspo, the team again seemed to act quickly and placed him on the restricted list. Now the deadline loomed for a decision. Would the Diamondbacks release or demote their utility infielder or would he return to the team? The answer surprised even me.

The team announced that Alberto Callaspo would rejoin the team in Pittsburgh. He would be taken off the restricted list and returned to the active roster. He would be available for Saturday’s game against the Pirates. I had to re-read that for it to fully comprehend.

We collected the pertinent information and offered Alberto the services of a counselor. The expert met with Alberto yesterday and found the player fit for work, but recommended he undergo counseling. Alberto and the club have agreed to the recommended counseling. I am proud of the manner in which our entire staff has handled this sensitive situation.

Diamondbacks President Derrick Hall

I am not dismissing the need for counseling as I think that is important in situations such as this. I just had expected something a little more substantive. Based on data collected by the media, this was not the first act of domestic violence that Callaspo had been accused of with his wife. She had told of at least 3 instances one including a knife that had occurred just this year. She had also alluded to potential harm to their child as well. These are very serious allegations and ones that I am sure the Diamondbacks take seriously.

I look forward to putting this unfortunate matter behind us, and focusing on helping my teammates win on the field again. I apologize to the players, the organization and our fans for any distraction that this may have caused.

Diamondbacks infielder Alberto Callaspo

What strikes me from this written statement by Callaspo is that nowhere in it does he apologize to his wife and family. Would it not have made sense to take that opportunity to show remorse to those that you have been accused of victimizing? Perhaps I am reading more into this than I should but this really bothers me. It is somehow inconceivable to think that all he will get is his time on the restricted list and a few sessions of counseling. I recognize that Callaspo has not yet gone to trial for his actions and so it may be premature for any kind of discipline by the team but the messages being released about giving Alberto a second chance and how they feel that counseling is all that may be necessary is distressing. I appreciate wanting to give the guy a chance but if indeed this is the third episode of spousal abuse this year I think Callaspo has used up his chances and should be sent packing. There is no room in society or baseball for that type of behavior.

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