According to NBC Sports Philadelphia, Phillies outfielder Odubel Herrera was arrested Monday night, May 27, after a report of domestic violence with his 20 year old girlfriend at the Golden Nugget Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City. The police reports stated that there were “visual signs of injury to her arms and neck that was sustained after being assaulted by her boyfriend during a dispute. Herrera was charged with simple assault and was released on a summons with a future court date.
The team commented on the incident, stating that the team “immediately reported the incident to Major League baseball”, which sent Herrera to administrative leave from the head office of baseball.
The 27 year old is in the third year of a five year, $30 million dollar contract, but the club does hold options for the following two years.
With this absence from the lineup, the Phillies will most likely look to the talents of Nick Williams for the time being, which will not be too much of a drop off. In his limited 65 plate appearances this season, Williams is batting a mere .180 with a .231 OBP and .493 OPS. This numbers are not very different from Herrera’s .222 average, .288 OBP and .629 OPS., which is second worse of the entire starting eight offensive weapons. The defensiveness will go seemingly unchanged as well, where the range of Herrera does not drop off the table much for Williams, while the arm strength of the 25 year old increases as Williams has more outfield assists in far less innings.
This story unfortunately surfaces in the midst of an outstanding stretch of baseball. The team most recently became 10-7 against .500+ ballclubs this season, which is third in the MLB and only trails the Dodgers and Astros. In addition, the seesaw standing of the NL East just recently leaned again in favor of Philadelphia for first place.
This situation however goes much further than numerically and is much bigger than baseball. There is no room for this anywhere in the world, especially in the game of baseball where anyone lucky enough to where the button down jerseys and metal cleats is seen as larger than life by the entire nation, and even in certain parts of the world. This standard goes for any player of course, but the higher the number is on your paycheck is directly correlated to the number of eyes on you. A five year, $30 million dollar deal stands for much more than just the player he is expected to be and the results the team should have with him involved.
Look at Bryce Harper for example. Is one season of his playing ability alone worth over $25 million? Of course not, nobody’s is. But his brand, his look, his explosive playing style, even his humorous antics with the Fanatic make him a hit. He is the reason for a packed group in right field for home and even away games, which makes his deal worth his weight in gold. He leads with the world watching him, and even when his game does not live up to the expectations, his character exceeds.
I believe that the team handled this perfectly by bringing it to the MLB to handle in the initial stages, and before we completely jump the gun on the situation it is fair to say that we are awaiting additional information on the incident. But if these terrible accusations hold true, the fans should never want to see the outfielder take the field again. It is time to show our intolerance of these kinds of actions not just from our superstars in the sporting world, but even those who watch. There is no place anywhere by anywhere for these actions, and the sooner we strictly hold those accountable and showcase the repercussions of these actions, the better.
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