Minnesota Twins: What’s next for Miguel Sano?

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MINNEAPOLIS, MN - SEPTEMBER 25: Miguel Sano
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - SEPTEMBER 25: Miguel Sano /
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Minnesota Twins third baseman Miguel Sano finds himself amidst sexual assault allegations. What, if any, punishments could be coming his way?

Thursday, the Minnesota Twins and their fan base were met with the news that has sent shock waves across baseball. A tweet was posted outlining how Miguel Sano may have sexually assaulted photographer Betsy Bissen and has left many searching for answers.

If you need to be caught up on what we do know surrounding this situation please check out what we posted here on Puckett’s Pond. There hasn’t been a whole lot more that has come out about the alleged events and it will likely take time before we get any more “answers” to what happened between Sano and Bissen. This is one of those situations that is so much bigger than baseball or sports and makes it hard to even think of the 2018 Twins on the baseball field. At the same time, we are a sports website and there could be some real ramifications for the Twins and Sano and we will take a moment and try to see what could be in store.

In 2015, the MLB and MLBPA agreed upon a Joint Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault and Child Abuse Policy. In cases involving domestic violence, sexual assault, and child abuse the commissioner’s office will conduct its own investigation and in the end, the commissioner will decide on punishment for the player. With no minimum or maximum level of penalty, but once a disciplinary measure is decided on the player is able to appeal any discipline to an arbitration panel. There isn’t a lot of history with such a young policy, but let’s look back at what has happened so far.

This past season Derek Norris was suspended for a little more than a month after allegations from his ex-fiance surfaced. Norris’ fiance accused him of choking her after a night of drinking. That resulted in Norris’ release from the Tampa Bay Rays on June 26th and then his official suspension coming down the beginning of September. Suspending Norris for the rest of the 2017 season. Resulting in 84 total games missed for Norris in 2017.

Aroldis Chapman faced the first suspension under the new policy when he was suspended 30 games to begin the 2016 season. Chapman didn’t face any legal charges, but allegedly choked his girlfriend and fired gunshots. Jose Reyes received 52 games after being arrested when an argument with his wife turned physical and resulted in injuries to his wife.

After being charged with a one count misdemeanor of assault and battery, Hector Olivera landed an 82 game suspension. New York Mets reliever Jeurys Familia was suspended for 15 games after being arrested following a night where Familia was drinking and became violent with his wife leaving her with visible injuries.

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As far as suspensions go, something going in Sano’s favor at this point is the fact that there have been no charges pressed against him and it doesn’t appear that Bissen is interested in doing so. When looking at the other cases in the history of this policy Chapman (30 games) and Norris (84 games from release, approximately 27 games from announced suspension) line up with Sano’s scenario the best.

When MLB begins to investigate Bissens claims against Sano, a growing concern will be what exactly will be uncovered. Jeff Passan recently wrote in his article surrounding the Sano news that one person familiar with Sano called a situation like this “only a matter of time” and also called Sano “a ticking time bomb.” That calls into question Sano’s character in a big way and makes one wonder if there are other events in Sano’s past similar to the situation with Bissen.

With the knowledge we have of the situation,  it appears that Sano may be looking at a suspension in the neighborhood of 30 days. If any more is uncovered in an MLB investigation that number could certainly rise. Again, there is always the chance that the MLB will find no reason for a suspension.

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Again, the baseball talk is very secondary to the seriousness of this issue. As we know sexual assault happens and leaves a wake of hurt in its path. Very few of us can understand what a person encounters when faced with a situation like that one described by Bissen this week. We can only hope Bissen and others are able to find the comfort and help to process the events they have encountered.

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