Speaking through an interpreter before the New York Yankees began spring training exhibition play on Wednesday, closer Aroldis Chapman said he exercised bad judgment using a handgun in an alleged domestic dispute last October.
"I'm apologizing because of the use of the gun," said Chapman, who was suspended for the first 30 games by Major League Baseball because of the incident, he learned Tuesday. "It was bad judgment on my part. But I also want to say that I never hurt my girlfriend. I want this to be very clear."
Chapman's girlfriend accused him of choking her, but the former Cincinnati Reds All-Star reliever denied causing the woman any harm and no charges were filed in the case. Police in Davie, Fla., said the alleged victim did not fully cooperate and some accounts conflicted, which caused the dead end in the investigation.
Chapman is in the final year of his contract but will not take the field for a regular season game until May 9.
He came to the Yankees via trade with the Reds in December, several weeks after the framework of a deal to send Chapman to the Los Angeles Dodgers fell apart under the weight of the domestic violence allegations.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi said on Wednesday prior to the game that he applauded baseball and would remind his players to think before acting in all situations.
This is the first domestic abuse or domestic violence suspension rendered by Manfred.
He said last August that MLB would have a policy in place that was in agreement with the players' union.
Pending cases involving current MLB players, including Colorado Rockies shortstop Jose Reyes, are also subject to suspension and fine, Manfred said. Reyes is currently on leave from the Rockies awaiting trial for an alleged incident in Hawaii.