White Sox pitcher Mike Clevinger under MLB investigation

Mike Clevinger

Mike Clevinger
Picture: AP

It should be said at the top that it is not clear that the Chicago White Sox could have done too much before signing Mike Clevinger. It’s easy to say they should have known, and maybe if the team was really looking for reasons not to sign someone, they could find MLB’s investigation into the domestic abuse allegations brought against him by Olivia Finestead. (Clevinger’s attorney said in a statement that he is the pitcher “vehemently denies” the accusations.) But a team looking for a player as a free agent isn’t really looking for reasons not to sign that player. Only as far as you go.

But when MLB conducts these types of investigations, they probably don’t disclose it to everyone or anyone, at least under the guise of not wanting to poison the investigation. Clevinger himself might not tell you, and certainly no one waved any red flags at the time of his signing. Although it was strange how quickly everything came together, no one said it was imminent.

Yes, Clevinger has proven to be a dingus before. He violated COVID protocols while playing for Cleveland in 2020 and was essentially voted off the island by his teammates. However, it is some distance from that to this. MLB should have tried to subtly get the word out to the clubs, but without the conclusion of the investigation the players’ union may not have looked kindly on the league spreading the word that would prevent a member from signing a contract before they had anything concrete to do so with.

It’s certainly worth asking if the investigation was launched this summer, and we’re at least four or five months in, what exactly is taking so long and why Clevinger was available on the free agent market in the first place. What is MLB waiting for? Did Finestead show them the same Instagram photos she shared in her story yesterday? These things taking so long put one of his teams in an impossible situation. Maybe a rule that any player under investigation for domestic abuse or sexual assault should be put on ice until the investigation is complete, but that’s another thing that would have to be negotiated with the union and may not be so easy to pass.

It’s doubly bad for the White Sox, and especially their fans, because the latter simply had to live with it Baseball Hall of Famer Tony La Russa starts skating on a DUI charge — pleaded guilty to the offense — because owner Jerry Reinsdorf was so determined to make him manager, even though the Sox knew about the DUI before the public. And now they’re stuck with this, however long it takes before the Sox can dispose of Clevinger in the nearest dumpster.

You have to think they will as soon as they can, which is whenever this investigation is over. If they do it before Clevinger probably gets his money anyway, and while it’s almost certainly not morality that would dictate the Sox try to terminate his contract, everyone can probably agree that it would be better if Clevinger were thrown overboard without the money coming his way. .

But it’s still awfully odd, if we’re being kind, that this is happening in the same offseason when not one but two teams backed out of agreed-upon contracts with Carlos Correa over what they felt might happen to his ankle six or seven or many years later, and yet Clevinger got a contract with this in his past. There’s an instinct that teams should be as diligent as NFL teams when it comes to draft picks, but anyone familiar with domestic abusers can tell you how it could turn out horribly in a hurry if an ex-partner simply told a prospective team about past abuse and cost the player a contract. That’s not the best way either.

But MLB should come up with something with a player under active investigation because everyone here looks bad. That is if Rob Manfred ever cared what any of his teams looked like.

Meanwhile, on the other side of baseball, if Ronald Acuña Jr. did this on these shores, how many baseballs would be thrown at him simultaneously in his next attack? 70? We’re just doing it wrong, man:

It’s a light midweek in the football world, but that doesn’t mean Bayern Munich’s Joshua Kimmich can’t give us a real Thunderbastard. From the parking lot:

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