(CBS) New Nationals manager Dusty Baker staunchly defended Reds closer Aroldis Chapman on Tuesday, one day after news surfaced that police had responded to a domestic violence incident on Oct. 30 that involved Chapman and his girlfriend at his South Florida home.
There was insufficient evidence to charge Chapman in the incident because of conflicting stories, no cooperating witnesses and no physical injuries, the Associated Press reported. The case is now closed.READ MORE: 2 Killed, 5 Wounded In Chicago Weekend Shootings
It was, however, a concerning enough matter to scuttle — at least momentarily — a trade that would’ve sent Chapman to the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Baker — a former Cubs and Reds manager whom Chapman played under in Cincinnati from 2010-’13 — came to his former player’s defense Tuesday.
“He’s a heck of a guy,” Baker told reporters at the Winter Meetings in Nashville. “I mean, a heck of a guy. I’ll go on record and say I wouldn’t mind having Chapman. No, no, he is a tremendous young man with a great family, mom and dad, and what he went through to get here and what his family had to go through to get here. I was with him through the whole process.
“I got nothing but love for the young man.”READ MORE: Celebrating Black History Makers: Liz Abunaw Is Working To Conquer Food Inequality With Forty Acres Fresh Market
Baker admitted he hadn’t read details of the allegations, but he questioned the authenticity.
“Who’s to say the allegations are true, number one,” Baker told reporters. “And who’s to say what you would’ve done or what caused the problem.”
The full exchange is below.
And, Dusty Baker on the Aroldis Chapman situation - pic.twitter.com/HNBrEbaShi— Michael Baron (@michaelgbaron) December 8, 2015
Cristina Barnea, 22, told officers that Chapman pushed her and “choked” during the Oct. 30 incident before family members broke it up, the AP reported.MORE NEWS: Chicago Weather: Rounding Out The Warmest Weekend Of The Winter