Aroldis Chapman Comments on Domestic Violence Allegations, Media Coverage

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistFebruary 23, 2016

New York Yankees pitcher Aroldis Chapman throws during a spring training baseball workout Friday, Feb. 19, 2016, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
Chris O'Meara/Associated Press

New York Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman spoke on Tuesday about the alleged domestic abuse incident involving his girlfriend that ultimately didn't lead to any criminal charges.  

"I never hurt anybody," Chapman told Brendan Kuty of NJ Advance Media. "Never in my life."

Chapman's girlfriend, Christina Barnea, claimed the pitcher assaulted her on Oct. 30, telling authorities he choked and shoved her. The pair were having a dispute after Barnea, per Kuty, "found a message in Chapman's phone that she didn't like." She also claimed she heard a gunshot, and police verified that a shotgun had been fired eight times in Chapman's garage.

Barnea later changed her story, however, telling authorities she didn't recall saying that Chapman struck her. Chapman wasn't charged with any crime, though he still faces possible punishment from Major League Baseball.

He told Kuty he would appeal any disciplinary action taken by the league. He also felt he had been unfairly portrayed by the media during the ordeal.

"Yeah, just a little bit," he told Kuty. "That's not my character or the person I am."

The Cincinnati Reds dealt Chapman, 27, to the Yankees in December in exchange for minor leaguers Caleb Cotham, Rookie Davis, Eric Jagielo and Tony Renda.

He's one of the hardest throwers in baseball and one of the league's top options at the back end of the bullpen, and he finished the 2015 season 4-4 with a 1.63 ERA, a 1.15 WHIP, 33 saves and 116 strikeouts in 66.1 innings pitched.

He's likely to serve as the Yankees closer in 2016. 

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