The saga surrounding Hector Olivera has been heartbreaking on a number of levels. For fans, having the promise of production yanked out of a lineup due to (alleged) stupidity on a player's part does not feel good in a year that already promised to be tough in terms of wins and losses.
More importantly though, Olivera's arrest and allegations of domestic violence highlight the darker side of humanity where abuse and violence are common place and bring that to the forefront of our minds. We know very little about the accuser/victim as well as what happened in that hotel, but given how swift the Braves put Olivera on leave in conjunction with the events of today, we can imagine it was pretty awful.
MLB announces Hector Olivera has accepted a suspension without pay through August 1 for violating the Joint Domestic Violence Policy— Kevin McAlpin (@KevinMcAlpin) May 26, 2016
Olivera will serve an 82 game suspension and has agreed not to appeal the discipline.— Kevin McAlpin (@KevinMcAlpin) May 26, 2016
The fact that Olivera received an 82 game suspension creates its own precedent, as a player hasn't had a suspension of this length for domestic violence in.....never. Suspensions this long are typically reserved for PED users in this day and age. However, whats even more telling is that Olivera accepted the suspension without an appeal. We will learn more as the charges and subsequent court hearings happen, but the facts of the case simply cannot be good for Hector.
The Braves released a statement regarding the suspension as well.
To say that Olivera's future in Atlanta is tenuous is a great understatement. Even when his suspension runs out in August, it would be a shock that the team would want him back in a Braves uniform especially given the terseness of the above statement. He will also still likely be facing legal consequences for his actions which could very well include jail time.
We still don't know many facts of the case and it would be somewhat foolhardy to speculate anymore than we already have about what transpired. Instead, we are just going to take a moment and remind folks to seek help if you or someone you know has been the victim of domestic violence. The National Domestic Violence Hotline is 1-800-799-7233 or you can contact local police and counseling centers and get help. At the end of the day, this is more than about baseball anyways.