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Dusty Baker on Aroldis Chapman: ‘He’s a heck of a guy’

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Washington Nationals manager Dusty Baker made an appearance at the MLB Winter Meetings Tuesday and was asked about the alleged domestic violence incident involving one of his former players, Aroldis Chapman.

Baker, who managed Chapman during his tenure with the Cincinnati Reds from 2010-2013, came to the defense of the closer.

“He’s a heck of a guy,” Baker told reporters. “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.”

Police reports indicate Chapman was allegedly involved in a domestic violence altercation with his girlfriend on Oct. 30 that included some disturbing allegations. The case has since been closed due to conflicting stories, no cooperating witnesses and no physical injuries, per an AP report, and Chapman was not charged.

Baker admitted he had not read any reports concerning the alleged incident but indicated he heard about it from his son. A transcript of Baker’s additional comments follow courtesy of ASAP Sports Transcripts, by way of Hardball Talk.

Q. Dusty, do you believe that it’s a good thing that baseball now has a domestic policy?
DUSTY BAKER: Yes.

Q. Domestic violence policy?
DUSTY BAKER: Yeah. I think it’s a great thing. I mean, I got a buddy at home that’s being abused by his wife. So I think this policy needs to go further than the player. I think the policy should go to whoever’s involved. Sometimes abusers don’t always have pants on.

Baker also addressed what he and Nationals exec Mike Rizzo have discussed the composition of the team’s roster, which elicited an exchange that likely will prompt further controversy for Baker (via Sporting News):

Expect much discussion concerning Baker’s comments to commence in the coming days.