As his lawyers no doubt will argue at trial next month, the speed at which police clocked Aroldis Chapman traveling in his Mercedes early Monday is not what matters. Any Major League Baseball player can drive 93 mph. It's all about control.
At least that's the story his defense (attorneys Franklin and Bash?) ought to be preparing after the Cincinnati Reds' would-be closer was arrested in Grove City, Ohio, for driving on a suspended license with a citation for speeding. WLTW reports that:
Chapman, 24, was pulled over after he was recorded speeding in a black 2010 Mercedes S63 on Interstate 71 North near Interstate 270 about 12:42 a.m. Monday.
Chapman was arrested after the officer discovered he had a suspended Kentucky driver's license, according to a police report.
Our client must have been confused, your honor.
After all, we know the vanity license plate for Chapman's Mercedes reads "101 mph." No doubt, this stranger from the Caribbean must have thought that gave him the latitude to drive up to and including 101 mph. That's how they do it in Cuba. It's all in the Marx-Engels Reader!
In all seriousness, speeding on a lightly traveled interstate during the midnight hour is one offense — and many of us have been guilty of it — but the suspended license is another. Sure, Chapman probably has developed an aversion to paperwork and bureaucracy after living most of his life in communist Cuba. Unfortunately we cannot tolerate scofflaws in this country just because one feels the need to stretch after being liberated from under the oppressive thumb of totalitarianism. Plus, we need the tax revenue.
Of greater concern, actually, might be this $18 million lawsuit filed against Chapman in Miami by the wife of a man he allegedly screwed over back in Cuba. It would seem hard to prove. Hopefully it's either a cash grab or some kind of conspiracy by the Castro government to make a defector look bad. At least that's what Franklin and Bash probably would argue. But until it's resolved, we'll have to raise our eyebrows suspiciously. It would be much better to simply watch Chapman pitch and only worry about manager Dusty Baker using him correctly.
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