Beginning with the Ray Rice incident, the NFL and its players were under heavy criticism as domestic violence cases dominated headlines for weeks on end.
In October, it was reported MLB and the MLBPA was holding discussions to develop a domestic violence policy and according to Jon Morosi of FOX Sports, a formal announcement is expected by Spring Training:
Officials from Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association are scheduled to meet multiple times in January regarding a new domestic violence policy. The league and union have discussed parameters of a disciplinary program for several months already, and sources familiar with the process say the parties are likely to formally announce the new protocols before spring training begins.
Under the NFL’s new domestic violence policy, first-time offenders are suspended six games without pay; if MLB is utilize an identical penalty, a player would be suspended for 60 games. While the NFL faced the most scrutiny over domestic violence issues, the grave crime carried over into the NHL when Los Angeles Kings defenseman Slava Voynov was arrested Monday.
The NHL immediately responded by suspending Voynov indefinitely, which was a disciplinary action the Kings said they support through a released statement. Voynov pleaded not guilty and will face charges in March.
By being more proactive rather than reactionary, MLB aids its case in avoiding a dark period similar to the Steroids Era that casted a dark cloud over the sport. Under the current collective bargaining agreement, the commissioner would have the authority to suspend a player at the center of domestic violence under the just cause provision.
That power currently lies in the hands of Bud Selig, though he will officially be succeeded by Rob Manfred on Jan. 25.