Germán apologizes after serving domestic violence suspension

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New York Yankees' Domingo German, left, warms up during a spring training baseball workout Monday, Feb. 22, 2021, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

NEW YORK – Yankees pitcher Domingo Germán gave a public apology Wednesday for actions that led to a lengthy suspension under Major League Baseball’s domestic violence policy, a day after he spoke with New York teammates and admitted he had engaged in dangerous conduct.

Speaking softly and dabbing his eyes at times, Germán said through a translator he wanted “to sincerely apologize to the Steinbrenner family, my teammates, the front office and those around me who love me. I have made mistakes of which I’m not proud of.”

The 28-year-old has been welcomed by teammates but also faced wariness as he attempts to regain a place in the starting rotation.

“He messed up in life,” first baseman Luke Voit said. “I don’t know the things he did. You always get a second chance at this. We have his back. But he’s skating on thin ice, and he needs to get his life together. And I think he’s doing the right steps to do so. But, again, he’s got to prove to us that he can do that.”

Germán was placed on administrative leave on Sept. 19, 2019 while MLB investigated an alleged domestic violence incident involving his girlfriend, with whom he has at least one child.

Germán missed the final nine games of the 2019 regular season and all nine of New York’s postseason games, then on Jan. 2, 2020, was suspended for 63 games. He missed the entire pandemic-shortened 2020 season and the playoffs. He returned to the Yankees last week for the start of spring training.

“I was able to speak to each player on the team yesterday. The only acceptable way to begin to move forward was to address them face to face,” Germán said during a Zoom news conference from the Yankees minor league complex in Tampa, Florida, speaking in Spanish with a translator at his side. “What I told the team: There are a lot of young players who wear this uniform and I want them to understand the great damage that can be done when mistakes like mine have been made.”

Giancarlo Stanton thought it was a positive exchange.