Blue Jays cut ties with Alomar following investigation into sexual misconduct
The Canadian Press
Published Friday, April 30, 2021 1:32PM EDT
Last Updated Friday, April 30, 2021 2:57PM EDT
TORONTO - The Toronto Blue Jays say they are severing all ties with Roberto Alomar after the Hall of Famer was placed on Major League Baseball's ineligible list following an investigation into an allegation of sexual misconduct.
The Blue Jays said in a release Friday that Alomar will be removed from the Level of Excellence and a banner at Rogers Centre commemorating his retired number and Hall of Fame induction will be taken down.
He has also been terminated as special assistant to the team.
The Jays' announcement came moments after MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred confirmed Alomar had been fired as a consultant following the findings of an investigation into a complaint against Alomar by a baseball industry employee.
The investigation was conducted by an external legal firm hired by the league.
“The Toronto Blue Jays support Major League Baseball's decision to terminate Roberto Alomar's consultant contract and place him on its ineligible list,” the team said. “Commissioner Manfred concluded that Alomar violated MLB's policies following an investigation into an allegation of sexual misconduct that was recently made against Alomar from an incident that occurred in 2014.
“Based upon this conclusion and our review of the investigation's findings, the Blue Jays are severing all ties with Alomar, effective immediately.”
MLB said it would not provide further details on the investigation to protect the individual who came forward.
“We applaud MLB for having this matter thoroughly investigated and for taking meaningful action against Mr. Alomar,” Lisa Banks of Katz, Marshall & Banks, the lawyer for the baseball industry employee, said in a statement. “My client commends other baseball industry survivors who have come forward, and who helped her feel safer in sharing her own terrible and life-altering experience.”
Banks said her client does not plan to file a lawsuit or take further action against Alomar.
“She has not exposed Mr. Alomar's behaviour for notoriety or for money and looks forward to moving on with her life,” Banks said.
Alomar was a star second baseman with Toronto from 1991 to 1995 and played a major role in the Blue Jays' back-to-back World Series titles in 1992 and '93.
His name was added to Toronto's Level of Excellence in the Rogers Centre outfield in 2008, and in 2011 his No. 12 was the first to be retired by the Blue Jays after he was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Alomar posted a statement on Twitter saying he's “disappointed, surprised and upset” with the news.
“With the current social climate, I understand why Major League Baseball has taken the position they have,” he said. “My hope is that this allegation can be heard in a venue that will allow me to address the accusation directly. I will continue to spend my time helping kids pursue their baseball dreams. I will not be making any further comment at this time.”
Jane Forbes Clark, Chairman of the Board at the Baseball Hall of Fame, said the Hall was “shocked and saddened” by Alomar's actions.
However, Alomar's plaque at the Hall, which depicts Alomar wearing a Blue Jays cap, will remain on display.
“His enshrinement reflects his eligibility and the perspective of the BBWAA voters at that time,” she said in a statement.
The Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame, which added Alomar to its ranks in 2010, also said Friday's announcement from MLB wouldn't affect his status as an inductee, but added Alomar “will no longer be welcome at future events nor will we associate with him or his Foundation.”
Alomar was a 12-time all-star over 17 seasons with the San Diego Padres, Blue Jays, Baltimore Orioles, Cleveland Indians, New York Mets, Chicago White Sox and Arizona Diamondbacks. He was known as a slick fielder, winning 10 Gold Gloves, and also for his temper - he infamously spat on umpire John Hirschbeck's face, earning a five-game ban in 1996.
- With files from The Associated Press.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 30, 2021.