By Frank Pingue
TORONTO (Reuters) – Major League Baseball said on Friday it had fired special advisor Roberto Alomar after a review into an allegation of sexual misconduct against the Hall of Fame second baseman who won two World Series with the Toronto Blue Jays.
At the request of MLB Commissioner Robert Manfred’s office, an independent investigation was conducted by an external legal firm to review allegations reported by a baseball industry employee earlier this year involving Alomar in 2014.
“Having reviewed all of the available evidence from the now completed investigation, I have concluded that Mr. Alomar violated MLB’s policies, and that termination of his consultant contract and placement on MLB’s Ineligible List are warranted,” Manfred said in a statement.
“We are grateful for the courage of the individual who came forward. MLB will continue to strive to create environments in which people feel comfortable speaking up without fear of recrimination, retaliation, or exclusion.”
Alomar, a popular player who played five seasons with the Blue Jays and spent time with six other MLB teams during his career, said he was “disappointed, surprised and upset” with news of him being placed on the ineligible list.
“With the current social climate, I understand why Major League Baseball has taken the position they have,” Alomar said in a statement posted on his Twitter account.
“My hope is that this allegation can be heard in a venue that will allow me to address the accusation directly.”
The Blue Jays issued a statement to say they supported MLB’s decision and decided to sever ties with 53-year-old Alomar.
As a result, the Blue Jays will remove Alomar from the Level of Excellence, an honor awarded to individuals who have had tremendous individual achievements with the club, and take down his banner from inside their stadium.
Alomar, a 12-time All-Star who helped lead Toronto to World Series titles in 1992 and 1993, was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 2011 when he was picked on 90% of the ballots in his second year of eligibility.
Despite all of his achievements, Alomar is also remembered by many for a moment he regrets — spitting on an umpire during a game in 1996.
“When he was elected to the Hall of Fame by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America in the Class of 2011, Alomar was an eligible candidate in good standing,” Baseball Hall of Fame Chairman of the Board Jane Forbes Clark said in a statement.
“His plaque will remain on display in the Hall of Fame in recognition of his accomplishments in the game.”
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