Major League Baseball will meet soon with the MLB Players Association to discuss the formulation of a policy to deal with domestic violence.
"I constantly say that baseball is a social institution with very important social responsibilities," Commissioner Bud Selig said in a statement. "Domestic violence is one of the one worst forms of societal conduct. We understand the responsibility of baseball to quickly and firmly address off-field conduct by our players, even potentially in situations in which the criminal justice system does not do so.
"I am proud that baseball disciplinary standards have changed over time, as is evidenced by our drug program, to ensure we are handling such situations sensitively and firmly in the manner expected by our fans, while at the same time providing due process to those accused of wrongdoing. We are meeting with the Players Association this week to thoroughly discuss the issue of domestic violence, and how it should be addressed under our Basic Agreement going forward."
Domestic-violence cases have been handled on a case-by-case basis in baseball until now.
Any change in the Basic Agreement must be negotiated with the Players Association. The MLBPA in recent years has been open to discussing changes that will make the game better. For example, the Players Association agreed to a series of changes in the Joint Drug Agreement that have given baseball the most stringent testing program in professional sports.
Domestic violence has been in the headlines recently, as several National Football League players have been involved in high-profile cases.
Paul Hagen is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.