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Even with Aroldis Chapman not facing charges, the Dodgers made the right decision

This is how it goes in baseball, if not the bigger picture: You make the best decision you can with the information available at the time.

There is no use kicking yourself when future events make you wonder if it would not have been better to come to a different conclusion. There are no flux capacitors to install in your shiny new Tesla to go back in time.

The Broward County state attorney’s office in Florida announced Thursday it would not file charges against Aroldis Chapman stemming from his alleged domestic violence incident with his girlfriend last Oct. 30.

Chapman, of course, is the 100-mph throwing closer the Dodgers were all set to trade for in December when news of the incident became public and they backed out. A few weeks later, the Reds traded him to the Yankees for four prospects.

Thursday was only good news for the Yankees, and if it’s unclear exactly how much sway that will have on Major League Baseball’s investigation into the incident and its expected suspension, it can only help Chapman’s cause.

Police did not make any arrests because of inconsistencies in statements, which continued afterward. Chapman’s girlfriend, Cristina Barnea, said at the time he had choked and hit her, but police found no marks on her neck. Chapman reportedly fired 10 shots from a handgun in his garage. Barnea, who was hiding in bushes when police arrived, refused to file charges and reportedly remains with Chapman.

None of that changes the decision the Dodgers had to make, nor that they made the right one.

Chapman, who can become a free agent at the end of the coming season, has a history of erratic behavior. He would not seem to be a good fit in a clubhouse with Yasiel Puig, the Dodgers’ divisive outfielder who is also being investigated by MLB for alleged domestic violence.

Getting Puig focused has been challenge enough for the Dodgers. A team can watch only so many red flags pop up without taking serious notice. Chapman will not be prosecuted, but that doesn’t mean his behavior was any less disturbing.

At some point, Chapman will be an impressive pitcher for the Yankees. Some will lament what might have been for the Dodgers.

But you make the best decisions you can and live with them. And the Dodgers made the best decision they could, then and now.

Copyright © 2016, Los Angeles Times
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