Wednesday, February 8, 2023

White Sox Say They Were Unaware Of Clevinger Allegations 

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Mike Clevinger is under investigation for domestic violence and child abuse after allegations surfaced from Olivia Finestead, the mother of his 10-month-old child. 



Finestead issued a detailed report to the Athletic that included physical, verbal, and emotional abuse. The 24-year-old mother alleges Clevinger choked her in June while he was still playing for the Padres, then slapped her two weeks later while on the road for a series against the Dodgers. Finestead said Clevinger threw chewing tobacco on their child during the second altercation in Los Angeles. 

The White Sox responded with a statement to the Athletic saying they were unaware of the allegations before signing Clevinger. 

“Major League Baseball and the Chicago White Sox take any and all allegations very seriously, and the White Sox are completely supportive of the Joint Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault and Child Abuse Policy shared by MLB and the MLBPA. MLB opened an investigation after learning of these allegations. The White Sox were not aware of these allegations or the investigation at the time of the signing. The White Sox will refrain from comment until the MLB’s investigative process has reached its conclusion.” 

Finestead first detailed the allegations in an Instagram story calling Clevinger a “sociopath” and including graphic photos of where she was allegedly hit. The images include marks and scratches on her arms, neck, and stomach. 

One of the posts reads: 

“Shoutout to your ex for posting every time you abused her. I don’t have 3 kids I completely abandoned abused and neglected/put in harms way. YOU DO. I also don’t have 2 baby mamas that I’ve physically, verbally and emotionally abused for extended periods of time until they have snap back at you and you try to paint them out as crazy. YOU DO. Also not addicted to shrooms and acid. It’s narcissism & addiction to the highest degree” 

She also accused him of threatening his other kid’s mother in a screenshot from a text conversation. She did, however, give the White Sox the benefit of the doubt, writing:

“I was told the @whitesox didn’t have a clue of mikes investigation. Cant blame an organization for something they don’t know” 

This is not the first time Clevinger has been accused of abuse. In 2019 his ex-girlfriend made similar accusations. The Athletic reached out to Clevinger and his agent, Seth Levinson, for comment. Levinson responded via text message saying, “We need to fairly and thoroughly protect our client and at the same time be respectful of the White Sox and MLB. We need time before responding.” 

The club was already taking a gamble on Clevinger when they signed him to a one-year deal worth $12 million last December. The 32-year-old righty is only two years removed from Tommy John surgery. In his first season back, he posted a 4.33 ERA, 18.8 K%, 7.2 BB%, and 35.2% groundball rate in 114 1/3 innings. He also started a pair of playoff games, allowing seven earned runs in 2 2/3 innings. He ranked in the bottom half of the league in hard hit percentage, expected batting average, expected slugging percentage, barrel percentage, strikeout percentage, whiff rate, fastball velocity, and curveball spin. None of that matters now, given the current circumstances, as Clevinger may soon find himself back on the free agent market. 

Clevinger was a once dominant starter in Cleveland. From 2017-20, he produced a 2.96 ERA over 489 1/3 innings. The former fourth-round draft pick also posted an excellent 19 K-BB%, placing him amongst the game’s best pitchers. In 2018 he pitched 200 innings posting a 3.02 ERA. He won 13 games and racked up 207 strikeouts. However, he also got caught breaking COVID-19 protocol during a road trip in Chicago during the 2020 season. He was part of a nine-player trade in 2020 that sent him to San Diego shortly after. 

It was during his time in San Diego that his alleged abuse of Finestead took place. The Padres responded with a statement that said they are “aware of the MLB’s investigation and completely support their efforts under the Joint Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault and Child Abuse policy. Due to the ongoing investigative process, we cannot comment any further at this time.”  

Fans on Twitter have expressed their disappointment, with many calling for his release. If the allegations are true and he does get released, it is fair to wonder if he will ever play in the MLB again. 

The situation is similar to Trevor Bauer’s. The Los Angels Dodgers recently released the 2020 Cy Young Winner after a tumultuous investigation by both Major League Baseball and the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office. During the summer of 2021, it came to light that a woman in California had filed a restraining order against Bauer and accused him of sexual assault.  

Bauer has a much better track record than Clevinger on the mound and is unlikely to find another MLB home. Not many teams are in the market for a player with that much baggage, especially when the accusations are as appalling as the ones levied on Clevinger if they are, in fact, true. For the time being, the White Sox will have to wait and see what the investigation uncovers.

6 COMMENTS

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Sammy Mack
Sammy Mack
Jan 26, 2023 11:30 am

Sign Bauer instead! ;P

Thomas Hall
Thomas Hall
Jan 25, 2023 5:03 pm

Even if the White Sox knew nothing about the abuse allegations, it is known that Clevinger was a disciplinary problem at Cleveland and that his production had been declining. Two TJ surgeries! Reinsdorf, Hahn and Williams-not one of them would know his rear from a hole in the ground!

Mark Shishida
Mark Shishida
Jan 24, 2023 10:02 pm

Count on Hahn and Williams to do due diligence before signing Clevinger. NOT.

Thomas Hall
Thomas Hall
Jan 24, 2023 9:33 pm

This shows that the powers to be with the White Sox either are totally clueless or don’t care. But isn’t this the White Sox way? Go on the cheap by picking up players who have been ditched by other teams because they have become major liabilities or can no longer perform. Couple this with the Tony La Russa debacle, and you won’t get me into another White Sox game even if you give me free tickets! Reinsdorf, Hahn and Williams give new meaning to the saying that someone has his head where the sun never shines!

mjc72
mjc72
Jan 24, 2023 5:58 pm

Another circus sideshow act that shows just how inept the owner and front office truly are. The investigation has been going on since last summer and Sox did not know. I find that hard to believe. You would think the MLB league office would have informed the team of the said investigation. Sox were dumb to sign him to begin with, after two TJ surgeries, his performance last season and his prior track record. (That is why Cleveland jettisoned him.) Now, they will be lucky if he even is able to pitch for them this season. And, thanks to Ebenezer’s… Read more »

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