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Tampa Bay Rays Star Wander Franco Placed on Administrative Leave Amid Allegations

Updated: Aug 25, 2023

Wander Franco will likely continue to sit out!


A few weeks ago, there was a startling development that left the baseball community stunned, Tampa Bay Rays' sensation Wander Franco had been placed on administrative leave following allegations of engaging in a relationship with an underage girl. The girl that Franco had a relationship with was 17 years old. The news sent shockwaves through the sports world, raising important questions about accountability, the duty of care within professional sports, and the potential impact on Franco's young career.



Allegations and Administrative Leave


The allegations against Wander Franco, a highly touted prospect who quickly rose to prominence in the Tampa Bay Rays organization, revolve around his involvement in a relationship with a minor. The specifics of the case remain under investigation, and the details are limited due to legal considerations.

As a response to the allegations, Major League Baseball and the Tampa Bay Rays took the immediate step of placing Franco on administrative leave. That ment that Franco would be temporarily removed from all team activities, including games, practices, and team functions, pending the outcome of the investigation.


Franco Impressive Season


Wander Franco was having a great season before he was accused of having multiple inappropriate relationships with underaged girls. In the offseason of 2021, Franco was awarded a new 11 year deal for $ 223 million along with a player option. Franco was named an All-Star for the first time in his career. The 22 year old shortstop was hitting a 281 batting average, 124 base hits, 17 home runs, 58 RBI`s, .475 slugging percentage and a .344 OBP. He first was accused on social media by a 17 year old. The MLB and the Rays franchise got a hold of the posts and both made statements on the matter. Franco was also being investigated by authorities in the Dominican Republic involving two or more minors after a 17-year old filed a complaint against the shortstop, according to the newspaper of the Dominican Republic.





MLB's Stance on Allegations


In recent years, professional sports leagues like MLB have intensified their efforts to address allegations of misconduct among players. The decision to place Franco on administrative leave demonstrates MLB's commitment to treating such allegations seriously and impartially. By taking this step, the league underscores its dedication to maintaining a safe and respectful environment for all individuals associated with the sport, regardless of their status or reputation. It is similar to the Trevor Bauer situation that happened back in 2021. Bauer was suspended back in July of 2021, for violating the league's domestic violence and sexual assault policy. A San Diego woman said he beat and sexually abused her in 2021. Because of that, he was suspended for 324 games. It was eventually reduced to 194 games, but the former CY Young award winner was not picked up by any team and had to sign in the Japanese baseball League (Nippon Professional Baseball).


Impact on Franco's Career


The allegations and subsequent administrative leave could potentially have far-reaching consequences for Wander Franco's burgeoning career. As one of the most promising young talents in baseball, Franco's absence from the Rays' lineup is expected to be felt. Additionally, the negative publicity resulting from these allegations might tarnish his reputation both on and off the field, which could impact his long-term prospects.

It's important to note that while administrative leave serves as a neutral step to allow for a thorough investigation, it is not indicative of guilt or innocence. The decision to place a player on administrative leave is aimed at ensuring fairness in the investigative process and maintaining the overall integrity of the sport.

Conclusion


The placement of Wander Franco on administrative leave back on August 13th. In light of allegations surrounding his relationship with an underage girl signals the seriousness with which both Major League Baseball and the Tampa Bay Rays approach such matters. As the investigation unfolds, the sports world watches closely, hoping for a fair resolution that upholds the principles of justice and maintains the integrity of the game.






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