FORT MYERS, Fla. – Major League Baseball’s three-month investigation into a Twin Cities woman’s charge that Miguel Sano assaulted her in 2015 “was obviously on my mind” this spring, Sano said Saturday, so he is happy that the case is now probably closed. He’s even more grateful that Commissioner Rob Manfred has decided not to impose any punishment.
“It’s been a little frustrating, the process, just waiting for the result,” Sano said Saturday in a brief interview with reporters at his locker. “But I’m just happy that everything concluded the way it did, and I’m just thinking of moving forward now and supporting my teammates and my team.”
MLB announced Friday that its investigation into allegations by Betsy Bissen, made in a Dec. 28 Twitter post, that Sano had tried to kiss her and pull her into a restroom after an autograph-signing appearance at Ridgedale Center mall in Minnetonka, had been unable to uncover sufficient evidence of guilt. The statement left open the possibility that the case could be reopened if new evidence is presented, but Sano, speaking through interpreter Elvis Martinez, said he “can’t worry about that right now. I’m just worrying about the season, a new season.”
The possibility of a suspension for Sano under MLB’s domestic violence and sexual assault had complicated the team’s plans for the 2018 season, ever since Bissen, a photographer who occasionally worked Twins games, had described on Twitter a struggle with Sano in October 2015 that she said left her bruised and sore the next day. The investigation included interviews with 20 people, MLB said, including “conflicting and inconsistent witness statements.”
Bissen has not commented publicly on the investigation. Twins manager Paul Molitor said the lengthy wait for a decision was frustrating, but understandable.
“Those are hard situations to be patient about, when you allow the investigation to go through whatever stages they need to go through. The due process, we had to honor that,” the manager said. “For us to have [Miguel] here and know that’s behind us, in terms of [him being] a part of our team from day 1, it’s a positive thing.”
So is Sano’s health, Molitor said, after undergoing offseason surgery to place a metal rod in his left shin to address a stress reaction that cost him the final six weeks of the 2017 season.
“The way he is swinging is good, the fact that he has had no physical limitations as far as running and getting out there on the field and playing defense are all positive signs,” Molitor said. “And getting into a day-to-day routine is going to help him a lot.”
He’s got big expectations for this season, anyway.
“I showed everybody that I’m healthy. I’m ready to go,” he said of his three-homer, four-double, seven-walk spring camp. “We’re a great team. We can win the World Series with this team.”