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The Chronicle

The Student News Site of Shorecrest Preparatory School

The Chronicle

The Student News Site of Shorecrest Preparatory School

The Chronicle

Tampa Bay Rays Star Faces Career-Threatening Accusations

     August 13, 2023—baseball superstar Wander Franco was publicly accused of having a relationship with a 14-year-old girl. The accusations have placed Franco on the restricted list until the investigation is complete.  Junior Jake Diner said, “The allegations do not look great, even if they are true or not true.”

     An all-star shortstop for the Tampa Bay Rays, Franco’s placement on the restricted list foiled his career season. Franco is essentially off of the team’s roster until the situation is thoroughly investigated.

     A post went viral on X—formerly Twitter—that accused Franco of engaging in an inappropriate relationship. Photos were included as evidence. Only days later, authorities in the Dominican Republic—Franco’s native country—opened an investigation after a 17-year-old girl filed a complaint against Franco, 22. 

     Major League Baseball (MLB) placed Franco on administrative leave for the duration of the investigation, meaning he remains off the team’s roster, but retains his salary. The Rays have also eased Franco out of advertisements and stadium signs.  

     Rays manager Kevin Cash has kept quiet about the situation. “I’m aware of the speculation, and I’m not going to comment any further on that,” said Cash in a media briefing.      

     Loredana Chevalier, whose relationship to Franco is under investigation, has posted photos on her Instagram account that suggest she is older than 14, which she claims to be. She posted photos of a two-year-old girl, who Chevalier claims to be her child, which suggests that she gave birth at the age of 12. She also posted a photo of her driving while holding a bottle of vodka, two decidedly illegal activities for 14-year-olds.

     Whether Chevalier is 14 or not, the accusations of a relationship are relevant. Independent of Chevalier, Franco is a married man and father. Franco married Rachelly Paulino in 2021 and has two children with her. Any truth to the accusations is dangerous for Franco’s public image.

     And there seems to be some truth to the accusations. Chevalier posted a photo of her wearing Franco’s signature chain. The chain is exceedingly unique and personal to Franco, so Chevalier wearing it raises questions. The most incriminating piece of evidence, however, is a popular photo of Franco kissing Chevalier on the cheek.

     Despite Franco’s superb performance on the field, many Rays fans believe that the team is better off during Franco’s absence. “I feel like it hasn’t affected the Rays too much because their players have been doing well,” said freshman Beau LeCain. 

     Diner said, “[The Rays] have moved on and have found replacements, and the team is thriving. It gives other players a position to shine.”

     Franco, who signed a contract that was worth up to $223 million two years ago, was previously suspended by the Rays for two games this season. His suspension was separate from the accusations. According to Cash, Franco was “not being the best teammate.” 

     If the accusations prove to be true, it’s likely Franco’s contract will be terminated, permanently ending his MLB career. LeCain said, “I do not think there is going to be a rest of his career if [the accusations] are true.” 

 

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Braden Stone
Braden Stone, Co-Editor-In-Chief
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