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Tuesday, June 27, 2006

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The first time I read this statement, I didn't notice the part where he asked for time off. That changes my tune a little. It's a step towards treating this matter appropriately.

Kudos. If he put this out on FRIDAY. They should give him time off. In Tampa Bay. Or Colorado. Or Pittsburgh. This is a little too late. Well-written and contrite, but way too late.

Any reason, other than getting *killed* by the national and local press, that this came out today? Anyone?

Didn't think so. His "time off" should have been a suspension pending the outcome of the trial. But ya'll knew that.

Asking for time off is the appropriate thing to do. I am dissapointed with the seeming lack of taking any personal responsibility with this statement. It smacks of Delmon Young's non-apology for throwing a bat at an Ump. Absolutely zero "I'm sorry I hit my wife" but rather "I'm sorry I embarrassed everybody."

Either he's correct and he did nothing wrong, and everyone is lieing but him and he need give no apology, or he's a weasel. Pretty much no middle ground here. I stand by my prediction.

"I'm sorry I hit my wife"

I am no Brett Myers apologist PK, but the above quote is the equivolent of a guilty plea.

He went pretty much as far as he could go with that statement.

They need to trade him, sooner the better.

At the end of the "Dip in the Dugout" thread is the Phillies statement on this issue. It seems fair to me.

Well, yt, that's the question, isn't it? If he hit his wife, then he is guilty, isn't he? If he didn't, then the above statement is indeed appropriate. If he did, then it's just him trying to cover his hind quarters for selfish reasons. I used the term "weasel" but I suppose I could have been less graphic with my description.

At least he did something finally. The Phils are facing coming back home to all kinds of protests from assorted women's rights groups, so something had to be done.

The timing is bad, I agree.

Hopefully this young man will get the help needed and get his life straightened out.

Baseball is just a game after all let's not forget.

Well PK, it isn't really the issue. This is a subject for another blog completely, but our adversarial justice system does not actually smile upon those that admit guilt freely, it simply is not designed that way.

That is why when you get arrested for pissing in an alleyway, they charge you disorderly conduct, indecent exposure, littering, lewd behavior, lewd behavior in a school zone, disorderly conduct on an odd numbered Tuesday, and probably; misdemeanor pissing in an alley in the first, second and fourth degree.

The system is designed to haggle, and you don’t start haggling by telling the vendor how much you are willing to spend, then offering him half.

so what is the pitching rotation now? I quess Mathieson stays, Franklin, maybe Brito...Madson should head to the bullpen.

I reposted this post to include the Phillies statement. Some clarifications:

--Myers' statement was signed and issued through his agent.

--Myers will be out through the all-star break

Yt's comments show the difference between politics and the law. In the face of the law, Myers should admit nothing, show contrition and an earnest effort to rehabilitate himself and resolve to sin no more. In politics, when the law is not involved, it is always good for the politician to freely admit guilt, show contrition and an earnest effort to rehabilitate himself and resolve to sin no more.

Being a member of the Phillies is like being a politician who tries to win our hearts and votes. We vote by buying tickets to games. In that regard, we want Myers to 'fess up and ask for our forgiveness. Because he's faced with all these legal ramifications, he can't publicly confess to us, but he can still ask for our forgiveness.

Martin: Could be Bernero, who is rested apparently. 1-1 in three starts, 23.1 innings with 1.57 ERA since he was acquired off waivers from Royals. But my money is on Madson getting his slot back for Thursday.

Anyone have access to ESPN Insider? Stark wrote a piece this morning before the Phillies and Myers issued their statements. I was just curious about what he had to say.

http://insider.espn.go.com/espn/blog/index?name=stark_jayson#20060627

I think PK is right in part. There's an element of shifting the blame 'My lawyer said to say nothing, and I did . . .' which I could do without. This is all being done with one eye to the legal case, and the statements from both myers and the phillies would have looked better if it was made clear that he had asked for leave by the saturday/sunday, or if they had asked him to consider it etc. etc. I don't like the fact that the phillies organisation in their own statement sound like they're reacting to a situation, rather than taking a clear lead - but that could just be my reading of it. Neither statement suggests to me that either the phils or myers took clear responsibility from the saturday morning. That doesn't reflect well on either party.

Having said all that, I want to mention a point on my own blog and I do think it bears repeating - summary suspension only makes us, the fans, feel better about the situation. Everyone out there who'd like to see him gone, remember that it will not resolve an issue to dump the guy. What starts to get things sorted is saying to the player that they need to seek help, and saying that in the strongest way possible.

It's possible (not a strong possibility - the phils past record on these issues is not great) that it was judged that keeping myers in boston whilst his wife left to get her head sorted out and get some support from friends/family was the right thing to do. Again, I'd much rather the phils had made a statement to that effect *if* that was the reasoning behind him taking the mound saturday.

I get the strongest of feelings that Myers was *advised* to take the leave. By his agent, by his lawyer, by the Phillies. I seriously doubt it was his own decision. I'd be willing to bet he'd prefer just to keep living in the fantasy other-world of baseball instead of dealing with these realities. "Once you get between the white lines, it's a different story," he said prior to making his start saturday. Common sense will tell you that had he felt the need to address things, it would have been recognized with far more urgency and taken place far sooner.

Phillies responded to my highly critical email regarding Brett Myers with this...

-------------
Thank you so very much for taking the time to contact the Phillies. We
appreciate your input.

Attached please find two statements that were released to the public
late this afternoon. One is from Brett Myers, expressing his apology
and asking for time off from baseball, and the other is from Phillies
President David Montgomery, agreeing to the time off and expressing the
organization's concern about the very serious issues of spousal abuse.
------------------------------------------

At least they read the stuff..

RSB, I absolutley agree with you. With the homestand about to begin and all the negative comments and response from the fans and writers, I believe the FO "told" him that a leave of absence was in everyone's best interest. The fans would have booed the Phils off the field tonight.

I'm with you, RSB, on Myers taking advice, and I suspect it came from the team. The outcry here in Philadelphia had become so fierce, they had to do this.

BTW: You are coming through big on these clutch news stories, RSB. We're not debating whether Aquilino Lopez breaks camp out of spring training here. This is a national, breaking news story. I would go so far as to call you Beerleaguer's best clutch poster.

That's good of you, JW, but I'm of the opinion that everyone on here has been making outstanding posts in response to the Myers situation. This is truly an enlightened forum.

And as we would say in NY, you are all "menschs." For those of you not familiar with the term, it means you are all good human beings. Kudos to you all.

This is textbook damage-control by the Phils and a little late at this point. Funny thing is if this team were winning or had a more positive spin right now, I am willing to bet that there is no way Myers takes a walk for the next 2 1/2 weeks.

I don't know what is worse. Myers hitting his wife or Floyd hitting 4 batters down in Scranton.

Well, we all know what is worse, Brad, but Floyd's a tragedy unto himself. One thing is certain, he isn't getting called up even with the team now short by three starting pitchers.

This is shaping up to be a season of doom. 1988, 1996, and 2000 were similar seasons in the recent past that saw the team teetering on the brink of respectability in the seasons leading up to them, but ill-advisedly holding on far too long to an inadequate 'core' of veterans, getting burned by injuries and bad contracts, and finally submerging with a total collapse. This year would appear to qualify along those lines.

It's really a stretch for Montgomery, or whoever wrote "his" statement, to call Myers' statement, again written by someone else, an apology. He's "disputing the facts as alleged." An apology would acknowledge those facts.

However, there is a difference between stating the obvious, that Myers has acted like athug, and saying that Myers will reamain one. Maybe this will wake the guy up to the fact that he needs serious help.

My gut, visceral reaction to this story was strong (I've written three posts about Brett Myers on my blog - www.lutheranzephyr.com - where religion and politics usually dominate the postings). Besides being a father to a beautiful girl, and a husband to a beautiful wife, I grew up with domestic violence and have zero tolerance for this kind of scumbag.

Myers aside, this story is really about the Phillies. This Phillies management team is possibly the worst in all of sports. They can't put anything together on the field, and off the field they are even more clueless.

A few thoughts:
- Thank God Leyland isn't here. I'm glad he's having his fun in Detroit right now.

- I hope that Kim Myers is getting the support - emotional and legal - that she needs. It is very, very difficult for a victim of domestic violence to break out of the cycle, especially when the abuser is a physically intimidating, wealthy, public figure with thousands of cheering fans. She is quoted at the scene of the crime as saying, "I'm not going to let you do this to me anymore." I hope not, Kim. I hope not. Get away from this guy, cut your losses, and begin a new life for you and your child free from Brett's abuse.

"This Phillies management team is possibly the worst in all of sports."

And we're stuck with it. If caring deeply about something over which you have no control isn't the definition of helplessness, what is?

Monty issuing gag orders to Scott Palmer and Dallas Green, ownership nowhere to be found, team in the middle of a collapse, a public statement that was too little too late. The more things change the more they stay the same. This organization is a disgrace and an embarassment. They have stolen the sport of baseball from the fans of Philadelphia.

I'll still watch both games today and hope they win. And I'll still get my 17 game plan next year. Why? I don't know, I'm an idiot I guess.

I guess I was foolish in not rushing to judgment like the rest of you in this forum. I should have accepted anything reported in the media as fact. Brett Myers should not have had the gall to suggest that the facts may be different from those reported. Perhaps the editors of the papers should issue more opinions on various subjects so that I do not have to independently think. We should do away with the criminal justice system and the Constituttion. If alleged spousal abusers are fired and can't work, they will just die and do not need to got to jail. Hopefully the victims of spousal abuse can be granted quick divorces after their husbands are fired and cannot work, so that they can marry other ballplayers and continue the lifestyles they and their children are accustomed to. Or maybe MLB can subsidize them.

A man is only free to attack other men ala Jason Michaels but there is no excuse to use violence of any type against any woman under any circumstance. Only brutes who repetitively beat women and cannot be rehabilitated under any circumstance are the types of men who engage in domestic violence. These men are all identical -why Brett Myers was not identified as a wife beater years ago is inexplicable. Women are sweet and innocent and weak and incapable of contributing to a violent situation or relationship and would never think of using a false or exaggerated claim to gain a strategic advantage to obtain custody or divorce benefits.

A baseball team is in a more appropriate position to investigate domestic violence incidents and should do so immediately and issue swift retribution. The management and team must have known Brett Myers was a wife beater and ignored the bruises. The phillies should follow duke U and cancel the rest of the season. The so-called fans deserve it.

A lot of the comments criticize the timing of Myers' apology and the team's statements which came out on Tuesday as being slow.

In today's litigious world, I can envision this scenerio: The incident happened in the wee hours of Friday morning when the team was out of town. Friday was probably spent with a lot of phone calls going back and forth with conflicting stories and opinions. It was unfortunate that Myers was scheduled to start on Saturday. I don't think the Phillies, MLB, the player's union, and Myers' lawyer had enough time to get a unified position to stop Myers from pitching. I feel that the Phillies were afraid of violating some player's union policy and the reverberations of that fear allowed Myers to pitch. I'm sure the phones were burning all weekend. Monday was the first work day where all the parties were at their offices and were able determine what was the best course to take. The wordsmiths were writing up both statements late Monday through early Tuesday and were released Tuesday.

I think this timing is very reasonable. I think that fear of making the wrong move prevented action on Saturday. Having it all worked out before his next start was timely. I don't think that it mattered where Myers next game was. I think the same decisions would be made.

So what you're saying, Sean, is that none of us have a right to presume judgment on Myers because we cannot assume that everything reported by the media is fact. What more evidence do we need? There were witnesses, there was a statement confirming the events by the Boston Police. Moreover, you suggest that Jason Michaels' drunken confrontation with a policeman is equal to Myers' punching of his wife, who is roughly half his size - and, that the Phillies also have no right to evaluate the situation because they are a baseball organization and not experts on domestic violence. It is the same as saying that I, as a bookseller, have no business passing judgment on a murderer because I have no background in criminality. Is your agenda about being a bold contrarian, or are you interested in addressing reality? Your smugly worded comments are truly dispicable.

RSB,

For a bookseller, I would expect better reading comprehension even if the post was sarcastic in tone and not explicit in making points. Let me comment more explicitly:
Media reports are not evidence. You are the "smug" party who assumes you know everything about the situation based on media reports. Forgive me if my opinion of your opinion is that the logic you have shown in reaching your opinion is faulty and based on lazy thinking. If you are incapable of understanding of how media seeks to create stories in this day and age, and is prone to error and bias (as are any purported eyewitnesses), then you are truly clueless. God help any defendant who would have the misfortune to get you on their jury panel. No wonder eyewitness evidence alone has been accepted by some juries (law enforcement and prosecutors before them) and sent innocent people to death row and eventually to their deaths. You label me despicable for believing that Brett Myers or anyone else accused of a crime is entitled to due process of law, that it is not the role of a baseball team to investigate personal issues unrelated to the game or the team, or that anyone who uses violence against a woman may not be the antichrist. While you are a bookseller, I in a profession where I have some interaction with domestic violence issues and could tell you of how some women and men have attempted to use mere allegations of domestic violence as leverage in divorce/custody and to seek to jail their spouses. If everyone reasoned as you, these unfortunate victims of the anti-domestic violence witchhunting crowd would have no hope.

Let me give you a real-life example to illustrate why I feel like I do.

I was in a courthouse standing next to an escalator to the floor above. I noticed that a woman on the escalator had turned to the man above her on the escalator and began chesting into him. He was smiling with his hands down at his sides. I thought a romantic encounter was about to begin. Suddenly the woman turned her head began yelling "Help Help" and then physically launched herself head-first down the escalator (and she was more than half way up when this occurred). After she came tumbling down, she began saying frantically did you see what he did? The man was still riding the elevator and was smiling, but his hands had remained at his sides the whold time. Immediately onrushing sheriff's deputies, who had not witnessed the events, converged on the man aggressively. Even after myself and another eyewitness informed them that he had not used any force against the woman thy still forcefully moved him away from the woman (not vice versa). Had I not been watching the scene from the inception, it is possible that I would have believed the man threw this woman down the escalator. Had I heard her screams for help and turned my head as she was flying down the escalator, I may have mis-perceived events and believed domestic violence had occurred as it would have been seemingly unbelievable that the woman had launched herself in such a reckless and dangerous way. Law enforcement was prepared to manhandle and arrest the man solely based on the apparently stricken woman lying near the base of the escalator.

As a follow-up, I was subpoenaed months later, b/c the man was arrested after the woman accused him of throwing her off a bicycle, an incident in which she suffered physical injuries, i.e. gashes to her legs. she failed to show up to testify and the charges were dropped.

Okay, so on the basis on this example, you refuse to place any credibility in eyewitness reports and police statements. I am not basing anything on what the "media" is reporting, but I have no idea what or whose purpose it would possibly serve to leave anything out of the report or alter it according to some ever-present 'bias'. I'm as skeptical as they come when it comes to the "media" myself, Sean, but you are ignoring overwhelming evidence that exists separately from whatever filter you are presuming the press necessarily and at all times has. This is not a paranoid "witchhunt", and it is irresponsible and groundless for you to claim it as nothing more, however savvy and above the realm of conventional thinking wou wish to think of yourself as. By the way, mediaspeak expert, don't twist MY words to suit your own agenda. I didn't call you dispicable. I called your comments dispicable. And I call the fact that you consider yourself to be on an enlightened pedestal above the rest of us when the opposite would appear to be true, a fairly dispicable trait as well.

A woman is punched in the face in full view of several people, and you want to tell me about due process of law. Fine, he'll get due process of law. There's no rational reason why the rest of us have to wait to condemn his actions.

RSB,

You fail to distinguish between statements as reported by media and what actually happened. If Brett Myers slugged his wife in the face without reasonable provocation or justification, then he should be condemned. However, unless you witnessed the entire event, your assumption the event occurred as reported in the media is exactly that, i.e. an assumption based on what was reported by the media and not necessarily what actually occurred. There is a major difference between offering an opinion after having witnessed it, e.g. Michael Barrett slugging another player on video, and after reading about an incident in the media. If you can't accept that, fine.

Cases are heard in court to test the perceptions and credibility of witnesses. People lie, exaggerate, and/or are often flat wrong about what they testify about. If you educate yourself by reading a book on the science of eyewitness identification, then you will be enlightened.

It has been proven time and time again that athletes are often falsely accused of crimes or other misconduct, the allegations of which are reported by the media with the "eyewitness" accounts, and charged by police affer an investigation, and vindicated. You are free to condemn Brett Myers, but your condemnation is premature in my opinion and factually is not based on evidence unless you were there. That is the point I have made, and you can attempt to distort my statements to justify your reasoning, but I did not state that I did not place "any" credibility to police or eyewitness accounts, clearly there appears to have been a dispute of some sort between Brett Myers and his wife. I also did not say there was a witch hunt against Brett Myers, but there is clearly a rush to judgment. Due process requires an accused to be tried in a court of law, you are not allowed to lynch a man even if you believe you have witnessed him murder someone in cold blood.

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