Saturday, July 01, 2006

Phillies President Regrets Myers Start [J. Mark English]

PHILADELPHIA -- The president of the Philadelphia Phillies says the team made a "mistake" when it let Brett Myers pitch a day after being arrested and charged with hitting his wife on a Boston street.
Club president Dave Montgomery, in interviews with two Philadelphia newspapers on Friday, said the team mishandled the situation.
"The decision to allow Brett to pitch was wrong," Montgomery told The Philadelphia Inquirer. "And the reason I believe it was wrong was that an unintended message was sent that we are somehow indifferent to the matter of spousal abuse."
Myers, the team's best starter, pleaded not guilty to assault charges at his arraignment on June 23 in Boston Municipal Court. His next court date is Aug. 4.
Myers was arguing with his wife shortly after midnight on a Boston street corner, according to a spokesman for the Suffolk County District Attorney's office. Police responded to a 911 call and found Myers' wife crying and with a swollen face.
The team had been criticized for saying it would not take disciplinary action against Myers until the legal case is resolved.
Myers made his scheduled start last Saturday and went five innings in a game the Phillies lost 5-3 in 10 innings.
On Tuesday, Myers decided to take a leave of absence through the All-Star break, saying he has embarrassed his family and the team. That day, Montgomery insisted the team is not indifferent to spousal abuse. He reiterated that claim Friday.
"The mistake we made was dwelling on the incident instead of the message sent by letting Brett start," Montgomery told the Philadelphia Daily News. "... It created in the minds of others that there was a condoning of what [allegedly] took place."