Mateo apologizes after domestic dispute with wife

Updated: May 7, 2007, 9:53 PM ET
Associated Press

NEW YORK -- Seattle Mariners reliever Julio Mateo apologized Monday for his arrest following a dispute with his wife at a Manhattan hotel.

Julio Mateo
Mateo

Mateo was suspended for 10 days without pay Sunday, a penalty the players' association may challenge this week. The 6-foot, 220-pound pitcher was arrested the day before on a charge of third-degree assault. He posted bond and was released. Police said his wife needed five stitches to her mouth.

Mateo apologized in a statement released by the team during its game Monday night at Yankee Stadium.

"I am personally embarrassed by the incident on Saturday morning, which resulted in my arrest and absence from my team. I recognize that I have also embarrassed my wife and family, my teammates and the entire Mariners organization in front of our fans. Without getting into detail, I understand that my behavior was inappropriate. I am very sorry for this, and want to apologize to all of them," he said.

"I cannot comment on what has been reported, since there is a criminal case pending. But I have pledged to the Mariners to begin personal counseling immediately to help address any issues that I may have. Beyond stating again my deepest regrets, I cannot comment further."

Mateo was suspended for missing Saturday's game without permission, the Mariners said. The suspension, if allowed to stand, would cost him $54,645 of his $1 million salary this year.

The Mariners optioned the 29-year-old reliever to Triple-A Tacoma after Saturday's game and recalled pitcher Sean Green from the minor league team on Sunday to fill the roster spot.

Mateo returned to Seattle and met with general manager Bill Bavasi and Rafael Colon, the Mariners' professional counselor. Mateo volunteered to undergo counseling, which began Monday, the team said.

"Because a criminal prosecution is underway in New York, the legal process limits our ability to comment further," Mariners president Chuck Armstrong said. "However, we have encouraged Julio to cooperate with the authorities there and he has.

"At the same time, Julio Mateo is a member of our organization and we are doing all that we can to assist Julio and the members of his family during this terribly difficult time. We believe that time off from baseball for Julio, professional assistance, and Julio's public apology, are appropriate at this time."

Mateo is 1-0 with a 3.75 ERA in nine games this season and is in the final season of a $1.87 million, two-year contract.

"It is clear to me that Julio is very aware of the gravity of the situation," Bavasi said. "I discussed with him how seriously the club takes these charges and how low our tolerance is relative [to] this alleged behavior. Julio is contrite and acknowledges he has personal issues for which he needs professional help, which he has requested. Along with the punishment we are levying against Julio we feel it is our responsibility to respond to his request for help, provide that help and aid in returning an improved person to our community."


Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press

ALSO SEE