Samson draws rebuttal from agent for Olsen comments
MIAMI -- Florida Marlins president David Samson says the team should part with left-hander Scott Olsen if he's convicted of charges stemming from a recent arrest, and the comment drew a swift rebuttal from the pitcher's agent.
Olsen was arrested early on July 21 after he allegedly refused to pull over and fought with police. He was booked on charges of driving under the influence, resisting an officer with violence and fleeing and eluding an officer.
"I would not want a convicted felon in our organization," Samson said Thursday. "We do background checks for that very reason, for employees both on and off the field.
"We have been and continue to be supportive of Scott, and we'll let the legal system play out," he said.
Samson said owner Jeffrey Loria and general manager Larry Beinfest would be involved in any decision, but he said background checks are team policy.
Samson first discussed his views regarding Olsen on Wednesday on WAXY-AM in Miami.
"He is in therapy, behavioral therapy, trying to deal with his anger issues," Samson told the station.
Olsen's agent, Matt Sosnick, said Samson's comments were out of line.
"We were really surprised and disappointed at his decision to make comments about where Scott is in therapy and what type of therapy he is doing, and he was totally wrong," Sosnick said. "Unless he's sitting in on the sessions, he wouldn't know.
"He is the last man on earth who has the right to comment on the moral barometer of another person," he said.
Sosnick noted Samson has been accused of making coarse, sexist comments on the radio and criticized for comments faulting the Seattle Mariners' decision to give Ichiro Suzuki a $90 million contract extension.
"A lot of people think he's the reason a stadium hasn't been built in Miami," Sosnick said. "He says things that are embarrassing to himself, to the team and to the city. He's just a joke.
"Luckily, the players appreciate the fact that Jeffrey Loria treats them well," Sosnick said.
Sosnick said Loria was supportive when meeting with Olsen shortly after the pitcher's arrest.
"He said, 'Scott, we're going to get through this. We're behind you. I'm going to totally support you.' He was very kind," Sosnick said.
Samson declined to respond to Sosnick's comments.
"I answer to one person, and that's Jeffrey Loria," Samson said.
Marlins pitcher Dontrelle Willis awaits trial on a drunken driving charge last year. Samson said the Olsen matter is different because his case involves a felony charge.
Sosnick also represents Willis.
Olsen is 9-9 this season and scheduled to pitch Friday against the San Francisco Giants. His arrest came shortly after he fought with a teammate and served a two-game suspension for insubordination and conduct detrimental to the club.
In June, Olsen was fined an unspecified amount for making an obscene gesture toward fans in Milwaukee. He went 12-10 as a rookie last year but also scuffled with teammates at least twice, coming away from one encounter with a black eye. He also had a dugout confrontation with then-manager Joe Girardi.
Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press
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