Finally, a day in which the question “when did you stop beating your wife?” is not only appropriate, but the most important one to pose. From the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Jim Salisbury.
Brett Myers, 25, arrived in the visitors’ clubhouse at Fenway Park about 4 p.m. yesterday. He came through the door wearing dark sunglasses, even though it was raining outside. He changed into his uniform, then told a group of reporters that he’d been advised by his legal counsel not to comment on the matter.
Myers (above) hurriedly answered a question about his readiness to pitch today – he’s a go, although that seems pretty unimportant, really – then walked away with a team official.
Shucks. There was one other question that Myers needed to be asked: Were you absent from school that day in kindergarten when they told you not to hit girls?
The Phillies issued a statement saying they’d have no comment until the matter was resolved by the courts. It was all so understandable, especially if you know anything about the circumspect Phillies front office. It would have been nice if the release had said: “We’re revolted by even the allegations that one of our players assaulted his wife. It’s embarrassing to the organization and most of all, the player. If this proves true, he will face serious sanctions from the team.”
In some cities, the big-league baseball team is a source of pride. In Philadelphia, it is a source of frustration. This is just one more log in the frustration fireplace, and a terrible one, much worse than the 10-2 beating Josh Beckett and the Red Sox laid on the Phillies last night. Domestic violence is worse than losses and playoff droughts and high ERAs. Real men don’t hit their wives.
No, Phillies management cannot hold the hands of its players 24 hours a day. No sports franchise can. Players must act responsibly. They can’t get into altercations with police officers (see Jason Michaels last summer) and they most certainly can’t hit their wives. When they do, they act alone, but their actions cast an entire franchise in a bad light, as you’ll see today when Myers’ incident is mentioned during the national TV broadcast. Unfair? Probably. But that’s just the way it is.