Myers Granted Leave of Absence

The issue of whether or not Brett Myers should be pitching after his arrest on charges that he hit his wife late last week in Boston has become a non-issue. The troubled pitcher is taking a leave of absence.

Brett Myers is out until after the All-Star Break. The troubled pitcher, arrested last Friday on charges that he hit his wife, was granted a leave of absence from the Phillies. Myers will leave the team immediately and won't return until at least July 14th at the end of the All-Star Break.

Myers was arrested just after midnight last Friday morning on a street corner near Fenway Park in Boston after witnesses called 911 and reported that a man had hit a woman while arguing on the street corner. Myers pleaded not guilty to the charges and is due back in court August 4th on the charges and is also prohibited from being around his wife unless she initiates the contact with him.

The Phillies granted the leave and issued a statement abhoring domestic violence and apologizing if they offended anyone by allowing Myers to pitch the day after the incident. There was no immediate announcement on how the Phillies will fill Myers' roster spot.

Brett Myers statement

On the day of my arrest, I consulted with my attorney by phone, who advised me to make no comments about this matter. While I followed his advice at the time, I have felt the need to make some comments about this situation and I do so now.

First, while I dispute that the facts are as alleged, I recognize that my behavior was inappropriate and for that I apologize.

Second, I recognize that the incident created an embarrassing situation for many people, including my wife and family, my teammates, the Phillies organization, and fans, and I am very sorry for that.

Third, my wife and children are very important to me and I am willing to do whatever is necessary to address any problems that might harm our marriage. I have asked the Phillies for some time off so that I can concentrate on this matter and make plans for whatever assistance is appropriate.

At this time, I do not intend to make any further public comments about this matter.

Phillies statement on Brett Myers

The Phillies have agreed to Brett Myers' request for time off to concentrate on personal matters associated with his arrest in Boston last week. He is expected to be off for two and one-half weeks, through the All Star Break, until July 14. The Phillies have made available appropriate, professional, employee assistance resources to help Brett and Kim Myers in these circumstances.

After last Friday, the Phillies did not comment further on the events surrounding the arrest of Brett Myers out of respect for the Myers' privacy and because there is a criminal prosecution pending. Likewise, the Phillies did not summarily suspend Brett Myers immediately upon his arrest, prior to any judicial determination of guilt or complete evaluation of the entire matter. Such a decision, unfortunately, has been portrayed or interpreted as the Phillies indifference to problems of spousal abuse. Nothing could be further from the truth. We abhor such violence and recognize that it is a very serious problem affecting a substantial number of victims, particularly women, across the country.

If we have been guilty of delay in expressing these sentiments, we are sorry. We have been engaged in a difficult balancing of concerns for the rights of our employee, the presumption of innocence, the rights of his spouse, and the legitimate public concern about allegations of spousal abuse by a Phillies ballplayer. We believe that the present status, including a public apology by Brett Myers, time off from baseball, professional assistance for Brett and Kim Myers, and this statement achieves the appropriate balance for now.

The Phillies statement was signed by team president David Montgomery.

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