Sports blotter: "Once bitten" edition
By MATT TAIBBI  |  May 9, 2007


Bite me
Strangely — and who knows why this is — there are fewer in-season arrests in baseball than in either football or basketball. But among the busts that do happen, there are a few consistent scenarios. One of the more common plot lines is the pitcher-wife altercation that takes place in or around a hotel during a team road trip. Sometimes it’s the pitcher beating up the wife (Brett Myers, Bobby Chouinard, Dwight Gooden, Pedro Astacio) and sometimes it’s the wife or girlfriend beating up the pitcher (Chuck Finley and Scott Erickson). Either way, we see an awful lot of these cases.

Last weekend, Seattle Mariners reliever Julio Mateo fulfilled this year’s quota after he was arrested for assaulting his spouse, Aurea, outside the Mariners’ hotel in New York. According to the complaint, Mateo punched his wife, choked her, and bit her lip, causing a wound that required five stitches. In many ways, this case is similar to an incident last year involving Brett Myers, in which the Phillies pitcher was observed assaulting his wife outside a hotel on Boylston Street.

The Mariners immediately optioned Mateo to triple-A and suspended him for 10 days without pay. Taking another cue from Myers, Mateo has released a contrite, agent-drafted apology in which he expressed regret for having embarrassed his wife, his team, and his fans, saying he understood that his behavior was “inappropriate.”

I was unable to dig up another instance of a baseball player who was arrested for biting a spouse or, indeed, anyone at all. Regardless, the Mateo case falls squarely in the tradition of mid-season-baseball ugliness — short of the Ramon Castro/Brian Shackleford level of iniquity, maybe, but still nasty enough. I’m giving him 80 points for biting his wife; let’s see how this plays out in court.

He was ecstatic
What’s the difference between Ty Law and Ahmad Carroll? When Law was busted for possession of ecstasy in 2000, he was smart enough to claim the drugs belonged to his cousin. Also, Law is a Hall of Fame–caliber cornerback, while Carroll sucks. So it’s no surprise that Law was able to keep his Pats gig. But when Carroll was arrested on drug and handgun charges this past week, the Jacksonville Jaguars cut him loose.

According to news reports, Carroll was busted after several customers at an Atlanta restaurant alerted police that he had been involved in an altercation. After admitting that he had a 9mm handgun tucked into his pants, cops searched his car where they found 11 pink pills believed to be ecstasy. Carroll was charged with carrying a weapon without a license, possession of drugs, and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony.

This latest arrest puts the Jaguars in serious contention for the Bengals/Trailblazers award for crime-committing franchise of the year. The team has already had four arrests since last November. Earlier this year, safety Gerald Sensabaugh was arrested on speeding and gun charges, while wideout Charles Sharon was busted in his Florida hometown for stealing a handgun. Prior to that, tackle Khalif Barnes was busted for driving more than 100 mph with a .12 blood alcohol level. Oh, and during the course of Barnes’s arrest, which was captured on video for the Internet world to enjoy, he called the officer a “white KKK devil.” Good one.

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