Year in Review: 1997


Re-rank the list of top sports stories of 1997


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Tiger Woods takes
golf world by storm

Pedro Martinez signs
record deal with Sox

Latrell Sprewell
assaults coach, gets ax

Rick Pitino becomes
Celtics coach, president

Bill Parcells quits after Patriots' banner year

Martina Hingis
rules women's tennis

Florida Marlins win World Series

Women's pro hoop
meets with success

A Patriots surprise:
Super Bowl XXXI berth

Wil Cordero charged
with assaulting wife

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Check out the top news stories of 1997

Cordero threats cited by wife

Ex-Red Sox player again in trouble

By Stephen Kurkjian and Jennifer McKim, Globe Staff, 12/12/97

Former Red Sox outfielder Wilfredo Cordero has been accused by his wife of threatening her and she has had a restraining order issued against him by a magistrate in Puerto Rico.

The episode could lead to Cordero's probation for assaulting her last June in Massachusetts being revoked and he could be sent to jail here.

Police in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico, say Magistrate Edgardo Rosario Cabrera issued the restraining order after Cordero's wife, Ana Echevarria Cordero, complained that her husband had threatened her Wednesday.

Lieutenant Emidio Laboy of the Mayaguez police said Echevarria called police Wednesday at about 2 p.m. saying she wanted a restraining order against Cordero because "she didn't want him to continue bothering her."

Laboy said Echevarria did not want to press charges against Cordero, but only wanted to keep him away from her and her 1-year-old daughter. She went to the police station, where officers took her to a judge, Laboy said.

An investigator from the office of Mayaguez District Attorney Nestor Garcia's office determined yesterday that there was not sufficient cause to seek criminal charges against Cordero, Garcia told the Associated Press.

The order forbids Cordero from contacting or approaching his wife, Garcia said.

According to the Associated Press, Cordero, in brief remarks to a local radio station, denied threatening his wife.

The couple returned to Cordero's native Mayaguez in early November within days of his guilty plea in Cambridge court. According to the Associated Press, they separated sometime after returning to Mayaguez.

District Attorney Thomas F. Reilly, whose office successfully prosecuted Cordero in the Cambridge case, said last night that his investigators would contact Mayaguez officials today on the incident. "After that we'll decide what action or recommendation we might take, if any," Reilly said.

Cordero was given a suspended sentence of 90 days in jail and two years probation by Cambridge District Judge Roanne Sragow after he pleaded guilty to four charges, including felony assault and battery with a dangerous weapon. Cordero had been arrested by Cambridge police in the pre-dawn hours of June 11 after a confrontation with his wife at their Charles River apartment.

Although Echevarria had summoned the police, she asked prosecutors and the judge who heard the case to drop the charges against her husband and allow the two to mend their relations.

Under Massachusetts court procedure, the Cambridge probation department can summon Cordero back to Massachusetts to face hearings before Judge Sragow.

His probation could be revoked and Cordero, who was released by the Red Sox after last season and has not signed a contract with another major league team, could be forced to serve his 90-day sentence in jail.

Whether the probation department directs him to return to Massachusetts and face those hearings or issues him a stern warning about his conduct depends on the circumstances of the latest episode, according to one Cambridge court official who asked not to be identified.

The Cambridge probation office will review the available court records in Mayaguez, talk to police and court officials about the restraining order, and, if possible interview both Corderos about the incident, the official said.

Also, if the Mayaguez magistrate who issued the restraining order decides after hearing more evidence in the case that a longer restraining order should be issued, then the probation department would probably recommend that Cordero return to Massachusetts and face hearings on possible revocation of his probation, the official said.

Attorney Mary K. Ames of Brighton, who represented Cordero in the Cambridge case, said she had not spoken to her client, but was encouraged that the episode in Mayaguez did not involve violence. She said that his probation has been monitored by court officials in Puerto Rico and she believes that he has been attending an anti-battering counseling program, as had been recommended by Sragow.

"She didn't want him to continue bothering her, every time he went to the house he mistreated her and she doesn't want him to be at the house," Laboy said.

Other police officers said Echevarria had been to the station before complaining about Cordero, Laboy said. He said officers will deliver the restraining order to Cordero tonight at the baseball stadium where he will be playing for the Mayaguez Indians.

Thomas Gamboa, manager of the Mayaguez Indians, said he had no knowledge about the restraining order and that it was too early to say if Cordero would be taken out of the lineup.

Gamboa said he had dinner with the couple on Sunday night and they seemed to be doing well. Cordero, cocaptain of the Mayaguez Indians for five years, grew up across the street from the baseball stadium in a housing project.

Tonight's game starts at about 7 p.m., Gamboa said.

"Everything has been going real good," he said. "We have never had to remove a player from the lineup for anything non-field related."

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