Phillies pitcher Brett Myers, who was arrested and charged with assault and battery on his wife following a 2006 incident outside a Boston bar, told USA Today’s Bob Nightengale in an article published this morning that had the Red Sox had advanced to the World Series to face the Phillies, he would have asked manager Charlie Manuel to avoid pitching him at Fenway Park.
“I don’t ever want to pitch in Boston again,” said Myers, the Phillies’ scheduled starter for Game 6.
Coming across as more defiant than contrite, Myers reluctantly spoke about the incident during which, according to the police report, he allegedly hit his wife in the face twice and dragged her by her hair on Boylston Street.
“I know there are people out there that think I’m a jerk. There are people out there who think I’m a wife-beater. That will never change,” says Myers . . .
“But you know what, I really don’t care what people think about me. … If people don’t like me, they can deal with it. This is who I am.”
Courtney Knight, a witness to the June 22, 2006 incident, said this to the Globe at the time:
“He was dragging her by the hair and slapping her across the face. She was yelling, ‘I’m not going to let you do this to me anymore.’ . . . He had her on the ground. He was trying to get her to go, and she was resisting. She curled up and sat on the ground. He was pulling her, her shirt was up around her neck. . . . He could have cared less that we were there.”
The day after his arrest, Myers was the Phillies’ starting pitcher at Fenway, and the fans’ reaction, predictably, was less than welcoming. Myers told Nightengale said he heard vicious chants and was pelted with beer bottles and trash while warming up.
“What happened to me that day in Boston, on the field, I wouldn’t wish that on nobody,” Myers said. “It wasn’t just the boos and the things people were throwing. It was just what people thought about me. I didn’t have a chance to explain. My lawyers told me not to, so I couldn’t talk.
“For me to even pitch that day was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do in life.”
Myers and his wife are still together — the case was dismissed when she chose not to press charges — and she told the newspaper her husband is simply misunderstood.
“It’s over, and it was so blown out of proportion, but for Brett, this is something that will follow him. I just wish people really knew him. If they did, they wouldn’t think he was a monster.”