Did Burgos Blow It?
If you haven’t heard, Ambiorix Burgos was arrested for beating his girlfriend at a hotel near Shea Stadium on Monday night.
Since he was in the area, it’s assumed that Burgos was healthy enough to join the Mets sometime this month and audition for the 2009 closer’s role. After all, if he’s anywhere near the triple-digit MPH on his fastball — he hit 100 with ease before Tommy John surgery — you’d have to think he’d be among the top internal candidates to replace Billy Wagner next season.
However, the arrest — coupled with the graphic description provided by the Daily News — will not sit well with the squeaky-clean image the Wilpons try to set for their ballclub. If the front office was unhappy with Paul LoDuca’s chasing after teeny boppers, they must be fuming over this incident. And well they should — a 6’3″, 244-lb. professional athlete should be keeping his paws (and teeth) off the opposite sex.
The wrong thing to do, however, would be to release or trade Burgos. The right thing would be for the Mets to foot the bill for counseling and an anger-management program. Getting Burgos to publicly apologize is an obvious move, and should be coupled with “strongly suggesting” that Burgos make a significant donation to an organization for battered women. These are the bare minimum of actions to take place before Burgos can consider playing for the Mets again.
Hopefully, Burgos can get his personal issues straightened out. If the Mets and their fans can forgive Guillermo Mota for taking PEDs and Paul LoDuca for cheating on his wife, perhaps they can also, eventually, welcome back Burgos. But he has a long road ahead of him before that can happen. Even if it turns out — when we get the whole story — that he is in some way not guilty, the damage has been done. The court of public opinion is much more influential in cases like this, and affects a person for a much longer term — just ask Wally Backman.