Bad News for Burgos

Ambiorix Burgos is back in trouble.

Less than a month ago, Burgos blew any chance he had at helping the New York Mets in the final weeks of the season by beating up his girlfriend. Not to mention blowing any chance he had at being an acceptable member of society.

At the time, it appeared that Amby was at a rock-bottom point in his life, and possibly too far gone to be helped.

But he just sunk lower.

Now, Dominican police are seeking Burgos, because he is suspected to have driven into two women and killed them in a hit-and-run accident.

Burgos’ violence against his girlfriend was something that was terrible and unforgivable, but could have been addressed and he had a chance to be rehabilitated. People do have the wherewithal to change, and had Burgos been placed into a program right away, he might have realized the error of his ways and become a better person.

However, if the current suspicions are true, Burgos has no chance to help himself anytime soon. Wounds heal, and behavior can be amended, but you can’t bring people back from the dead. Even assuming the accident was indeed an accident, it doesn’t make the action any more forgivable, and does nothing to remove the guilt.

From the Mets’ perspective, it’s too bad, because Burgos would have been a welcome candidate to the bullpen in 2009. From a human, non-baseball perspective, this is a sad, sad story for two dead women, their families, and a man whose life is clearly spinning out of control.

By the way, it’s because of incidents like this that I don’t particularly care for Jerry Manuel’s “gangsta” comments. Everyone else may find using “gangsta” as funny, but the reality is that the word represents lowly individuals who think life is all about flashing shiny jewelry, driving expensive cars, overindulging in drugs and/or alcohol, carrying weapons, intimidating others, and committing irresponsible, violent acts. To me, not funny. You want to “be cool” or “hip”, use some other word or phrase. Saying your players are “gangsta” is about as “cool” as calling them “nazis” — particularly when someone in your organization fits the reality.

Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.
  1. isuzudude October 2, 2008 at 6:04 am
    It sounds as though pitching again for the Mets is the least of Burgos’ concerns, right now. I have no idea what the legal system is like in the Dominican Republic, but if it is found that Burgos acted intentionally, or was under the influence, I’m wondering if the country would consider the death penalty.

    Personally, I don’t want to see or hear Burgos’ name associated with the Mets ever again. And knowing how P-C the world has become, Jerry probably should think up a better word than gangsta to describe his team.

  2. joe October 2, 2008 at 9:13 am
    Not sure if it’s true, but I’ve been told by Dominican friends that people can get away with crimes there if they have enough money (not much different from here LOL!). Even if that’s true, Burgos will never be able to shake the stigma and will forever be guilty in the court of public opinion.

    The scary thing, of course, is that if he somehow does wiggle his way out of this, there will be someone out there willing to give him a “second chance” based on his ability to throw a baseball.

  3. Schmidtxc October 2, 2008 at 9:40 am
    I’d just like to see the mets non-tender him and get his name off the roster. I hate to admit it, but I was always a fan of the bannister for burgos deal and thought the mets would do well in the long run. Oops. I don’t think he’ll ever be able to shake the reputation he’s developing in a large market, and nobody will even give up minor league roster filler for him, so I’d just cut him and be done with it.
  4. Schmidtxc October 2, 2008 at 9:41 am
    By the way, his contract was only 415,000 this year so he probably doesn’t have enough saved to buy his way out of this.
  5. joe October 2, 2008 at 9:47 am
    Schmidt, I’m not too proud to admit I thought for sure that the Burgos – Bannister deal would eventually work out best for the Mets in the long run. I figured Amby would be the setup man in ’09 and the closer in ’10, after Wags left. Oh well …. bigger issues for him now.

    Good point on the salary, but he can always sell that $250K of jewelry that was stolen and then recovered in spring training …

  6. Schmidtxc October 2, 2008 at 10:37 am
    I had forgotten about that…I guess gold is always a strong investment.
  7. Andrew Vazzano October 2, 2008 at 10:52 am
    His salary may only be $415,000, but he had over $300,000 worth of “bling” with him at spring training.


  8. joe October 2, 2008 at 11:04 am
    A, don’t forget the price of gold went up considerably over the last two years …. as Schmidt pointed out, it’s always a good investment …
  9. murph October 3, 2008 at 1:44 am
    This is how I predict this playing out.

    First reaction:
    He should be banned from baseball…

    and then:
    unless he still has a good fastball…

    and then:
    oh, how can I stay mad at you…

    and then:
    somebody will sign him as a reclamation/2nd chance prospect…

    and then:
    he does something else to F it up again…

    We have seen it all before with Gooden, Steve Howe, et. al.

    as long as you can throw, you will still have a home in baseball.
    Even if you don’t deserve it.

    But wait. He’s a foreigner? Oh, then forget him. There are plenty more Dominicans that can take his place.