By Sam Zuba-
(CBS) Admittedly, I have a tough time respecting men who allegedly beat their wives.
That’s probably why I’m going to have a tough time rooting for the newly-acquired Brett Myers as the White Sox prepare for a second-half playoff push.
On Saturday, White Sox general manager Kenny Williams orchestrated a trade that sent pitching prospects Matthew Heidenreich and Blair Walters, as well as a player to be named later, to the Astros in exchange for the the 31-year-old Myers.
By most accounts, the addition of Myers to the South Side is a nice pick-up. Myers brings a much-needed veteran presence to the White Sox bullpen, and his 3.52 ERA in 35 appearances this season is nothing to scoff at.
A simple Google search of Brett Myers, however, tells the much darker side of the veteran pitcher’s past.
Look no further than June of 2006, and you’ll see arguably Myers’ most egregious act – when he allegedly punched his wife in the face multiple times outside of a Boston bar.
The 6-foot-4 Myers was arrested for assault and battery after allegedly beating his 5-foot-4 wife after a dispute outside of a bar. According to reports, Myers’ wife told police her husband hit her in the face twice with a closed fist.
Eye witnesses said Myers was dragging his wife by her hair, slapping her across the face, as the couple argued outside the bar.
Myers got off, though, as charges were dropped when his wife insisted she did not want her husband prosecuted. Despite prosecutors’ insistence on filing charges, the case was dismissed.
It doesn’t end there for Myers, though.
Fast forward 14 months, and there’s the altercation with Philadelphia Inquirer reporter Sam Carchidi in August of 2007. After a blown save from Myers, Carchidi pressed the then-closer on his performance, prompting Myers to call him a “retard” before going into profanity-laced rant in which he threatened to assault the reporter.
“I’ll tell you what, dude, I’ll knock you motherf****** out,” Myers said in front of a host of reporters. “F*** you. You’re tough when f****** people are standing in front of you, aren’t you, you piece of s***. Come on, you f****** idiot. Yeah, you’re tough when f****** people are standing in front of you, you stupid a**.”
There you go, White Sox fans. That’s your new reliever. Ready to go pick up your Myers No. 33 jerseys?
I understand no athlete is perfect. Anyone who falsely exalts an athlete to some type of Saint-like level needs to have their head examined. If the acts committed by former Penn State defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky – and Joe Paterno’s subsequent cover-up – have taught us anything, it’s that everyone is fallible.
Even those who are really good at sports. No one, no matter how great we think they are, is incapable of doing wrong.
But when a person commits such a heinous, public act of violence against a woman, I draw the line. They lose my support and respect until they earn it back.
How are we supposed to cheer Myers on when he takes the mound in the eighth inning of a one-run game in late September? Do we just forget the detestable details that make up this monster’s rap sheet?
I can’t – and I won’t.
Sam is the Sports Content Producer for CBSChicago.com. Before earning a degree in journalism from the University of Illinois, he spent two summers cover the Kansas City Royals and the Chicago Cubs for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @SamZuba and read more of his columns here.