Philadelphia Daily News columnist Bill Conlin says cut Brett Myers some slack.

Conlin compares Myers to former Phils pitcher Dickie Noles, who was a drug addict, and former Phils outfielder Jason Michaels, who now plays for the Indians and last season was charged with assault.

Noles hit bottom on April 9, 1983. He did not bounce. During a Saturday night of binge drinking in Cincinnati with a Cubs teammate who had just been released from the team, the former Phillies righthander assaulted a police officer in front of a bar.

The Cubs posted bail, but Noles faced the same serious charges that ex-Phils outfielder Jason Michaels skated away from with a pink wrist last season. And like Michaels, Dickie’s short-term career didn’t skip a beat. On Monday, April 11, he made his scheduled start for manager Lee Elia. The Cubs president was a guy named Dallas Green. So, you see, it is true that the more things seem to change the more they really remain the same.

Dallas Green, of course, was the GM of the 1980 World Series champion Phillies team and is now a Phillies executive. And Noles directs the Phillies Employee Assistance Program and – that’s right – he’s the guy who’s been counseling Myers and his wife Kim since the incident in Boston.

Conlin points to Noles as an example of how athletes can turn their lives around and says that we should give Myers a chance to redeem himself. Phillies fans, believe it or not, seem to agree with Conlin. The San Francisco fans were unbelievably civil when Myers made his return to the Phis rotation against the Giants yesterday.

What do you think? Does Myers deserve another chance?

6 Responses to “Are we being too tough on Brett?”

  1. Sarah Green says:

    Gee, is it even possible to be too tough on man who beats his wife?

    He is literally a foot taller than she is. He weighs 240 lbs, she’s 120—half that. He dragged her down the street by her hair. He punched her–twice–in the face. No, I don’t think you can be too hard on him.

    But this is what Bill Conlin writes about it:

    “Dickie Noles made Brett Myers look like a Nobel Peace Prize candidate. And one important disclaimer: Myers is not an alcoholic or drug abuser. Brett pitched extremely well in San Francisco yesterday, by the way.”

    So Myers gets a gold star now for the problems he *doesn’t* have? And gets extra credit for pitching well? Tell that to Kim Myers. Maybe that will help the swelling go down.

    Then, reflecting Myers’ initial, clumsy half-apology (“I’m sorry it had to get public”—yeah, things do tend to get public when you do them in the middle of the street, Brett), Conlin writes, “The mishandling of the entire Myers incident and its aftermath was on the level of Abbott and Costello Meet The Three Stooges.” Yes, Bill (she says, her voice dripping with sarcasm) let’s compare a wife-beating to slapstick comedy, please. Maybe you could throw in a line about how after he dragged her by her hair and punched her in the face, Myers shouted “Nyuk nyuk nyuk!” and asked her who was on first. Yeesh.

    Conlin concludes, “It is time for us all to step back a few hundred yards and let the best setup man in Phillies history do his thing.” But it wasn’t too long ago that police officers wouldn’t respond to domestic violence calls at all–because that was a “private matter” between a man and his wife, as if a woman gave up her right to be safe when she gave up her maiden name. And this column smells a little too much like that old attitude for me.

    I don’t think Conlin is malicious, just a bit of a bonehead. Just because one player kicked his booze habit doesn’t mean another player should get a pass for assaulting his wife.

  2. I’m with Sarah on this one. If you (not you personally, Coley) were arrested for beating a woman on the street, do you think that you’d be able to keep your job? If so, how much sympathy do you expect from your co-workers? If you are fired, then how easy would it be for you to find another job once your potential employer finds out about your arrest? The fans should have nothing to do with how Brett Myers ought to be judged because this isn’t a baseball issue. It’s a social one. He ought to be judged not from the perspective of the fans, but from the perspective of human beings. If he didn’t have the ability to throw a fastball by a major league hitter, then there’d be no reason for Conlin or Phillies fans to even consider cutting him any slack. Myers would simply be another wife beater and we’d judge him based on that. If knowing all this, you can still forgive him, then fine. But it’s pretty selfish to forgive the guy just because he makes you happy by winning games for your team.

  3. I was in the Fenway visitors’ dugout the rainy day after Myers was arrested when he gave his statement to the media. Someone asked him, “Do you see this being a problem going forward?” He answered, “Naw- when you go out there between those chalk lines, its a whole different world.” I thought that the reporter was refering to BEATING A SMALL WOMAN.

    The only question I asked was of Pat Gillick. “How is Kim doing?” He quickly said, “She’s fine,” before adding, “We haven’t talked to her, but I hear she’s fine.”

    So many athletes that act as if the only rules that pertain to them are the ones on their respective field believe this, because its true. They are adulated because of athletic superiority at a young age, and never held to the same standards as normal people. For Myers, this reinforcement still comes from his boss and the fans. (In fairness, the vast majority of pro jocks are not wife beaters, druggies and so not throw firecrackers at kids- see Coleman, Vincent).

    The idea that Myers can now finally “turn things around” is especially silly when you look at his record. I’m willing to ignore that he’s a former amatuer boxer who claims that “The Incredible Hulk” is his hero (no lie), but how about his history of inexcusable violence? You can’t “turn around” a guy who is destined for this kind of behavior, and then appeased when he explodes. You might as well ask him to throw lefty.

    We never have to forgive the Mike Tysons, the Kobes, the Vinces, the Robert Parishes (tossed Mrs. Parish doen a fight of stairs), because they don’t need to be forgiven. The fans don’t matter to them, because the fans reflect normal standards of human behavior that these guys don’t subscribe to.

  4. I referenced his history of violence above without backing it up. I’m trying to track down some reference to when he went haywire and beat up a former minor league teammate. I’ll post it when I find it if anyone cares.

    (apologies if this is incorrect, but I think I’m right.)

  5. Sarah Green says:

    I am really glad we are all dumping on Myers. It just feels so right, and good, and like what Jesus would do. Seriously. Normally I feel a teensy bit guilty about mocking people’s Unfortunate Facial Hair or general lameness or whatever, but I am fully enjoying our collective beat-down.

    I also got confused when I read that Q and A about “a problem going forward” and the chalk lines. I was all, “Are there chalk lines in prison? What is he talking about?? Does he mean….is he saying that…oh my GOD. He can’t be. He IS!”

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