|Thursday, March 13
Updated: March 14, 11:25 AM ET
Mesa says he has no intention of harming Vizquel
ESPN.com news services
"I was hurt by remarks by a former teammate," Mesa said in a statement Thursday. "I would never injure anyone."
"If I face him, I'll hit him," Mesa said in the Bucks County Courier Times this week. "I won't try to hit him in the head, but I'll hit him. And if he charges me, I'll kill him."
Bob Watson, baseball's vice president for on-field operations, is investigating.
"I don't know if that's really what he meant when he said that," Vizquel told ESPN.com's Jayson Stark on Tuesday, after hearing of Mesa's kind words. "Sometimes we would say in Spanish, 'I'm gonna kill you.' But in the translation, that's not really what we meant."
Close friends as teammates in Cleveland from 1992 to 1998, Mesa and Vizquel have had tense relations since the book was published.
"My goal is to bring a championship to Philadelphia," Mesa said. "I would hope that this would not continue to be a distraction to the Philadelphia Phillies organization, my teammates or our great fans."
In the autobiography, Vizquel did take some shots at Mesa. He discussed Mesa's attitude during Game 7 of the 1997 World Series, when Mesa was given the opportunity to close out the series and was unsuccessful, giving up the tying run.
Vizquel suggested in the book that the mound was the last place Mesa wanted to be when that ninth inning rolled around.
"The eyes of the world were focused on every move we made," Vizquel wrote. "Unfortunately, Jose's own eyes were vacant. Completely empty. Nobody home. You could almost see right through him. Not long after I looked into his vacant eyes, he blew the save and the Marlins tied the game."
Vizquel has attempted to clarify the comments he made about Mesa in his book.
"The book started with Game 7 of the World Series, the most exciting game of my life," Vizquel told Stark on Tuesday. "That's why it started with that day. I didn't say he was a choker the whole season. I always said we never would have gotten to the World Series without Jose ..."
Vizquel also said his description of Mesa "came out kinda strange, kinda weird. That could have hurt somebody's feelings, the way it came out. And I didn't mean it with that intent. But it's too late now."
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.