Mateo apologizes after domestic dispute with wife

NEW YORK -- Seattle Mariners reliever Julio Mateo apologized
Monday for his arrest following a dispute with his wife at a
Manhattan hotel.

Julio Mateo Mateo

Mateo was suspended for 10 days without pay Sunday, a penalty
the players' association may challenge this week. The 6-foot,
220-pound pitcher was arrested the day before on a charge of
third-degree assault. He posted bond and was released. Police said
his wife needed five stitches to her mouth.

Mateo apologized in a statement released by the team during its
game Monday night at Yankee Stadium.

"I am personally embarrassed by the incident on Saturday
morning, which resulted in my arrest and absence from my team. I
recognize that I have also embarrassed my wife and family, my
teammates and the entire Mariners organization in front of our
fans. Without getting into detail, I understand that my behavior
was inappropriate. I am very sorry for this, and want to apologize
to all of them," he said.

"I cannot comment on what has been reported, since there is a
criminal case pending. But I have pledged to the Mariners to begin
personal counseling immediately to help address any issues that I
may have. Beyond stating again my deepest regrets, I cannot comment

Mateo was suspended for missing Saturday's game without
permission, the Mariners said. The suspension, if allowed to stand,
would cost him $54,645 of his $1 million salary this year.

The Mariners optioned the 29-year-old reliever to Triple-A
Tacoma after Saturday's game and recalled pitcher Sean Green from
the minor league team on Sunday to fill the roster spot.

Mateo returned to Seattle and met with general manager Bill
Bavasi and Rafael Colon, the Mariners' professional counselor.
Mateo volunteered to undergo counseling, which began Monday, the
team said.

"Because a criminal prosecution is underway in New York, the
legal process limits our ability to comment further," Mariners
president Chuck Armstrong said. "However, we have encouraged Julio
to cooperate with the authorities there and he has.

"At the same time, Julio Mateo is a member of our organization
and we are doing all that we can to assist Julio and the members of
his family during this terribly difficult time. We believe that
time off from baseball for Julio, professional assistance, and
Julio's public apology, are appropriate at this time."

Mateo is 1-0 with a 3.75 ERA in nine games this season and is in
the final season of a $1.87 million, two-year contract.

"It is clear to me that Julio is very aware of the gravity of
the situation," Bavasi said. "I discussed with him how seriously
the club takes these charges and how low our tolerance is relative
[to] this alleged behavior. Julio is contrite and acknowledges he
has personal issues for which he needs professional help, which he
has requested. Along with the punishment we are levying against
Julio we feel it is our responsibility to respond to his request
for help, provide that help and aid in returning an improved person
to our community."