In the very near future a young boy will be sitting at Comerica Park with his father watching the Detroit Tigers play in a warm spring game. Alfredo Simon will be on the mound and inevitably the little boy will ask his father “Who is Alfredo Simon?” Before his dad can answer the boy will pick up his phone and Google “Alfredo Simon”.
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On the screen the young boy will see a search response pop up “Alfredo Simon Rape Lawsuit: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know”.
The young boy will turn to his dad and say “what’s rape?”
The father will struggle with an answer, but he addresses the boy’s question as he takes a deep breath and watches the game.
The young boy will then turn his head back down to his phone. He’ll pause a second, look up from his phone and ask his father “What’s manslaughter?”
The father will probably look stunned and ask “what in the heck are you doing on that phone?”
The young boy will say “Google says these are the things Simon did”.
Character is an important part of sports as our children have learned to idolize the athletes that appear at the ballpark, on television, in ads, social media and the video games that now penetrate every aspect of our days. The NFL has learned a hard lesson this past year with the handling of the domestic abuse cases of Ray Rice and Adrian Petersen. The alleged accusations and the videos that poured in made many people gasp and question the NFL on the handling of these cases.
Major League Baseball hasn’t been exempt from their character flaws with the game being marred by the many fallen heroes of the Biogenesis case. But they too have had more than their issues with domestic abuse.
Last year the Minnesota Twins cancelled the Hall of Fame ceremony for Chuck Knoblauch after he was arrested for allegedly hitting his ex-wife. Kirby Puckett allegedly strangled his wife with a phone cord and was arrested and acquitted for allegedly sexually assaulting a waitress.
Dave Dombrowski wrote in an email during the 2009 Cabrera incident, “I have had a conversation with Miguel. It is a personal situation, and I am not at liberty to discuss it further.”
In 2005 Los Angeles Dodger Milton Bradley was visited three times by the LAPD for domestic violence calls while the Dodgers nominated him for the Roberto Clemente Award that year. Let’s not forget that in 2009 our own Miguel Cabrera and his wife, Rosangel, were both arrested and released for a domestic violence disturbance.
In 2011, Alfredo Simon, while playing for Baltimore, was cleared of an involuntary manslaughter case in the Dominican Republic. Simon was participating in a New Year’s Eve party and allegedly fired his gun in celebration in the air. 25-year-old Michel Castillo Almonte was killed by a stray bullet. Additionally, Simon’s 17-year-old brother was injured in the celebration. Simon was cleared in the murder as there were no eye witnesses that could point him to the scene and the bullet did not match his gun.
Last year an unidentified woman filed a $15 million lawsuit against Simon alleging that he raped her while playing for the Cincinnati Reds during a road trip to Washington, D.C. The woman alleged in the lawsuit that she was approached by a man saying he was Simon’s manager and offered tickets to a Nationals-Reds game with a chance to meet Simon. Allegedly, they eventually met and went to a night club where she became too intoxicated to consent. The alleged encounter turned rough and physical, however, Simon was cleared of any charges. However, she has filed a civil lawsuit claiming damages.
The Tigers no doubt needed starting pitching this year. The Tigers gave up top infield prospect Eugenio Suarez and pitcher Jonathan Crawford. The question to ask is was this all he could get for pitching and these top prospects? A pitcher that’s been bounced around, had some mediocre years and has, let’s face it, smoke around his character. While there are no concrete charges to be filed against Simon, the allegations are clearly smoke and character issues seem to follow him around.
“Daddy, why would the Tigers have a man like that on their team?”
That’s a great question.
Dave Dombrowksi – is it a “personal situation” or is it truly a character issue that impacts the entire Tiger community?