Most players have that stock answer ready when you ask them “so, who would you rather play in the next round of the playoffs?” It’s usually something along the lines of “we’ll take either team, we’re confident either way,” yadda yadda. Well, it seems nobody asked Brett Myers this question when the Phillies won the NLCS, because he definitely had a real opinion.
In an astonishingly revealing interview published today, Myers says that he really, really didn’t want to play the Red Sox in the World Series, and if they did, he was going to ask Charlie Manuel if it was OK that he not pitch at Fenway Park. You see, Boston is where Myers had his little domestic violence dust-up a couple of years ago, and the whole experience still has him shaken up. It’s just probably better not to announce it to the world, there, Brett. I’m sure opposing fans everywhere are going to take it easy on you from now on.
USA TODAY’s national baseball writer Bob Nightengale tries to paint Myers as a rough-around-the-edges guy who quietly does a lot for the community and all that. But it’s Myers who brings some of his own past transgressions into the spotlight:
“I know there are people out there that think I’m a jerk. There are people out there who think I’m a wife-beater. That will never change…But you know what, I really don’t care what people think about me. If people don’t like me, they can deal with it. This is who I am.”
If anything, he should’ve just stopped there. But no, it soon became weepy time:
Myers lowers his head. He blinks away the wetness in his eyes and speaks almost in a whisper. “I just wish people took time to know me before they make judgments,” Myers says. “That’s all I ask. They think I’m this rude guy who doesn’t appreciate what I got. If only they knew.”
Don’t you just want to give him a big hug? He already claims that he had to get security for his wife in Los Angeles during the last series, and he was frightened at the prospects about having to go back to Boston with his wife and kids:
But he couldn’t escape the fear of the Phillies’ possible World Series opponent. “I did not want to play Boston,” says Myers, 28. “If Boston had beat Tampa, I would have gone to (manager) Charlie (Manuel) and told him, ‘I don’t want to pitch in Boston.’
“I don’t ever want to pitch in Boston again.”
You listening, Theo Epstein? Just don’t want you to be embarrassed when he becomes a free agent and you’re thinking about getting in touch with him.
Myers does recount the incident in 2006 that ended with him being arrested for allegedly assaulting his wife, Kim. He freely admits to being drunk and somewhat disorderly, but both parties claim guilt for what actually happened that night:
“They say I dragged my wife by her hair,” Myers says. “Never happened.
“They say I kicked her and threw her around like a rag doll. Never happened.
“I never did anything to her. There was nothing on her face. I was actually trying to protect her and get her to her room. She didn’t want to go, and things got carried away.
“When you’re both heavily intoxicated, that stuff does stuff to you you’re not supposed to do.”
I wonder if all of this would’ve come out if the Phillies were playing the Red Sox. Would Myers make it public that he was refusing to pitch in Boston? How would Charlie Manuel have handled that info? Unfortunately, this World Series is more interesting for the things that could have been, rather than what’s actually happened.