FORT MYERS, Fla. — Speaking publicly for the first time since he was arrested and charged with domestic assult in December, Red Sox pitcher Steven Wright said he did not touch his wife, Shannon, in an incident that drew police to their Tennessee home.
Wright’s case in December was retired by the Williamson County courthouse in Tennessee, which put his case en route to a potential dismissal. The charges can be dropped if he has no other offenses for 12 months.
"It's tough because I really want to at least tell my side of the story,” Wright said Wednesday at JetBlue Park. “Because when it comes out [initially], you obviously think of the worst. But it wasn't that bad. Especially on a personal level, especially because I never touched her. And that's probably the hardest thing for me, to like sit there and see people like talk about being a wife-beater and all that stuff, when I didn't even make physical contact. But that's pretty much all I'm allowed to really say right now.”
Wright said he remains under investigation by Major League Baseball and that he cannot fully explain his arrest until it is completed. He may be suspended to begin the season. He has not been interviewed as part of the investigation, but is expected to be soon
Indications are a decision is nearing.
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“I have some pulse, but I'm not at liberty to discuss it,” Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski said Wednesday. “Not from a time perspective, but how they see things. But they're not done with their investigation, so they're not really to step forward yet.”
Wright said he and his wife are trying to reconcile. They have two children.
“It definitely got escalated in that one particular night,” Wright said. “We’ve been going to counseling. We’ve been working through it. We’ve been trying to do as much as we can to put it past us, but it’s hard. Because MLB is doing their investigation and it’s in the limelight. It’s really hard on a personal level to get past something that’s constantly being thrown at you. But I did it to myself. It’s one of those things that I’ve got to live with the consequences that came from my actions that night. It’s just hard.
“You get labeled as somebody that’s a wife-beater when you don’t even make physical contact. I’m looking forward to telling that side of the story, about what happened, because people will understand a little bit more about what happened. It’s not what you’re reading as far as you hear about domestic violence.”
Wright and his family had previously issued statements, but he had not spoken to media directly.
Whether Wright will even be physically ready for opening day, regardless of any impending suspension, is unclear. He's rehabbing after an operation that replaced the cartilage in his left knee. The top four Sox starters, Chris Sale, David Price, Rick Porcello and Drew Pomeranz all threw bullpen sessions on Wednesday, so Wright is not on a normal progression.
"I feel pretty good," Wright said. "I’m still in the rehab phase with the knee, trying to push it as hard as I can within reason. It’s one of those things. Each day, it’s such a unique surgery, it’s not a typical surgery you see guys having, so it’s kind of a day-to-day operation, but I’m around eight months now, so I’m trying to push it as hard as I can so I can get back as fast as possible."
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