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May 6, 2007 at 12:31 PM

The scoop on Mateo

Mariners pitcher Julio Mateo was formally arraigned in Manhattan Criminal Court this afternoon on a charge of third-degree assault. He was released on $3,000 bail and is scheduled to re-appear in court on June 15. Assualt in the third degree is a Class A misdemeanor punishable by a maximum of up to one year in jail. But it’s possible Mateo won’t do any time depending on any prior criminal record and what else would come out in a trial.
Edison Alban, a spokesman for the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, told me defendants in such cases also often do plead guilty to lesser charges and receive more lenient sentences which can include probation and no jail time, again depending on any priors.
Mateo did spend Saturday night and this morning in a holding cell at the Manhattan Criminal Courts Building. Prior to that, he had been interrogated by police at the NYPD’s Midtown North precinct after turning himself in either late yesterday afternoon or early evening. He was later fingerprinted and booked, then transfered to the cell to await his 12:20 p.m. arraignment today.
Alban gave further details on the assault against Mateo’s wife, Aurea, which took place about 2:30 a.m. on Sunday. Not only did she receive five stitches to her lip after being bitten, but she also has a black eye and told police she was choked by her assailant.
Mateo was suspended by the team this afternoon for 10 days without pay “for missing yesterday’s game in New York without permission” accordng to a release put out by the Mariners. He was optioned to Class AAA Tacoma after Saturday’s game and it’s uncertain whether he’ll ever play another game in a Seattle uniform. A sorry end to a very sad tale from New York. And for Mateo, his troubles with the legal system are far from over.
Yes, there was a game here today, the Mariners losing 5-0 to the New York Yankees. Seattle had only four hits, making it just six total in two games after putting up 20 on Friday. You simply can’t win doing that.
Quite the fireworks in the late-going, with Josh Phelps running catcher Kenji Johjima, prompting some purpose pitches and a bench-clearing incident when Scott Proctor fired one up around Yuniesky Betancourt’s head.
I talked to Phelps in the Yankee clubhouse moments ago. The onetime minor league catcher told me that the moment he saw Johjima crouch down — knowing that strong-armed Ichiro was making the throw — he had little choice but to run him.
“That’s what made my mind up,” Phelps said. “When I saw him starting to crouch down, for me, it tells me he’s getting ready to receive the ball. I can’t just let himn tag me real quick.”
The Mariners, naturally, disagreed. Johjima said he “was kind of surprised because I had left the plate open.”
Anyway, it all amounts to a loss. The Mariners were competitive for five innings as Washburn kept them in it. But once the runs started scoring, they were cooked. Just couldn’t get it going against a pitcher, Darrell Rasner, that they’d never seen before. It happens. But this club is back to .500, at 13-13. The worst part is, Washburn may be the best arm they trot out there for the next five days.



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