The Yakult Swallows held a press conference at their team offices today. Team official Masayuki Okumura (involved in international affairs) informed the media that he wanted to confirm details with Wladimir Balentien directly as soon as possible. He also hoped the matter would be settled in time for spring camp.
"With regards to Balentien, I will be heading to Miami today. If possible, I would like meet him as the organization would like to confirm details as soon as possible. I hold on to hope that he will be able to make spring camp on time. I have not heard anything [about an actual bail], but I have heard that talks are moving in that direction. Hopefully this can be resolved without going to trial," said Okumura.
According to the Curacao Chronicle, Balentien was released on bail.
Ballplayer Wladimir ‘Coco’ Balentien has been released on bail. Yesterday Balentien was arrested on suspicion of domestic violence. He paid $ 6,500 and must stay away from his wife Karla. The couple is in divorce after six years of marriage.
Source: Curacao Chronicle 1/14/2014
Comments from organization are starting to filter through to the media:
Teammate Yasuhiro Ogawa: "My brother contacted me at about 7:00am. I was surprised. I do not think he struck anyone. ... I do not know what happened, but it would be nice if he can safely return to Japan so we can play [baseball] together again." Also, "I do not think he did anything severe. He is not someone that would strike another. I hope he returns safely."
Teammate Kyohei Muranaka: "I have never seen him mad, so this comes as a surprise. I cannot believe it."
Manager Junji Ogawa: "I do not know the details, so there is nothing I can say. He had problems with maintaining focus, but he was mild-mannered and he never got upset while playing baseball."
Sponichi spoke to Shinichi Shima, a lawyer and professor at Surugadai University, about Balentien's case. Shima mentioned Florida's No Drop Policy and added that verbal abuse could lead to five days in prison and a misdemeanor up to one year depending on severity. He also added that there was a possibility he might not be able to make it to spring camp on time.
Source: Sponichi 1/15/2014
Daily Sports spoke to Hiroshi Itakura, a professor emeritus at Nihon University. He did not appear too concerned and drew parallels to Andruw Jones' case. He also did not think Balentien would miss the start of spring camp (assuming there is nothing more to add to what is currently known).
Source: Daily Sports 1/15/2014