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[1/17/2014] Yakult Swallows: Wladimir Balentien News and Notes

by on Jan.17, 2014 @ 11:52 am, under NPB

Wladimir Balentien held a press conference at a hotel in Miami, Florida on the 16th.

Portions of Balentien's statement:

"??? ... I'm embarrassed to be here today, but it is my own fault.  I apologize to my family, my team, and the people of Japan.  God blessed me with a beautiful daughter, baby daughter...  ...I love my family...  ...a terrific job ??? and an opportunity to live and work in one of the greatest countries in the world.  I'll never take for granted that I can play baseball in Japan for a living.  I am very thankful for those blessings.  But I made a mistake and now I am here.  I want to thank my family for their support, for their love and support; my team for standing behind me; and the judge and the prosecutor for treating me fairly.  I'm sorry, I hope the people of Japan will give me another chance."

"... When the whole truth come out, I know I will be fine. ..."

Balentien read his statement and did not say another word during the press conference -- his lawyers did not want him to answer questions because the case is still pending.

David Rothman (lawyer): "I can answer that and if you just...  ...He's not going to be answering questions at our instruction as his lawyers for the very simple reason that there's pending litigation and we don't want to put anything into that litigation that should not be in that litigation, including answers to questions..."

Omar Malone (lawyer): "I'm sure you understand that we cannot get into the details of the case, but suffice it to say, uhm, that, uh, Coco did not violate the law and we just cannot, as long as the case is pending, uh, get into the details and the facts of the case."

Other points:

  • Balentien was at the house because he wanted to pick up some baseball equipment.
  • His lawyers will pursue a non-prosecution.
  • If taken to trial, he will plead not guilty and will attempt to make arrangements that will allow him to play baseball in Japan.
  • Balentien is scheduled to appear in court on the 25th.
  • Even if he is cleared to play in Japan, he will more than likely miss the start of spring camp since he still needs to apply for a visa.

Source: ANN News 1/16/2014, FNN News 1/16/2014, uncredited news clip one 1/16/2014, uncredited news clip two 1/16/2014, Daily Sports 1/16/2014, Sports Hochi 1/16/2014