Jesus Montero offers apology as Mariners report

By JOSE ROMERO
Associated Press

PEORIA, Ariz. (AP) – Jesus Montero was visibly nervous Wednesday as he apologized to his Seattle Mariners teammates and their fans.

The catcher-turned-first baseman was joining the team at spring training for the first time since receiving a 50-game suspension after being connected to baseball's Biogenesis performance-enhancing drug investigation.

"I want to apologize to the whole organization and all my teammates for what I did last year," Montero said, his voice tinged with emotion. "I know I made a bad mistake last year and I don't know what I was thinking. But I'm here right now this year to be better and to help the team to win."

Montero is coming off a rough 2013. The catcher was a prized acquisition via trade with the New York Yankees in 2012 but struggled last year with his hitting and defense and was sent down to Triple-A Tacoma, where he was moved to first base. Then came a torn meniscus that required season-ending knee surgery and the suspension.

"This was the first time that happened to me. I had six good years in the minor leagues and one good year in the big leagues," Montero said. "Then this happened and it was hard for me and my family. But thank God it's in the past already and I'm here to move forward and here to be better every day."

Montero, 24, is on the Mariners' 40-man roster but is not guaranteed a spot on the major-league roster going into this season. He said his knee feels much better, but he'll have work to do to make the big-league club, or potentially start the year in the minors.

Before his statement, several teammates approached Montero in the clubhouse to greet him and welcome him back.

"I have to prove to myself, first of all, that I want to be in the big leagues," he said, pledging to continue to learn to play first base and play wherever the organization wants him. "My teammates, they're really important to me. I want them to be comfortable with me. I don't want them to be mad or be upset. I want everybody to know I'm a good person."

NOTES: Former Tampa Bay Rays closer Fernando Rodney was in the clubhouse Tuesday morning awaiting a physical. He remained officially unsigned pending the results and had yet to be listed on the team's spring training roster. . Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik, team President Kevin Mather and infielder Robinson Cano are in the Dominican Republic for Thursday's opening of the club's baseball academy there. The academy sits on 24 acres in the town of Boca Chica.


(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Top Stories

  • Delay Grows
    The latest estimate says the Seattle tunnel project won't be done until August 2017

  • The Show Will Go On
    Dave Ross hopes that seeing "The Interview" won't become a litmus test for patriotism
ATTENTION COMMENTERS: We've changed our comments, but want to keep you in the conversation.
Please login below with your Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Disqus account. Existing MyNorthwest account holders will need to create a new Disqus account or use one of the social logins provided below. Thank you.
comments powered by Disqus
Sign up for breaking news e-mail alerts from MyNorthwest.com
In the community
Do you know an exceptional citizen who has impacted and inspired others?
KIRO Radio and WSECU would like to recognize six oustanding citizens this year. Nominate them to be recognized and to receive a $2,000 charitable grant.