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05/05/07 9:10 PM ET
Mateo questioned after dispute
Mariners option reliever following altercation in New York hotel
By Jim Street / MLB.com
NEW YORK -- Mariners reliever Julio Mateo was questioned by police on Saturday in an apparent domestic dispute with his wife at the Manhattan hotel where the team is staying during a four-game series against the Yankees. A club spokesman acknowledged on Saturday afternoon that Mateo "was involved in an off-the-field situation early [Saturday] morning, a situation we take very seriously." The Associated Press reported that Mateo voluntarily turned himself in at a Manhattan police station on Saturday evening and was speaking to investigators. A police spokesman said that the pitcher was not immediately charged with any crime. Mateo was not in uniform for Saturday's game against the Yankees. "The Mariners are aware of the situation regarding Julio Mateo and take it very seriously," a club statement issued on Saturday afternoon read. "While this situation is in the legal system, we can have no further comment." According to the AP report, police said that the dispute happened about 2:30 a.m. ET on Saturday inside a midtown Manhattan hotel, shortly after the Mariners defeated the New York Yankees, 15-11, in a game in which Mateo did not pitch. The 6-foot, 220-pound reliever was not at the hotel when police arrived, police spokesman Sgt. Mike Wysokowski said. The pitcher's wife, Aurea, was treated for her injuries at St. Vincent's Hospital in Manhattan, according to Wysokowski. According to the AP story, Mateo's wife needed stitches in her mouth. Mariners manager Mike Hargrove addressed the situation on Saturday afternoon in the visitors' clubhouse at Yankee Stadium, saying, "Let me tell you that we consider this real serious. I can't emphasize how serious this is, but can't comment any further on that." Immediately after Saturday's game, the Mariners optioned Mateo to Triple-A Tacoma and will replace him on the 25-man roster prior to Sunday's game against the Yankees. "It has nothing to do with what is going on, but all to do with the fact we played a man short today and we don't know how long it's going to take or last," Hargrove said. "We don't know when he's going to be available." The club did not immediately announce who would replace Mateo on the roster. Mateo, 29, is in his sixth year with the Mariners. A native of the Dominican Republic, Mateo and his wife had their second child, Julian, in March.
Jim Street is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.