Friday, October 6, 2006
Updated: October 7, 9:31 PM ET
Beimel apologizes to Dodgers teammates
ESPN.com news services
LOS ANGELES -- Los Angeles Dodgers left-handed reliever Joe Beimel can't make his hand get better any faster, but he's trying to hasten the healing with his unhappy teammates.
The left-handed reliever was removed from the Dodgers' playoff roster after cutting his pitching hand early Tuesday. Beimel originally told the team he injured himself in his hotel room -- later, he admitted he cut it on a broken glass in a New York bar.
Beimel apologized to his teammates in a closed-door meeting prior to Dodgers' batting practice before Saturday's Game 3 against the Mets, ESPN The Magazine's Amy K. Nelson reported. According to three people in the room, Beimel said he was sorry for lying to the team about how he cut his hand.
"I think he was sincere," one teammate said. "He said he was sorry and he lied because he was embarrassed. He also felt bad about putting the team in a bad spot."
The clubhouse, which is off limits to the media before games during the playoffs, closed the doors as Beimel spoke in front of the entire team for a few minutes. According to one teammate, Beimel said that if anyone had a problem with him they could either let him know there or in person.
The room was silent and Beimel then left.
"I think it's good," reserve outfielder Jason Repko told ESPN The Magazine. "He's going to pay for what he did. But I think it was good to be up front with us, even though it was a little late, but at least he said something."
Repko and two other teammates said they saw Beimel's wound in the Shea Stadium visitors' clubhouse Tuesday and described it as a serious gash, as opposed to a cut.
"It was nasty," Repko said.
Beimel was quoted in Friday's Los Angeles Times, explaining what actually happened. That angered manager Grady Little and prompted teammate Brett Tomko to call Beimel's action "a selfish thing to do."
Beimel said the accident occurred about 2:30 a.m. Tuesday. He told the Times he initially tried to stop the bleeding in the bar's bathroom. Later, at the team hotel, he called one of the Dodgers' trainers to his room.
"It does bother me," Little said Friday. "It just adds to the disappointment we have. Everyone knows what's at stake at this time of year. It's all about personal responsibility. It's a situation where the individual showed very little. He's responsible for his own actions."
Beimel, a non-roster invitee to spring training, was 2-1 with a 2.96 ERA with two saves in 62 games. He figured as the Dodgers' top left-handed reliever and a key setup man against the Mets, who have several good left-handed hitters.
Instead, the Dodgers have had to go with Mark Hendrickson, mostly a starter in his career.
Little said players are required to be in their rooms at midnight or two hours after a game ends when the team is on the road, although he doesn't do bed checks.
"I'm not happy about it. I'm sure there are a lot of people that aren't happy about it," said Brett Tomko, a right-handed reliever. "There's plenty of time to go have fun. In my opinion, it was an inappropriate time to go out. A lot of people went out. It's just being an adult and being responsible. He just chose not to, at that point.
"When it's said and done, it's about character in this game," Tomko said.
First baseman Nomar Garciaparra said the news regarding Beimel was disappointing to the entire team.
"But that's something he's going to have to live with more than the rest of us," Garciaparra said. "We're all men and we're all responsible for ourselves and we all know what we have to do to get ourselves prepared for our job."
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.