BOWIE, Md. (WJZ)—Alfredo Simon says the past few months have been a nightmare for him and his family, but now he’s ready to focus on playing ball.
Weijia Jiang reports on his return to baseball.
Orioles relief pitcher Alredo Simon returned to the mound in his first game since he became a suspect in the fatal shooting of his cousin.
On Thursday, Simon started for the O’s minor league team, the Bowie Baysox.
“I just try to play baseball,” Simon said. “I don’t think about whatever happened, just put it behind me. Just doing my job and trying to do the best I can.”
Simon, 29, was held in a Dominican Republic jail for roughly two months following the New Year’s Eve shooting, which happened in the country’s coastal town of Luperon. Formal charges were never filed.
Though the case is still open, early last month Simon was allowed to return to the United States on a work visa.
“There’s no charge or anything, and I don’t think you can deny the opportunity for employment if he hasn’t been charged,” said Andy MacPhail, Orioles President of Baseball Operations.
“Everyone deserves a second chance,” said Bobby Keaton, Orioles fan. “If he can still do well and become a good citizen and perform, that’s fine.”
For now Simon remains on the Major League Baseball’s restricted list, but is expected to re-join the Orioles 40-man roster.
Until then, he will pitch in the minors on rehab assignment to make up for missing the official spring training.
“I just be working hard to get ready as soon as I can to be in Baltimore, so I just feel really good right now,” Simon said.
MacPhail says there’s not a set date for when Simon might return to the Orioles, but says it could happen in the near future.
After the game, Simon apologized to the sport of baseball, the Orioles and the fans for the recent distraction.