Jesus Montero apology time came when he reported to camp for the Seattle Mariners on Wednesday (Feb. 12). This Montero apology wasn't really for the shape that he showed up in, but his tie to the performance-enhancing drug scandal that led to a 50-game suspension last year. According to a report from The Seattle Times, he comes into Spring Training 2014 as a long-shot to even make the team. Now he will try to overcome the bad press he has received as a result and possibly make the 25-man roster as a first baseman for the 2014 MLB season.
Speaking about his involvement in the BioGenesis scandal, Montero stated that, "I’m here because I want to apologize to the whole organization and all of my teammates for what I did last year. I made a big, bad mistake last year. I don’t know what I was thinking. I’m here right now, this new year, to be better and to help my teammates and to help the team to win. I feel bad for all of my family and all of my teammates for what I did.”
It has already been made clear that he will not be a catcher for the team any longer, with the starting job going to Mike Zunino for as long as he can hold it. Montero was sent down to Triple-A Tacoma during the 2013 MLB season to work on playing first base, but he got injured before playing many games. Then, while still injured, the league came in and gave him a 50-game suspension that brought an end to his season. That meant he would need to work hard during the offseason to get ready again.
The Jesus Montero apology isn't going to go far with fans unless he can prove some value to the organization. The team will give him every shot at making the 25-man roster if he can start hitting as well as he did with the New York Yankees. An average performance during Spring Training will earn him a one-way ticket to Tacoma. It's also possible that he could come up in trade discussions, as the team is committed to Justin Smoak at first base unless something significant changes that. Reporting to the team with added weight also isn't a good way for him to start his work at winning back fans.
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