Statement from Simon

Orioles pitcher Alfredo Simon read the following statement concerning his legal issues in the Dominican Republic. He later took baseball-related questions from a small group of reporters at Prince George's Stadium:

"Today is the day that I'm addressing everyone in my personal and professional life.

"I want to take this opportunity to apologize to my sport, to the entire Baltimore Orioles organization, the owner, general manager, the front office, the coaches, my teammates, sponsors, and the fans, for the recent distraction that my personal circumstances have caused. In time I will address the issue publicly, but I cannot comment on the issue today. I ask for your patience, and understanding, and hope that you will grant me the privacy to deal with the matter appropriately.

"I'm thankful for the opportunity to be here today and would like to thank everyone for their prayers, support and encouragement throughout this difficult process.

"I have worked very hard to come back and be a part of this organization and intend to have a positive impact on everyone around me. I realize as an athlete, that it is not only playing the game of baseball that matters, but being a role model both on and off the field is a self requirement.

"Since my arrival back into the U.S. on April 2nd of this year, I have worked hard on improving my game. I am taking this moment in my life to focus on my personal life and my career to prove my love and dedication to this sport.

"I have overcome many obstacles in my life to get to where I am today. This difficult situation will only act to motivate me to be a better person, both individually, and as a professional.

"There are limits to what I can comment on today. The incident has been a nightmare for me and my family. This process has been a tough learning experience for all involved, and I look forward to putting it behind me.

"Again, I would like to apologize to my family and friends, my sport, to the entire Baltimore Orioles organization, the owner, general manager, the front office, the coaches, my teammates, sponsors, and the fans, for anything other than a positive direction that this incident may have caused. I would like to move forward this year and focus on my contribution as a pitcher to this team and our success. I'm ready to get back on the field and do what I love doing most.

"Thank you."

Simon read the statement in Spanish, and the Orioles passed out translated copies for the media.

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