Japan club to keep ex-MLB star despite arrest

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Dec 27 2012 08:40 PM | Updated as of Dec 28 2012 04:40 AM

TOKYO - Japanese baseball club Rakuten Eagles, who recently signed former US major league star Andruw Jones, said Thursday they had no plans to cancel the deal after he was arrested on suspicion of battering his wife.

The Curacao-born outfielder, 35, was held early Christmas morning at his home in suburban Atlanta, Georgia, after police were called following a dispute between him and his wife, according to media reports.

He was released on $2,400 bail.

"There is no such possibility for now," Rakuten Eagles public relations director Yoshiki Sato said when asked if the one-year contract, signed earlier this month for an estimated $3.5-million, could be annulled.

"At the moment it is our understanding" that he did not do anything wrong, he told AFP by telephone.

The club said representatives had spoken to Jones, who told them he had continued drinking after a Christmas Eve party and had quarrelled with his wife, who called the police.

Jones, a five-time All Star who has played for five Major League teams including the Atlanta Braves, told them there was no physical assault on his wife and that she did not expect police to take him away, the club said.

In a statement released by the team, Jones said he was sincerely sorry for worrying Rakuten Eagles fans who were looking forward to seeing him play.

Rakuten Eagles president Yozo Tachibana said: "Our baseball club for its part will ask him to be more conscious of his actions and will be more thorough in its management and education."

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