Texas Rangers catcher Yorvit Torrealba issued the following statement through the team regarding his incident with an umpire during a winter league game on Friday:
"I wanted to express my sincere apologies to all parties for my actions during the Venezuelan Winter League game on Friday. I have extended an apology to the Rangers organization as well. I am embarrassed for my conduct, and personally relayed that feeling to the umpire after that night’s game. On the field, I strive to be an example for children, especially those in my native Venezuela, and I regret my actions. I understand the reactions to the incident and will make every effort to set a positive example in the future."
Venezuelan League president Jose Grasso Vecchio announced on Twitter earlier Monday that the league had suspended Torrealba for 66 games -- which spans the rest of this season and next year.
Torrealba, playing for Leones del Caracas in his native Venezuela, is shown in a video striking out swinging, and then throwing his right hand up in exasperation toward the umpire. The umpire immediately ejects Torrealba, which leads to a face-to-face confrontation. After a few seconds, Torrealba punches the umpire's facemask with an open hand.
Torrealba signed a two-year, $6.25 million deal with the Rangers last off-season. He hit .273 with a career-high 27 doubles and 37 RBIs in 113 regular-season games. Torrealba's playing time diminished late in the season when Mike Napoli became the team's No. 1 catcher.
-- Drew Davison