Last year, then-Tampa Bay Ray catcher Derek Norris’ ex-fiancee alleged that Norris assaulted her. Her claim: After she found Norris on the phone with another woman, Norris approached her from behind and put her in a choke hold. When she tried to get away, he grabbed her by the back of her hair to pull her back to him and then held her by her upper arms.
Norris denied the assault took place, but Major League Baseball interviewed his fiancee and, on September 1, suspended Norris for the remainder of the season. Since he had already been released by then and was a free agent, the suspension was more symbolic than substantive, but you’d think it would at least be cause for reflection for the guy. Nah: Norris continued to stand by his denial even after his suspension.
It seems he’s still of that attitude, because this is what Norris, who now plays for the Tigers, had to say about it this morning:
In addition to Norris’ apparent belief that he is the victim in all of this — the guy who has to overcome adversity and misguided public opinion — “whatever doesn’t kill you” is quite a turn of phrase from a man who was credibly accused of choking a woman.
What’s more, his whole attitude is kind of odd given that, I am certain, his new employer, the Tigers, had a heart-to-heart about all of this when the signed him, making sure that their new catcher understood the gravity of his situation and appreciated the fresh start he received:
Or, I guess not.
You know, the Tigers lost 98 games last year, got substantially worse in the offseason and are clear that they are not in contention mode. You’d think if there ever was a time to make a point of not signing a guy because of character reasons, now would be a good time. Instead, at least if Norris is to be believed, they glossed right over the biggest item on his CV and are now trotting out a guy who has no apparent remorse or even reflection about what he did and what has happened to him in the past year.