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Phillies Notebook: Police say Myers' eye wasn't hurt in bar scuffle

APOLICE SPOKESMAN backed Brett Myers' contention that the pitcher did not injure his eye during an altercation at a pub/restaurant early Saturday morning in Jacksonville, Fla.

APOLICE SPOKESMAN backed Brett Myers' contention that the pitcher did not injure his eye during an altercation at a pub/restaurant early Saturday morning in Jacksonville, Fla.

Sometime after 12:30 a.m. Saturday, St. Johns County Sheriff's deputies responded to a call from Shannon's Irish Pub, south of the downtown area, where Myers and a small group of friends and family were listening to a band.

According to police, Myers and his wife, Kim, were involved in a verbal dispute with other patrons after "inappropriate comments" were directed at Kim. But police said that several of Myers' friends quickly interceded and the Phillies pitcher was not directly involved in any physical altercation.

"When we got there we found that there had been a verbal altercation that turned somewhat physical," said Sgt. Chuck Mulligan, spokesman for the St. Johns Sheriff's Office. "Deputies stated Myers was not directly involved in the physical side of it."

Myers missed his rehab start the following night with a swollen eye, which he claims occurred when he stumbled and face-planted while exiting a vehicle after he and his party arrived home early Saturday morning. Myers initially told the Phillies that he suffered the injury while playing catch with his 4-year-old son, but later changed his story because he felt bad about lying. Myers told the Phillies' official Web site that he initially lied about the circumstances because he was embarrassed, but that alcohol was not a factor in his mishap.

Yesterday evening, Myers denied through a Phillies spokesman that he was involved in any kind of altercation at Shannon's.

Six eyewitnesses told the Daily News that they saw Myers, his wife, and a small group of friends drinking at the pub. It started as a normal Friday night, with Myers and his friends sitting at the bar listening to a folk/pop band play on stage. One bar patron not associated with Myers' group said he briefly exchanged pleasantries with the righthander outside the bathroom sometime before 11 p.m.

"He appeared to be having a good time just hanging out with some buddies," the witness said. "He wasn't acting out or being obnoxious from what I could tell."

Sometime after 12:30 a.m., right around last call, a scuffle broke out near the stage where the band was playing, several witnesses who were present during the incident said. Myers was not involved in the original scuffle. But after the original altercation was quickly broken up, another confrontation occurred involving Myers' wife, witnesses said. The sheriff's deputy who responded to the scene - a band member called police after some equipment was damaged - said that some "inappropriate comments" had been made toward Myers' wife, according to Mulligan.

Mulligan said several of Myers' friends stepped forward to intercede. There was some pushing, but as far as deputies could tell, no punches were thrown. The sheriff's deputy reported that Myers did not appear to have been struck in the face, nor did he appear to have struck any other patrons in the bar.

"Nobody alleged that he hit [anyone]; nobody alleged that he was hit," Mulligan said. "Obviously there was alcohol consumption involved, but how much and on whose part we do not know."

Myers later told the Phillies' official Web site that he had only consumed "two or three beers" during the night. A Shannon's employee who was the manager on duty that night said he personally served Myers three draft beers, but that he did not know if Myers had ordered drinks from any other bartender or server on duty.

Myers' agent, Craig Landis, did not return a phone message left by the Daily News.

Mulligan said none of the parties involved wanted to file a police report or press charges. Shannon's agreed to cover the damage caused to the band's equipment.

Myers, who has drawn high praise from the Phillies for his work ethic in recovering from June hip surgery, was scheduled to throw one inning for Class A Clearwater Saturday night. Clearwater is about a 4-hour drive from Jacksonville, where Myers grew up and still lives. Upon waking up with a swollen eye, Myers called the Phillies and said he had been struck in the face with a baseball while playing catch with his son, then later changed the story.

Myers was examined by an ophthalmologist in Clearwater on Sunday and played long toss yesterday at Bright House Field. The Phillies said Sunday they are hopeful that Myers would be able to throw off a mound in the middle of this week.

Before the incident, Myers and the Phillies were optimistic that he would be ready to rejoin the team as a reliever at some point in September. It is not clear how the recent incident affects those plans.


Correspondent Eddie Michels contributed to this report.

Hours before last night's deadline to sign 2009 draft picks, the Phillies agree to terms with righthander Brody Colvin, a seventh-rounder who many scouts thought had first-round talent. Colvin had committed to play at Louisiana State, and his bonus to sign is worth $900,000, the Baton Rouge Advocate reported yesterday. That figure that is well above normal seventh-round money . . . Lefthander J.C. Romero (forearm) played catch yesterday for the first time since shutting down his rehab appearance on Aug. 7.