FORT MYERS, Fla. — Red Sox pitcher Steven Wright said Wednesday that he did not strike his wife, Shannon, during an incident that led to his arrest in December.
Speaking to reporters for the first time since he was charged, Wright twice said that no physical violence took place.
“I really want to at least tell my side of the story,” he said. “When it comes out, you obviously think of the worst. But it wasn’t that bad, especially on a personal level, especially because I never touched her.
“That’s probably the hardest thing, for me to sit there and see people talk about being a wife-beater and all that stuff and I didn’t even make physical contact.”
Wright said he is not allowed to discuss the case in detail because of an ongoing investigation by Major League Baseball.
The 33-year-old righthander was charged with domestic related assault and prevention of a 911 call on Dec. 8 after police in suburban Nashville were summoned to his home.
Wright’s case was “retired” by prosecutors in Franklin, Tenn., on Dec. 21. The charges will be dismissed if Wright completes an anger management course, refrains from violent contact with his wife, and incurs no new criminal charges for a year.
District attorney Kim Helper said Shannon Wright agreed with how the case was resolved. The couple, who have two children, remain together.
“It definitely got escalated in that one particular night,” Wright said. “We’ve been going to counseling. We’ve been working through it. We’ve been trying to do as much as we can to put it past us, but it’s hard, because MLB is doing their investigation and it’s in the limelight.
“It’s really hard on a personal level to get past something that’s constantly being thrown at you. But I did it to myself. It’s one of those things that I’ve got to live with the consequences that came from my actions that night.”
Wright described the events as humbling.
“There are some things personally that I’ve got to work on, that can help not only in my relationship with my wife and my family but in baseball and life in general,” he said.
Wright said MLB investigators have not spoken to him, but he believes that will happen in the coming weeks. There remains a possibility that he will be suspended by commissioner Rob Manfred under baseball’s domestic violence policy.
Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski said he had “some pulse” about how MLB would proceed.
“Not from a time perspective, but how they see things,” said Dombrowski. “But they’re not done with their investigation, so they’re not ready to step forward yet.”
Wright is allowed to practice with the Red Sox and on Wednesday played catch off to the side while teammates went through defensive drills. He is recovering from cartilage restoration surgery on his left knee and has not yet been cleared for full participation or to throw off a mound.
Wright hopes he can be ready for the start of the season.
“It’s not a cut-and-dried rehab,” he said. “It takes one step at a time as far as getting through that.”
Wright appeared in only five games last season because of the injury, going 1-3. He was 13-6 with a 3.33 earned run average in 2016 and made the All-Star team.