The agent, Luis Valdez, said the distraught player was dealing with 'drinking and drugs' and that he drove alone from Atlanta to Boston to be with his brother, Francis Aybar, who lives there.
Minutes later, Valdez backpedaled a bit and said he didn't know if Aybar, 24, was involved in anything other than alcohol.
The agent said Aybar was too shy and embarrassed to reach out to anyone with the team. The Braves suspended him for three days after he failed to show up for injury-rehabilitation sessions Saturday and Sunday, then suspended him indefinitely on Wednesday when he failed to show up for a meeting with manager Bobby Cox.
We've had players struggle with
drug and alcohol abuse in the past. Otis Nixon's drug abuse led him from rehab back to the baseball field where he continued a great career. Rafael Furcal's alcohol exploits were well documented several years ago when he was arrested for DUI.
I don't think anyone wanted to say it, but I was among those who had wondered that Aybar's troubles might be a result of some sort of dependency. I sure wish him the best and I hope the team gives him the time he needs to resolve his issues.