02/07/07 8:26 PM ET
Simon suspended from Series play
Contract issues mean veteran is out for three years
By Joe Frisaro / MLB.com
The suspension was announced by Caribbean Baseball Confederation Commissioner Juan Francisco Puello Herrera Wednesday and starts immediately.
Simon is prohibited from playing Winter League ball in any part of the Caribbean until the 2010 season.
The 31-year-old Simon is accused of signing and then backing out on a contract with the Cibao Eagles of the Dominican Republic. The Eagles have won the 2007 Caribbean Series.
Simon then signed and played for the La Guaira Tiburones in Venezuela. And he played for the Aragua Tigers in the Caribbean Series. Simon was scratched from Tuesday's game against Puerto Rico. He didn't play because of a tight hamstring.
His suspension started Wednesday.
In four Series games, Simon was 4-for-16 with a double, an RBI and two runs scored.
"I'm going to talk more like a lawyer than like a commissioner," Puello Herrera said in Spanish in his announcement news conference. "This was an arbitration case. The decision was made and it doesn't allow any appeals, according to the rules of the confederation."
Simon told Venezuelan reporters that he never signed the contract with the Eagles. The confusion, he contends, was made because at the time he had a different agent.
"I'm willing to take any test and make a comparison of my signature," Simon told Venezuelan reporters.
Domingo Fuentes and Jose Alvarez, executives with the Tiburones, said it is their understanding that Simon had not signed with the Eagles. That's why they believe Simon's contract in Venezuela was signed in good faith.
Simon was born in the Netherlands Antillies, and in the past he had played in the Mexican Winter League.
Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.