Marcell Ozuna is booed in Atlanta

Atlanta Braves slugger Marcell Ozunawas booed by the local Atlanta fan on Sunday in his first appearance since being arrested on a charge of driving under the influence of alcohol.

Ozuna was booked early Friday morning and released on bail later that morning. It was the second arrest in as many years for Ozuna, who was also arrested in May 2021 on charges of aggravated assault, strangulation and battery after police officers said they saw him attack his wife. Those charges were dropped after he completed a program to deal with his pre-trial anger issues.

Ozuna, the No. 8 hitter in Atlanta’s lineup against the Houston Astros, was greeted with a handful of boos at Truist Park before his first second-inning at-bat on Sunday. The boos were much louder after Ozuna struck out against the Astros right-hander, Jose Urquidy. He was booed again after the second strikeout and went 0-2 in the Braves’ loss.

The game marked the first appearance since Aug. 14 for Ozuna, who did not play in the first six games of Atlanta’s seven-game stay. Braves manager Brian Snitker said Friday that he spoke with Ozuna but did not provide details about his conversation. Snitker said that he did not know if Ozuna will face a suspension.

The Braves released a statement Friday after Ozuna’s arrest, saying “the organization takes these matters very seriously and they are obviously disappointed in the situation,” but declined further comment, citing the ongoing legal situation. Ozuna did not answer questions on Friday and made a brief statement to reporters, saying “I let my team down” and “I let my family down.”

Ozuna, 31, is in his third season in Atlanta and in the second year of a four-year, $65 million contract. He hit .338 and led the NL with 18 home runs and 56 RBIs in 2020, but has dropped below .215 for two straight seasons.

Ozuna entered Sunday batting .214 with 20 home runs and 46 RBI this season, poor production that led to reduced playing time even before Friday’s arrest.

After the 2021 arrest, Ozuna was placed on administrative leave during an MLB investigation and missed Atlanta’s World Series championship race. He was then suspended for 20 games under its domestic violence policy in November, allowing him to return for the start of this season.

Ozuna’s pretrial diversion program, which led to the previous charges being dropped, included 3 to 6 months of supervision, a 24-week family violence intervention program, at least 200 hours of community service, and a training course. of anger management.

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