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Four Mets Minor Leaguers Arrested

April 16, 1998

NEW YORK (AP) _ Four minor league players in the New York Mets organization have been arrested on sex charges at the team’s training camp in Port St. Lucie, Fla., the major league club said Wednesday.

The four _ outfielder Vincente Rosario, shortstop Jose Tucent Brea, shortstop Ruddi De La Cruz, and pitcher Natividad Tavarez _ were participating in the team’s extended spring training program when they were arrested Tuesday.

General manager Steve Phillips disclosed the arrests following the Mets’ 2-1 victory over the Chicago Cubs on Wednesday night.

``There is an ongoing investigation of an alleged incident Tuesday in Port St. Lucie involving several minor league players,″ Phillips said.

``Because of this investigation and because all the facts are not known, I won’t comment on the specifics. There is a system in place to investigate these charges and we respect the rights of all involved and will allow the system to run its course.″

Rosario, 20, a native of New York City, was the Mets’ eighth round pick in the 1997 amateur draft and played in the instructional league last season.

Brea, 18, De La Cruz, 19, and Tavarez, 18, all signed as non-drafted free agents. Brea batted .321 in 58 games with the Dominican Mets last year, De La Cruz batted .429 in the instructional league and Tavarez was 5-2 for the Dominican Mets.

This spring, Mets outfielder Bernard Gilkey was arrested on drunk driving charges in Port St. Lucie.

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