Former Rays prospect Matt Bush is in jail for almost killing a man in a drunken hit-and-run accident last year. Joe Smith of the Tampa Bay Times catches up with Bush’s victim, Tony Tufano:
Tufano, speaking publicly for the first time, said Wednesday that while he doesn’t remember the crash, the pain he feels is a daily reminder. Tufano hopes Bush can turn his life around, but he believes both Bush and the Rays should share some responsibility in what happened.
“He (messed) me up, plain and simple,” Tufano told the Tampa Bay Times. “To put it in a nutshell, and it sounds crazy, but I still feel deformed. I don’t feel like I have the body I had before. … They say, that’s what happened to me. But if that … jerk wasn’t out there drunk, we wouldn’t be talking right now.”
True. I don’t really buy the notion that the Rays have any legal responsibility here and chalk that part up to a lawyer looking for a deep pocket, but Tufano’s anger is understandable. Still, he has some charitable words for Bush, hoping that he uses his time in prison to turn his life around and noting that he’ll still be young when finishes his four year, three months sentence.
Jim Salisbury of CSN Philly reports that the Phillies are close to signing free agent reliever Joaquin Benoit. An announcement is expected before the winter meetings end on Thursday.
Benoit, 39, has quietly been among the better relievers in baseball over the past seven years. This past season with the Mariners and Blue Jays, the right-hander put up an aggregate 2.81 ERA with a 52/24 K/BB ratio in 48 innings. That included a 0.38 ERA in 23 2/3 innings after the Jays acquired him from the Mariners.
Benoit suffered a torn calf muscle during a benches-clearing brawl with the Yankees near the end of the regular season. He’s expected to be healthy for spring training.
The Phillies have now added three relievers this offseason with Benoit, Pat Neshek, and David Rollins.
ESPN’s Pedro Gomez provides a previously unreported detail of the new collective bargaining agreement, agreed to by the owners and the players’ union last week. Players’ meal money for road games is being reduced from $105 to $30 per day. Teams are providing pre- and post-game meals in the visitors’ clubhouse to offset some of the decrease in meal money.
Gomez quotes an unnamed player who said, “I doubt many guys know about the money going down, nor would they have agreed to it.” All of the players Gomez contacted said they were unaware of and unhappy about the change.
Clubhouse attendants are certainly unhappy about this change, too. As Gomez notes, the attendants previously provided food for visiting teams which earned them tips from the players.
EDIT: It’s worth clarifying that chefs are required in clubhouses now as part of the new CBA, so it’s not a complete loss for the players.