This entire San Diego Union-Tribune profile on Tony Tufano — the motorcyclist run over last spring by former major leaguer Matt Bush — is worth a read. But here’s the part that really sticks out:
Because of the damage his body incurred — because of all the muscles, bones and organs that caught hell in the crash — his every day is filled with pain.
Which makes it all the more remarkable that his heart is filled with mercy.
“People argue with me about this, but I would like to see him make it. I just want to see him straighten his life out,” said Tufano of the man who hit him — a man currently serving a 51-month prison sentence in Jasper, Fla. “He’ll only be 30 when he gets out, and if he can still throw a ball 99 miles an hour, someone will pick him up.”
Bush, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2004 MLB Amateur Draft, was charged with driving under the influence and inflicting serious bodily injury. It was his third DUI and he will be in that Florida prison until 2016.
Tufano, a 74-year-old lifelong marathon enthusiast, will never run or ride a motorcycle again.
Leonys Martin, outfielder for the Seattle Mariners, testified yesterday that he feared for his life after he was smuggled from Cuba by a group of men prosecutors say worked for a sports agent and a baseball trainer currently on trial for human trafficking in Miami.
Martin took the stand at the trial of Bartolo Hernandez and Julio Estrada, who face felony charges. He said that, after getting to Mexico from Cuba, men threatened to take him away. There was a kidnapping attempt against one of the men who had taken him from Cuba as well. Martin said that, eventually, he crossed the U.S.-Mexico border into Texas without any valid papers because his life was in danger and his safety was at risk.
Players like Martin who fled Cuba often hole up in Mexico while waiting to be declared free agents by Major League Baseball. There is pitched competition to sign agreements with the players in question, seeking to obtain promises of a cut of future baseball earnings for their services. Those promises can come under the threat of violence. Eventually, Martin promised to pay Hernandez and Estrada, but ceased paying them later, fomenting a lawsuit from them. In the wake of the suit, the allegations of threats and smuggling arose, leading to this trial.
Martin has been late to Mariners camp as a result of having to testify. He’ll likely report in the next day or so. The trial continues.
Josh Hamilton was already a long shot to make the Texas Rangers roster, but his shot got even longer today, as he left camp to have his reconstructed left knee examined after experiencing pain.
As Jeff Wilson reports, Hamilton felt discomfort in the knee during the Rangers’ first full-squad spring training workout yesterday. Hamilton has had 10 knee operations in career. Which is a lot of knee operations in case you were unaware.
You have to wish good luck to Hamilton, but at the same time you have to be realistic. The guy has not played in the major leagues since 2015 and even then he didn’t play well, hitting .253 with eight home runs and 25 RBIs in 50 games. He appeared in one game last year for Double-A Frisco, on April 30. He’ll be paid $24 million this year, mostly by the Angels. One suspects that this will likewise be his last spring training.