Danny Duffy’s DUI arrest, which we learned about a few hours ago, is — like all drunk driving incidents — a serious matter. The circumstances of his arrest, however, were . . . somewhat amusing? If that’s too much to say about a situation that could’ve resulted in someone’s injury or death, OK, that’s too much to say. But we can certainly say that the circumstances were . . . less than dignified.
According to Kevin Kietzman of Sports Radio 810 WHB in Kansas City, Duffy was passed out, or at least asleep, in the drive-through at a Burger King. His foot was on the brake with the car in neutral. An employee reached into the car and put it in park and then they called the police. When Duffy heard the police sirens he woke up and rather clumsily tried to climb into the passenger seat and attempted to get one of the other customers nearby to climb into the driver’s seat, presumably to make it appear as though he wasn’t drunk behind the wheel. Needless to say the gambit was not successful. He did not have it his way at Burger King is what I’m saying.
Duffy is expected to go on 810 WHB this afternoon and read a statement, but he’s not going to take questions. That’s probably OK, because all of this sounds pretty self-explanatory by now.
The Blue Jays have shut down left fielder Steve Pearce for the remainder of the season following a lingering case of lower back stiffness. Pearce has not appeared in a game since September 8, when he was forced to exit in the first inning after experiencing back pain during his at-bat. Per Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet.ca, he’s scheduled to return to Florida next week, where he’ll receive epidural injections to address the pain.
Pearce, 34, impressed in his first season with Toronto. He battled through a calf injury during the first half of the season and finished the year with a modest .252/.319/.438 batting line, 13 home runs and a .757 OPS through 348 PA. By September, the Blue Jays started testing the waters with outfield prospect Teoscar Hernandez, who shouldered the bulk of the starts in left field after Pearce was sidelined with back issues.
With the Blue Jays all but eliminated from playoff contention, however, there’s no rush to get Pearce back to the outfield. He should be in fine shape to compete for another starting role in spring, and could face stiff competition from Hernandez if the rookie continues building on his .278 average and three home runs this month. The veteran outfielder is slated to receive the remaining $6.25 million on his contract in 2018 and will be eligible for free agency in 2019.
Brewers’ minor league infielder Julio Mendez remains in “critical but stable condition,” club GM David Stearns announced Friday. Back in August, Mendez suffered a cardiac event after he was inadvertently struck by a ball from the Angels’ Austin Krzeminksi during a game between the rookie-level affiliates. The 20-year-old was removed to a Phoenix-area hospital for treatment following the incident and has recently been transferred to a hospital in his native Venezuela.
Mendez was in his fourth season with the Brewers’ organization. He spent the majority of his 2017 run with the rookie-level AZL Brewers, slashing .255/.294/.355 with 10 extra-base hits, 16 RBI and four stolen bases over 119 plate appearances. He currently holds a career .241/.324/.309 batting line, 33 extra bases and a .633 OPS through 668 PA.
Baseball is still on the back burner, however, as Mendez appears to have made little progress nearly a month following the hit by pitch. Thoughts go out to his family during this difficult time.