Bobby Jenks

Bobby Jenks opens up about brush with death, painkiller addiction


Bobby Jenks helped etch his name in history as part of the 2005 world champion White Sox roster. It seemed like the sky was the limit for the right-hander, who struck out 50 and unintentionally walked 12 in 39 1/3 innings in 2005, his rookie campaign. By 2009 and 2010, his effectiveness had been lost and the White Sox didn’t make an effort to keep him around, instead allowing him to walk into free agency. The Red Sox snapped him up for the 2011 season. Jenks suffered a pulmonary embolism, serious in and of itself, but it also delayed surgery on his back.

Jenks opened up to CSN Chicago about what happened back then, including a brush with death and an addiction to painkillers. The whole thing is worth your time, but here is a selection:

“I ended up opening myself up in two different spots in my spine and I was leaking spinal fluid very heavily about a week after my surgery. I didn’t realize it at the time until I went to go sit down on the couch, it literally felt that one of my kids was behind me and had dumped a glass of water down my back.”

What the former White Sox star didn’t know was just how bad the problem really was.

“My back was literally like a faucet left on and fluid was just coming out. I went to see a few doctor friends in Arizona and they immediately told me, ‘go to the emergency room right now’ and I went in for emergency that night (with Dr. Chris Young). Without that I could’ve gone to bed that night and not woken up.”

Thankfully, Jenks is better now and he’s been sober for 18 months. In addition, Jenks says he would like to attempt to pitch his way back into the big leagues before he officially calls it quits.

Bobby Jenks was in rehab when the Red Sox cut ties with him last season

Bobby Jenks

Evan Drellich of reports that when the Red Sox and Bobby Jenks went their separate ways last July, the veteran reliever was in the middle of a 45-day stay at a luxury rehab clinic in Malibu, California.

Jenks was admitted to the clinic on June 7,  nearly 10 weeks after he was arrested and charged with a DUI in Fort Myers, Florida. In the incident report, Jenks claimed that he “took too many muscle relaxers.”

The Red Sox reached a contract settlement with Jenks before releasing him on July 3. He then left the clinic two weeks later.

The DUI charge was settled in December after Jenks pleaded no contest to reckless driving and hitting a parked car. He was required to complete a rehab program as part of his probation.

Jenks signed a two-year, $12 million contract with the Red Sox in December of 2010, but he ended up making only 19 appearances with the club. The 32-year-old didn’t pitch at all last season following multiple back surgeries and a pulmonary embolism in his lung. He is currently unsigned.

The Red Sox cut ties with Bobby Jenks

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They’ve been talking about parting ways, and now they have: The Red Sox announced today that have reached a contract termination settlement with Bobby Jenks and have given him his unconditional release.

It was a two-year, $12 million deal that saw Jenks pitch in 19 games, suffer a horrible back injury and then experience what may very well have been some horrible medical malpractice. Then Jenks went and got popped for drunk driving.

Now they go their separate ways. Ending those troubled times, caught between confusions and pain, pain, pain.

The Red Sox and Bobby Jenks are working on a contract settlement

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In terms of its size it’s nothing close to being the worst contract ever, but it’s harder to remember a deal where the team got less back in performance than the Red Sox have on the Bobby Jenks contract.

After signing a two-year, $12 million deal, Jenks has pitched a total of fifteen and two-thirds innings, all last year, to the tune of a 6.32 ERA. Then he had back surgery which was certainly fraught with complications and allegedly botched. Then this winter he was busted for a DUI.  Now, it seems, everyone is preparing to part ways:

The Red Sox and embattled reliever Bobby Jenks have been trying to work out a settlement of the righthander’s contract, according to a major league source.

I’m not sure what incentive Jenks would have to settle for anything less than the amount he’s owed under his deal. Sure, he had the DUI but that isn’t what’s keeping him from pitching, it’s his totally screwed up back.  Seems like any settlements to be had would be between the Sox, their insurers and the insurers for the doctors who operated on Jenks to decide who pays him what’s left on his deal.

Bobby Jenks on DUI: “I am embarrassed and apologize”

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Red Sox right-hander Bobby Jenks issued a short written statement Sunday afternoon about his ugly Friday morning DUI arrest. Boston Herald beat writer Scott Lauber provides the text:

“I am embarrassed by the situation and apologize to my teammates and to the Red Sox organization for any distractions I may have caused. I still need to let the legal process run its course and until it does, I will not be able to make any further comment.”

Jenks is being charged with driving under the influence, hit and run and three counts of property damage.

He underwent multiple back surgeries this winter and is not expected to be ready for major league action until the middle of the 2012 regular season. Not that any of that stuff particularly matters right now.