Matt Bush arrested for DUI, property damage, fleeing scene

25 Comments

UPDATE: It just gets worse. Bush’s BAC was .180 following the accident. This article is downright sad, too. Asked by police if this was a wakeup call for Bush, he said “already been there, made comments “about having “a serious alcohol problem and said how he “will be unable to play baseball.”

UPDATE, Thursday, 11:48 PM: It gets worse. Much worse. According to a local NBC affiliate, Bush is responsible for a hit and run on a 72-year-old motorcyclist. “Literally the tire on the SUV ran over the driver’s head,” said a witness to the crash. “Without the helmet, the gentleman would have been dead instantly.”

Thursday, 11:39 PM: Matt Bush is again in serious legal trouble.

According to Roger Mooney of the Tampa Tribune, the former No. 1 overall pick (by the Padres in 2004) was arrested Thursday evening in Florida for driving under the influence, driving with a suspended-or-revoked license, fleeing the scene of a crime with an injury and — to top it all off — property damage.

Bush has been trying to revitalize his career as a reliever in the Rays’ minor league system. But it seems likely that Tampa Bay’s decision-makers will opt to cut ties with him in the coming days.

The 26-year-old former shortstop has been in legal trouble throughout his professional baseball career. He was suspended shortly after being drafted by the Padres in ’04 for his role in a night club brawl in Arizona. And in the winter of 2009, he allegedly assaulted a couple of high school lacrosse players in the San Diego area while intoxicated:

A witness, who requested his name not be used because of the ongoing police investigation, said Bush was drunk, threw a golf club into the dirt, picked up and threw a freshman lacrosse player and hit another one. Bush also yelled “I’m Matt (expletive) Bush,” and “(expletive) East County,” before driving over a curb in his Mercedes when leaving the campus, according to the witness.

Bush registered a 4.83 ERA and 77/27 K/BB ratio in 50 1/3 innings last season at Double-A Montgomery.

******************


Report: Mike Trout as recognizable to Americans as NBA’s Kenneth Faried

Rob Carr/Getty Images
1 Comment

On Monday, the Washington Post cited Q Scores, a firm that measures consumer appeal of personalities, with regard to Angels outfielder Mike Trout. According to Q Scores, Trout is as recognized to Americans as NBA forward Kenneth Faried, who has spent seven seasons with the Denver Nuggets and is now a reserve with the Brooklyn Nets. Trout’s score was 22, which means just over one in five Americans know who he is.

We have talked here at various times about Trout’s lack of marketability. He has expressed zero interest in being marketed as the face of baseball. Additionally, based on the nature of the sport, it’s harder for baseball to aggressively market its stars since star players don’t impact teams the same way they do in other sports. LeBron James, for example, carries whatever team he’s on to the NBA Finals. James has appeared in the NBA Finals every year dating back to 2011. Trout, despite being far and away the best active player in baseball and one of the best players of all time, has only reached the postseason once, in 2014 when his Angels were swept in the ALDS by the Royals. Trout can’t carry his team to the playoffs and his team hasn’t helped him any in getting there on a regular basis.

Baseball is also more of a regional sport. Fans follow their local team, of course, and don’t really venture beyond that even though games are broadcast nationally throughout the week. The NFL schedule is much shorter and occurs once a week, so fans put aside time to watch not just their favorite team’s game, but other games of interest as well. A June game between the subpar White Sox and Tigers doesn’t have much appeal to it since it’s one of 162 games for both teams, and both teams will play again later in the season. Comparatively, a game between the Bears and Lions has more intrigue since they only play twice a year.

It’s kind of a shame for baseball that Trout isn’t bigger than he is because he is a once-in-a-generation talent, like Ken Griffey Jr. In fact, Trout is so good that he’s still underrated. He’s on pace to have one of the greatest seasons of all-time, going by Wins Above Replacement. Despite that, he’s anything but a lock to win the MVP Award at season’s end because the narratives around other players, like Mookie Betts, are more compelling.

Trout’s marketability is an issue that isn’t likely to be fixed anytime soon. Trout is who he is and forcing him to ham it up for the cameras would come off as forced and unnatural. Major League Baseball will simply have to hope its other stars, like Betts and Bryce Harper, can help broaden the appeal of the sport.