Rockies owner Charlie Monfort was arrested for DUI

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Rockies co-owner Charlie Monfort was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence late Monday night. It happened about an hour north of Denver. There are no details about the circumstances of his arrest yet. But both he and his brother, Rockies co-owner Dick Monfort, have issued statements. Here’s Charlie:

“I’m extremely disappointed in myself for the decision I made to drink and drive and the potential risk I caused to other innocent people. I do understand the seriousness of my behavior and the issues that I am facing and I’m committed to do what’s necessary to deal with my problem.”

And Dick:

“As troubling and intolerable as these actions are, I can tell you that I’m focused on helping Charlie get the resources he needs to overcome this problem.”

This was not Charlie’s first arrest for DUI. He was charged with DUI in 1999, but he ended up pleading it down to a lesser charge.  And this is not his first recent incident in which alcohol may have been a factor: n September, Monfort got into a dispute in the clubhouse at Coors Field with Denver Post columnist Mark Kiszla, who reported there was alcohol on Monfort’s breath. Kiszla’s story is here.

Charlie Monfort has been phased out of day-to-day operations for the Rockies for a couple of years. There is probably a good reason for that.

Mariners sign Ichiro to a minor league deal

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USA Today’s Bob Nightengale reports that the Mariners will sign Ichiro Suzuki to a minor-league deal. If he makes the roster he’ll make $750,000. At least until he retires.

I say that because it seems quite clear that the idea here, telegraphed since last season, is to activate Ichiro for the Mariners’ series against the Oakland Athletics in Tokyo on March 20-21 and for hoopla surrounding it all. The Mariners and A’s will have a 28-man roster for that series, which is officially part of the regular season schedule, but it will be pared back down to 25 once games begin in the United States.

Suzuki, 45, hit .205/.255/.205 in 47 plate appearances through May 2 last season, at which point he agreed to be deactivated to join the Mariners’ front office. Many assumed Ichiro would announce his retirement later that season or during the offseason, but the Japan Series soon crystalized as an obvious way for him to offer his final farewell to both his American and his Japanese fans.

Unless of course he goes 6-10 with three doubles in that series, at which point everyone will be tempted to keep him on the roster past Japan. Which, given the Mariners’ rebuild and likely poor performance this coming season, wouldn’t exactly be hurting anyone, would it?