We noted back in October that 2004 No. 1 overall pick Matt Bush was released from prison after serving nearly three years in jail for severely injuring a 72-year-old man while driving drunk. Speculating on his baseball future was secondary at the time, but the Rangers announced yesterday that they signed the 29-year-old to a minor league contract.
Bush hasn’t played since 2011, but Thomas Harding of MLB.com reports that he was clocked at 95 mph during recent bullpen sessions. The Rangers intend to have a zero-tolerance policy with him in regard to alcohol and driving. His father, Danny, must also live with him during spring training and the season. Bush appears determined to turn his life around and make the most out of his second chance.
“My dad has always cared for me, no matter what. All the issues that I’d had, all the struggles, the pain that I’ve put him and my mom and my family through, as well. I went to his retirement party just the other day, and the people at his work, they say, ‘We seem to know all about you.’ My dad tells them the good and the bad. I appreciate and see that he cares for me, and I respect him for that.”
“My future is as bright as I make it,” Bush said. “I feel renewed after all the time I served and had time to think things through — the agony of destroying my life and the lives of others.”
Bush is aiming to make the Rangers’ Double-A affiliate in Frisco, Texas.