Matt Bush sighting

imageEvery team has former players whose name elicits visceral reactions when that player is named (just say “Carl Pavano” to a Yankees fan for the fun of seeing his/her face turn various colors).  For us Rays fans, it’s mostly players whose personal lives have made us embarrassed they were ever on “our” team.  We understood why they were signed–personal baggage means low cost contract, but we don’t like it.

One of those names has been Matt Bush.  This AM, I saw a small entry in the Dallas Morning News–Matt Bush struck out 6 in 2 innings to earn his third save of the season for the AA Frisco RoughRiders, a Rangers affiliate.(http://sportsday.dallasnews.com/texas-rangers/rangers/2016/04/27/rangers-minor-league-report-matt-bush-strikes-six-two-innings-pedro-payano-throws-one-hitter).  My first reaction was to question if it was the same guy, but a quick Google search showed it was.  The second reaction was, of course, that it’s hard to do better than striking out six guys in two innings.  It seems that some Texas Rangers scout found him in a restaurant parking lot where he was working while staying in a halfway house after his prison release late last year, and the organization’s FO decided to take a chance on him since he still has a high 90’s heater.

Just a quick recap on his career to date, in case you’ve forgotten…  He was the first pick of the 2004 draft by the Padres.  He got suspended before ever playing a game after a fight outside an AZ bar.  After that he toiled in obscurity and deal twith injuries in the Padres’ farm system.  At one point he committed a drunken assault on a high schooler that was caught on film.  In Feb 2009, he was sent to the Blue Jays.  In Mar 2009, he got drunk and threw a ball at a woman’s head.  The Jays ditched him, and he signed with the Rays.  He worked his way up to AAA Durham, the highest level at which he’s played.  Then, on Mar 22, 2012, he borrowed teammate Brandon Guyer’s SUV, got drunk, hit a 72-year-old motorcyclist, ran over his head (he lived), and fled the scene.  He got 51 months for that…and served that term until his release this past fall/winter.

That same Google search I mentioned above also uncovered an extensive write up this month by ESPN about him.  (http://espn.go.com/mlb/story/_/id/15147918/the-story-texas-rangers-prospect-matt-bush-rediscovery-unlikely-comeback).  He has apparently stayed sober since 2012.

The Rangers certainly have experience in trying to help addicts/alcoholics try to turn their careers around.  The ESPN article makes it sound like he’s got a good support system in place.  It’ll be quite a story if he does get to the big leagues finally, but the far more important part will be staying on the right path to have a productive and sober life in or out of baseball.  I sincerely wish him good luck.

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7 thoughts on “Matt Bush sighting

  1. Really good write-up. Thanks for sharing that. I too hope he can get his life together, whether that means in baseball or not. Hopefully the Rangers’ experience with Josh Hamilton and Ron Washington allow them to give him the support and help he needs.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Thanks for the update.

    Whatever the Rangers have going, whatever support system, it is obviously a good thing. Not because it produces good ball players, but because it helps these guys get their lives back together. Perhaps MLB can help other teams replicate it.

    The 72 year old man Bush hurt wants him to succeed. He holds no ill will.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I haven’t taken a sip of beer yet but… shiver, after reading the article… I may have to decline the offer if someone invites me for a drink that has some alcohol content. I’ll go with the Iced tea instead.

    Liked by 2 people

    • It’s too late for the rest of us Ren. Save yourself. 🙂

      Seriously, the choice to drink should not be taken lightly, for many reasons. Bush is just an extreme case of what can go wrong.

      Liked by 1 person

    • There is absolutely nothing wrong with having a drink or two on occasion. I enjoy alcohol responsibly as have countless others since longer than anyone can really say. But as with anything, you have to do so in moderation. I recently dealt with someone who lost their job due to a video game addiction. I’ve seen countless people suffer from various drug addictions, including many legal prescription medications. That doesn’t mean we should stop prescribing Vicodin. When properly taken, and responsibly used, medications are very useful for a variety of ailments. Yes there is a percentage of people who are unable to properly moderate their usage of alcohol, and yes it’s a terribly sad illness. Those people deserve our compassion and help whenever possible. But keep in mind, you only hear stories about people who have problems. There’s never a headline that reads “Man has one beer at bar. Goes home safely.” So, don’t be afraid of enjoying a beverage, but make sure you are doing so responsibly. There is a reason there are age limits on alcohol, not only due to ensuring the person is properly physically and mentally developed, but in the hopes that the person is responsible enough to make the decision if to drink and more importantly, when to stop drinking. Don’t make the decision not to drink solely biased on the bad experiences of others. If I lived my life that way, I’d never drive, watch tv, play a game, use the internet, have sex, or any other wonderful things in life. Use responsibly, don’t drink and drive, drink with friends or family who care about you and can take care of you, and start with one drink and see how you respond. Of course, if you have a history of alcoholism in your family, you should proceed with an added level of caution as that sadly, can be a genetic disease.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Ren, my friend, I understand where you are coming from. I come from a long line of folks who can’t handle their alcohol consumption. For them, it is a compulsion and a terrible sickness. One isn’t enough for them. And they don’t drink in moderation in the least. They drink to get absolutely shit faced, which is not the way to do it.

      I rarely drink. I had some wine about two months ago. In fact, I think I probably have a drink maybe every two to three months, tops. And generally it’s nothing more than one hard cider or maybe two glasses of wine with dinner. If I never drank again, it wouldn’t be a hardship for me, because my socialization (as it is) is not based on bar hopping or club going, and also because I don’t like the taste of most alcohol. Cider and wine, along with a few different liquors (very few) are what I drink .

      However, on the rare occasions I do drink, I take the following precautions, which I recommend you do when/if you decide you want to have a drink or two. Always always, if you are concerned about the effect that beer/wine/a cocktail will have on you, ask for a glass of water with your alcoholic beverage. Have a little bit of food with it. Food and water will lessen the effect that the alcohol will have on you both during and after drinking. If you want to limit yourself, just have one. Seriously. I’ve been out with people who have literally drank about four times the amount that I have, and while I personally feel awkward, I doubt anyone else has ever really looked at me any differently. Nurse that bottle of cider as long as you possibly can and again, drink water.

      NEVER drink because you feel pressured to do so. If you feel pressure to drink and you don’t want to, please say no. Only do it because you WANT to. If you never want to, this does not make you any less of a person, any less fun, or even a prude. It only means that you don’t want to, and in life our personal choice is all we have.

      If you never feel like you want to, that’s okay. You can join me in the can of Coke section of the ballpark. But if you do want to, just be sure to do it smartly. Don’t drink alone, especially when you’re trying it for the first time. And please, drink with people who are also responsible. If you’re going to be with the ones who are puking in the sink of their dorm rooms, those aren’t the people to do it.

      Regardless – it’s your choice. And your choice, and your reasons for that choice, are valid no matter what. But I promise you, if you are concerned about becoming a statistic because of alcohol, you will be diligent enough to know when to stop, and what your limit is. I am. I am confident that you will be, too.

      Liked by 2 people

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