Archive for Drunken Yankees
Left-handed pitching prospect Omar Luis was arrested for driving under the influence in Tampa early Friday morning, reports the Tampa Tribune. It took two police cars to pull him over after he drove the wrong way down not one, but two one-way streets. He registered a 0.102 blood-alcohol level compared to the 0.08 legal limit. Luis was released after posting bail.
The Yankees signed the 21-year-old southpaw in July 2012 for $2.5M, their final big money international signing before the new spending restrictions were implemented. He originally agreed to a $4M bonus, but it was reduced after something popped up in his physical. Luis defected from Cuba two years ago and made his pro debut in the Rookie Level Gulf Coast League last summer. DUI is very bad and hopefully he is punished accordingly.
12:09pm: The police said Williams showed “clues of impairment” and was driving 50-53 mph in a 40 mph zone according to Mark Feinsand.
12:00pm: Via Greg Auman: Top outfield prospect Mason Williams was arrested in Tampa early Thursday morning on a misdemeanor DUI charge. He was pulled over after weaving and speeding at 2:45am, then he failed a field sobriety test. His blood alcohol level was under the 0.08 threshold in Florida, however.
Williams, 21, is hitting .271/.400/.371 (130 wRC+) in 18 games for High-A Tampa so far this year. He missed the second half of last season after having surgery to repair a shoulder injury suffered while diving for a ball. I ranked him as the team’s second best prospect a few weeks ago, but Baseball America had him in the top spot. Don’t drink and drive, kids.
Via Dan Mangan, right-hander Michael Pineda was arrested for driving under the influence in Tampa early this morning. The 23-year-old has been rehabbing from his labrum surgery down at the team’s Spring Training complex all summer.
“(He) had a fixed gaze and his eyes were bloodshot, watery and glassy … I could smell a distinct odor of an alcoholic beverage coming from his breath, and his speech was slurred,” said the arresting officer. There’s nothing really to add here, Pineda’s an idiot and deserves whatever punishment he gets. Driving drunk is about as inexcusable as it gets.
Via Westport Now, Bob Lorenz of the YES Network was arrested in Connecticut yesterday for driving under the influence. Police found him asleep at the wheel — with the car still in drive — while stopped at an intersection. Thankfully no one was hurt. Lorenz does mostly studio work for YES, but also handles in-game play-by-play on occasion. I’ve enjoyed his work, but DUI is pretty much the worst thing ever, and there’s a chance he’ll lose his job over it.
Via Marc Carig, Yanks’ prospect Brandon Laird was arrested (along with his brother, Tigers’ catcher Gerald Laird) at U.S. Airways Arena in Phoenix following last night’s Suns-Celtics game. Gerald was cited with assaulting a security guard, Brandon with disorderly conduct following a brawl in the lounge area of the arena. A third person was also arrested.
Laird is (at least) the fourth Yankee farmhand to get in trouble for beatin’ someone down within the last three years, joining George Kontos, Austin Krum, and J.B. Cox. Hey, at least they aren’t stealing laptops from schools.
T-Kep writes about reliever Scott Proctor, who has admitted to alcohol abuse while with the Yankees and said it affected his performance at times. Mariano Rivera urged the righty to straighten his life out, but it wasn’t until recently that Proctor actually did. Although the team hasn’t admitted as much, it sounds like his off-the-field activities factored in to the decision to trade him back in 2007. The most important thing is that Proctor, married with three young children, has finally gotten his life back together. Currently out with Tommy John surgery, Proctor said he’d love to rejoin the Yanks when he’s heathy. (h/t Pinto)
There’s nothing like a good DUI mugshot and video to spur on some high-n-mighty moralizing from the New York League of Self-Important Spots Writers.
First, the details: The Smoking Gun finally released the mug shot and video of Joba’s October arrest. I’ve been waiting to see this for months, and well, it’s what you would expect. Joba is dressed, as Deadspin noted, like a mime, and in the video, embedded below, he tries to buddy up with the cop.
As anyone with an open container in their car and a BAC well over the minimum would do, Joba first tries to play the Yankee card. “Obviously, I play for the Yankees,” he says to the unimpressed trooper. He claims New Yorkers aren’t polite and notes that Yogi Berra is short. I had no idea.
It is, in other words, your typical arrest video, but that shouldn’t let anyone from making more out of it than that! Of course not!
In his second-dumbest column this week, Wallace Matthews relates Joba’s arrest to his role in the rotation. While not quite saying that Joba should be pitching the 8th because he was arrested for drunk driving, Matthews really wants to make that argument.
The best moral rant though comes to us from Joel Sherman. He is concerned, so very concerned about Joba’s future:
It isn’t pretty. But ultimately it will go to the recesses of the mind, unless this video is about something more than a bad night in the life of Joba Chamberlain. There were organizations who bypassed Chamberlain’s 98 mph fastball in the 2006 draft for reasons beyond physical concerns. He comes from a broken home, and his mother was a self-professed drug abuser. Chamberlain also did a pretty quick turn from unknown right-hander to Broadway star. That could create trouble for even the most level-headed kid.
Members of the Yankee organization will admit that all of this gives them some concern. But they also say they think well of Chamberlain, that they sense an athlete with passion to honor his gifts. And it is not as if the Yanks have diminished the responsibility they’ve placed on that talented, fragile shoulder of Chamberlain…
When it comes to Chamberlain, we have always wondered if his body will withstand his violent delivery, all the skeletal cruelties that come with hurling a baseball that fast. But that video released yesterday will make you wonder if that is all that can curtail Joba on the way to being an ace.
Joba, all of 23, made a really bad inexcusable mistake when he drove drunk last year. What he did could cause more harm to other people than anything Alex Rodriguez ever injected into his body, and he doesn’t deserve a pass for it. The Yankees should make sure that Joba understands his responsibilities not just as a baseball player and role model but as a regular member of society who shouldn’t be driving under any influence.
That sad, Matthews, Sherman and their ilk are way out of line. Joba’s arrest isn’t a metaphor for anything. It’s not a sign that he can’t handle success. It’s not a sign that he should be pitching the 8th (and neither, for that matter, was Monday’s bullpen meltdown). It’s a mistake that shouldn’t have been made by someone who is, after all, fallible like the rest of us. Why can’t we just leave it at that?
Joba Chamberlain pleaded guilty to his DUI charge in Nebraska earlier today, and was sentenced to probation of unknown length. As part of a plea bargain, the second charge of driving with an open alchohol container was dropped in exchange for the guilty plea. He’ll meet the team back in New York today, and will probably beat them there.
Update (1:40pm): He got nine months probation.
Via Jim Baumbach, Darryl Strawberry has a few words of caution for Joba regarding his DUI arrest. Strawman, who’s problems are well documented and impacted what could have been a Hall of Fame career, suggests he seek out The Captain for advice because Jeter’s mastered the art of being a superstar in New York. I’ve said this before but I’ll say it again: Joba’s rise to stardom in NY was meteoric, but the fall from grace could be even swifter. Hopefully he realizes this. (h/t Seamus)
From the self-proclaimed World Wide Leader:
“I want to apologize to the New York Yankees and the fans for an error in judgment and for putting myself in a difficult situation,” Chamberlain said in a statement released by his agent, Randy Hendricks. “I intend to properly resolve this situation, and do not intend to be in such a situation again. My goal is to focus on pitching for the Yankees in the 2009 season.”
The article goes on to say that Joba’s blood-alcohol level was unknown, and paperwork will be prepared Monday to determine what charges will be filed, if any. As reader Ben B. pointed out last night, there’s a mandatory minimum of 7 days in jail if found guilty, however he could receive less punishment if he’s put on probation.
Joba’s rise to borderline superstardom for the Yankees was meteoric, but a fall from grace can be even swifter. Hopefully Joba realizes this and learns from the mistake. This kind of behavior is inexcusable for anyone, especially someone with countless children looking up to him. Hopefully Harlan lays the smack down, and this is a one-time incident.