Monday, March 26, 2012
Spring training DUIsPosted by Mat Kovach
They are almost as popular as spring training elbow injuries. This spring Alex White, Matt Bush, and Bobby Jenks have all been arrested and charged with at least drinking while driving.
- Alex White—Extreme DUI, twice the legal limit
- Matt Bush—Injury to man on motorcycle.
- Bobby Jenks—Hit a parked car.
Now, I am not here to preach about driving while under the influence. Where the question lies is who should be responsible for putting things in place to stop it.
All major league teams, reportedly, will provide transportation for the players, several practically begging the players to call the team if they need a ride. I question whether baseball can do more than that. I don't see Bud Selig and the owners imposing some conduct policy on the players. That's not just because the players union will rightfully be against it. The league and the owners know that imposing a conduct policy on the players would only bring resistance and resentment from the players. They can just look toward the NFL and see the reactions to the personal conduct policy imposed by the commissioner.
MLB has learned that this type of issue should be addressed by the players association. It only makes sense. The employer—here the team—will provide a ride. The MLBPA needs to start working with the players, and if needed, recommending enhancements to the collective bargaining agreement to include punishment for this type of conduct. In the end, it is the players who look bad, not baseball.
This is a real test for the MLBPA. The spring training DUI issue gives the union a chance to address an issue for the league. Major League Baseball and the MLBPA have grown to be fairly cooperative in recent years, to the benefit of baseball. I wonder if the union now is willing to take steps to address an issue before an event happens that forces the league to step in.
Indians fan, member of the Duane Kuiper Fan Club, Spitball Researcher, Contact me on twitter, @siddfinch, via email or avian carrier