FanDuel - WFBC

March 26, 2012

Only Two Number One Picks in History Have Never Made the Majors: For 2004 number one pick Matt Bush, this summer would be when he finally joined his peers in cracking the major leagues. His long-standing battle with alcoholism, however, had other ideas.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia to baseball at 10:58 PM - 11 comments

Yikes. The blame for all of this lies with Bush, but it's a shame the Rays didn't tell his spring training roommate Bush didn't have a license to drive. They put all this time into making him another Josh Hamilton, but they didn't prepare the people around him on how to deal with an alcoholic.

posted by rcade at 11:24 PM on March 26

At least the prior ONLY ever pick to not make it isn't alone in that category.

Who was that exactly? Didn't read the article as life is depressing enough.

posted by Drood at 04:51 AM on March 27

Brien Taylor, Yankees pick who ruined his arm in a bar fight.

posted by yerfatma at 09:00 AM on March 27

The blame for all of this lies with Bush, but it's a shame the Rays didn't tell his spring training roommate Bush didn't have a license to drive.

Did the article say they knew? I don't think the Rays should have signed him unless they tested him for alcohol on some kind of regular basis. It just doesn't read to me like he was clean until that final incident.

posted by bperk at 09:27 AM on March 27

it's a shame the Rays didn't tell his spring training roommate Bush didn't have a license to drive. They put all this time into making him another Josh Hamilton, but they didn't prepare the people around him on how to deal with an alcoholic.

Agreed, with one thing to add. The Rays (ditto for the Padres and Blue Jays) cannot be made that accountable to the point where they need to hold his teammates accountable for keeping an eye on him. A similar topic to this has been discussed in SpoFi before: how far does a professional ball franchise go to protect a player from himself, especially if they've invested millions for him to play for them? Granted, we've agreed that the Rays arguably didn't do enough, but how far CAN you go with Matt Bush, who's proven himself to be an extreme case?

Even so, I feel for Bush and for the family of the man on the motorcycle he hit.

At least the prior ONLY ever pick to not make it isn't alone in that category.
Who was that exactly? Didn't read the article as life is depressing enough.

Brien Taylor, Yankees pick who ruined his arm in a bar fight.

Also, catching prospect Steve Chilcott for the Mets, who simply dealt with too many injuries.

posted by NerfballPro at 09:43 AM on March 27

The Rays might not have known about his suspended license, but they should have been aware he had three DUIs before he signed with them. I don't think the team should've held people around Bush accountable for his behavior, but making them aware of his alcohol and DUI problems to the point that he wouldn't be loaned a car seems reasonable. A Rays exec said they had a support system in place for Bush given his past problems. The Rangers made coach Johnny Narron the "accountability partner" of Josh Hamilton.

Because he loaned Bush his car, teammate Brandon Guyer faces civil liability for the injuries to the motorcyclist, who's still hospitalized.

posted by rcade at 10:23 AM on March 27

The Rays probably were aware of his prior alcohol problems, but what should they have done with that information? Warn people around him to never to let him drive? I don't think the Rays could have expected something like this to happen. Maybe if they knew he started drinking again that would have been a reasonable course of action. Since Bush got the booze after he had the car, Guyer couldn't have expected him to do what he did. Just tragic and I hope Tufano is okay.

posted by bperk at 11:45 AM on March 27

It just doesn't read to me like he was clean until that final incident.

If you know any recovering alcoholics, sadly that is how it does usually go, just like drug addicts that relapse, they could be good for years, anmd one little incident leads to a full blown derailment. Who was the center for the Raiders that missed the Super Bowl because he ended up in Tiawana all messed up the day before. At some point, the pressure hits you, you have a drink and then well I had one, may as well have two.....Well i am already drunk, may as well get smashed and i will start over tomorrow.......jail

posted by Debo270 at 12:53 PM on March 27

Bush is just like all the other drunks I know. Just replace baseball player with doctor, banker, clerk, or homeless and it's the same story with different dollars.

I've seen them come and go. Everyone either ends up sober, jailed, institutionalized, or dead.

I have twenty years of sobriety and experience screaming at me that this how it is...

I don't feel sorry for Bush or his enablers, just the trail of victims he's left in his wake. God bless Tony Tufano and his family and may Matt Bush some day find peace.

posted by NEPABob at 05:49 PM on March 28

I've seen them come and go. Everyone either ends up sober, jailed, institutionalized, or dead.

I think that's pretty much everyone on earth, isn't it?

posted by grum@work at 06:52 PM on March 28

"Alcoholism is the only disease you can get yelled at for having."

- Mitch Hedberg

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 12:48 AM on March 29

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