5 Most Embarrassing Baseball Arrests in Recent History
The old adage says that nobody's perfect, but the statement doesn't seem to apply to professional athletes. Whenever someone in this group gets arrested, it becomes a publicity nightmare and, in most cases, they end up facing public scrutiny for the rest of their lives.
In the baseball world, where most of the players are usually considered to be Boy Scouts from a moral standpoint (excluding the steroid users, that is), there have actually been more than a few arrests that have left both the players and the public shaking their heads in shame.
For example, when pitchers Juan Carlos Oviedo and Roberto Hernandez Heredia (known to fans as Leo Nunez and Fausto Carmona) were caught using false names, it was a black mark on the history of the game and fans were both shocked and disappointed.
Here are five arrests in recent MLB history that, if at all possible, us fans would rather forget.
No. 5: Dwight Gooden's 2006 Probation Violation
Gooden has dealt with drug addiction all his life, having been suspended for it for a majority of the 1994 season and all of the 1995 campaign. Still, he came back in 1996 and managed to play for five more years.
Unfortunately, his addiction demons continued to follow him in retirement, most notably in 2006. He showed up high on cocaine to a meeting with his probation officer, and when given the option of prison or extended probation, he chose prison. He spent seven months there, and apart from a DWI arrest in 2010, he has mostly stayed out of trouble.
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No. 4: Darryl Strawberry Gets Caught with Cocaine in 1999
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In 1998, Strawberry had a resurgent season for the New York Yankees. He hit .247 with 24 homers and 57 RBI, his highest totals in the latter two categories since 1991. He missed the entire postseason undergoing treatment for colon cancer, but was expected to make a full recovery and return in time for the 1999 campaign.
Sadly, such was not to be. On April 3 of that year, Strawberry was arrested in Tampa for soliciting sex from a prostitute, who just happened to be an undercover police officer. To add insult to injury, he also had cocaine on him.
After so much hard work to overcome his drug addiction and get back to the majors, he was now back at square one. Sure enough, he was suspended for 140 games and tested positive for cocaine once again prior to the 2000 season.
Strawberry continued to struggle with his addiction. Fortunately, to his credit, he has gotten his demons under control and has stayed out of trouble since 2005.
No. 3: Two Cases of Identity Theft
Here we have two cases of identity theft that occurred within a few months of each other. After learning about them, one can't help but wonder why players would even do something like this.
In 2011, Marlins closer Leo Nunez was discovered not to be Leo Nunez, but Juan Carlos Oviedo. Shortly afterward, Cleveland Indians hurler Fausto Carmona was discovered to be someone named Roberto Hernandez Heredia.
The crazier part about this is that both players also lied about their ages. At the time of their being exposed, the 31-year-old Heredia was believed to be 28, while the 30-year-old Oviedo was believed to be one year younger.
Photo Courtesy of GQ.com
No. 2: Delmon Young Charged with a Hate Crime in 2012
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We live in the 21st century, and whenever I hear about someone being charged with a hate crime, celebrity or not, I get angry. That said, as someone of Jewish descent, I was both angered and disappointed when Detroit Tigers outfielder Delmon Young was charged with aggravated harassment and a hate crime after shouting anti-Semitic slurs at four men in New York City, later tackling one of them.
He was drunk at the time, but that doesn't take away from the fact that what he did was completely unacceptable. Rightfully so, he was suspended for seven games and will be back in court on May 29.
No. 1: Ugueth Urbina Charged with Attempted Murder
In an 11-year career, Urbina accumulated 237 saves and won a World Series with the Florida Marlins in 2003. He lost his luster as a closer in the following years, but was just 31 years old and had time to reestablish himself.
He never got that chance, as on November 7, 2005, just two months after pitching in his final game for the Philadelphia Phillies, Urbina was arrested in his native Venezuela on charges of attempted murder. Apparently, a couple of weeks earlier, he had attacked five workers on his farm who had supposedly stolen a gun from him. In the police report, Urbina had attacked them with a machete and tried to pour gasoline on them.
In 2007, following a trial, Urbina was found guilty and sentenced to 14 years in prison.
Photo Courtesy of Emptythebench.com