The 9 Stupidest Player Arrests in MLB History
People get arrested all the time—but it's even more interesting when pro athletes get caught by the police. Even though baseball is a much calmer, more subdued sport than football and hockey, baseball players can be troublemakers themselves every now and then.
Driving under the influence is one of the more common charges seen against ballplayers. But there have been the occasional assault, trespassing and even shoplifting charges brought upon these men who are looked up to by children as "role models."
With that, let's take a look at some arrests of MLB players that ought to make you wonder, "What were they thinking?!"
Jose Canseco: Drug Smuggling
There haven't been many baseball players more colorful than Jose Canseco. Aside from having a very successful MLB career (with or without help), Canseco is an author, boxer and mixed martial artist.
But Canseco has also had his share of legal issues. In 2008, as the New York Daily News reported, he was detained by immigration officials at a San Diego Immigration and Customs Enforcement facility, allegedly trying to smuggle drugs in from Mexico.
The former AL MVP was reportedly held for 10 hours while Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers searched his vehicle. They found human chorionic gonadotropin, a drug that is illegal without a prescription.
The drug is meant to help restore the testosterone that dissipates due to steroid usage. In 2005, Canseco admitted to using performance-enhancing drugs during his playing career.
Canseco was also arrested for carrying a loaded gun in 1989 and was charged with two counts of assault and battery after a bar brawl in 2001.
Francisco Rodriguez: Third-Degree Assault
Francisco Rodriguez is one of the game's fiercest closers. He broke Bobby Thigpen's single-season saves record when he saved 62 games for the Angels in 2008.
But K-Rod does have a bit of a temper as well. During last season, the Mets closer was arrested at Citi Field for attacking his girlfriend's father, according to the New York Post.
On August 11th last year, the Mets lost a game 6-2 to the Colorado Rockies, a game in which they were winning before a six-run eighth inning cost them the victory. Seemingly frustrated that he did not appear in that inning, K-Rod allegedly assaulted the 53-year-old Carlos Pena after the game near the family lounge, where friends and family of players await the team.
Rodriguez was arrested and charged with third-degree assault, suspended for two days by the Mets and handed a restraining order after the ordeal, as reported by the New York Daily News.
As if that wasn't enough, as a result of the altercation, Rodriguez tore a ligament in the thumb on his pitching hand and would subsequently miss the rest of the season.
Mike Leake: Shoplifting
Right-hander Mike Leake made his major-league debut with the Cincinnati Reds in 2010 and was very impressive. He went 8-4 with a 4.23 ERA in 24 games (22 starts) for the division champs.
So far, he's gotten off to a decent start here in 2011—at least on the field. He's 3-0 and strikes out more than seven per nine innings.
Off the field, Leake has been less than amazing. On April 18, the 23-year old was arrested for allegedly stealing six t-shirts worth about $60 from a local Macy's store, according to MLB.com.
According to the report, Leake said he went to the store to exchange some shirts he had purchased earlier that did not fit. But instead of asking for assistance from a store clerk, Leake decided to do the exchange himself.
He reportedly set the returns down on the shelf and proceeded to remove the price tags of his new shirts. As he attempted to exit the store, security stopped him, and he was subsequently arrested.
Leake, who pleaded guilty to his crime, is now facing a sentence of 30 hours of community service and counseling. For what it's worth, Leake is making about $425K in 2011, according to baseballreference.com.
Cesar Carrillo: Trespassing
In January of this year, right-hander Cesar Carrillo was arrested and charged with trespassing. According to the report, Carrillo was told to leave the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Tampa.
About 15 minutes after leaving, Carrillo returned to the casino and was arrested by Seminole Tribe police. He was reportedly released after posting the $500 bond.
Carrillo, 26, was a first-round draft pick by the San Diego Padres in 2005. He made three unsuccessful starts for San Diego in 2009 before being picked up on waivers by the Houston Astros in September of 2010. He was released last week by the Astros after posting a 9.64 ERA in just over nine innings of work with Double-A Corpus Christi this season.
Jose Offerman: Assault
Jose Offerman played 15 major-league seasons, amassing 72 HR in about 1,650 games. The utility infielder/outfielder was a two-time All-Star and last played in the big leagues with the Mets in 2005.
But Offerman tried to make one last comeback in 2007, playing in the Atlantic League for the Long Island Ducks.
In an August 14 game against the Bridgeport Bluefish, Offerman was at the plate in the second inning. The opposing pitcher, fellow former major leaguer Matt Beech, drilled Offerman on the leg with a fastball—and the typically mild-mannered Offerman went off.
He charged the mound, bat in hand, and swung for Beech's head. He wound up nailing Bridgeport catcher John Nathans in the head. He swung a second time, clipping Beech's glove hand. Nathans wound up with a concussion that effectively ended his career. Beech suffered a broken finger. And Offerman was charged with two counts of second-degree assault.
Additionally, in early 2010, Offerman punched the first-base umpire during a Dominican Winter League playoff game. Offerman was managing the Licey Tigers at the time.
Derek Lowe: DUI
So far, 2011 has been the year of DUI in the major leagues. Since the first of the year, several different ballplayers (Coco Crisp, Adam Kennedy, Miguel Cabrera, Austin Kearns, Dane Sardinha and Derek Lowe) have been arrested for driving under the influence.
Lowe is the most recent culprit. He was arrested Friday night after reportedly seen racing another car in Atlanta. The Braves right-hander was arrested and charged with DUI, reckless driving and improper lane change, according to ESPN.com. Lowe also refused to take a breathalyzer test, the report added.
Lowe posted bail and was released from Atlanta City jail. He pitched five innings on Sunday against the St. Louis Cardinals, allowing four earned runs in the no-decision.
Koby Clemens: Disorderly Conduct
The Clemens name has a ton of history to it. Roger Clemens is a generational icon. The Rocket is a potential Hall of Famer (unless allegations of performance-enhancing drug use come back to haunt him).
Now, his son Koby is attempting to follow in Roger's footsteps. The 24-year-old was drafted by the Houston Astros—one of his father's former teams—in the eighth round in 2005. Koby is currently playing in Triple-A Oklahoma City as a first baseman, though he has also seen time at third, second and catcher in his minor-league career.
But like his father, Koby has had his run-in with the law. In 2008, while playing for the High-A Salem Avalanche, the junior Clemens was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct following a brawl outside of a Salem restaurant.
Fellow teammates Mark Ori (disorderly conduct) and Jimmy Goethals (battery and assault) were arrested as well.
So far in 2011, Clemens is hitting .284 with five home runs for the RedHawks.
Frank Francisco: Assault
On May 14, 2004, right-hander Frank Francisco made his major-league debut with the Texas Rangers. Four months later, he was arrested after throwing a chair into the stands at Oakland's Coliseum.
Francisco appeared in a September 14 game in Oakland, pitching an inning-plus while allowing an earned run. His outing allowed the hometown A's to mount a comeback, as they plated three runs in the eighth inning, taking a 5-4 lead into the ninth.
But that wasn't the end of Francisco's evening. Moments after Alfonso Soriano tied the game at five with a solo home run, both benches cleared as a disturbance was brewing between the Rangers' bullpen and dugout.
Francisco had gotten into a scuffle with some fans and ended up tossing a plastic chair, utilized by the ball boy, into the stands. The chair hit two fans in the head, and Francisco was arrested and charged with felony assault, according to a report on ESPN.com.
Francisco, now among the closer mix with the Toronto Blue Jays, was sentenced to attend anger management classes. A civil suit was also brought by one of the fans who got injured during the incident. Francisco was suspended for the remainder of the 2004 season.
Tony La Russa: DUI
There are few big-league managers that garner the amount of respect that Tony La Russa receives. This is evidenced by the applause fans gave the Cardinals manager before a spring training game in 2007, a day after he was arrested for driving under the influence in Jupiter, Florida.
According to a report on ESPN.com, Jupiter police found La Russa asleep inside his vehicle, which was sitting midway through an intersection. La Russa was removed from the vehicle and was brought to Palm Beach County jail, where he posted a $500 bond.
La Russa has managed almost 5,000 career games and is sure to be enshrined in Cooperstown soon after he retires from baseball.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!