Hitting the Bottle Instead of a Baseball: MLB's Drinking Problem

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Hitting the Bottle Instead of a Baseball: MLB's Drinking Problem
Major League Baseball needs to put down the bottle or it is going to have a major hangover on its hands.  In this short 2011 season, we have already had six baseball players arrested for DUI. SIX! Six players in about six weeks.  Who are these winners?

Adam Kennedy, Seattle Mariners:  On January 26, 2011 – 16 days after signing with the Mariners – Kennedy was arrested for DUI.  He apologized to his teammates and fans, but the damage was done for the utility infielder. 

Austin Kearns, Cleveland Indians: On February 12, 2011, the former Yankee was arrested in Kentucky for swerving down an emergency lane without headlights.  He explained to the cops that he had one too many bourbon and cokes. And then he stupidly tried to hide the incident from his team for weeks. 

Miguel Cabrera, Detroit Tigers: On February 16, 2011, Miggy not only threatened to kill the cops, he did so while swigging from a bottle of scotch on the side of the road.  That is special.  Especially coming from the guy who got arrested the night before the 2009 American League Central Division title game for intoxication and beating up his wife.  When asked, he obviously denied that he has a drinking problem.

Coco Crisp, Oakland A’s: On March 2, 2011, the former Red Sox got pulled over for DUI in his 2009 Rolls Royce. He was driving with an expired license at the time and claimed to be followed by the Secret Service.  You can afford a Rolls, but you can’t afford a taxi? DUMB.

Derek Lowe, Atlanta Braves: On April 28, 2011, this moron (another former Red Sox) was drag-racing in his Porsche before getting arrested by the police for drunk driving. 

Shin-Soo Choo, Cleveland Indians: On May 2, 2011, the wonderfully named Shin-soo was arrested after he stupidly asked the police for directions.  After he received them, he kept weaving, clearly lost and unsure of where to go.  So the police pulled him over again.  And then arrested him for DUI.  There is clearly nothing better to do than drink and drive in Cleveland, which is just sad.
 
How many games did these guys miss because of their unlawful behavior? None; they did not face any consequences from Major League Baseball.  Yet Ozzie Guillen was suspended for tweeting during a game?  I’m sorry, but those priorities seem backwards.   

For all of the good work that MLB does to raise breast cancer awareness and support for domestic violence, it seems to have forgotten one of the more prominent social problems that affect our nation: driving under the influence.  Rather than working with Mothers or Students Against Drunk Driving and taking control of this problem, MLB has floundered in its responsibility.  Sure, the players face legal charges and court-ordered community service, but there is no mechanism for MLB to punish players for their off-field behavior.  I am not saying that we should go the route of Sheriff Goodell’s strict player conduct policy, but it is clear that baseball needs something; this pattern has to be curtailed.  Thankfully, the six boozehounds did not hurt anyone.  But how could anyone forget what happened to Nick Adenhart, the Angels pitcher who was killed by a drunk driver just two years ago? 

Since this has become somewhat of a hot topic, the Players Association and the League have given lip service to an alcohol policy, but the reality of finalizing one before the current CBA expires is slim.  Like with PED testing or instant replay, MLB seems to want the good publicity of raising the issue without actually solving it.  It is sort of ridiculous.  The saddest part is that each and every one of these players can afford a driver or a taxi; there is no need whatsoever for them to get behind the wheel drunk.  It is out of sheer laziness and stupidity that any of these six incidents happened.  And it is time for Major League Baseball to do something about it. 


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