October 7, 2016

A BUSH LEAGUE OF HIS OWN:

Rangers' Matt Bush went through prison, position change and more to make comeback of the year (Ryan Spaeder, 10/01/16, Sporting News)


Then Bush wasted what seemed to be his last chance. He was arrested in Florida after driving drunk and running over 72-year old motorcyclist Anthony Tufano with his vehicle, almost killing the man. Bush fled the scene, but cops caught up to him. He resisted -- it took five officers to finally subdue him -- and pleaded with them to just kill him. Bush was charged with multiple felonies and sentenced to 51 months in prison as part of a plea agreement.

While in prison, Bush came to terms with his alcoholism and began to actively seek treatment. In an interview with Fox Sports while he was still incarcerated, he said, "I still have the dream of playing again. I still feel like I can play. But I clearly understand that I might have had all of my chances and opportunities already."  

At least one other man was hoping someone would give Bush a chance: Tufano, the man Bush nearly killed. "I just wish that [Bush] wouldn't think negatively about what happened to me, realize that I don't hold anything against him, and move on," Tufano told Fox Sports for the same story.

Move on Bush did, and another chance he did get.

Bush had a "tryout" for the Rangers -- in the parking lot of a Golden Corral, where Matt was employed as part of a work release program. Using a parking bumper as a mound, he threw in the mid-90s.

The Rangers signed him on Dec. 18, 2015, just 110 days after he was released from prison.

On May 13, 2016, about four years since his last drink and exactly 11 years, 11 months and six days since becoming the Padres' shortstop of the future, 30-year old Matt Bush made his major league debut. Pitching the ninth inning against the Blue Jays in Arlington, he faced Josh Donaldson, Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion. He retired them in order and struck out reigning American League MVP Donaldson with 97.7 mph heat.

Posted by at October 7, 2016 4:10 AM

  

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