We’re a society obsessed with second chances. No matter what someone has done, if they have any potential at all to do good, we want to forget about all their misgivings as long as they can succeed. We’ve seen how Michael Vick has turned around his life and turned around his career, and no matter how despicable the things he did were, the general consensus is that NFL fans like him. We saw Josh Hamilton, who was an inspiration to so many people before a recent relapse with alcohol puts his future into question once again. Matt Bush isn’t a player the caliber of those two. And even though the things he has done have flown under the radar, he also has not shown the character to put his troubled past in the closet and throw away the key for any period of time.
Matt Bush is a failure. He was selected first overall by the San Diego Padres in the 2004 MLB Draft as a shortstop and flamed out because he couldn’t hit. He was moved to the mound, and he showed promise, but he first injured his elbow and then had a drunk incident on a high school campus, ending his time in the San Diego organization. He signed with the Blue Jays, but he was quickly released after violating their organizational behavioral policy. He then signed with the Rays. In 10 appearances for the Rays in 2010, Bush showed he had legitimate potential as a reliever, striking out 13.2 batters per 9 innings. He moved up to Double-A for 2011 and struck out 13.8 per 9, although he did walk 4.3 per 9 innings as well. Bush entered 2012 on the cusp of the big leagues. He had started his career over and reinvented himself as a pitcher. And he was just about to reach his goal! But he never reinvented himself at a person.
On Thursday, Bush hit a 72 year old motorcyclist with his car while driving drunk and then drove off, leaving the man in critical condition. Who wants someone like that on their baseball team? It doesn’t matter how hard you throw- you have to control your pitches. And you have to control your life. Matt Bush failed again. And this time, he may never get another chance.