Baltimore Orioles pitcher Jeremy Guthrie recently published a message on
his Twitter account that questioned the difference in consequences among
some people in professional baseball who have gotten into some high-profile
trouble lately. As reported by Jerry Crasnick on ESPN, Major League Baseball
fined White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen a hefty $20,000 because Guillen
criticized some umpires.
But the MLB fine for two baseball players arrested for
driving under the influence (DUI)? No fines.
This shows that – yes, there are certainly repercussions for a drunk
driving arrest in criminal law, as any DWI defense attorney will tell
you – but there may be nothing to worry about when it comes to MLB
discipline if you’re a professional ballplayer. Baltimore’s
Jeremy Guthrie seems to argue just that.
As reported by Crasnick, Guthrie said, “As an individual, I don’t
necessarily want Major League Baseball or anyone else to do anything.
I would just hope the players involved can be more responsible, just as
I would expect any standard licensed driver to be responsible, because
you’re putting someone’s life in danger. The only difference
between receiving a DUI and killing someone is luck.”
That is sometimes true. It’s also often true that many “drunk”
drivers are first-time offenders just over the legal limit. It only takes
a few drinks or less, depending on body type and other factors, to go
over the limit. Cast in those terms, an arrest for drunk driving is a
mistake that could happen to anyone.
The common first-time DUI offender’s circumstances and behavior (a
couple drinks, a poor decision and bad luck) draw a stark contrast between
the behavior of one professional ballplayer, Miguel Cabrera, who, when
pulled over by the police, took a pull from his bottle of Scotch whisky
right in front of the officer.