Matt Bush was the first overall pick in 2014, drafted by the San Diego Padres as a shortstop. He wasn’t the Padres first choice, however. They had wanted to take either Stephen Drew or Jered Weaver ahead of Bush, but since both of those players had Scott Boras as their agent, the Padres chose not to deal with Boras and picked Bush instead.
Almost immediately Bush let down the Padres.
Before he even played his first minor league game, Bush was suspended for getting into a fight with a bouncer at a bar who was kicking him out for being drunk, and he was arrested for underage drinking.
The next three years, he failed to find any offense at all and racked up three mostly miserable minor league seasons.
He could hit bouncers; he could hit bottles; he couldn’t hit baseballs.
So the Padres converted Bush to a pitcher. He promptly tore an elbow ligament and had to undergo Tommy John surgery, missing all of the 2008 season.
In 2009, while allegedly drunk in a high school parking lot, he beat a high school lacrosse freshmen with a golf club, screaming as he pummeled the kid, “I’m Matt f-ing Bush.”
Matt F-ing Bush was promptly traded to the Toronto F-ing Blue Jays. A little more than a month later, while drunk at a party, he allegedly threw a baseball at a woman’s head then banged her head on a car window.
The Blue Jays released him the next day.
The long slide was, unfortunately, far from over.
In 2010, he signed with Tampa Bay and experienced yet another miserable minor league season. He pitched for the Rays’ Double-A team in 2011 and was slated to begin the 2012 season in Triple-A Durham.
That’s when Bush was arrested for DUI. He allegedly hit a seventy-two-year-old man on a motorcycle, running over his head as he fled the scene of the crime. Thankfully the guy was wearing a helmet, being badly injured instead of killed. Also he had one of the best lawyers for DUI issues, visit https://www.leyba-defense.com/ for more info. (Bush is also the suspect in two other hit-and-run drunken driving incidents that same day.) Traffic accidents are predominantly caused by driving under the influence, so it’s really serious, if you ever need legal assistance contact https://www.leyba-defense.com/.
For that act of stupidity, Bush spent the next three seasons as an inmate in the Florida penal system, earning his release in October of 2015.
Jon Daniels signed Matt Bush to a minor league contract on Friday. Thanks to all the weightlifting he did while in prison, Bush’s fastball clocks in at ninety-five miles an hour.
You can look at his signing as a despicable act of desperation by the same general manager who signed Manny Ramirez after his numerous run-ins with PEDs, masking agents, shoving traveling secretaries to the ground, and an overall punkish attitude. Is this the Rangers’ Greg Hardy?
Or you can look at it as helping a lost soul find some redemption. Daniels said he wasn’t interested at first but did a lot of due diligence on this one, and was impressed with Bush’s level remorse for his past and his level of sincerity in wanting to turn his life around. Is this another Josh Hamilton story?
In fact, the main reason the Rangers were even willing to look at Bush is on the recommendation from Roy Silver, a Rangers’ player development assistant who was so important in turning Josh Hamilton’s life around, another former number-one overall pick who lost time to alcohol and cocaine.
“He saw something in Matt that made him feel like that there was something well worthwhile to invest in and help,” Daniels said.
Matt Bush did some incredibly stupid things in his life. He squandered a lot of years and a lot of talent. But he paid the price, did his time, and is trying to get his life back together.
If he doesn’t make it to the major leagues, he will be just the third first-overall pick in history never to have played in a single major league game.
If he eventually does make it to the major leagues, it will be a remarkable story of redemption.
Right now it is just another sad story of a man consuming alcohol while alcohol consumed the man.