Sunday, March 25, 2012

Future Considerations Podcast (Episode 17: Matt Bush. National League Preview)

This week, Kevin and Scott lead off with discussion about the Matt Bush situation (and how there really isn't much to say at this point). On the baseball side, with precious little to talk about from Spring Training, they preview the National League for the upcoming season.

Questions or comments? E-mail

Music is from Isle of Q

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  1. Nice job guys, learned a lot. Liked the way you handled the Bush thing too. Aside from the PR hit and taking up a spot on the 40-man, there is one other concern from the Bush incident that could affect actual baseball. It may turn out to be a non-issue, but that depends on who owned the car that he was driving. I'm assuming Bush couldn't rent a car since he had no license, so he must have borrowed it. Whoever he borrowed it from is going to get drug into the inevitable civil suit over all this, along with their insurance company. It's also a crime to allow an unlicensed driver to use your car, with at least a fine and possibly some jail time at stake. So whoever lent Bush the car is looking at a messy, distracting civil lawsuit and a misdemeanor criminal charge. Let's just hope it wasn't another player.


      Bush, who has a suspended license, was driving teammate Brandon Guyer's SUV, NBC2-TV in Fort Myers reported Sunday night. Guyer, through the Rays, declined to comment.

  2. Thanks Tom, I hadn't seen that. I called on Friday and they wouldn't say who was the owner. If it is Guyer as reported then the civil liability would be my biggest worry. He could still faces charges too, in FL I think it's a 2nd degree misdemeanor, but who knows if they will even charge him. In my experience laws like this are usually used to stop people who have an ongoing relationship from lending their car to a "bad person". The typical case is a girlfriend letting her boyfriend with 6 DUIs (or whatever) drive her car. The police get tired of it and charge her for unlawful entrustment. That usually stops it, once gf is looking at jail time she won't let him use it again, threatens to kick him out of the house, etc. He either stops driving or finds a new gf to prey upon. Whether the gf goes to jail depends on the facts, if she just met him at a bar they usually let her go with a scare, but if it's a longer term relationship she could serve some time and certainly will be on probation for quite some time, which is a hassle. And if gf happens to be a nurse or teacher it can affect their employment.

    Back to Guyer, even though they are just co-workers it would be hard for him to say he didn't know about Bush's history, everyone does. I'd guess that even if he gets charged it would be something that could be handled in the offseason.

  3. The civil side will be bad due to the seriousness of the injuries and the amount of damages the victim (or his family if he's not around) will seek. Bush has been reported to only have a couple of thousand bucks, and won't be earning any more from baseball. So they will want to add some deeper pockets to the lawsuit. Guyer probably has auto insurance, but the total limits usually aren't that big. I obviously have no idea what his limits are, but I'd guess a lot less than what the victim will seek, which will be millions. So they will name Guyer because he's another source of funds above the insurance. A civil case won't be filed right away as the victim is still running up damages for his treatment and it will be a while until his final condition is known, whether he's permanently disabled, etc. Still, it will be distracting and quite upsetting for Guyer while everything is pending, not just the legal stuff but also knowing his car was used to hurt the victim. Once the suit is filed he'll have to deal with lawyers and depositions and if it doesn't settle then an actual trial.

    The victim is going to try and link as many people as possible to liability to make sure he's compensated financially for all he's been through, his expenses, and all the suffering. That means people with money, and the Rays have the deepest pockets of all. Don't be surprised if they are named in a civil suit. Usually that doesn't fly in a car accident case, but there are some unusual facts here. Hiring someone with Bush's bad history, another employee lending him the car, it might be enough to put them on the hook. If Guyer says he didn't know about Bush's history, they will say the Rays didn't do enough to warn other players and to protect the public. Regardless of what Guyer says they will say the Rays didn't do enough to prevent Bush from harming innocent people, that him doing something like this was forseeable. If they can establish a pattern of the Rays hiring dangerous players (no need to name them here)... look out. But one of the nice things about having deep pockets is the ability to afford top lawyers, so the Rays will certainly be able to defend themselves.

    I've read a lot of comments across the internet about how sorry people are for Bush. I get that, but ultimately this is why you just don't sign guys like Matt Bush. Sure, you want to give people a 2nd (5th?, 8th?) chance and all, hope they have recovered, help them as fellow human beings and so forth. Sounds like a great, compassionate thing to do. But when they relapse, and they usually do, it can blow up on the team and other players. The only surprise here is just how badly it's blown up.

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