What will happen to Marcell Ozuna following his arrest on DUI charges?
Will the league set a precedent with Ozuna or will it continue to give a slap on the wrist for alcohol related offenses.
The Braves slugger is in trouble with the law, leaving the question as to how both he and the team itself will cope.
Marcell Ozuna arrested and charged with DUI
According to reports on Friday, Atlanta Braves designated hitter Marcell Ozuna was arrested early Friday morning on charges of driving under the influence and failure to maintain lane. As per Gwinnett County jail records Ozuna was booked at 4:39 a.m. ET. Incidentally, this is not the first time that Ozuna has been in trouble with the law. Just last May, the Dominican was arrested for aggravated assault and battery after police witnessed him choke his wife and throw her against the wall in their home.
Following the terrible incident, Ozuna entered a pre-trial diversion program and would later see the charges against him dropped. At the time, MLB placed Ozuna on administrative leave which resulted in a 20-game suspension under the league’s domestic violence policy. To be clear, MLB does not at present have a formal DUI suspension policy. In recent times we’ve seen Toronto Blue Jays pitching coach Pete Walker arrested for DUI in spring training, however, he didn’t face suspension. There was also Miguel Cabrera, Shin-Soo Choo, Danny Duffy, and Yovani Gallardo, all of whom were arrested for DUI, with none facing suspension. This of course begs the question as to whether or not Ozuna will see similar a similar outcome.
Do MLB players have a substance abuse problem?
Over the last decade there have been a collection of high profile incidents involving players and the sad results of substance abuse. Los Angeles Angels Nick Adenhart and two others were killed when a drunk driver crashed into their car in April 2009. The driver was later sentenced to 51 years in prison. There was also Miami Marlins righty Jose Fernandez who was found to have alcohol and cocaine in his blood stream when he was killed in a September of 2016 in a boating accident. Most recently, Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs overdosed on a mix of opioids and alcohol. Where Ozuna himself is concerned, the 31-year-old is in the second year of a four-year, $65 million contract. How will this all play out for a player who was an MVP candidate as recently as 2020? Watch this space.