WASHINGTON: Matt Bush, a 30-year-old relief pitcher who spent 3 1/2 years in prison for a drink driving crash that nearly killed a motorcyclist, reached Major League Baseball on Friday (Saturday in Manila) when he was called up by the Texas Rangers.
Twelve years after being taken with the first overall pick in the Major League Baseball Draft, Bush was given the chance to shed the label as one of the sport’s all-time flops. He was on the roster for Friday’s home game against Toronto.
Bush’s career was thought over after his stay in a Florida prison for the traffic accident, but he was released last October and signed a development-league deal with Texas after showing he could still throw at nearly 100 mph.
The San Diego high school product was the top overall pick by Bush’s hometown Padres in 2004 but he was arrested in a nightclub incident before ever playing a professional game and he was later arrested for assaulting two high school lacrosse players. Bush was traded to Toronto and later released by the Blue Jays.
Bush was later arrested for throwing objects at cars at a San Diego shopping mall and charged with drink driving after a crash before given a chance with Tampa Bay that ended with the incident that led to his time in prison.
But in his development-league games this year, Bush has struck out 18 batters in 17 innings, allowing nine hits while walking four with a 2.65 earned-run average and five saves.
The Rangers demoted outfielder Delino DeShields to the development level to make room for Bush on the roster.