Matt Bush, the first overall draft pick in 2004, never made the majors. A series of incidents and arrests derailed his career, culminating in a DUI hit-and-run this spring that left a 72-year-old man crippled.
Facing multiple charges, Bush pleaded no contest today, and will be in prison until 2016. But he could have been out a year earlier—as part of his plea deal, prosecutors gave him two sentencing options:
The state gave Bush two potential plea offers - three years in prison and seven years probation, or four years and no probation. [Bush's attorney Russell] Kirshy said with Bush's history of alcohol problems, the seven years probation was a "disaster waiting to happen."
Bush hasn't yet gone seven years without being arrested, so this is probably the prudent move. But it's worth emphasizing: a can't-miss shortstop
, who was paid $3.15 million before he ever played professionally, has chosen to spend one more year in prison than he has to because he knows he can't stay sober. Consider this the sad, fitting ending to a career that never was.