Pitcher Matt Bush severely tested San Diego's strict "throw a lacrosse player, go to jail" policy on Wednesday, and as a result, the Padres have cut ties with their former No. 1 overall draft pick.
It's the story you've heard so often before: Talented shortstop is chosen No. 1 in the draft; never rises above Single-A level; is released after getting drunk at a high school lacrosse match, assaulting several players and yelling "Fuck East County!" as he speeds off in his Mercedes.
Even Ryan Leaf is calling that unwise.
From the San Diego Union Tribune:
A witness, who requested his name not be used because of the ongoing police investigation, said Bush was drunk, threw a golf club into the dirt, picked up and threw a freshman lacrosse player and hit another one. Bush also yelled "I'm Matt (expletive) Bush," and "(expletive) East County," before driving over a curb in his Mercedes when leaving the Granite Hills High campus, according to the witness.
Bush couldn't be reached for comment. The Padres have 10 days to arrange a trade for him before he goes on release waivers.
In case you're not familiar, Bush was a hot shortstop prospect out of San Diego's Mission High when he was drafted by the Padres in 2004. Things haven't exactly worked out. From the Washington Post:
To sum up his Padres career: It included three off-field altercations (including one that occurred just days after he was drafted), one failed position switch (he was drafted as a shortstop, but was switched to pitcher) and zero major league service time (he has yet to play above Class A).
At the time of the draft, the Padres were thought to prefer shortstop Stephen Drew and pitcher Jered Weaver but were worried about the high signing bonuses they were seeking (both were represented by Scott Boras), and ultimately went the cheaper route by selecting Bush, who also happened to be a local San Diego kid.
Bush has been called by some the worst draft pick in the history of baseball; with one writer, the Post's Dave Sheinin, contending that he may be the worst pick in the history of American sports, period. That's a bold claim, considering the existence of Steve Chilcott and Kwame Brown. But Sheinin makes a compelling case. Pitchers and catchers report one week from today, and it will be interesting to see if Bush hooks on somewhere to try and turn this thing around (put down that phone, Brian Sabean).
I'm actually in San Diego as I write this, but I don't expect to see Bush collecting shopping carts at Von's. He did get a $3.1 million signing bonus after all. The San Diego Padres: Doing their part to stimulate the nation's economy since 1969.