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Rays sign former No. 1 pick, giant bust Matt Bush

Jan 28, 2010, 3:46 PM EDT

Tampa Bay has signed one of the biggest busts in draft history, inking former No. 1 overall pick Matt Bush to a minor-league contract.
When last we saw Bush in July he’d been sentenced to 120 days in residential rehab, 240 hours of community service, three years of probation, and $2,000 in fines after being charged with a DUI, resisting arrest, driving on a suspended license, and vandalism.
Just a month before that–on the day of the 2009 draft, no less–Bush pleaded guilty to four misdemeanor battery charges from what the San Diego Union-Tribune called a “drunken assault” on lacrosse players at his old high school. And then of course he’s been a mess on the field as well.
Bush was a disaster from Day 1, getting into a bar fight before even making his pro debut and then hitting .192 at rookie-ball. He moved up to Single-A in 2005 and hit .221, missed most of 2006 with a broken ankle, hit .204 at Single-A in 2007, and was then converted from shortstop to pitcher as the Padres tried to salvage some value from the blown pick. It didn’t work, as a torn elbow ligament led to Tommy John surgery and … well, now he’ll be in the Rays’ minor-league camp next month.
Assuming he doesn’t assault any teammates or fans while at spring training the Rays aren’t really risking anything by signing Bush and perhaps there’s a non-zero chance of him turning things around, but so far he’s proven to be a bust as a hitter, pitcher, and human being. Quite an accomplishment for a 24-year-old.

  1. gumbercules - Jan 28, 2010 at 4:05 PM

    Oh well. At least the Pads didn’t pass up Justin Verlander to pick him or anything.

  2. Aarcraft - Jan 28, 2010 at 4:38 PM

    Perhaps after seeing their own former number 1 pick turn his life around with the Red/Rangers, the Rays decided to take a flyer on a similar story.

  3. twins2010 - Jan 28, 2010 at 4:57 PM

    Anyone seen Brien Taylor recently? I think he is available.

  4. Jick - Jan 28, 2010 at 5:02 PM

    He sounds like a surprisingly less successful version of Kenny Powers, the main differences being that Kenny made the majors BEFORE hitting his “peak” as a terrible person, and he didn’t quite get that offer from the Rays in the end.

  5. Tom - Jan 28, 2010 at 5:07 PM

    What kind of country are we when it’s illegal to assault high school lacrosse players? That sort of behavior should be encouraged.

  6. Dan - Jan 28, 2010 at 6:21 PM

    Kind of harsh to label this kid a disappointment as a human being, don’t you think?

  7. Rays fan - Jan 28, 2010 at 7:13 PM

    Dan–I agree.
    He clearly needs to mature and to turn his life around. Josh Hamilton did; hopefully this fellow makes use of his second chance too.

  8. Motherscratcher - Jan 28, 2010 at 11:04 PM

    Were you listening to the Dude’s story?

  9. Stone - Jan 29, 2010 at 12:18 AM

    How much was his signing bonus?

  10. Old Gator - Jan 29, 2010 at 10:36 AM

    Well, the other Bush – you know, the dumb, corrupt, lying, mass murdering one with the juvenile religious fantasies – has been out of office for over a year now, so it’s entirely possible that genetic research has once again begun advancing to the point that the Rays have figured out how to remove Matt Bush’s extra Y chromosome.

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