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Shin-Soo Choo was arrested for DUI yesterday

May 3, 2011, 3:10 PM EDT

Choo_Shin-Soo

We have scant details as of yet, but Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports that Shin-Shoo Choo was arrested for drunk driving early yesterday morning in suburban Sheffield Lake, Ohio, west of Cleveland. UPDATE: MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian reports that Choo blew more than twice the legal limit.  Paul Hoynes reports that Choo stopped to ask police officers directions to his house. Then, when he drove away, they arrested him.  That’s … unique. UPDATE II:  The entire police report can be seen via this post.

Indians GM Chris Antonetti released a statement saying that he and the organization are disappointed and all of the usual stuff you hear at these times.

What needs to happen next, however, are not more quotes about how disappointed everyone is.  What needs to happen is some sort of baseball discipline for players who are doing this. Many players: Choo makes the sixth baseball player to be arrested for DUI this year, joining Miguel Cabrera, Austin Kearns, Adam Kennedy, Coco Crisp and Derek Lowe.

Major League Baseball has suspended coaches in recent days for using Twitter improperly and for acting like jackasses to fans.  While we can debate how serious those things are — the Roger McDowell stuff is serious in my view, the Ozzie Guillen stuff not so much — ballplayers getting behind the wheel drunk are endangering lives.

I don’t propose some zero tolerance policy with unthinking, blanket punishment because facts can make a big difference. But there is something wrong with these guys always being in the lineup the next damn day, regardless of the circumstances.

  1. spudchukar - May 3, 2011 at 3:17 PM

    From underrated to infamous in an hour and forty minutes.

  2. dwishinsky - May 3, 2011 at 3:18 PM

    I’m with you Craig. There should be a mandatory penalty, these guys make millions are role models whether they want to be or should be, can easily afford to take a cab (even if it were two states away) and need to be held accountable.

  3. ngearhart1981 - May 3, 2011 at 3:20 PM

    50 games the first time, 100 games the second, lifetime ban the third. They aren’t just risking their own nuts, after all. If we take ‘roids that seriously, we should take DUIs at least that seriously if not more so.

    • WhenMattStairsIsKing - May 3, 2011 at 3:27 PM

      100% agree; some sort of mandatory alcoholism program should be in there at some point too.

    • icanspeel - May 3, 2011 at 3:30 PM

      I don’t condone DUI’s, but to me that is a little harsh. I do believe their should be a suspension, but it should be a case by case basis. Don’t forget they are arrested for SUSPICION of a DUI, innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

      • ngearhart1981 - May 3, 2011 at 3:33 PM

        Sure, naturally my “program” requires proof that he drove over the legal limit, not just an arrest.

      • Old Gator - May 3, 2011 at 4:00 PM

        Case by case – meaning what, 50 games if they maim or kill someone, and 10 if they don’t? Do we take out the season if their victims are children? Ozzie the Idiot got two days for a twitter comment. How do we measure out that logic to someone who risks wiping out a family on your friendly local expressway?

        This has gotten ridiculous. Driving drunk is an invitation to tragedy. These guys need to be told that they’ll be slapped down hard if they do this – no niceties about it.

  4. sknut - May 3, 2011 at 3:26 PM

    Just because one is arrested doesn’t mean one is guilty. I think there should be an automatic small suspension and if said player is found guilty you can tack on games to it.

    • WhenMattStairsIsKing - May 3, 2011 at 3:28 PM

      If one is arrested for a DUI, one is definitely too drunk to drive. No way around that.

      • icanspeel - May 3, 2011 at 3:33 PM

        That’s hardly true, I had a friend who was arrested for a DUI because they refused the breathalyzer since they do not trust them and wanted a blood test. They had nothing to drink and their BAC was .00. Point being, not all arrests are valid. If they were we wouldn’t need a court system

      • WhenMattStairsIsKing - May 3, 2011 at 3:34 PM

        Yeah, fair enough; wish HBT let you edit comments. But still, 6 players already this year – something has to happen.

  5. clydeserra - May 3, 2011 at 3:42 PM

    I think more aggressive driver programs for these guys are in order.

    • Utley's Hair - May 3, 2011 at 3:56 PM

      Careful how you word that one.

  6. deathmonkey41 - May 3, 2011 at 3:42 PM

    According to police reports, when approached by authorities and asked about his intoxication level, Choo responded, “No more yankie my wankie, the Donger need food!”

    • WhenMattStairsIsKing - May 3, 2011 at 3:45 PM

      Wow.

    • cur68 - May 3, 2011 at 4:11 PM

      Unbelievable. He’s actually got some + clicks for this, too. Let me be the first to register my thumbs down.

    • Gobias Industries - May 3, 2011 at 4:11 PM

      Is it possible to give both a “thumbs up” and a “thumbs down” for a comment?

      • cur68 - May 3, 2011 at 4:27 PM

        no. i tried just then and all I got to do was + thumb your comment. could be just me, though.

    • halladaysbicepts - May 3, 2011 at 6:43 PM

      Deathmonkey41,

      Great comment. It’s humor, which some of these people have none of. The Donger was a great character from the movie Sixteen Candles and fits Choo perfectly.

      Once again, people looking at a message board like the comments here mean the difference between life and death.

  7. jryager - May 3, 2011 at 3:51 PM

    If MLB institutes an automatic suspension for just being arrested (not convicted), how long until NY and Boston cops start arresting players the night before a series begins in their city.

    Kidding.. What’s the NFL policy? They seem to take off field behavior seriously.

    • bigxrob - May 3, 2011 at 4:01 PM

      The NFL policy is that the commish gets to arbitrarily asign penalties, and appeals of said penalties are heard by the commish also.

  8. droogleeddie - May 3, 2011 at 3:52 PM

    I only have two words in response to this…

    1. Mug
    2. Shot

    That is all.

  9. Jonny 5 - May 3, 2011 at 3:54 PM

    After being convicted they should be fined $10,000.00 for the first offense with all of that money going to charities supporting those who lost loved ones to drunk drivers. Screw the suspensions, It doesn’t help anyone.

    • sayheykidwschamp - May 3, 2011 at 4:19 PM

      The fine should be higher…even for the 1st offense, once they are found guilty of course. $100K or more will make you think twice. $10K, cost of partying for them.

      • b7p19 - May 3, 2011 at 4:24 PM

        Not all of them are making $25 million a year. Maybe a percentage?

      • Jonny 5 - May 3, 2011 at 4:38 PM

        Maybe, but even the richest idiots tend to weigh an automatic 10 G fine and a cab ride but i guess more is fine by me, not that I matter.

  10. halladaysbicepts - May 3, 2011 at 4:08 PM

    There has always been ballplayers that have been arrested for DUI’s. Has been very common over the past 40+years and nothing was ever said by the player or the team. A team would never penalize the player and treat it as a personal problem between the player and the law. It really was no big deal, unless you killed someone.

    I have always believed that this should be between the and the player. But, for the last 15+ years, DUI’s have been demonized to the point that they treat you like you killed someone.

    I’m more upset when a player gets caught taking PEDs than this because it affects the game that I love to watch. Personally, a DUI is none of my business and I wish they would push these personal issues under the rug.

    Now, with every little organization that comes out of the woodwork (MADD, etc.), the teams are handcuffed and must penalize the player, besides the penalty that they receive legally.

    • Craig Calcaterra - May 3, 2011 at 4:13 PM

      This may be the dumbest comment you or anyone has ever made on this site. Congratulations.

      • tomemos - May 3, 2011 at 4:59 PM

        “I award you no points…”

      • halladaysbicepts - May 3, 2011 at 6:05 PM

        What did I say that was so dumb? Is it because I’m a realist? If you think that professional ballplayers are no different from the rest of us, you’re crazy.

        Craig, you state “But there is something wrong with these guys always being in the lineup the next damn day, regardless of the circumstances.” Well, many years ago, I was charged with a DUI. 100% my fault. But, I went back to work the next day and let the legal process play it self out. Paid my fines, took classes, etc.

        What do you expect, these guys to be not allowed to work/play ball because of the mistake. The legal process needs to play it self out.

        Where do you live, Fantasy Island? How’s Tatoo and Mr. Roarke?

      • WhenMattStairsIsKing - May 3, 2011 at 6:11 PM

        No, halladaysbicepts – we don’t live in a fantasy world. Merely a world where DUI’s and similar destructive behavior are a HUGE deal, and one the teams and the law should equally take very, very seriously. Your blah response to it is terrible.

        Honestly, on top of that, your attitude makes me sick. I hope you never comment like this on any post ever again.

    • Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - May 3, 2011 at 4:15 PM

      Idiot.

      • Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - May 3, 2011 at 4:20 PM

        I apologize, allow me rephrase that with some context: Holy shit you’re an idiot and I’m guessing you must be drunk right now or else you wouldn’t have the balls to post this for all of us to see the height of your idiocy.

    • ngearhart1981 - May 3, 2011 at 4:37 PM

      Your priorities are disgustingly out-of-whack. Would you allow yourself to be crippled by a drunk driver, if doing so meant that a leprechaun would go back in time and ensure that no baseball player ever, ever used PEDs?

      • jhorton83 - May 3, 2011 at 5:31 PM

        That really depends. Is this one of those lovable cartoonish leprechauns or a mass-murdering serial killer leprechaun from those “Leprechaun” films in the ’90′s?

    • kinggeorge96 - May 3, 2011 at 5:25 PM

      Really dude??? Holy Crap… Let me guess, your driving drunk while typing that response as we speak?

      I’ve typed and deleted so many times, I’ve got to make this simple. I’m not one to call others idiots, but that had to be the singularly dumbest thing I’ve ever seen/heard.

      It’s all fun and games to you till you get your ass killed by a drunk driver… Good luck!

      BC: Does halladaysbicepts make the chipwich list? At least an honorary member?

      • halladaysbicepts - May 3, 2011 at 7:51 PM

        Chipwich list? What’s that? Please enlighten me.

    • halladaysbicepts - May 3, 2011 at 6:24 PM

      Once again, people are jumping over me for understanding and stating what reality is. I do not condone, in any way, drinking and driving.

      The initial point I believe that Craig was making was that there is a lot of players getting caught for DUI’s. Craig also states that he believes that MLB should have stricter discipline action for this.

      All I’m saying is that DUI’s in our country are in the hundreds of thousands, if not over 1 mil a year out of a country of over 300 million. It will always happen, regardless of what penalty imposes. We already have a court system in place that handles this punishment.

      All I’m asking is why MLB should get involved? Why is this a dumb question? I thought this board was for thoughtful debate.

      If you never have too much to drink before getting behind the wheel in your life, I commend you. But, I think a lot of people cannot say this. If you don’t believe this is possible, you are not facing reality.

      • ngearhart1981 - May 3, 2011 at 8:07 PM

        Funny, you keep saying “All I’m saying is….” then you say something completely different than what you originally posted.

    • Matt - May 3, 2011 at 7:35 PM

      Driving while intoxicated SHOULD be demonized to the point that you are treated like you killed someone. If you shoot a bullet into a crowd maybe you get lucky and miss everyone, but you are still going to be treated as you were going to kill someone.

      I understand the point that I think you were trying to make (but disagree) that we should only punish where it has an effect on the product on the field. However, the way it was written implies that you find Andy Pettitte to be worse for PEDs than Choo for a DUI, which I can’t imagine you meant but resulted in the responses that you recieved for your comment. It isn’t merely a personal problem between the player and the law because these employees are public individuals and their bad actions cause a negative view of the product that MLB is selling, and it is within MLB’s best interests for their players to not be getting in trouble with the law.

      • halladaysbicepts - May 3, 2011 at 7:50 PM

        Matt,

        I am only looking at this from a baseball perspective, nothing more. We all know DUI’s are not good and will be punished by the law. Everyone I would think would agree with this.

        DUI’s happen everyday, to regular folks and baseball players alike. All I’m saying, from a baseball perspective and what happens on the field, I am unconcerned what happens in a player’s personal life, unless, of course, the crime is a capital offense (murder, illegal gun possession, etc.).

        When I say DUI’s are not that big of a deal, it is because they happen ALL the time, to even the best of people. I’m not saintly enough from my high throne to cast a stone at Choo.

      • Matt - May 3, 2011 at 8:09 PM

        Yeah, I get what you’re saying about having no punishments for off-field matters that aren’t capital offenses…and like you, I care very little about a player’s personal life unless it serves to amuse me. However, I believe that DUI’s should be punished much more severely in real life, and that they meet the level, IMO, to cross the threshold of minor transgression into the more serious offenses that MLB should be in the business of actively deterring with their own additional punishments.

        If I piece your posts together correctly it seems that you’d be ok with MLB punishing a player for a serious crime, but that because of their commonplace DUI’s don’t meet that standard of seriousness. It is with that last point that I disagree. IMO someone driving drunk could actually kill someone else, while a player HGH-ing cannot. So, while now that ‘roiding is against the rules those that are caught should be punished, but so should DUIers. And, since DUIs can kill, the individuals that do this should be vilified much more than someone that is merely cheating.

  11. mplsjoe - May 3, 2011 at 4:11 PM

    I’m all for enhanced penalties but for two concerns. First, I’m wary of punishing people based on accusations or charges. Choo hasn’t been convicted of anything yet. Second, any kind of enhanced penalties have to be prospective only. It wouldn’t be fair for MLB to slam Choo while the others listed above got away with it. Something like a “from this day on…” style announcement might be OK, subject to the “charge not conviction” problem.

    • Craig Calcaterra - May 3, 2011 at 4:16 PM

      I agree: I don’t think punishment should come before the situation is known, the process at least works its way through a bit, etc. DUIs tend not to take a long time to work their way through the system. It’s known pretty early on if the player is going to plead, fight, etc.

      What I really want — my “next damn night” comment notwithstanding — is for the player to know ahead of time that if he gets behind the wheel of the car drunk, baseball will hit him hard, even if it takes a bit of time before it happens.

  12. riverace19 - May 3, 2011 at 4:22 PM

    Underrated to Under arrest. All in the same day. And lots of baseball fans have never heard of him. They might start to notice now.
    Baseball HAS TO develop a suspension policy and healthy fines for players arrested for DUI (at least in season). When you become a professional athlete you assume certain social responsibilities.
    Baseball morned the death of Nick Adenhart last year due to a drunk driver then just sits back and watches multiple players get busted without doing anything. Hypocrites.

    • Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - May 3, 2011 at 4:24 PM

      Truth. Church. Preach. Tabernacle.

    • b7p19 - May 3, 2011 at 4:28 PM

      Couldn’t have said it better myself.

    • Alex K - May 3, 2011 at 4:47 PM

      I want to be able to give more than one thumbs up for this. It could not have been put any better.

  13. cur68 - May 3, 2011 at 4:22 PM

    Well a bunch of things;

    1) Thank you Craig for the head’s up on Kearns and Kennedey. 2 of the best looking mug shots in my competition thus far. I wasn’t even aware of them. Please throw Choo’s mug up there when he becomes available. He’ll be a fine addition to the gallery but he’ll have to be looking especially the worse for drink if he plans to beat Mr. Kearns and Mr. Cabrera.

    2) I’m not even going to reply directly to hallidaysbicepts up there. All I have to say is “WTF?”

    3) MLB should go with mandatory drunk driving suspensions, no argument. If you’re cleared then you get to play but if they can’t even keep from being pulled over then they deserve the suspension. With all the moolah these guys make if they can’t take a cab then they got it coming. Unless it’s a hispanic looking player in Arizona. Then the guy gets the benefit of the doubt.

  14. Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - May 3, 2011 at 4:22 PM

    As sad as this is, Mr. Choo is on my fantasy team sooooo…yeah. Also, my DUI mugshot collage was missing an Asian sooooo…double yeah. [thumbs down]

    • Jonny 5 - May 3, 2011 at 4:42 PM

      See this is why fines and no suspension is the way to go man. Make him pay $$$$. then give the money to help the cause. Your fantasy team is not in jeopardy, and the Indians aren’t handcuffed because of one guys actions off field.

      • Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - May 3, 2011 at 4:49 PM

        True except that besides Choo, my fantasy team boasts Liriano and Gallardo….so yeah, my team’s in jeopardy.

      • ngearhart1981 - May 3, 2011 at 4:49 PM

        I agree that a fine can potentially go to a good cause, BUT I think a suspension should be involved, partly for the reason you mentioned. If teams are under risk of being “handcuffed” by their employees’ stupid decisions, they would become much more involved in doing what it takes to prevent them.

  15. jamie54 - May 3, 2011 at 5:25 PM

    Fines, community service, etc. MLB needs to take a step as a whole and say enough’s enough. Make it in black and white so everyone knows up front this is our stance, this is the penalty, of course after going through the justice system in due course. Applies to coaches, managers also, maybe to a lesser degree. Public team, faces of the franchise, time to do something.

  16. thecamnewton - May 3, 2011 at 5:46 PM

    Drunk drivers kill people, period. Let them go thru the normal process, and if convicted / found guilty – the first “penalty” should sting badly.

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