Today Scott Spiezio was, thankfully, released by the Cardinals. For driving drunk, leaving the scene of an accident, throwing up at a friend’s house and then attacking that friend, Spiezio was paid a $2.4M buyout by the ballclub in a contract buyout schweet!.
More interesting is that Tony La Russa today said he knew about Spiezio’s “traffic accident” as early as January and that the Cardinals made absolutely no effort to investigate the severity of the situation.
Matthew Leach of MLB.com:
According to both (Cardinals GM John) Mozeliak and La Russa, the Cardinals had knowledge as early as the beginning of January that Spiezio had been in a traffic incident. But both men stated that the club had no idea of the severity of the situation until Wednesday. Mozeliak specifically said that the team did not know alcohol was alleged to be part of the wreck prior to Wednesday.
“I honestly don’t feel anger, because I rationalize it like he was fighting for his baseball life,” La Russa said. “Maybe he wasn’t as forthcoming [as he could have been]. I’m disappointed — disappointed personally and disappointed professionally.”
All those in Cardinal country are lauding the move by the ‘Birds to dump Spiezio. And they are probably right. But what about LaRussa’s responsibility in all of this? We all recall his infamous DUI last spring training. And of course, LaRussa had Josh Hancock playing under him when the pitcher perished in a DUI-related car crash last season.
So knowing that Spiezio had already been granted a leave of absence last season to attend to drug and alcohol abuse problems, why didn’t LaRussa find out more about his “traffic accident”? Wouldn’t you think that would raise a (Cardinal) red flag?
And now LaRussa is disappointed with Spiezio?
The only reason Spiezio was released was the main media blew the lid off his DUI case. If that had never come to light, Spiezio would still be with the team.
Ignorance is bliss, Tony. We guess.