With six arrests for driving under the influence in Major League Baseball since Jan. 1, including two members of the Cleveland Indians, former general manager Jim Bowden wants the sport to crack down on offenders.
Here are the suggestions Bowden offered in a Tuesday blog on ESPN.com:
1. If convicted of a DUI, you receive the same punishment as testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs: a 50-game suspension without pay the first time; 100-game suspension for the second violation; and if there’s a third offense, you are banned for life. That is more than fair in an effort to save lives.
2. Bring parents who have lost their children to drunken driving accidents into each of the 30 clubhouses. Show the players pictures and videos of the 8-year-old children playing baseball the night before they were killed. Let the players see the parents crying while telling the story. Let them feel the lifetime of pain and agony that they have to live through.
3. Provide players with the phone numbers of cabs, town car or limo services in every city.
4. Implement a club rule: No drinking and driving, period. No exceptions.
Bowden was arrested for DUI in April, 2006, although he said charges were later dropped. While I appreciate his hard-line stance, I don't think his first and fourth suggestions would ever garner approval. I must admit I wondered about his third point when the Indians' Shin-Soo Choo was recently arrested.
Other sports thoughts:
- While winning the Kentucky Derby and Preakness in a span of two weeks seems nearly impossible these days for fragile thoroughbreds, the sport desperately needs Animal Kingdom to prevail at Pimlico on May 21. It's hard to believe I covered the last Triple Crown winner, Affirmed, in 1978. There have been feel-good stories in horse racing that have garnered goodwill of late, but nothing to really capture the public's imagination since Barbaro (who later died).
- Tiger Woods returns to competition in this week's unofficial fifth major, the Players Championship. Woods admitted Tuesday that knee and Achilles injuries limited him to 18 holes of golf before this week since the Masters. He said his left knee, which has undergone four surgeries, was a problem during the final round at Augusta, when he made a front nine charge and then fizzled and finished tied for fourth. All this makes me think that Jack Nicklaus' record of 18 majors is looking safer all the time.
- Browns coach Pat Shurmur charmed the crowd on Monday at the Pro Football Hall of Fame Luncheon Club and will probably do the same next Monday night at the Akron Browns Backers' 31st annual banquet at Tangier. As the lockout drags, this is the perfect time for the Browns to showcase Shurmur in a way that his previous two predecessors, Romeo Crennel and Eric Mangini, weren't comfortable. In a few dealings with him, Shurmur seems smart, sincere, well-spoken, polite and friendly (not to mention well-dressed) -- in essence ready for the spotlight. More appearances like this should be in order.