Sunday, March 4, 2012

Alex White arrested for DUI in Scottsdale, have Colorado Rockies lowered their standards?

It happens every year. 

Some team and their fans get the unfortunate news that one of their players has been arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol.

On Sunday morning, the Rockies were on the bad end of that news. 

Alex White, the second most important player in the Ubaldo Jimenez trade, was caught for having too much alcohol and getting behind the wheel. White, who is fighting for a spot in the starting rotation, may have put a huge road block in his own path.

DUI's happen. People make mistakes. Especially 23-year olds with more money than they probably know how to handle, away from home, in a place like Scottsdale, AZ, which is full of night life. There is no doubt that getting into trouble for staying out a little too late, or having a little too much to drink is definitely something that is not acceptable, but understandable.

For his part, White made strides to restore his name. On his Twitter account he was quick to accept responsibility. He was clearly embarrassed and was not too prideful to admit fault. He addressed the team early in the morning and Dan O'Dowd made quotes in the Denver Post that White had shown a great amount of contriteness.

The fact that White understands what he did is wrong, and is willing to take responsibility for it is huge. It seems that nearly everyone who gets caught doing something wrong blames someone else. 

However, as the events came to light, the thought had to cross through many Rockies fans minds. With White's arrest, the two biggest pieces in the Ubaldo Jimenez trade last July, have found themselves in handcuffs in their first offseason with the club.

The irony is that part of the reason that Jimenez had been traded was that the club was disappointed that he had taken a vacation to Europe in January of 2011. Many thought it showed that he wasn't mentally ready to be an ace. It made the team question his heart and whether he was completely on board with his career.

Although the charges against Drew Pomeranz were dropped, most would agree that getting arrested for disturbing the peace after midnight outside a college town bar would suggest that Pomeranz, if nothing else, was guilty of poor judgement.

One thing that never was a question was Jimenez's social life. It was well-documented that the most dominant pitcher the Rockies have ever seen lived with his mother and sister in his humble downtown loft while in Denver. 

Maybe Jimenez was content with the life that he had already provided for his family. Maybe winning wasn't the most important thing in the world to Jimenez. However, that being the reason for trading him now looks incredibly ridiculous. At this point, O'Dowd and the Rockies have to have have a sense of embarrassment.

The question must be asked. In the Rockies desperate attempt to rebuild a farm system that wasn't as good as advertised, have they forgotten one of the main qualities they look for in a ball player? When the time comes to get real talent back to the big leagues, was character the first quality that could go out the window?

Make no mistake, Alex White may be a very good person. He made a mistake, just like the rest of the human race. However, the irony that the two main pieces of the Jimenez trade have found themselves in trouble is not a good sign. 

The Rockies don't have to sign guys who are angels and have never had character issues. However, the fact that it is something that they have prided themselves in for years and point out in nearly every player that they sign may reveal more about the Rockies state than most knew at this point last year.

What it may say about the Rockies is that their talent level has been so depleted in the past couple of years that the desperation for talent good enough to compete at the big league level has trumped the qualities that the Rockies pride themselves in. 

Again, White may be a great human being. However, the irony of these two pitchers in particular finding themselves in trouble with the law within five months of each other, and within one year of being traded for, suggests that the Rockies might have some issues beyond what the fan base suspected.

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  1. Did you by any chance happen to see Jimenez's stats when he was traded?

    I'm sure that had nothing to do with the trade, or the fact that at the time he was Considered an ace(Yeah right.)

    I Understand your point, but the Rockies didn't trade him just for the fact that he took a vacation.

  2. First off, thanks for the comment.
    I never said that the Rockies traded Jimenez "just for the fact that he took a vacation." I said that the Rockies used that as a reason why Jimenez's numbers were what they were. They blamed him not being in good condition for his thumb injury and then his groin injury, and cited the fact that he was in Europe in January, when he probably should have been tuning up the workouts in anticipation of spring.

  3. Things like this make you wonder just how important McGregor was to this club. It has been all downhill since he passed.

  4. David,
    Interesting observation. When Keli McGregor died, nearly everyone within the organization that is a household name in Colorado mentioned how his leadership was contagious and how much he infused into the front office. You've gotta wonder if they are missing that presence.
    Thanks for the comment.

  5. As far as we are concerned in Cleveland, we'd be glad to reverse the trade in a heartbeat.