I’ve been critical of Tony LaRussa in the past. This disturbing story about the troubled Scott Spiezio [one of my all-time favorite players] demonstrates to me just how out of touch and uncaring the man is.
JUPITER, Fla. — Just hours after news circulated that a warrant has been issued in Orange County, Calif., for the arrest of Scott Spiezio, the Cardinals released the utility man.
A total of six charges have been filed against Spiezio as a result of an incident on Dec. 30, 2007. The charges are: driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, driving under the influence with a blood alcohol level of .08 percent or higher, hit-and-run with property damage, assault with a deadly weapon other than a firearm, assault and battery.
Spiezio was charged Tuesday, and a $10,000 warrant has been issued for his arrest. He could face up to two years in prison if convicted on the counts.
“I don’t have any information, so I don’t have any comment,” said Cardinals manager Tony La Russa of the incident before the team’s decision to part ways with the fan favorite was announced.
The following account of the incident involving Speizio was issued by the Orange County district attorney’s office:
“At approximately 12:20 a.m. [PT] on Dec. 30, 2007, Spiezio is accused of leaving a bar in Newport Beach after spending the evening drinking several vodka drinks. He is accused of getting into his 2004 BMW and attempting to drive home while under the influence of alcohol. Spiezio is accused of speeding, cutting across several lanes, crossing through the oncoming traffic lanes, driving over a curb, and crashing into a fence. The crash knocked down a fence pole and blew out the front two tires of the car. Spiezio is accused of getting out of the car and fleeing the scene on foot.
“The defendant is accused of running to his Irvine condominium complex and going to a friend’s condo, who lived in the same complex. While his friend attempted to clean up the defendant, Spiezio is accused of vomiting in his friend’s room. When the friend made a comment about the vomit, Spiezio is accused of becoming angry and attacking his friend, punching him repeatedly and throwing him against a wall.”
Spiezio, who hit .269 with four homers and 31 RBIs in 81 games for the Cardinals in 2007, missed several weeks late in the 2007 season to pursue treatment for chemical dependency.
La Russa, who said he hadn’t talked to Spiezio since learning of the arrest warrant, said news of the allegation wasn’t a complete surprise.
“I had heard there was an incident in California, but I didn’t think anything would come of it,” La Russa said.