Matt Bush’s Fall From Grace
Matt Bush & Tony Tufano Speak About Tragedy In North Port
Matt Bush was the #1 overall pick by his hometown San Diego Padres in 2004. The star shortstop signed a 3.15 million dollar contract but within two weeks of signing the first signs of trouble materialized as he had his first alcohol related arrest.
In the years that followed he was unable to hit as a shortstop was converted to a relief pitcher, tore the ligament in his elbow, and continued to have numerous alcohol related problems with the law.
By 2008, the Padres had grown weary of him and traded him to the Toronto Blue Jays where he was quickly released for violating the teams zero-tolerance policy set in place for him.
By 2009, Matt Bush was out of baseball and was involved in yet another alcohol related arrest, this one caught on video, which showed a young man both hitting rock bottom and crying for help at the same time.
The arrest in 2009 began a road to recovery that took him to the Tampa Bay Rays where he continued to show promise as a relief pitcher. By spring training of 2012 he was clearly the top option to be recalled from the Rays Triple-A affiliate Durham Bulls when the need for another arm was required.
Then the battle with alcoholism reared its ugly head again. On March 22, 2012 he borrowed a teammates SUV and went to run some errands but for reasons only known to the alcoholic mind stopped at a convenient store and began drinking.
Eventually that SUV would become a weapon as he tried to make his way back to the Port Charlotte area and hit 72-year old Tony Tufano’s motorcycle and ran over his head as he fled the scene in North Port a town about 4o miles northwest of Fort Myers.
His blood alcohol level was 0.18-percent and more than twice the legal limit. In December of 2012 Bush was sentenced to four years and three months in prison. He pleaded no contest to driving under the influence with serious bodily injury. In exchange six other counts from the hit-and-run incident with Mr. Tufano were dropped. Since it was his third DUI he will also lose his license for 10 years.
Fox Sports caught up with Matt Bush in prison and talked with the victim Mr. Tufano: