Tuesday, January 16, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

Judge sets bond for Rays' Matt Bush at more than $1 million

PUNTA GORDA — Saying Rays minor-league pitcher Matt Bush is a "danger to the community" and a "flight risk," Charlotte County circuit Judge Nicholas Thompson set Bush's bond at $1.015 million Saturday morning for the seven charges he faces for his involvement in a DUI hit-and-run accident.

Bush's arraignment is scheduled for May 21.

Bush's attorney, Russell Kirshy, said the Rays were making arrangements for a three-day hospital stay and subsequent stint in a Tampa Bay area rehab facility as an alternative for the 26-year-old, but that will have to wait as Bush remains in a Charlotte County jail.

"He understands that his career is potentially in jeopardy," Kirshy told the court. "And his life is potentially in jeopardy."

Bush, who has a history of alcohol problems, appeared on closed circuit TV from jail but didn't speak in the hearing. Kirshy argued for a much smaller bond, saying the San Diego native qualifies as "indigent," with a $78,000 minor-league salary and just $2,000 in the bank.

However, prosecutor Richard Simpson pointed out Bush's previous arrests, as well as the fact that the victim, 72-year-old Tony Tufano, is in the intensive care unit at a Fort Myers hospital with serious injuries as a result of the accident.

Bush was arrested Thursday night in North Port after fleeing the scene of an accident in which police say the Dodge SUV he was driving hit Tufano's motorcycle, with a rear tire running over Tufano's head. Bush, who was driving with a suspended license and had a blood alcohol percentage of .180, more than twice the level at which Florida considers a driver impaired, told police he didn't remember seeing — or hitting — a motorcycle.

"My heart goes out to (Tufano's family), I know that Mr. Bush's heart goes out to them," Kirshy said. "Anybody who knows Matt knows that he's one of the most sweetest, most soft-spoken people you'll ever meet, and that's exactly the way he was. He was very subdued, very worried, very introspective."

Joe Smith can be reached at [email protected]

Comments
Tony Perez, Dick Allen to highlight    Ted Williams museum inductions

Tony Perez, Dick Allen to highlight Ted Williams museum inductions

Hall of Famer Tony Perez and longtime Phillies/White Sox star Dick Allen will be inducted into the Ted Williams Hitters Hall of Fame next month in Clearwater.Former Yankees Cy Young Award winner Ron Guidry and longtime Astros ace J.R. Richard also wi...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Jones: Besties, Ball and bloopers -- it’s TV tidbits time

Jones: Besties, Ball and bloopers -- it’s TV tidbits time

Tampa Bay Times columnist Tom Jones looks back at the best and worst from a weekend of televised sports.Best comebackExcuse Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp for getting so carried away that he dropped the queen bee of curse words on live television Sun...
Published: 01/14/18
Jesuit High product Lance McCullers gets big raise, avoids arbitration

Jesuit High product Lance McCullers gets big raise, avoids arbitration

Astros right-hander Lance McCullers, a Tampa native and former Jesuit High standout, reached a one-year deal for $2.45 million on Friday, avoiding arbitration. McCullers, 24, made $548,000 last season.
Published: 01/12/18
Jake Odorizzi, Adeiny Hechavarria lone Rays set for arbitration

Jake Odorizzi, Adeiny Hechavarria lone Rays set for arbitration

ST. PETERSBURG — For the second straight winter, pitcher Jake Odorizzi is taking the Rays to arbitration.Shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria will join him.They were the only two of the nine arbitration-eligible Rays to not agree to a one-year contract by Fr...
Published: 01/12/18
Odorizzi, Hechavarria heading to arbitration

Odorizzi, Hechavarria heading to arbitration

The Rays have reached agreements on 2018 contracts with seven of their nine arbitration-eligible players with pitcher Jake Odorizzi and shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria heading to arbitration.Odorizzi made $4.1 million last season after taking the R...
Published: 01/12/18
Alex Colome, Corey Dickerson, Jake Odorizzi among Rays’ arbitration-eligible players

Alex Colome, Corey Dickerson, Jake Odorizzi among Rays’ arbitration-eligible players

ST. PETERSBURG — The payroll for the 2018 season will become clearer this afternoon after the Rays and their nine arbitration-eligible players exchange figures on one-year contracts.Those who do not agree to the club’s offer will head to arbitration ...
Published: 01/11/18
Rays announce minor league coaching staffs

Rays announce minor league coaching staffs

Jim Morrison, the one-time manager of the Class A Charlotte Stone Crabs, will return to his old job in Port Charlotte this season.Morrison, the Tampa product, was named as the Stone Crabs manager Wednesday after spending the past four seasons as the ...
Published: 01/10/18
Denard Span excited to play for hometown Rays — if they keep him

Denard Span excited to play for hometown Rays — if they keep him

ST. PETERSBURG — Wednesday’s trade that brought him from the Giants to the Rays did catch Denard Span by surprise, but it was one he welcomed since playing for his hometown team is something the Tampa native always hoped could happen."I always though...
Updated one month ago
Another way to look at Rays trade of Evan Longoria to Giants

Another way to look at Rays trade of Evan Longoria to Giants

John Romano is the Tampa Bay Times metro columnist, but he's also a lifelong baseball nut who follows the game closely and understands all aspects. Here is his take on the Rays decision to traded franchise cornerstone Evan Longoria to the Giants: Ex...
Updated one month ago

More fan reaction to Rays trading Evan Longoria

As a 5-year-old growing up in St. Pete, I was a die-hard baseball fan. I cheered for all of the teams that had local spring training ties. I can still tell you the starting lineup for the 1980 world champion Phillies. And the ‘86 Mets. All that chang...
Updated one month ago