Tampa Bay Rays say Matt Bush won't remain in organization

Published March 26, 2012

PORT CHARLOTTE — Matt Bush is "not going to play for us" again, Rays executive vice president Andrew Friedman said Sunday, speaking for the first time about the minor-league pitcher's DUI hit-and-run arrest.

"We're all very surprised and saddened by what happened," Friedman said. "We're still a little numb to it."

Friedman said the ongoing criminal investigation, as well as other dynamics, make it difficult to make an official roster move.

Bush is in a Charlotte County jail with bond set for $1.015 million, having been arrested Thursday after fleeing the scene, police said, when a sports utility vehicle he was driving hit the motorcycle of 72-year-old Tony Tufano.

Tufano, in an intensive care unit at a Fort Myers hospital, has been downgraded to critical condition and is using a breathing tube, according to daughter-in-law Shannon Moore.

Bush, who has a suspended license, was driving teammate Brandon Guyer's SUV, NBC2-TV in Fort Myers reported Sunday night. Guyer, through the Rays, declined to comment.

"Our concerns, thoughts and prayers are with the Tufano family," Friedman said.

Friedman said the team had talked about setting Bush up in a rehab program, but that was only if he were out on bond. Friedman said he found out about the accident on Thursday while he was in his office and hasn't spoken to the 26-year-old player.

Neither has Bush's father, Daniel, who said his wife, Theresa, is in a critical care unit in a San Diego hospital after suffering an arachnoid aneurysm on Friday. Daniel said Theresa is stable and doing better, with the whole family concerned for Tufano.

"We just deeply regret what this has caused their family," Daniel Bush said. "It hurts everybody. Their family, our family, it's horrible. We're praying for them, we've got a lot of people praying for them at our church."

The Rays took a chance in signing Bush to a minor-league deal in 2010, with the former No. 1 overall pick already having nearly lost his career, and life, due to alcohol problems. But everything had been positive, Friedman said, which is why they were so stunned by the arrest.