'Embarrassed' Crisp apologizes for DUI arrest
A's center fielder says he doesn't want to be distraction to team
PHOENIX -- A's center fielder Coco Crisp apologized to the media, the ballclub, teammates, friends, fans and family members on Thursday for his arrest earlier this week for allegedly driving under the influence of alcohol.Crisp, who arrived for stretching at Phoenix Municipal Stadium shortly after 9 a.m. MT, was in the lineup as scheduled and leading off in Oakland's Cactus League game against the Brewers. "The main feeling is embarrassment," Crisp said in addressing the situation for the first time since he was arrested in the early-morning hours on Wednesday. "I'm sorry and that sorry is genuine. A lot of people look up to me and obviously this was not the right decision." Crisp was reportedly stopped by police at 2:15 a.m. in nearby Scottsdale after failing to stay in one lane while driving his Rolls Royce Phantom. Following a series of field sobriety tests, he was arrested without further incident and cited for driving while impaired, failure to drive in a single lane, having an expired California registration and no proof of current insurance.
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Arizona is a zero-tolerance state for driving under the influence. A first-time offense is usually accompanied by a 10-day jail sentence. Former NBA star and current TNT broadcaster Charles Barkley was arrested in Scottsdale for DUI two years ago and ultimately had to serve three days in jail in one of the tent cities that accommodate convicted drunk drivers. He also fulfilled 12 hours of work release.Crisp said he was just learning about the toughness of the laws in the state and didn't know at this point what the ramifications would be. "I can't really go into the details right now," he said. "I guess those will come out later." The ballclub issued a short statement on Wednesday, saying it was aware of the situation and takes such matters seriously. Manager Bob Geren said he had spoken to Crisp. A decision on whether the 31-year-old veteran is asked to address the issue in front of his teammates will be left for a future date. "The team has dealt with different instances," Crisp said. "They just gave me some advice. It was just like, 'We'll get through this.' It's obviously a big deal. They're not my parents, but if I need anything they're here to help. That was really nice." Crisp was signed by the A's as a free agent on Dec. 23, 2009, and is in the second year of a two-year, $10 million contract. He had three stints on the disabled list last season with a muscle strain and a broken left pinkie, but batted .279 with 32 steals in 75 games. This spring has begun as a healthy one and he entered Thursday's game with two hits in six at-bats with a homer and four RBIs in two games. Crisp wasn't scheduled to play in Wednesday's home game against Cleveland, but did arrive at the ballpark after his arrest and took part in pregame stretches. Crisp said he felt very nervous dealing with the media and discussing his arrest. He did so in front of his locker before changing into uniform from street clothes. The interview lasted about four minutes. "The one thing I didn't ever want to be and feel like I am is a distraction," said Crisp, who has played nine seasons with the Indians, Red Sox, Royals and A's and has never been in this kind of trouble before. "The sooner this can get out of the clubhouse the better. I'll deal with this myself. I don't want to be a distraction for any of the other players. I just want to answer questions. "To all my fans, and there are two types -- the ones that like to razz me because of my name and the ones who love to cheer me on -- I apologize to all of them. [I apologize] to the team, to Major League Baseball. I want to put this behind me. I guarantee this will never happen again. I'm very sorry to my family and people who look up to me. I just have to make better decisions moving forward."
Barry M. Bloom is national reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Boomskie on Baseball. Follow @boomskie on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.