Royals pitcher Danny Duffy was cited for DUI Sunday. That’s bad. Normally, this would be the part where I say that getting cited for a DUI is bad, but getting cited for DUI in a Burger King parking is a lot worse. And especially when he reportedly fell asleep while in the drive-thru. But it’s not worse. There’s no good DUI, there are only bad DUIs. And this was a terrible one.
This is a big Danny Duffy house. I like the guy’s game, his presence, and how he shows up in interviews. But I hate absolutely everything about this. Because it’s just reckless, negligent and dangerous. And it involves a guy in Duffy who lost a friend and teammate, Yordano Ventura, in a drunk-driving accident in the offseason.
I guess you could say the best thing about this is that it happened in a Burger King parking lot and the only people who were inconvenienced were the other patrons waiting in line. Except I’m guessing he didn’t arrive at the BK sober and then got tanked in the parking lot.
It’s a safe bet he was over the limit when he got there, which means that we’re lucky the only thing he ruined were a couple BK orders. Because it could’ve been a lot worse. A lot, lot worse. And there’s no excuse for that. Absolutely none at all. Not with Uber. Not with everything that we know about drinking and driving. And not when you’ve lost a teammate and a friend to it.
Duffy met the media yesterday and apologized: “To every kid out there that looks up to me, that has read a headline, I just want to continue to do great for the city, I promise you that. When everything comes out and shakes out, I’m going to be better because of it. I’m standing on a lot of people’s shoulders right now. A lot of people have done a lot of things to help me get to where I’m at. Let the facts shake out and please continue to have faith in me because I’m better than the distraction that is at hand.”
The truth is, Duffy is lucky that he can call it a distraction. We all are. Because it could’ve been a lot more than a distraction. It could’ve been the end, for him or for someone else.
So how do we handle this? We could string together some zingers that are connected to how terrible Burger King is and how you have to be drunk to go there on a Sunday night. Or get into the weird mention of porn in the Royals presser yesterday, because that did seem kind of random. Maybe we could track down the audio from the arrest and humiliate the guy who was arrested with that. I’ve done that in the past and yet it keeps happening. And honestly, I want it to stop happening. Tapes of guys slurring their words, saying chlorophyll, or butchering the alphabet repeatedly, can be funny, but the best day for this show will be when there aren’t any more of those tapes to play. Putting your life, and the lives of others, at risk by drinking and getting behind the wheel isn’t remotely funny.
As Jeff Passan points out, MLB has a long history with DUI incidents and has no suspension for DUI incidents. That needs to change, because this situation has to change and maybe the threat of missing a chunk of time will make guys think. Maybe it will, maybe it won’t, because so many guys in that situation aren’t thinking. But remember this: a DUI isn’t a distraction. It’s a tragedy. Or a tragedy that’s about to happen.