The Cards’ Locker Room Takes Another Blow.

On any other day besides the one after Rick Ankiel returns to hit a three-run home run after years re-inventing himself as an outfielder, the departure of utilityman Scott Spiezio would have been topping more sports pages and big-name sites, along with the talking head programs on the Four-Letter. Spiezio has hit the “restricted” list while he goes to rehabilitation for drug and alcohol abuse, according to the ball club. Per the Post-Dispatch article:

Spiezio’s problems apparently came to a head Monday night when he received intravenous fluid during and shortly after the team’s series opener against the San Diego Padres. Exhibiting an elevated heart rate and sweating profusely, Spiezio also was noticeably irritated and anxious, according to a person familiar with the situation.

When it was suggested that he be hospitalized and undergo blood testing, Spiezio abruptly disconnected the IV and left the stadium, sources confirmed.

On Tuesday Spiezio apparently approached the club for assistance and was put in contact with a representative from the organization’s Employee Assistance Program.

At that point arrangements were made to find treatment for the player.

As far as alcohol and other drugs go, this is the third incident for the team this year, with manager Tony La Russa’s DUI and pitcher Josh Hancock’s fatal crash while intoxicated.  I’ll say this: at least the team is helping Spiezio, but it did take an effort from Scott to get help first — which may state that teams and baseball in general still have problems when it comes to being pro-active about addressing the problems that result from personal vices. Obviously, these guys are adults and they have to make their own decisions, but think of how bad this would have looked if Spiezio wasn’t able to admit to a need to go to rehab.

Either way, the Cards organization may be a bit happy (although that may not be the best word) that Ankiel’s feat has taken some of the attention away from this for the time being.

(The title is not intended as a pun; we don’t know what Spiezio is being treated for. Knowing quite a few people who have gone through the cycle of addiction and rehab, I wish him the best of luck.)

2 Responses

  1. In many companies, an employee, which Spiezio is, has to ask for help. As a company, you leave yourself open to a lawsuit if you accuse employees of needing help. You can terminate them for performance reasons or for insubordination (showing up for work drunk or high), but as powerful as the MLBPA is, there is no telling how much crap that would have stirred up.

    One would assume it may have been addressed after Josh Hancock died and Spiezio couldn’t play the next day.

    The MLBPA needs to tell these guys if you have a problem with alcohol or drugs, they will mediate these issues if necessary.

    The biggest issue is not that one of these guys can’t admit that he has a problem, it’s the issue of the damage to their reputation when it is reported they are drying out. For a fringe player like Spiezio, this may become the last roundup.

  2. Really, you think this is his last go-round with this coming up? Does it do damage to his rep in the “oh, he can’t hang” any more with his teammates? Would it diminish his status by asking for help?

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