Monday, December 14, 2009
Cardinals' Freese faces DWI charge
ST. LOUIS -- St. Louis Cardinals third baseman David Freese was arrested over the weekend on suspicion of driving while intoxicated, the fourth time in less than three years that a member of the team has faced drunken-driving allegations.
Police in Maryland Heights, Mo., said Monday that Freese was stopped at 2:40 a.m. Saturday in suburban St. Louis for a traffic offense, then given a sobriety test.
Details of the test were not released, but Freese was arrested for driving while intoxicated and failure to drive within a single lane.
Freese was booked and then released, police said. He will appear in Maryland Heights municipal court, but no date has been set.
Freese's agent, Philip Tannenbaum, said the player is remorseful.
"The entire matter is regrettable," Tannenbaum said. "David looks forward to contributing to the success of the St. Louis Cardinals. We look forward to putting this behind us."
In a statement, the Cardinals said the team was "extremely disappointed with David and he will have to take full responsibility for his actions."
"We take these matters very seriously and we continually reinforce with our players that they are to be accountable both on and off the field," the team said. "We apologize for the embarrassment that David's actions have created."
There was no phone listing for Freese. Phone messages left with a Cardinals spokesman, general manager John Mozeliak and Freese's attorney, Scott Rosenblum, were not returned.
Freese, 26, is a native of suburban St. Louis and played high school baseball at Lafayette High School in St. Louis County. He was drafted in the ninth round by San Diego in 2006. The Cardinals acquired Freese in a December 2007 trade that sent Jim Edmonds to San Diego.
Freese has been one of the team's most productive minor leaguers and was a candidate to start at third base in 2009 after Troy Glaus had offseason shoulder surgery that would force him to sit out most of the season.
But in January, Freese's car skidded on ice and wrecked. He injured both feet and eventually had surgery on his left foot, forcing him to miss most of the first half of the season.
He returned to hit .300 with 10 home runs and 37 runs batted in in 56 games at Triple-A Memphis. In 17 games with St. Louis, he hit .323 with one homer and seven RBIs.
Freese enters 2010 as perhaps the front-runner for the starting job at third base. Glaus was not re-signed, and Mark DeRosa, who played mostly third base after being acquired in a June trade with Cleveland, is a free agent.
Even if the Cardinals re-sign DeRosa, he could be moved to left field if Matt Holliday opts to sign elsewhere.
The arrest of Freese was the fourth alcohol-related incident involving a member of the Cardinals since early 2007, when manager Tony La Russa was arrested at an intersection in Jupiter, Fla., for driving under the influence.
Two months later, relief pitcher Josh Hancock died when the sport utility vehicle he was driving struck a tow truck that was parked on Interstate 64 in St. Louis. Police said Hancock was speeding, talking on a cell phone and had a blood-alcohol level nearly twice the legal limit.
The Cardinals banned alcohol from the clubhouse after Hancock's death.
In February 2008, utility player Scott Spiezio was released after being charged in a six-count complaint involving drunken driving and assault related to a car crash in California.