In February, shortly before the Colorado Rockies' season got underway, first baseman Todd Helton was busted for drunk driving. Helton wound up retiring at the end of the mediocre campaign, and now, Rockies co-owner Charlie Monfort has been taken into custody on suspicion of the same crime.
Monfort and his brother, Dick, have been under heat for allowing the Rockies to linger in lousiness, and fans on Facebook didn't ease up on their criticism in light of Charlie's troubles.
Helton's bust included a number of colorful side notes: As we reported, he allegedly stopped at a store to buy chewing tobacco and lottery tickets, and subsequently volunteered to cops that he'd been drinking wine from Igloo cups. And then, there was his brutal mug shot:
In contrast, Monfort's booking photo finds him looking downright cheery.... ...and based on preliminary reports, the circumstances of his arrest weren't especially memorable. According to 7News, he was pulled over Monday outside Windsor for driving between ten and nineteen miles per hour over the posted speed limit, after which he was booked on suspicion of driving under the influence.
He's had some experience with this charge, having been cuffed in Greeley circa 1999 for the same offense -- and in September, he got into a dust-up with Denver Post columnist Mark Kiszla during which he's said to have had alcohol on his breath.
Just shy of 10 p.m. last night, after news broke, Monfort posted an apologetic message on the Colorado Rockies website. It reads:
"I'm extremely disappointed in myself for the decision I made to drink and drive and the potential risk I caused to other innocent people. I want to apologize to my family, the Colorado Rockies staff, players, Major League Baseball and of course, our fans for the embarrassment I have caused by my actions. I do understand the seriousness of my behavior and the issues that I am facing and I'm committed to do what's necessary to deal with my problem."
Brother Dick shared a statement as well:
"I am extremely saddened and very disappointed to learn of my brother Charlie's arrest last night in Windsor, Colorado on DUI charges. We all understand the seriousness of this offense and the potential consequences involved when the decision to drink and drive is made. I am thankful that no one was injured. As troubling and intolerable as these actions are, I can tell you that I'm focused on helping Charlie get the resources he needs to overcome this problem."
Rockies fans reacting on the team's Facebook page were considerably less sympathetic. Here's a sampling of responses:
He's damn lucky he didn't kill himself or someone else. I have no tolerance for drunk drivers.
Wow, he's even too stupid and cheap to call a cab.
Clearly, this team's consistent mediocrity drives its members to drink excessively.
All is forgiven if you sell the team.
They need to sell the Rockies to someone who wants to win!!!!!!!
Sell the team and buy a driver!!!!
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Clearly, this isn't a happy time in Rockies Nation.
Send your story tips to the author, Michael Roberts.
More from our Baseball archive: "Todd Helton's DUI police report: Lottery tickets and wine in Igloo cups."