Posted on August 29, 2017, by Bryan Zarpentine
Kansas City Royals ace Danny Duffy was arrested Sunday night and cited for driving under the influence in suburban Kansas City. Duffy reportedly fell asleep while at a Burger King drive-thru window around 8 p.m. in Overland Park, Kansas.
The car was in neutral with his foot on the brake. A Burger King employee put the car in park before calling the police. When he was awoken by sirens, Duffy tried to move into the passenger seat and convince a nearby customer to sit in the driver’s seat to hide the fact that he was drunk behind the wheel. Duffy’s first court appearance in relation to the charges is scheduled for September 19.
“We are obviously disappointed in the news we have received regarding Danny Duffy’s DUI arrest on Sunday night,” Royals GM Dayton Moore said in a statement released Tuesday. “Danny was not part of the team traveling back from Cleveland on Sunday because he had returned to Kansas City a day earlier to undergo an MRI examination.
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“We are still in the early stages of gathering the details, but I do know that Danny has always been accountable as a member of this organization and we expect the same accountability from him as this process moves forward. We obviously do not condone anyone driving while under the influence. But this is now a legal matter and we will allow the process to unfold and cannot comment any further.”
Duffy joined Moore at a press conference Tuesday afternoon. The lefty gave a statement but did not take questions.
“Just wanted to say that, for the situation that got out of hand, I apologize for the distraction, especially with where the team’s at right now. Regardless of whether we had been on a run or not, there’s never a good time for this situation to come about,” Duffy said in his statement. “To every kid out there that looks up to me, that has read a headline, seen something, looks up to me, I’ll just continue to do great for this city, I promise you that.”
On Saturday, Duffy was placed on the DL due to an impingement in his left elbow. An MRI revealed a minor strain but no structural damage to his elbow. It remains to be seen when Duffy will be healthy enough to return to Kansas City’s rotation. This arrest obviously adds another layer of uncertainty as to when he will be back on the mound.
The Royals desperately need Duffy to return from the DL if they’re going to salvage their season and make the postseason. Kansas City is in the midst of a five-game losing streak, being held without a run in four straight games. That losing streak has dropped the Royals two games under .500 and three games out of the second wild-card spot. If he’s able to return, Duffy could provide a spark for the Royals over the final month of the season.
On the season, Duffy is 8-8 with a 3.78 ERA in 21 starts. Despite missing more than a month of action with a strained oblique earlier this year, he has continued to take on the role of Kansas City’s ace. In January, Duffy signed a five-year, $65 million extension with the Royals.
It’s possible for Duffy to face punishment from either the Royals or Major League Baseball, regardless of how the matter is handled in court. Duffy could also be asked to undergo treatment for alcohol abuse, although that would be on a voluntary basis.
Brewers reliever Jeremy Jeffress was arrested for DWI last August while he was with the Texas Rangers. Jeffress then spent time in a rehabilitation clinic before returning to the Rangers in late September. Meanwhile, a string of DUI arrests in South Korea has caused Pirates infielder Jung Ho Kang to miss the entire 2017 season. Kang has been unable to secure a work visa as a result of his arrest record in Korea.