Tough news coming out of Colorado today, as longtime Colorado Rockies first baseman Todd Helton was arrested on suspicion of DUI according to team sources. He has been taken into custody in Colorado, but a time and location has not been released.
The team released a statement on that matter this afternoon:
We were extremely disappointed to learn that Todd was arrested this morning. This type of behavior is taken very seriously by our organization. We know that he clearly understands the seriousness of his poor decision, the harm that could have been inflicted on others and the embarrassment his mistake has caused to himself, his family, the Colorado Rockies organization and to Major League Baseball.
Todd is taking full accountability for his actions with his family, his fans and the organization. The man we have grown to know has strong values that are grounded in his family and hard work. Todd clearly understands the severity of the situation.
Obviously, it is never good news to hear about a player being arrested for an off the field incident but it’s even more worrisome when it is one of the faces of the franchise. Sure, Helton is in the twilight years of his career, with this season likely his last in the majors; however, with this news, will he still want to/be able to play another season with the Rockies?
Helton is entering his 17th season and said that this one would more than likely be his last. A season ago, Helton was only able to play in 69 games hitting .238 with a .343 on-base percentage, the second-lowest of his career, and 37 RBIs. A torn labrum ended his season and was though to have ended his storied career but he’s battled back and felt like he could go at least another year.
As the longtime face of the franchise he deserves a bit of leniency from the team, but with a situation as serious as a DUI, how much leeway can they provide? It will be interesting to see what happens in the next few weeks as spring training quickly approaches.
UPDATE: Helton was arrested after pulling into a gas station early Wednesday morning after a witness called police regarding a black pickup truck driving erratically. He will make a statement on the incident at Spring Training, he leaves for Arizona tomorrow.