Thursday, March 14 2019 13:02

MLB Spring Training: Baseball, Warm Weather, and Off-Field Controversy

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Americans have always and will always love sports. Though baseball once reigned supreme and was hailed as America's pastime, football as taken over in recent years. In fact, 37% of U.S. adults say that football is their favorite sport and baseball is at its lowest point ever, with only 9%.

Plenty of off-field drama has hurt the NFL's reputation recently, but baseball, rather than capitalize on the NFL's perils, is no stranger to off-the-field drama, either.

As the MLB readies itself for a (hopefully) successful and lucrative season, its players are working out their kinks and honing their skills in spring training. This is a time for players on the cusp of breaking into the big leagues to prove their talents, for stars to relax, and for fans who actually still love the game to get an early taste of baseball. Unfortunately, it can be a time for drama, as well.

A DUI conviction can cost $20,000 or more, which is a lot of money to most people. For professional athletes, like Cameron Maybin, who earned $8 million in 2016, $9 million in 2017, and $3 million last year, $20,000 is nothing. Instead, it's his reputation that is at risk of being tarnished after a recent DUI arrest in Scottsdale, Arizona during spring training.

And for a 31-year-old player fighting for a roster spot on the San Francisco Giants, reputation is everything.

According to CBS Sports, Maybin was arrested on a DUI charge after failing several walking tests and registering a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .142, nearly twice the legal limit.

Maybin told police that he was at Oceans 44 in Arizona and had five "pretty big" glasses of wine before getting behind the wheel and driving to a hotel to meet with his agent. Maybin signed a minor-league contract in February with the Giants and had high hopes of making the MLB roster by the end of spring training. A DUI arrest, while the Giants are dealing with other serious off-field issues, could delay or prevent that call-up.

"We are aware of the situation and are monitoring," the Giants said in a statement. "We have no further comment at this time."

Maybin apologized for his actions on Twitter:

"Life's greatest lessons are usually learned at the worst times and from the worst mistakes. I take full responsibility for my actions and am deeply sorry to all those I let down -- my family, my friends, my supporters, my teammates, and the entire SF Giants front office. Life is about growth and I'm choosing to learn and grow from this valuable life lesson."