Recently signed middle infielder Adam Kennedy was arrested Wednesday evening in Newport Beach, Calif., on suspicion of driving under the influence by the California Highway Patrol.
Kennedy was pulled over in his pickup at 9:11 p.m. on state route 73. He was released early Thursday morning.
Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik was notified about the arrest during the team’s pre-spring training media luncheon, Thursday at Safeco Field. He said the team has “no comment” until it gathers all the details surrounding the arrest.
However, Kennedy did comment. In face, he got the phone numbers of the local beat writers to call and answer questions about his arrest.
“I just wanted to talk to you guys about what happened and face it,” he said in a phone interview. “It was something that was weighing heavily on my shoulders. It’s been a really tough day for me. This is not the first impression I wanted to make with Jack and with the fans and the organization. I just want to apologize for my behavior to the organization and the fans.”
Kennedy said he went to dinner with a couple of friends and left the restaurant about 8 p.m. He was pulled over for speeding and was asked to take a breathalyzer. He was “a little over” the legal limit and was cited for DUI.
“It was a bad situation from the get-go,” he said. “It’s very regrettable. And it’s just not acceptable to be driving in that situation.”
He understood the gravity of the situation when he was booked and spent the night in jail at the Orange County Men’s Detention Center.
“I’ve never been in any trouble with the law,” he said. “You don’t really know what you are facing till you get there. My regret is unimaginable. The safety issues, and the legal issues and putting other people in danger, it makes me feel even worse.
Kennedy immediately called Zduriencik upon his release.
“He was real stern about how this not how we do things in this organization,” Kennedy said. “He said it was unacceptable, and he’s right. But he was also supportive to me wanting to reach out to you guys and face it head on.”
Kennedy, 35, signed a minor league contract with an invite to major league spring training on Jan. 10. The signing was a move to provide depth at the infield and possibly use Kennedy as a utility player and bat off the bench.
He spent last season with the Washington Nationals appearing in 135 games and hitting .274 (85-for-389) with 3 homers and 31 RBI.
Kennedy has played in 12 big league seasons, mostly with the Angels. He was a part of the 2002 World Series team. He’s a career .275 hitter that can play second and third base