When you think of Todd Helton, you think of a baseball veteran who has, thus far, played his entire career with one team, the Colorado Rockies. You think of him chasing a .400 batting average some years ago. You don't think punchlines.
Wednesday's early morning DUI arrest, however, might just change that. We already watched Helton enter the Horrible Mugshot Hall of Fame and today comes this unfortunate wrinkle to the story: Helton had driven to a gas station to buy ... wait for it ... lottery tickets.
Lottery tickets?!? Really? We're talking about a guy who has made more than $160 million in his career, including a nine-year, $141.5 million contact he signed in 2001.
Not that there are good reasons to drink and drive, but heading to the store for some scratchers when you're already rich? That's just dumb. We expect that from a "Real Housewife" but not from you, Todd.
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Now might be a good time to re-read Helton's apology, issued Wednesday before the lottery ticket tidbit:
“Last evening I exercised poor judgment and was charged with drinking and driving after driving to a gas station near my house. I am very sorry and embarrassed by my actions. I hold myself to a high standard and take my responsibility as a public figure very seriously. My entire career I have worked to set a positive example for my family and in our community and I fell far short of this standard. I sincerely ask my family, the Colorado Rockies Organization, Major League Baseball and the community to accept my apology."
Here's a statement from the Rockies, also issued Wednesday:
"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."
That's fine, but perhaps Helton needs to add: "Sorry for putting other peoples' lives in jeopardy while I tried to win ten bucks or a free ticket."
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