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home : sports : regional February 7, 2016

2/17/2013 6:01:00 AM
Grace faces up to his problem

Rodney Haas
Miner Sports Reporter

Far too often we hear of athletes, celebrities and politicians getting in trouble with the law and trying to weasel their way out of it.

Because of this, it tends to become a public relations nightmare for them. Had they just come clean in the first place and owned up to their mistake, the backlash would've been a lot less.

Nobody's perfect. Everybody makes mistakes, and by owning up and taking responsibility for your actions, society tends to be more forgiving.

I say this because one Arizona sports figure is currently going through a public relations nightmare of his own. However, the difference between former Arizona Diamondback Mark Grace and others is that Grace is taking reasonability for his actions.

Grace became a guest of Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio's tent city this week after pleading guilty last month to felony endangerment and misdemeanor driving under the influence. Grace will spend the next four months there, only to be released for his work as a special instructor for the D'backs.

The charges stem from this past August when he was pulled over and charged with his second DUI in 15 months.

To Grace's credit he's been very candid and open with his situation - never shying away from the media attention surrounding his arrest and recently opening up to the Arizona Republic's Dan Bickley.

"I'm a fun-loving guy, and I love a good joke as much as anybody," Grace told Bickley. "But I tell people there's nothing funny about this. I got 2,445 hits in the big leagues, over 500 doubles and was a career .300 hitter. I won four Gold Gloves, a World Series ring, and guess where I'm sleeping the next four months? In jail. It doesn't matter what I accomplished."

I'm not a D'backs fan but I've always enjoyed watching Grace play. He was an old school player in the modern era. He would step into the batter's box and take his hacks without batting gloves. The grain of the wood bat meeting the skin of his palms - that was Mark Grace.

As he says, he is fun-loving guy. A Google search of famous Mark Grace quotes can always be entertaining.

However, he has his demon - alcohol. One DUI is a mistake, two in 15 months and you may have a problem.

Grace's demon cost him his job as a color analyst with the D'backs and will cost him his freedom for the next four months. Thankfully, that's all it's going to cost him.

The D'backs decision to rehire him as a coach during spring training led to some angry phone calls to the team. But Grace is a member of the D'backs family, and when someone in your family has a problem, the last thing you do is turn your back on them.

"I'm going to be a much better man for it, a much better father, a much better friend and a much better Diamondbacks employee," Grace told the Arizona Republic. "If this makes me a better member of society at age 48, then you know what? It's going to be worth it."

Here's hoping it does.

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Reader Comments

Posted: Thursday, February 21, 2013
Article comment by: Bending The Law

Granted he got caught, but to bad they didn't follow the law when he got sentenced. The law clearly states a minumum of four months in PRISON not jail. No work release, to go out for twelve hours running around. When your rich and famous the same laws that apply to the rest of the population don't apply to you.

Posted: Tuesday, February 19, 2013
Article comment by: Matty Ice

Now he is... after his second DUI. Glad to see him get help, but he did think he was above the law. I would like to see more local sports (youth) in the Miner. People have other sources for the "Big Leagues"
Thank you.

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