Adam Kennedy apologizes to Mariners, fans for DUI arrest
Asked what he would like to say to the fans, infielder Adam Kennedy said, "It's not the way I wanted to get off my Seattle career." Kennedy was signed as a nonroster player on Jan. 10 and invited to spring training.
Seattle Times staff reporter
The Mariners were hit with more off-field legal turmoil with news that recently acquired infielder Adam Kennedy was arrested Wednesday night in Newport Beach, Calif., for driving under the influence.
Kennedy called up several Mariners beat writers Thursday to express regret and apologize for his actions.
"I want to let you know this is not the typical character of me," he told The Seattle Times. "It's something I'm really ashamed of, and not proud to bring to the Seattle Mariners, especially not having put on the uniform yet. It's my first legal trouble — something I'm definitely not looking to ever do again."
Kennedy said he called Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik after being released from jail Thursday morning.
"Jack was real stern. He was stern about this not being acceptable and not how they do things. He was also supportive about moving forward and trying to rectify as much as I can on a personal level between me and Seattle."
Kennedy said he was at dinner Wednesday night with some buddies, and left the restaurant at about 8 p.m.
"I was cited for speeding, and they went to a breathalyzer test," he said. "I came up a little above the limit. It's not acceptable to be driving in that situation. Regrettable is an understatement."
Asked what he would like to say to the fans, Kennedy said, "It's not the way I wanted to get off my Seattle career. But hopefully, with some good attitude and good play, they'll have a different outlook come the season."
The news of Kennedy's arrest was first reported by the website TMZ.com while the Mariners' pre-spring training press conference Thursday was under way. Zduriencik declined to comment afterward.
The public information officer of the California Highway Patrol in Orange County confirmed Kennedy's arrest at 9:11 p.m. Wednesday on suspicion of driving under the influence. Kennedy was booked into the Orange County Men's Central Jail, and released Thursday morning.
This is the second legal situation involving a Mariners player in Southern California in two weeks. Outfielder Milton Bradley was arrested on Jan. 19 for allegedly making a threat against a woman.
Kennedy was signed as a nonroster player on Jan. 10 and invited to spring training, with a chance to make the team as a utility infielder.
• The Mariners will have three extra games at Safeco Field in 2011. The interleague series with the Florida Marlins, originally scheduled to be played in Miami June 24-26, has been switched to Safeco Field.
The reason for the switch is a scheduling conflict at Sun Life Stadium. The Marlins must vacate the ballpark in order for the rock group U2 to prepare for a concert on June 29.
The games will be played under National League rules. The Mariners will be the visiting team and bat first, and no designated hitter will be used.
There had been some speculation the two teams might play the series in Puerto Rico or Vancouver, but Mariners vice president Randy Adamack said MLB followed the precedent set last year. An interleague series between the Blue Jays and Phillies in June was relocated from Toronto to Philadelphia because of a conflict with the G-20 Summit in Toronto.
Marlins president David Sampson told MLB.com that "the best and only solution was to play the games in Seattle."
• Mariners trainer Rick Griffin gave an encouraging report on left-hander Erik Bedard, who is trying to come back from shoulder surgery after missing all of last season. Griffin said Bedard is on a throwing program "and is feeling great, doing very well."
Right now, Bedard is throwing at 100 feet for 12 minutes. The hope is that by the time the Mariners start spring training on Feb. 14, he will have already had two 40-pitch bullpen sessions.
If Bedard is healthy, he could be a critical addition to the Mariner rotation.
"We're very confident and comfortable where he's at right now," Griffin said. "He'll be able to come to spring training and compete for a position. He tells me this is the best he's felt. He's pain-free. He's very excited about how he feels."
• The Mariners will wear a patch honoring announcer Dave Niehaus on their right sleeves during the 2011 season. Adamack said a Niehaus statue could be finished late in the season, but will definitely be ready by 2012.
Larry Stone: 206-464-3146 or email@example.com
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