Milwaukee Brewers reliever Jeremy Jeffress has pleaded guilty in his DWI case. The incident happened in 2016 while he was pitching for the Texas Rangers.
This should have little bearing on the 2018 season for the Milwaukee Brewers. There is no talk of a suspension so this shouldn’t cause him to miss any time. However, this is about more than baseball for Jeremy Jeffress. Substance abuse problems dogged him early in his career and is something Jeffress will battle for the rest of his life.
Jeffress was suspended 100 games in 2009, already his third suspension in his young career, but it almost cost him so much more. He has attacked his demons head-on, but one false step could bring the end of it all.
One more failed drug test and Jeffress possibly faces a lifetime ban from Major League Baseball. However, this is where we throw the baseball stuff out and think about what really matters. Although this wasn’t a drug abuse issue, there is no cure for addiction, it’s a life-long struggle. Jeffress has done well to stay clean, but it’s a slippery slope he could find himself on very quickly.
Jeffress left the Rangers for a month during the 2016 season and entered rehab to seek help. That seems to have helped him, but being back in Milwaukee will help him even more. Uncertainty and unfamiliarity can lead to a relapse, but with the Brewers, Jeffress has certainty in a familiar place.
Fortunately for Jeffress his DWI wasn’t from some night out at the club partying it up. According to Jeffress he just needed some air that night, for good reason, and made a poor decision. We’ve all made mistakes, but Jeffress really seems to have found his perfect balance.
A person in Jeffress’ position needs a stable support system and he has always seemed to find that in Milwaukee. As hard as Brewers fans will be cheering this team on in 2018, we’ll be cheering twice as hard for Jeffress’ continued strength. His electric fastball, and smile, should be in the Milwaukee Brewers bullpen to stay.