Spiezio's Trouble with the Law Costs his Job

Veteran St. Louis Cardinals utilityman Scott Spiezio was released by the club on Wednesday after a warrant was issued for his arrest in California.

On Wednesday, it became known that an arrest warrant was issued by the Irvine, CA Police Department for St. Louis Cardinals utilityman Scott Spiezio on six charges stemming from an automobile accident in December.

The warrant alleges he was driving under the influence, driving under the influence with a blood alcohol content of .08 percent or more, hit and run, aggravated assault and assault and battery.

The Cardinals responded quickly and firmly on Wednesday, releasing the veteran infielder-outfielder. "We decided this afternoon that we are releasing Scott Spiezio," said Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak. "We hope Scott will continue to seek appropriate help and wish him the best in baseball, but more importantly in life."

Spiezio missed more than a month of the 2007 season while receiving treatment for substance abuse and was on the team's Restricted List at that time. After a solid comeback season during the World Championship season of 2006, the 35-year-old appeared in only 82 games last year, batting .269 with four home runs and 31 RBIs. In 2008, Spiezio was entering the final year of a two-year, $4.5 million contract.

Youngster Brendan Ryan may be the prime beneficiary of Spiezio's roster spot.

Brian Walton can be reached via email at brwalton@earthlink.net.

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