Denney to be away from Red Sox 'for a while'

Denney to be away from Red Sox 'for a while'
March 15, 2014, 5:45 pm

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Jon Denney, the Red Sox catching prospect who was arrested early Friday morning following two confrontations with police, will not be released by the organization, but will be taken off the field "for a while'' and placed in a program "for the things he needs help with,'' said general manager Ben Cherington.

"We've spent the last couple of days gathering information and spending time with Jon,'' said Cherington, "trying to find out what happened and what needs to be done. At this point, we're in the middle of putting together a program for Jon to address things we feel he needs to address. That will likely mean he's not on the field for while.

"Beyond that, I can't say anything more than that at this time. We certainly take the incident seriously. As we would with any player, we're trying to address his needs and help him in any way we can. But certainly, he has some work to do.''

Denney was arrested early Friday morning after it was discovered that he was driving on a suspended license, the result of a DUI last winter. Denney was argumentative with police and boasted that he made more money "than they'd ever see.'

Cherington labeled Denney's behavior "unacceptable'' and ''something we don't condone. And he knows that.''

Denney was selected in the third round last June by the Red Sox. His participation this spring had been limited by a wrist injury.

It was the third straight spring in which a Red Sox prospect was arrested for a moving violation. Last March, pitcher Drake Britton was arrested for DUI, and the year before, veteran reliever Bobby Jenks was also arrested on the same charge.

"Any time something like this happens, it's a concern,'' Cherington said. "It's not something that represents the organization the way we want want to be represented. It's not something that represents being a professional baseball player. It's not something that's part of being any employee. We need to take each case individually and respond to each case individually.''

Cherington said that the Sox never gave much consideration to releasing Denney outright.

"Every case is different,'' said Cherington, "but our first responsibility is to try to help our players in any way we can. That can come in a lot of different forms and you have to take a case-by-case approach to it. In this particular case, after gathering as much information as we could and after several people met with Jon, we determined what we felt was best was to put together a program to try to help him with some things we feel he needs help with and that's what he'll be focused on for the time being.''