Colorado Rockies’ first baseman Todd Helton spoke publicly on Sunday for the first time since his Feb. 6 DUI arrest in the Denver Suburb of Thornton, according to news reports. He spoke with his teammates briefly behind clubhouse doors Sunday morning before addressing the media after the team’s first full-squad workout, reports Troy E. Renck for The Denver Post in an article appearing on the Canon City Daily Record.
An Associated Press article appearing on ESPN MLB quotes Helton from his Sunday speech:
‘Obviously the last place I want to be on the first day of spring training is here talking about a mistake I made,’ Helton said. ‘Last week I got behind the wheel of my truck after I had drank. All I can do now is apologize and ask for forgiveness. I spoke to my teammates today and they were very supportive.
‘I’m very grateful to my wife, my family, my teammates and the Colorado Rockies organization for their support. I am determined to learn from my mistakes, and I’ve gotten help.’
AP writes that Helton did not elaborate when asked about what kind of help he has received. But he did say:
‘Part of making a mistake, making a monumental mistake like I made, is recognizing the mistake and doing all you can to make sure it doesn’t happen again,’ Helton said. ‘I’m doing everything I can to make sure it doesn’t happen again.’ […]
Helton said he decided to wait this long to address his situation until now because ‘it was a matter of gathering my thoughts and making sure everything that I said, I can back up’ when this day came.
Police arrested Helton at 2:39 a.m. on Feb. 6 at a gas station after a witness reported seeing a truck driving erratically on Colorado Boulevard, Renck writes. He adds: “Helton was holding lottery tickets and chewing tobacco and walking out of the store when police approached.”
In his article posted on Sunday, Renck writes that the Thornton Police Department has not released Helton’s alcohol test results, and that his next court date is scheduled for May 20 in Adams County Court.
AP writes that “Helton was limited to 69 games last season because of a hip injury and had surgery in August to repair a torn labrum in his right hip. A career .320 hitter, Helton batted .238 with seven homers and 37 RBIs.” Helton is entering the final season of his $33.7 million three-year contract, AP writes.