CHARLOTTE COUNTY, Fla. - This week a Charlotte Stone Crabs minor league baseball player was suspended by the Tampa Bay Rays organization, all for making questionable comments on his Facebook page following a visit to a local strip club.
Rays prospect Josh Sale was making the rounds on the internet this week after posting the message. It said: "Threw 50 cents at a stripper tonight. First time. Got kicked out and she got so pissed thought she was gonna cry.....your a stripper. Be thankful. hoe."
It was posted near Rotonda, just a mile from the Charlotte Sports Park. The owner of the Emerald City strip club confirms the incident happening there Sunday night. It was enough to prompt the team to suspend Sale for conduct detrimental to the organization.
It's an embarrassment for the ball club, but certainly not the worst incident the organization has had to deal with locally. In 2012, pitcher Matt Bush had issues at the same club. "He was intoxicated. The bartender would not serve him. He got a little rowdy and jumped up on the stage picked up one of the dancers and dropped her," the owner said at the time.
He says the player was drunk before he even arrived there. After getting kicked out of the club, he drove over a 72-year-old Port Charlotte man, nearly killing him. Bush was released by the team and is now serving more than four years in prison.
Both players were sent to Port Charlotte with previous issues. Bush a former first overall pick was arrested twice before for driving while intoxicated. Sale, who was the organization's first round pick in 2010, just served a 50-game ban for testing positive for drugs.
Speaking of drugs. In 2012 at least seven minor league players in the Rays organization were busted by Major League Baseball for testing positive. Some of them were playing in Port Charlotte at the time.
We called the Rays organization Monday. They said they took action by suspending Sale. When questioned further about the mounting issues, they said they felt we were digging for a negative story and did not want to be a part of it.
We asked for a list of the many positive things the Rays and their players do here in the Port Charlotte community. We were told if we wanted that we would have to call back at another time.