Lowe apologizes to teammates following DUI arrest

Braves pitcher Derek Lowe apologized to his Braves teammates in a closed-door meeting Friday, the day after he was arrested on suspicion of DUI and piled another controversy on a clubhouse already reeling from accusations against pitching coach Roger McDowell.

“It’s been a rough couple of days for this organization and clearly I have a lot to do with that,” Lowe said. “…Any time you do anything, you’re putting the Braves in a bad spot and that’s what I did. You want to let them know that you are sorry for the situation.”

A trooper reported seeing Lowe racing another car down Peachtree Road about 10 p.m. Thursday night.

Georgia State Patrol spokesman Gordy Wright said Lowe was stopped about 10 p.m. at the intersection of Peachtree and Rumson Road and that the trooper “detected a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage.”

Lowe underwent a field sobriety test but refused a breathalyzer. He was taken to Atlanta city jail before bonding out Friday morning. Lowe, who was driving a 2011 Porsche Panamera, was also charged with reckless driving and making an improper lane change.

Lowe said he “explained the night” to his teammates and in a meeting with Braves general manager Frank Wren and manager Fredi Gonzalez, but he did not elaborate on details publicly.

“It’s a legal issue right now,” said Lowe, who said this is his first ever DUI charge. “That’s all you can really say.”

Lowe also issued a statement to apologize.

“I would like to apologize to my family, teammates, fans and the Braves organization for the attention arising from this matter,” Lowe said. “However I am hopeful that this incident will not be a distraction to the Braves organization while we are focused on returning to the playoffs. This is a legal matter and I anticipate this case can promptly be resolved within the court system.”

Lowe is still on schedule to start Sunday against the Cardinals, something both he and the Braves said was never in question. He was met with compassion by his manager.

“It’s one of those things where as a parent, a brother, a son, we’ve all been in those situations,” Gonzalez said. “We don’t condone it. we don’t like it, but we cannot also alienate them. It happens in all walks of life and all professions. It’s not good. He’s going to have to go through some legal (proceedings). Hopefully some of our guys learned a lesson from it, and it doesn’t happen again.”

Lowe, 2-3 with a 3.21 ERA in six starts this season, has started on Opening Day for the Braves each of the past three years. He’s in the third year of a four-year $60 million contract.

The Braves won’t decide on any disciplinary action against Lowe until the legal process is complete, Wren said.

“We’re still in the legal proceedings,” Wren said. “Until the legal system runs its course, there’s still the presumption of innocence.”

Wren spoke to the Braves in the team meeting Friday afternoon and came away pleased with some of the “heart-felt” comments he heard from players.

“We’ve made a couple of mistakes,” Wren said. “But we want to go forward and uphold the reputation that we have had for a long time with the community.”

Staff writers Mike Morris and Christian Boone contributed to this report.

21 comments Add your comment

Reid in EAV

April 29th, 2011
7:14 pm

I have less of a problem with the alleged DUI (at 0.08 BAC, the line for “impaired” is so low that you can go over with too much wine at dinner) and more with the racing. I wouldn’t be surprised to see it from a 24-year-old rookie but c’mon, what 37-year-old thinks this is a good idea? And on Peachtree no less? Gah!

Frank from KS (now living in CO)

April 29th, 2011
7:19 pm

Jemmmanie christmas…first McDowell, now Lowe. What’s next? J-Hey? Mac?

As I posted on the *Thanks Bobby* facebook page, it’s real funny…this all happens the year AFTER Bobby leaves the dugout. I think it might be a sign.

Total Grace

April 29th, 2011
7:20 pm

Total Grace

April 29th, 2011
7:21 pm

awww rats I was third.

Dennis Reynolds

April 29th, 2011
7:28 pm

Win 15 games and we’ll forget about it.

Dennis Reynolds

April 29th, 2011
7:29 pm

Make it 18 since you did this while were on a hot streak.

northbeach Scott

April 29th, 2011
8:11 pm

At least Lowe did not have the red panties of some tramp in his lap like the douche bag AD Damon Evans from UGA.

Honest mistake, but Derek, you know better than that you are a grown man. Be a leader and set a positive example for the kids.

Use it as motivation to continue a strong year with a stellar finish.

Ed

April 29th, 2011
8:15 pm

No Bobby= No discipline.

Elan

April 29th, 2011
8:21 pm

I wish Derek, Roger and all of “our boys” the absolutely best. We are all but fragile humans in this life journey. If Derek needs more help, lets get it for him. Each man is part of the “family”. I hope he and all the boys realize that we while we really enjoy them entertaining us with baseball, we also care about them as people. One of my favorite things about being a Braves fan is the way the vast majority of us forgive, forget, and support. And how much fun it is to “hate” the Phillies :) Now go out there and win guys!!

BravesfaninAugusta

April 29th, 2011
8:43 pm

Yea hope this isn’t a sign of Gonzo losing control of the team… But Bobby also had his share of off-field issues

JT in Powder Springs

April 29th, 2011
10:51 pm

Bring back Leo!

BravesLover

April 29th, 2011
11:06 pm

I’m feeling too much of the love from Wren. Roger has to be fired to maintain any semblence of credibility. Wren seems to have his girl panties on instead of manning up and cutting ties with the homophobe. Lowe like Chipper is just a boy in a man’s body. What’s up with our ninth inning guy lately? He’s blowing up the bullpen all by himself. Maybe it’s time to give Venters a shot at the ninth.

True South

April 30th, 2011
1:03 am

How annoying are all you front runner Braves “fans from other states that never come here to see the team play and know what really goes on in these parts? …. man , I wish TBS never covered our games Nation-Wide for all them years . No wonder we get accused having such an ignorant fan-base.

Derek's Doc

April 30th, 2011
2:37 am

I wonder if DLowe had gone off his medication? I suppose only he and (maybe) his wife knows for sure. I’d like to give him the benefit of the doubt and say his brain chemistry was hosed. He certainly knows better than to do a reckless stunt like that! This is by far worse than what Roger did. Words from a stranger shouldn’t bother a person at all! But, when a person is physically impaired behind the wheel of an automobile, we are talking the potential of loss of life. DLowe ….. DON’T do it again!

[...] Atlanta Braves [...]

stoky

April 30th, 2011
9:09 am

a man who drives while drinking is a killing machine. He might have had to apologize not only to fans and family but to a dead child’s mother and father. Derek, drive your Porsche Panamera off a cliff!!

[...] Via AJC.com: “I would like to apologize to my family, teammates, fans and the Braves organization for the attention arising from this matter,” Lowe said. “However I am hopeful that this incident will not be a distraction to the Braves organization while we are focused on returning to the playoffs. This is a legal matter and I anticipate this case can promptly be resolved within the court system.” Derek Lowe will still make his scheduled start against the St. Louis Cardinals on Sunday. [...]

bobbymahlon

April 30th, 2011
10:02 am

To you who are making comments about this wouldn’t happen with Bobby in charge how about Bobby himself,Rocker, and Furcal.

lakedawg

April 30th, 2011
10:12 am

When you hear Porsche and street racing, it conjures up an image, but the Panamera is a 4 door luxury sedan….. so I’d really like to hear “the rest of the story”.

AnOldViolin

April 30th, 2011
11:32 am

As a recovering alcoholic with 43 years sobriety I have to say that we don’t throw Mr. Lowe under the bus just yet. I would also say to Mr. Lowe, use this as a eye opener, you’re under the media’s spot light and as such you are a role model. The Braves need you, the fans need you and your family needs you even more…..don’t take this lightly, do what you need to do….God Bless you and your family…..

AnOldViolin

April 30th, 2011
11:45 am

Mr. McDowell, I don’t know all the facts about what happened in San Francisco, and I don’t even pretend to know the pressure you guys are under when these folks shout things at you from the stands, but I do know that we don’t have freedom of speech in certain areas anymore and have to be ever on guard against these incidents. The fact that these folks went out and hired this high profile attorney tells me they are looking for a free ride to the moon and that angers me ! I would love to serve on the jury that hears this case so that I could stand up and shout “Heck No”…You might need to check your behavior, but you don’t need to give your money to these “Opportunist”….Wish you well, and hope that if there’s a problem, you take care of it…..

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