On Monday, just before the deadline, the Rays signed their top pick from this year’s draft, Taylor Guerrieri, a right-handed pitcher out of high school in South Carolina. And yesterday, Guerrieri finally opened up about “the incident” that is often mentioned, but never specified, but is believed to have led to Guerrieri packing his bags and switching high schools in the middle of his senior year.

So what was “the incident” that Guerrieri had supposedly “moved on from”?

He said he was caught drinking “a beer” before a high school football game last fall but was never suspended, nor is there a police report of the incident…“That was pretty much what the whole stink was about,” he said. “It was something that a lot of people have done before. I got in trouble.”

That’s weird. Seems hard to believe that a star high school athlete would have to switch schools in the middle of the year because of ONE beer. It is even more difficult to believe that 23 other big league teams passed on a top ten talent, and potential Ace because of ONE beer.

Un-[expletive deleted]-believable. He was better off sticking with the “I’ve moved on” line.

Later on, Guerrieri volunteers that he had not been driving that night, pointing out that he was a passenger in a friend’s car. That’s odd. Why would he  go out of his way to offer that information if driving had nothing to do with this ONE incident?

There are a lot of people who have heard a story much different from the one Guerrieri is trying to sell now. Those people have respected the wishes of Guerrieri by not talking or writing about it. And those people are now going to be pissed.

Hey, high school kids do dumb things. And high school kids say dumb things. But Guerrieri just signed a professional baseball contract that will pay him $1.6 million, and will allow him to someday represent our beloved Tampa Bay Rays on the baseball field. It is time for this former high school kid to stop doing and saying dumb things.

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40 Comments

  1. Don says:

    Hey kid always tell the authorities you had "two" beers, they are never going to believe that "I only had one" story....
    More realistic ..he a high school drunk with an over bearing father(pull him out of high school?) who will fit perfect in 2-3 years in tampa night life following longo, upton, brig around ( if any of them are here?)

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  2. Beth says:

    Before this "statement" I assumed that Guerrieri had been kicked out of school because of some troubling alcohol-related incident that he didn't want to talk about.

    Now I assume that Guerrieri had been kicked out of school because of some troubling alcohol-related incident that he didn't want to talk about, AND that Guerrieri thinks we are all complete idiots who would believe such an obviously untrue or incomplete story as the one he told. You are right, Cork, he should have just stuck with "I've moved on."

    Let me add as well that the kid has awful PR advisors.

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  3. KillaTapes says:

    Obviously one beer was probably more like 12 beers and some Smirnoff Ices, but really I could care less. Sounds like a kid who wanted to air this out and put it behind him but tightened up and decided to pad the explanation a bit too much.

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  4. Andy says:

    "It is time for this former high school kid to stop doing and saying dumb things."

    What dumb thing has he DONE since high school? Please do tell.

    "Un-[explicative deleted]-believable. He was better off sticking with the “I’ve moved on” line."

    Oh, you mean the line that earned him the headline "Guerrieri Breaks Silence, Probably Should Have Kept Mouth Shut" on this very site.

    I don't really understand why you continue to lay into this guy for things he may or may have not done in high school. To me, it hearkens back to the days of "If McGwire will admit it people will forgive him" farce. If Guerreri comes out like you have previously suggested, I can reasonably predict what your response will be based on the crap I've seen so far on this site.

    Let him play ball. If he screws up on or off the field, by all means lay into him. But if you'd like be something beyond the People Magazine of Rays sites, stop perpetuating the rumor mill about players, and stick to facts.

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    • Cork Gaines says:

      I know the facts and have kept them to myself as per the wishes of others. But if he is going to lie and treat us all like idiots, I might change my mind...

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      • Andy says:

        In that case my steroid analogy is a perfect fit.

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        • Cork Gaines says:

          A lot of people (as many as 23 other teams) seem concerned that the problem is a lingering one. I have no reason to believe that and am giving him the benefit of the doubt. But if he doesn't want people to talk about it, then dont talk about it. I dont care. I dont need an apology or an explanation of the "incident." I was over this a long time ago.

          But if he wants to talk about it, that's cool to. Just don't try to feed us some story about one beer. That's all.

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          • Andy says:

            And if you have info that points to more than one beer, share it. Failure to do so in this situation is just begging for rumors to swirl, which is particularly egregious if you actually know what happened. I am forced to conclude that you value the speculation much more than the truth.

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          • Cork Gaines says:

            It is my contention - and you can certianly disagree with this point - that by making his comment this week, it is Guerrieri that is fueling the speculation. Even not knowing anything else about the story, there is little reason for anybody to believe the story he is telling. It is just silly to think that all of this would be over a beer at a football game. And if there is doubt in his story, then people are going to wonder what really happened.

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          • Kevin says:

            "People are going to wonder." Yeah, my gut says something else is up but I don't make posts like this on gut feeling since it's baseless. You're insinuating that you have more than a gut feeling that something is up but you're trying to play both sides. So my question is: Is this a "doesn't something seem weird here?" post or is it a "I have information that says there's something else here." Saying the latter doesn't do anything in terms of revealing a source or any information, if that's the case.

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        • Tone says:

          You should channel your outrage on something more worthwhile.

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        • Rob says:

          I have to admit Cork that if you know the truth but promised to your sources not to reveal it then you should leave it completely alone. Hinting at the truth only fuels speculation.

          By the way, knowing that you know what he did (based on here-say) makes me read your article in a different way. If one reads between the lines with this perspective, you actually have revealed at least portions of what he did.

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      • Kevin says:

        If you have info that's off-the-record, that's fine. But don't play this game. Either say "the info I have conflicts with that he's said" or don't talk about it.

        "There are a lot of people who have heard a story much different from the one Guerrieri is trying to sell now. Those people have respected the wishes of Guerrieri by not talking or writing about it. And those people are now going to be pissed."

        Are you among "those people?" If you are, just say you have different info from a solid source (if the source is in fact solid. If it's not, obviously...). Don't play all coy with the "Why would he go out of his way to offer that information if driving had nothing to do with this ONE incident?" line. If you have good reason to doubt it, say you have good reason to doubt it (I'm assuming it was given off-the-record, so I'm not asking for specifics or anything). If you don't, then stop insinuating you do.

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      • Rob says:

        Incidentally, according to the quote you posted, he never said he only had ONE beer that night. He just said that he was caught drinking a beer. It seems plausible to me that he only had one beer in his hand when he was caught.

        I share your concern, though, that the kid keeps bringing this up. From the beginning it seemed as though he was getting bad advice (e.g. refusing to talk to the media about his place in the draft after the Rays picked him) and he doesn't appear to have much maturity (even for an 18-year-old).

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    • Tone says:

      I personally don't care what caused the kid to switch schools, nor do I care that RaysIndex wants to speculate about it. If you don't like the site, don't visit it.

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      • Andy says:

        Henceforth I will only post comments that agree with the article, and laud the site for its wonderful wonderfulness.

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        • Tone says:

          Isn't that what you people do over at Draysbay? Hypocrisy is not endearing.

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          • Andy says:

            Sorry I insulted your boyfriend

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          • Tone says:

            "Sorry I insulted your boyfriend" Wow, that was likely one of the most pathetic replies I have ever seen. You have earned my pity.

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          • Andy says:

            Well maybe if you hadn't accused me of being a Draysbay sycophant while doing the exact thing you accuse others of right here on this site, and then called ME the hypocrite on top of it you'd have deserved better.

            I frequent both sites and regularly disagree with posts on both. Imagine that, the ability to think for ones self without turning everything into a turf war. Like I said, sorry for insulting your boyfriend.

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          • Drew says:

            YOU play ball like a GIRL!!

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      • Harold says:

        "If you dont like the site don't visit it". I think it perfectly acceptable to demand that writers and bloggers be honest and not run an agenda behind a blog that Uses the Rays name. This is taking potshots at some Kid from the safety of a blog while trying to garner attention by infering that the writer has more information but is honor bound not to tell , wink wink. Despite the fact he signed a contract he is still a kid. This Site appears to be more about Mr Gaines then it does about the Rays.

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  5. Alex says:

    Oh no. A high school kid drinking beers! Heads must roll for this outrage

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    • Cork Gaines says:

      But that's the point. Nobody cares. I dont care. That's why I never wrote about it. That's why I deleted comments referring to it.

      Hell, pitching prospect Andrew Belatti killed a guy and it got maybe two short posts on this website. I never demanded that the Rays release him or that they punish him. I never demanded an apology to the fans or questioned "what really happened." I wrote about what happened and that was it.

      But in the case of Guerrieri, he is the one that won't let this die. If he doesn't want to talk about it, then don't talk about it. If he is worried that the story will eventually come out then come clean. that's all.

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      • Kevin says:

        So you are saying you have info from a solid source that what he said in the conference call was not him "coming clean?"

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        • jim says:

          cork has info "on the record". but why would he completely burn bridges by putting out info that isn't on the kids record anymore? ie, the charges were dropped.

          is it more important for him to completely take a piss on the rays while running a fan website by outing a kid for being a dumbass? or should he just leave it to the news media to print what really happened. don't blame you at all cork.

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          • Kevin says:

            I'm not trying to be a jerk here but Cork won't tell us if this is a "that story seems hard to believe" post or a "I have info that says this isn't the whole story" post.

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          • Cork Gaines says:

            I didnt think you were. My point is simply that I dont think you need additional information for his story to be unbelievable.

            It is not my intention to be coy here. My dilemma is that if I do write more detailed information, then the story gets picked up elsewhere and there is a chance it blows up. And while I know some people think that all I care about is pageviews, I have no desire to make the original "incident" a big story. All I care about is what he has done and what he will do since becoming a member of the Rays. And this entire post is just a reaction to what he said, as a member of the organization. And it kinda stinks.

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    • Sarah says:

      That he has had a beer -- I don't care. That he insults my intelligence with a completely unbelievable story about drinking one beer, being confronted by a school resource officer, and then based on that one conversation switching schools -- that bugs me. But as far as I'm concerned, the slate is clean. I look forward to seeing him start he's Rays career, and I promise I won't mention this again if he doesn't.

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      • Kevin says:

        Yeah, this is why my gut feeling is that there's something else here. One beer and he came clean right away when asked, then switched schools anyway? I don't have any facts to back it up but it's a bit hard for me to believe.

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  6. Amanda says:

    Cork, I skimmed through the replies and I didn't see this mentioned. You're forgetting about zero-tolerance policies. Just do a Google search for zero-tolerance policies in schools, and you'll see what I mean. When I was living in Tampa and working for the weekly papers that went with the Trib, there was a high school valedictorian (I think it was East Bay) who took a sip of sangria with her family at a graduation party. It was reported to the school and she was expelled. (I know this happened, but it may have been too long ago to find this on the Web.) It would not surprise me one bit if he was expelled for "just one beer." (For the record, since people got confused by Cork stating an opinion: I don't agree with this policy.)

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    • Sarah says:

      The part of the story that I find most unbelievable, however, is how his beer drinking came to light. In his story, he drinks a beer one afternoon, later goes to a high school football game, and an officer asks him, out of the blue, whether he'd had something to drink. He says yes. But why would the officer even approach him? Do they randomly come up to kids who are minding their own business and ask them about alcohol consumption? Clearly he had to have done something to attract the attention of the resource officer, right? And most likely had to have been caught in an incriminating enough situation that he couldn't deny that he'd been drinking.

      Even if the school has a policy of expelling kids for any alcohol consumption the story he tells is completely unbelievable.

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      • Amanda says:

        That's what happened to the valedictorian. They *are* reaching beyond their boundaries of the school to punish kids for things they do on the outside with zero-tolerance policies. Someone who was jealous of him could have snapped a pic on a cell phone and shown it to a school official. Don't forget, kids are being taught to tattle these days. Do a Google search and check it out.

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  7. Hanna says:

    Who really cares at this point? He's still a kid and has some growing up to do. Let's see what he can do on the field.

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  8. td32 says:

    I'm with Cork on this one. This kid is clearly lying. I'm of the mindset he doesnt owe an explanation or apology to anyone. But the fact he brought it up, instead of saying he's moved on, then proceeds to blatantly lie, I have a problem with that.

    As difficult as it is for people to believe, sometime people in the media have a brain, and a heart, and dont feel like rolling up a kid that made a mistake in high school. There is no reason for it to be revealed in the media, because, it really shouldnt matter. But the kid needs to stop lying, or else it could come out eventually.

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  9. Dave L says:

    I'd love to interview the last 25 HOF inductees on truth serum and ask 'what was your most wild (or regrettable) high school incident?'

    I doubt most would involve a whoopie cushion.

    NORMAL WELL ADJUSTED High schoolers experiment with alchohol in its different forms among other substances. Those that NEVER DO are the exception

    If this is news to any of you, you have lived a sheltered existance.

    This entire thread belongs in the National (Rays) Inquirerer

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    • Cork Gaines says:

      Dave, nobody is arguing with you and I would encourage you to re-read the post and my comments. Nobody cares that he drank.

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      • Sarah says:

        Well.....you are right, Cork, that your post, and many of our comments about him don't intend to blacklist him for underage drinking. But the mom in me can't really subscribe to a "nobody cares that he drank" line. Underage drinking is a huge problem; that among many athletes there exists of culture of drinking to excess is a huge health and safety problem that we all tend to laugh off with a "boys will be boys" shrug. High school kids shouldn't be drinking, and even young professional athletes shouldn't be drinking as much as they are. Excessive drinking just isn't good for you.

        My rant is only marginally related to Guerrieri, who I hope goes on to have a wonderful career.

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        • Amanda says:

          And the realist in me says that 18-year-olds around the world can drink and used to be able to drink in this country. When they lowered the voting age, they reasoned that if you were old enough to go to war, you were old enough to vote. I say if you're old enough to go to war, you're old enough to have a beer, too. If the taboo was off of it for older teens, they wouldn't binge drink when they have access to it in private.

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