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Houston Astros’ Outfielder Busted on Felony Pot Charges

Though the Houston Astros lost 106 games in the 2011 season (the only team in the majors to lose in triple digits this year), outfielder Jordan Schafer made sure the Astros stayed relevant in October while Major League Baseball conducts its annual postseason playoffs. Unfortunately for Schafer and Astros’ ownership, his headlines didn’t come from a game-winning extra-base hit to clinch the National League pennant, but because Tampa, Florida police busted him for felony marijuana possession on Tuesday.

Schafer really only has himself to blame as was driving in a Land Rover with expired Mississippi license plates (the state in which Schafer once played minor-league ball for the Atlanta Braves before they traded him to the Astros earlier in the ’11 season) when he pulled up next to an unmarked police vehicle. Officers reportedly detected a “strong odor” of pot coming from Schafer’s partially rolled-down window, and pulled him over for the license plate violation. As officers approached the vehicle, they allegedly spotted a joint in Schafer’s hand and also found three marijuana peanut butter cups and a bag containing 25.9 grams of pot (roughly two grams shy of an ounce). 

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Unfortunately, while many states have an over-a-full-ounce threshold for felony possession charges, Florida’s bar is only 20 grams (slightly less than three-quarters of an ounce), which Schafer’s stash exceeded, and he was arrested and later released on bail after claiming ownership of all the pot and edibles seized. The Houston Astros have not publicly commented on their outfielder’s arrest.

Schafer had been previously suspended in 2008 for 50 minor-league games for using human growth hormones while playing in the Braves’ organization (a charge he denies). It could be argued Schafer’s use of pot is at least partially medicinal, as he has suffered from a string of hand and wrist problems since 2009, including inflammation with “stabbing jolts of pain” and a fractured wrist. Though Schafer hit a homer in his Opening Day major-league debut in 2009 with the Braves (the dream of every Little League kid growing up), in parts of two seasons with Atlanta and Houston, Schafer is a career .228 hitter with only four big league homers.

Schafer was arrested early Tuesday morning. He tweeted from the Raymond James Stadium parking lot that he was partying there before the Tampa Bay Buccaneers hosted the Indianapolis Colts for Monday Night Football. Next time around, Schafer would be better advised to keep the party indoors  (or at least roll up the Rover windows), update those license plates every once in a while and never carry more than half an ounce while hanging in Florida. 

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