Red Sox pitcher Bobby Jenks faces DUI charges in Florida

Posted March 23, 2012, at 3:01 p.m.
Last modified March 23, 2012, at 6:30 p.m.

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Authorities say Boston Red Sox relief pitcher Bobby Jenks has been arrested on charges of driving under the influence.

The Lee County Sheriff’s Office says a deputy saw Jenks’ SUV driving erratically early Friday in Fort Myers. Jenks has been released on bail.

An arrest report says Jenks told the deputy he had taken “too many muscle relaxers.” The deputy said Jenks was shaking uncontrollably and had a difficult time speaking.

The report says Jenks also told the deputy he hit another car at a strip club. The deputy found a small amount of damage on his bumper.

The sheriff’s office says the club’s bouncer saw Jenks drive into a pickup truck in the parking lot before driving off.

Jenks faces DUI charges and a hit-and-run charge. Red Sox officials said they were aware of Jenks’ arrest but declined further comment.

“We have been made aware of a situation regarding Bobby Jenks and take such matters seriously,” a team statement said. “We are gathering information.”

New Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine was approached by media this morning at the team’s complex, regarding the incident.

“You guys must know a lot more than I do,” Valentine told reporters. “I got a little text.”

Valentine said he was made aware of the situation at about 11:15 a.m. Friday.

It’s been a puzzling tenure for Jenks in Boston, and this only adds to it.

In 2011, the first of a two-year, $12 million contract, Jenks was limited by several ailments, including a right biceps strain, left back tightness, and a pulmonary embolism. He finished with just 19 appearances, 15 2-3 innings, a record of 2-2 and an ERA of 6.32.

He was scheduled for offseason surgery on his back, but had to wait for the embolism to clear on its own before he could do so.

Jenks then had the surgery on his back at Massachusetts General Hospital on Dec. 12. But serious complications from that procedure led to an emergency follow-up surgery on Dec. 30 in Scottsdale, Ariz., near his home.

“Obviously,” Jenks said earlier this month, “my winter didn’t go very well.”

Jenks had two less strikeouts (17) than appearances last season, and was not around as Boston collapsed in September. He last pitched in a game on July 7.

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