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Stating “I have nobody to blame but myself,” Mark Grace said Monday he understands why the Arizona Diamondbacks fired him from the broadcast booth last season.
The former Diamondbacks and Chicago Cubs first baseman faces a March 19 trial on aggravated DUI following an August arrest in Scottsdale.
“I did this,” he said. “The Diamondbacks didn’t do anything. I think it’s important to own this. I own this.”
Grace’s remarks came at the team’s spring training site, Salt River Fields at Talking Stick, where the Diamondbacks held their eighth annual fantasy camp.
Grace has participated in the seven previous camps but didn’t think he would have the opportunity this year after the team announced on Oct. 4 that he wouldn’t return to the booth.
Several weeks ago, however, the team reached out to Grace about participating and “I was happy to grab that olive branch,” he said.
“Mark has always been an important part of our family so we would naturally be here to support him,” Diamondbacks President Derrick Hall said. “While he still has some legal issues to overcome, we look forward to his future involvement in the organization.”
Grace pleaded not guilty in October following his August arrest in Scottsdale on suspicion of driving under the influence. It was his second DUI arrest in 15 months.
He was initially pulled over for driving a car with expired registration tags. He also was found to be driving on a suspended license and without a court-ordered ignition interlock device.
It is possible he won’t go to trial if a plea is offered and a settlement is reached.
The support he has received since his arrest has been “humbling,” Grace said.
“There’s been so many warm wishes, text, phone calls from these guys, the campers I’ve spent eight years with,” he said. “And from former teammates, fans. My goodness, it’s been awesome.”