Arizona baseball junior Joseph Maggi’s teammates voted to suspend him from the team indefinitely on Saturday.
According to teammates, Maggi appeared noticeably drunk when he arrived for a Wildcats’ game this past weekend after attending a pool party at a fraternity he is unaffiliated with.
Starting players confirmed that while Maggi was in the batting cage preparing for a game, the team took a vote and turned Maggi’s number 15 jersey into the coach’s office.
“It was pretty much unanimous,” an anonymous player said.
Since then, the starting right fielder and member of the 2012 National Championship team has been in his hometown of Phoenix.
Maggi is old enough to legally drink, and members of Arizona Athletics said the department is taking care of the issue.
“He is suspended indefinitely and we’re taking it day-by-day in house,” head coach Andy Lopez said after the game on Tuesday. Lopez also said that this was the real world and actions will have consequences.
“Our world is based [on] accountability,” he said. “You do A, you get B.”
The usual starter was not in the starting lineup during Arizona’s 10-5 home victory over UC Santa Barbara on Saturday. He has not played since.
“I haven’t talked to him [since],” an anonymous player said. “I know some people might think it is like turning a back on a teammate, but for him to do that to us kind of feels like that.”
Lopez said that Maggi is still on the roster so it is possible he could rejoin the team later.
Maggi, who was not available for comment, has started nine of the Wildcats’ 19 games and has the second-lowest batting average on the team at .194 with one run batted in.
Despite his recent struggles at the plate, the junior was a key piece of the Wildcats’ 2012 national championship team when he was a freshman. That season Maggi started 45 of Arizona’s 65 games.
He had a batting average of .326 and a fielding percentage of 99 percent. Over the past three years, he has split time in the outfield as well as first base.
Until a final decision is made on Maggi’s future the Wildcats may keep freshman Kenny Meimerstorf in right field. As of Thursday, Meimerstorf had the team’s lowest batting average, of .167.
Meimerstorf has started nine games this season and played in 12. Another option Lopez could turn to is current designated hitter Tyler Krause, who is hitting .267 in 15 at bats and is listed as an outfielder on Arizona’s roster.
Lopez and all the players asked said they were confident in whoever replaces Maggi for the time being until a final decision is made.
Players said they have no regrets about the decision they made.
“We did what we felt was best for the team,” the anonymous player said.
After Wednesday’s 10-2 win, Lopez said he talked to Maggi on Tuesday afternoon and that they will revisit the issue later on in the week.
“He understood the situation,” Lopez said. “I’m sure he’s not happy with it; I’m not happy with it. But sometimes you’re a young guy and you have to pay for your actions.”
—Follow Luke Della @LukeDella