The second half of the 2020 season hasn’t been kind to the Baltimore Blue Crabs. Coming out of the All-Star break, Baltimore surged into a first-place tie in the highly competitive East. Since then, though, the Crabs have slumped, losing 12 of their last 15 games. The Crabs have fallen all the way to fifth place, and that fact seems to be wearing on everyone in the locker room.
This week, coach Roland Tedesco seemed to buckle under the pressure, leading to a bizarre meltdown in the Inner Harbor in which he was charged with public intoxication.
On Wednesday, the Blue Crabs lost 6-3 against the Oshawa Drive. It was a particularly back-breaking loss, as Oshawa scored four goals in the third period. During his postgame press conference, Tedesco – who is typically fairly courteous with reporters – was curt and dismissive with his answers. After about five minutes, the coach snapped, “I’m done talking, okay?” and bolted from the podium. A few minutes later, he disappeared from the stadium. Team officials looked around for Tedesco, but couldn’t find him.
Later that evening, the coach was spotted drinking at Pickles Pub, located a few blocks away from the Crabs’ home arena. Tedesco reportedly sat at one end of the bar, drinking steadily and not talking to anyone. One witness described Tedesco as “drinking with a purpose.”
Pickles Pub closed at 2 AM, and about 20 minutes later, Tedesco was spotted in the Inner Harbor, walking erratically and slurring his speech. He was stopped by a police officer, who asked if he had been drinking.
“Have I been drinking?! Of course I’ve been drinking!” barked Tedesco. “You can’t coach this team and stay sober. I’ve got a team that’s falling apart, playing in an arena that’s falling apart in a city that’s falling apart. Seriously, it’s amazing I’ve held it together this long. Next season, it’s heroin!”
The officer attempted to take Tedesco into custody, but the coach evaded capture, ran away, and dove into the harbor. “Maybe I’ll get lucky and drown!” Tedesco shouted, before laughing maniacally.
The officer radioed for backup, and Tedesco was retrieved from the water and held over night on charges of public intoxication. He was released the next morning on his own recognizance.
The next day, Tedesco apologized for his actions. “This was real next-level moron behavior on my part,” the coach said. “Yeah, I got frustrated with that game, and something just snapped inside of me after that. I went down the street to have a couple, try to blow off steam. But I just kept going. If I’d just called an Uber and gone home, it would have been fine. But instead, this happened. There obviously wasn’t a lot of strategic thinking going on there.”
The coach traveled with the team to – ironically enough – Oshawa on Saturday, where they lost 2-1 in overtime.
Asked if he stood by the comments he made during the incident, Tedesco replied, “Hell no! I don’t stand by anything I say when I’m in the bag. If I did, I’d have gotten in a lot more fistfights, and I’d probably have been married a couple more times.”
Asked about the incident, Blue Crabs RW Sidney Archer said, “Hey, it’s not my business. But it’s going to be interesting the next time he tries to fine a guy for staying out after curfew.”