Jim Leyrtiz' DUI manslaughter trial delayed

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We’re coming up on three years since former Yankees catcher Jim Leyritz was in the auto accident that claimed the life of Fredia
Ann Veitch, and he still has yet to go to trial. Trial was set to start next week, but that’s on hold because Leyrtiz is taking in interlocutory appeal of a key evidence ruling.

At issue is evidence of Veitch’s blood alcohol content — she herself was over the limit at the time — and whether she was texting at the time of the crash. The judge has struck it from the trial, while Leyritz wants to introduce it into evidence.

Why? Because while there’s a strong belief out there that, because Leyrtiz was drunk, he’s virtually assured of being convicted for manslaughter, legally speaking that’s not the case. If he was drunk but otherwise obeying all traffic laws and didn’t do anything to cause the crash, and if Veitch was the one who did cause it, the most he can be convicted of is DUI. While that seems rather unpalatable given that Veitch is dead and Leyritz is not, her behavior before the crash — legally speaking — would seem pretty critical.

I haven’t been following the case too closely recently so I’m not sure what the basis was for the judge striking the evidence, but if his ruling stands, Leyritz is in deep, deep trouble.  

Blue Jays, Josh Donaldson to table extension talks

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Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith reports that the Blue Jays and third baseman Josh Donaldson are tabling extension talks as the two sides weren’t able to build any momentum towards agreement on a new contract.

Donaldson said, “We’re not quite there. That, to me, right now is not the major focus and I’m turning the page.” He added, “I want to play this season and really focus on winning games because, ultimately, our goal is to win a World Series and I don’t want to hinder that at all.” Donaldson also said he expects to hit free agency.

The 32-year-old avoided arbitration with the Blue Jays last month, agreeing on a $23 million salary for the 2018 season. He’s a free agent at season’s end. Last year, the three-time All-Star hit .270/.385/.559 with 33 home runs, 78 RBI, and 65 runs scored in 496 plate appearances. Donaldson missed six weeks in the first half with a calf injury, but was able to return and post terrific numbers, so his health — at least that aspect of it — shouldn’t be a concern going into spring training.

If Donaldson does reach free agency, he’ll join a star-studded group that will likely also include Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Charlie Blackmon, and A.J. Pollock.