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.  

Mets to move Matt Harvey to the bullpen

Matt Harvey
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Mets right-hander Matt Harvey is heading to the bullpen, according to comments made by club manager Mickey Callaway on Saturday. As predicted, Harvey doesn’t appear to be taking the news particularly well, going so far as to tell Callaway that the decision has him “at a 10 with being pissed off” and that he’s motivated to prove himself as a starter.

It’s been rough going for Harvey this spring. After missing significant time to a shoulder injury last season, the 29-year-old righty returned to the mound with a lot left to prove. He pitched to an 0-2 record in four starts, issuing 14 runs, four home runs and 17 strikeouts in 21 innings. It’s been a while since the Mets have seen anything better out of their starter — he hasn’t turned in a sub-4.00 ERA since 2015 and hasn’t pitched well enough to earn an All-Star berth since 2013 — and now it appears they’re at the end of their rope.

At this point, the Mets insist that the shift is a temporary one. While Callaway has helped successfully convert several starters to the bullpen, including Trevor Bauer and Carlos Carrasco, that’s not the plan for this veteran right-hander. Instead, both the team and Harvey seem to view the change as a way to clear up any mental blocks Harvey may be encountering on the mound. “We know he’s healthy,” assistant GM John Ricco told reporters. “He’s feeling good. Then you get to, is this a little bit of a mental thing, a confidence thing? One of the things we talk about is getting him into the ‘pen, where he can have success in short spurts, get that confidence back and really let it go and get back to being a guy who can dominate the way he’s shown in the past.”

Harvey will be eligible to pitch out of the bullpen on Tuesday, when the Mets are scheduled to kick off their next road series against the Cardinals. As for his replacement, left-hander Jason Vargas will resume his role in the rotation when he comes off the disabled list next Saturday.