Jim Leyritz

Jim Leyritz to be sentenced today

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A jury found Jim Leyritz guilty of  drunk driving last month, but he was acquitted of manslaughter. Today Leyrtiz gets sentenced. He faces a maximum of six months in prison. Two things I wonder about:

  • Normally someone who just gets a drunk driving conviction with Leyritz’s record won’t actually do six months of time. I have a friend who has defended a couple of cases like this before (i.e. a death or injury is involved, but the defendant is acquitted on the big change, with only a DUI holding up). Each time his client got the maximum sentence.  He thinks it’s because the judge is trying to make up for the acquittal somehow, even if no one will ever admit it.  It’s probably of little consequence, but that kind of outside-the-lines justice is something that has always intrigued me. Both in cases where a defendant gets off easier or is hit harder than he might otherwise be.
  • Second: before the accident, Leyritz was a fixture in the talk radio world and would do meet-and-greets at Yankee events.  I assume that part of his life is over, at least for the near future.  I don’t give a crap about Leyritz specifically, but I wonder how someone in his position proceeds when he’s out of jail.  Can he sign at card shows? Is there any future for the guy?

Obviously neither of these issues is of consequence compared to the fact that someone died as a result of this accident, and my concern, such as it is, for Leyrtiz should not be taken too heavily.  It’s just the sort of thing I think about on a slow Thursday morning.

Justin Verlander: “I’d like to see the AL and NL have the same rules… I vote NL rules.”

SEATTLE, WA - AUGUST 10:  Starting pitcher Justin Verlander #35 of the Detroit Tigers pitches against the Seattle Mariners in the first inning at Safeco Field on August 10, 2016 in Seattle, Washington.  (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
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On Thursday afternoon, Rays pitcher Chris Archer asked his Twitter followers, “Lots swirling around what needs to be changed about the game of baseball. What do y’all want to see changed, if anything, & why?”

Tigers ace Justin Verlander responded:

To that, Archer said:

For what it’s worth, Verlander hasn’t been much of a hitter. In 47 career plate appearances, he has three singles and no extra-base hits. And if the AL did get rid of the DH rule, the Tigers would have nowhere to put Victor Martinez. Verlander, though, would have an easier time pitching to opposing pitchers rather than their DH’s.

Rusney Castillo disappoints again by not running out a routine grounder

BOSTON, MA - AUGUST 18:  Rusney Castillo #38 of the Boston Red Sox reacts after he was caught off third base for the third out of the third inning against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park on August 18, 2015 in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
Jim Rogash/Getty Images
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The Red Sox inked Cuban outfielder Rusney Castillo to a seven-year, $72.5 million contract back in August 2014. Over parts of three seasons, the 29-year-old has a .679 OPS across 337 plate appearances in the majors and spent the vast majority of the 2016 season at Triple-A Pawtucket.

Castillo had a chance to start things off on the right foot in 2017, but that ship has already sailed. On Thursday against Northeastern at JetBlue Park, Castillo didn’t run out a routine ground ball. He claims he lost track of the outs. Manager John Farrell isn’t happy about the situation. Via Evan Drellich of the Boston Herald:

“Disappointing for a couple of reasons,” Sox manager John Farrell said. “One, he has lost the number of outs. Still, regardless of another of outs, getting down the line is controllable. And for a player in his situation, every little aspect of the game is important. That’s something that was addressed in the moment. He needs to execute the game situation. And for that matter, every player. But that one obviously stood out.”

Everyone always makes far too big a deal about running out grounders. It’s a real nit to pick when it’s February 23 and your team just finished playing an exhibition game that is even more meaningless than the other exhibition games that will be played in the coming month.

That being said, Castillo has to prove himself to merit inclusion on the 25-man roster and that means dotting all his i’s and crossing all his t’s. Even if he went hitless all spring, Castillo could have at least said he couldn’t have done anything else better. But on day one, he already gave his team a reason to count him out.