Former Mets equipment manager Charlie Samuels pleads guilty, gets probation

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Remember Charlie Samuels, the Mets longtime clubhouse manager/travelling secretary? The guy who was alleged to be running a gambling ring, stealing Mets’ memorabilia, skimming hotel money and living way, way beyond his means? And who got arrested for it all last spring?

Yeah, well he pleaded guilty today and was sentenced: five years probation and an order of restitution.

Seems light to me, but really, the thing that may have saved his bacon the most is that, despite getting all of this illicit income, he reported it all on his taxes, claiming as much as $700,000 in income despite his $80,000 salary.  On the one hand, that likely caused him to become the subject of the investigation in the first place.  On the other: it kept him from a tax evasion charge, which likely would have meant mandatory prison time.

No word if he has to pay Jeff Francoeur back that $50K he was given.

Video: Jake Arrieta hits a 465-foot home run off of Zack Greinke

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Jake Arrieta‘s bat is in midseason form already. The Cubs’ ace swatted a solo home run to center field off of Zack Greinke in Thursday afternoon’s Grapefruit League exhibition game, his first homer of the spring.

The blast went 465 feet, according to MLB.com’s Daren Willman.

Arrieta has hit two home runs in each of the past two seasons. Madison Bumgarner (eight) and Noah Syndergaard (four) are the only other pitchers to match or exceed his output in that department.

Greinke, meanwhile, is hoping to bounce back after a miserable 2016 season. He finished with an uncharacteristic 4.37 ERA in 26 starts in his first year with the Diamondbacks.

Luis Valbuena to miss four to six weeks with a strained right hamstring

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Angels first baseman Luis Valbuena will miss the next four to six weeks with a strained right hamstring, Pedro Moura of the Los Angeles Times reports.

Valbuena, 31, signed a two-year, $15 million contract with the Angels in January and was on track to get the lion’s share of the playing time at first base. While he’s out, however, C.J. Cron will handle first base on a regular basis. When Valbeuna returns, the two will likely form a platoon.

Last year with the Astros, Valbuena hit a solid .260/.357/.459 with 13 home runs and 40 RBI in 342 plate appearances.