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.

Battle of the Aces: Max Scherzer takes on Clayton Kershaw tonight

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I hope you don’t have any plans tonight at around 10PM Eastern time, because that’s when we get a pitching matchup for the ages as Max Scherzer will take on Clayton Kershaw at Dodger Stadium. When they meet tonight it will be the first time two pitchers with three or more Cy Young Awards have matched up since 2006. That year, and in 2005 and 2000, Roger Clemens faced Greg Maddux. In 2001 Clemens faced Pedro Martinez.

Kershaw won his hardware in 2011, 2013 and 2014, with an MVP award in 2014 to boot. Scherzer collected trophies in 2013, 2016 and 2017. Each has started the 2018 season in Cy Young form. Kershaw is 1-2, but that record is due to poor run support. He has a 1.73 ERA and has struck out 31 batters and has walked only three in 26 innings. Scherzer is 3-1 with a 1.33 ERA and a whopping 38 strikeouts to only 4 walks in 27 innings.

This will be the third time that Kershaw and Scherzer faced each other if you include the playoffs. The first meeting was a decade ago when both were rookies. They most recently faced off in Game 1 of the 2016 NLDS, way back when Scherzer only had one Cy Young Award to his credit. Kershaw beat Scherzer in that playoff game and the Dodgers beat Scherzer’s teams in the two regular season matchups, with neither guy setting the world on fire. As so often happens in baseball, the hype hasn’t been matched by reality.

Still, there’s always a chance it will. And even if, in the end, this turns into a slugfest, the first couple of innings should at least give us some hope of something good. I’ll be watching.