“Longtime friend” who stole from Coco Crisp convicted of fraud and identity theft

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Via the Associated Press comes this odd story about Coco Crisp and how friends become former friends:

A longtime friend of Coco Crisp was convicted Thursday of 14 counts of fraud and identity theft for running up about $30,000 on the Oakland Athletics outfielder’s credit card without his permission. … Prosecutors said Marcus Andrews, who grew up with Crisp in Southern California, began using the outfielder’s American Express card without his knowledge in November 2010.

According to police Marcus Andrews charged about $25,000 worth of gift cards under Crisp’s name and now faces a minimum of two years and a maximum of 20 years in prison. But wait, there’s more:

It wasn’t until Crisp’s wife noticed the purchase of a shotgun and a 9mm handgun on their statement did the couple realize someone was fraudulently using their credit card, said Assistant U.S. Attorney Nicholas Pilgrim.” Marcus Andrews had a passion for guns,” Pilgrim said.

Sure, why wouldn’t he?

Steven Matz likely to start season on DL; Zack Wheeler to adhere to innings limit

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Mets manager Terry Collins said on Wednesday, “It’s unlikely that [Steven Matz] will start the season with us.” The final spot in the Mets’ starting rotation will go to either Zack Wheeler or Seth Lugo, Newsday’s Marc Carig reports.

On Wheeler’s innings limit, assistant GM John Ricco said, “There’s going to be some number but we don’t exactly know what that is.” Wheeler missed the last two seasons after undergoing Tommy John surgery.

Neither Wheeler nor Lugo have had terrific springs as each carries a 5.11 and 5.56 Grapefruit League ERA, respectively. However, Carig notes that Wheeler has impressed simply by appearing healthy and brandishing a fastball that once again sits in the mid- to high-90’s. Lugo, meanwhile, proved crucial to the Mets last year, posting a 2.67 ERA across eight starts and nine relief appearances.

Rockies sign 30-year lease to stay in Coors Field

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Nick Groke of the Denver Post reports that the Rockies agreed to a $200 million, 30-year lease with the Metropolitan Baseball Stadium District, which is the state division that owns Coors Field. As part of the deal, the Rockies will lease and develop a plot of land south of the stadium, which will cost the team $125 million for 99 years.

As Groke points out, had the Rockies not reached a deal by Thursday, March 30, the lease would have rolled over for five more years.

Rockies owner Dick Monfort issued a statement, saying, “We are proud that Coors Field will continue to be a vital part of a vibrant city, drawing fans from near and far and making our Colorado residents proud.”

The Rockies moved into Coors Field in 1995. It is the National League’s third oldest stadium. In that span of time, the Rockies have made the playoffs three times, the last coming in 2009 when they lost in the NLDS to the Phillies. The Rockies were swept in the 2007 World Series by the Red Sox.