“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?

Umpire ejects Adrian Beltre for moving on-deck circle

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As far as ejections go, this is one of the stranger ones you’ll hear about. Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre was ejected in the bottom of the eighth inning of a game his team trailed at the time 18-6. Beltre was a few feet away from the circle towards home plate and was asked by Marlins pitcher Drew Steckenrider to get into the circle. So rather than step a few feet back to his right, Beltre picked up the circle and dragged it to where he was. And that got him ejected by second base umpire Gerry Davis. Manager Jeff Banister was also ejected after having a word with Davis.

Here’s a video from Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports:

Beltre, by the way, went 3-for-3 with a walk, a pair of doubles, and a solo home run. He’s now four hits away from 3,000 for his career.

Video: Phillies prospect J.P. Crawford hits an inside-the-park grand slam

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Phillies shortstop prospect J.P. Crawford’s stock has fallen sharply this season. He had an abysmal first three months, batting .203/.321/.276 in 291 plate appearances. Baseball America rated him the 12th overall prospect in baseball going into the season and rated him No. 92 in their midseason top 100. It was bad.

Since the calendar turned to July, however, Crawford has been more like his normal self. In 92 at-bats this month entering Wednesday night’s action, he was hitting .300/.391/.650 with six home runs, 13 RBI, 18 runs scored, and a terrific 15/12 K/BB ratio.

Crawford padded his stats more on Wednesday night as he circled the bases for an inside-the-park grand slam. Via the IronPigs Twitter:

Crawford was actually dead-to-rights at home, but he fooled the catcher with a great late slide.

Crawford finished 1-for-3 with a walk along with the slam on the night as the IronPigs beat the Gwinnett Braves 8-2.