Chris Perez and his wife plead guilty to drug charges

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Back in June Indians closer Chris Perez and his wife were charged with a misdemeanor count of possession of controlled substance. According to police the couple had “a little more than a third of a pound of marijuana or 163.9 grams” delivered to their home and they’re scheduled to be arraigned on June 19. The package was actually sent to their dog, “Brody Baum.” Which is one way to do it.

Now the charges are behind them, as Perez and the missus entered no contest pleas today and were sentenced:

Municipal Judge Brian Hagan sentenced Perez, the Tribe’s 28-year-old closer, to pay a $250 fine and to serve one year of probation. During that time, Perez must complete Major League Baseball’s drug-treatment program and present a 15- to 20-minute talk to students at Rocky River High School about the dangers of drugs.

Perez has sworn off media lately, so I’m guessing we won’t get a comment.

No word if Perez has apologized to Brody for besmirching his good name.

The Indians are unveiling a Frank Robinson statue on Sunday

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The Cleveland Indians will unveil a Frank Robinson statue at Progressive Field on Saturday.

Robinson’s tenure in Cleveland was not long, but it was historic. On April 8, 1975, he became the first African-American manager in Major League history. He was a player-manager. One of the last ones, in fact. He spent two years in that role and then a third year — a partial year anyway — as a manager only. Robinson would go on to manage the Giants, Orioles and the Expos/Nationals, compiling a career record of 1065-1176 in 16 seasons. He is now a top MLB executive.

Robinson was, of course, a Hall of Fame player as well, lodging 21 seasons for the Reds, Orioles, Dodgers, Angels and Indians. He won two MVP awards and hit for the Triple Crown in 1966. Overall he hit 586 home runs – 10th all time – and was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1982. For an inner-circle Hall of Famer with that kind of resume he is still, strangely enough, underrated. I guess that happens when your contemporaries are Willie Mays, Hank Aaron and Mickey Mantle.

Anyway, congrats to Frank Robinson for yet another well-deserved honor in a career full of them.

Hey kids: don’t swing a weighted bat in the on deck circle

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Here’s an interesting article in the Wall Street Journal. It’s about some studies of hitters who use weighted bats or doughnuts on their bats in the on deck circle. Turns out that, contrary to conventional wisdom, using a weighted bat for practice hacks does not speed up one’s swing when one uses a naked bat in the batter’s box. In fact, it slows it down.

There are lots of caveats here. The sample size in the studies are small and they all involve college and high school players, not big leaguers. The results, however, are consistent with previous studies and they do make some intuitive sense. This is particularly the case with batting doughnuts, which add weight to a very concentrated portion of the bat, thereby changing the center of gravity and thus the swing mechanics of the hitter.

Whether this is applicable at large or to higher level hitters or not, I still find it kind of neat. I always like it when people scrutinize ingrained habits and ask whether or not that thing we’ve always done is, in fact, worth doing.