Greg Hanlon has a story about former major leaguer Chad Curtis over at SportsOnEarth today, and it’s a must-read.
Curtis, who was convicted on six counts of sexual assault arising out of his inappropriate touching of teenage girls at a Michigan high school where he was a volunteer strength trainer, is serving 7-15 years in prison. Despite the fact his appeal is pending, he spoke to Hanlon on the record about his case and his accusers. And he sounds like an absolutely deluded monster:
Curtis tells me that the first accusation against him broke on his 3-year-old’s birthday. The second came on his 11-year-old’s. He was arrested on the day of his 19-year-old’s graduation.
“Now, is that coincidental? Or is that someone looking at your personal file and deciding to mess with you?” he says to me.
Looked at one way, it’s a laughably grandiose delusion of a man whose persecution complex is in proportion to his Jesus complex. But in person, in real time, Curtis is more compelling than he is after the fact. Like any charismatic person, he pulls you in and makes you want to go along with what he’s saying. He has the convincingness of someone who has thoroughly convinced himself of his own innocence.
He blames his victims and he believes that they will recant their stories one day. He even believes that one of them will write a book with him one day that, ultimately, will benefit people. He’s that right, you see, and they’re all wrong and he has God on his side.
Based on Curtis’ sociopathy and sickness, 15 years doesn’t sound like nearly enough.
Jeff Passan of Yahoo has an interesting report today. MLB and Rawlings are developing a new baseball. It will have a tacky surface on the leather, allowing pitchers to get a better grip without having to resort to sunscreen and rosin and pine tar and stuff. Substances which, in theory, are for grip but which are really used by pitchers to doctor the ball, with MLB and opposing hitters mostly looking the other way.
They tested the new balls in the Arizona Fall League last year and Passan talks to a couple of the pitchers who used the ball. More testing would be required, though, so we’re not likely to see the new balls until at least 2018.
As you know, baseball players love change, so I’m sure we won’t hear another thing about the ball and its introduction will go off seamlessly.
Wait. It’ll still have seams. You know what I mean.
The first few days of spring training have been pretty quiet. Guys are going about their business and games are being played, but we haven’t had any news or controversy or silliness or anything fun like that. That’s about to change, however, as Tim Tebow has arrived at Mets camp.
Tebow, a non-roster invite, arrived at the Mets facility in Port St. Lucie, Florida this morning and, unlike every other non-roster invite, had a press conference. You may be surprised to learn that he’s in great shape, is excited to get going and wants to improve steadily each day.
The plan for Tebow is to be a part of the minor league camp, not the major league one, so he’s not going to be as visible at workouts as you might expect. He will be playing in some major league spring training games, however, at least until we get deeper into spring training, after which you’d assume that veterans and players with a real shot of making the big club will play longer.
In the meantime, you can buy Tebow shirts. But not Curtis Granderson ones, it seems: