Mike Leake does not know how to exchange merchandise

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That diversion program that Mike Leake’s lawyer is trying to get him into requires the participant to admit his guilt first.  In light of that, let’s hope that this report from a Cincinnati TV stadion (hat tip to Big League Stew) doesn’t represent Leake’s current talking points on the incident:

A reliable source tells me that Leake did indeed pay for T-shirts some time prior to yesterday’s episode. And only in the process of clumsily trying to exchange them, did he run afoul of, if not the law, then certainly the dictates of common sense.

Um, OK. I guess I could possibly buy the notion of someone being so clueless about how retail transactions go that he thinks you can simply walk in to a store and make an exchange without telling anyone.  But then again, I’m a pushover and I buy a lot of things I probably shouldn’t buy.

Rakuten Golden Eagles sign Jabari Blash

Jabari Blash
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Former Angels outfielder Jabari Blash has signed a one-year deal with the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles of Nippon Professional Baseball, the team announced Friday. Per the Japan Times, the deal is said to be worth around $1.06 million. Blash was released from his contract with the Angels at the end of November.

The 29-year-old outfielder has had a rough go of it in the majors, where he failed to duplicate the promising results he delivered in the minors. While he consistently batted above .250 with 20-30 home runs per season at the Double- and Triple-A level, he petered out in back-to-back gigs with the Padres and Angels and slumped toward a .103/.200/.128 finish across 45 PA for Anaheim in 2018.

The hope, of course, is that the environment in NPB will help him get a better handle on his issues at the plate — in a best case scenario, resulting in a full-scale transformation that could make him more marketable to MLB teams in the future. To that end, Blash expects to be utilized as a cleanup batter in the Eagles’ lineup and will focus on assisting the club as they make a run toward the Japan Series.