Lenny Dykstra sentenced to three years in state prison

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When last we checked in on Lenny Dykstra he was living in a Los Angeles rehab center, seemingly showing some semblance of self awareness for the first time in a long time while awaiting his sentencing for a grand theft auto plea.

That sentencing arrived today and a judge ruled that Dykstra will spend three years in a California state prison, refusing to allow him to withdraw a no-contest plea because, according to the Associated Press, “the theft scheme showed sophistication and extensive planning.”

And if Dykstra has become known for anything lately it’s certainly “sophistication and extensive planning.”

Here’s a little more from the AP:

Dykstra, 49, initially pleaded not guilty to 25 counts after police arrested him and found cocaine, Ecstasy and synthetic human growth hormone at his Los Angeles home last April. Prosecutors said Dykstra and two co-defendants tried to lease and then sell high-end cars from several car dealerships by claiming credit through a phony business. … Dykstra changed his plea in October to no contest and in exchange prosecutors dropped 21 counts.

Later this year he’ll also stand trial for federal bankruptcy charges.

Zack Cozart thinks the way the Rays have been using Sergio Romo is bad for baseball

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The Rays started Sergio Romo on back-to-back days and if that sounds weird to you, you’re not alone. Romo, of course, was the star closer for the Giants for a while, helping them win the World Series in 2012 and ’14. He’s been a full-time reliever dating back to 2006, when he was at Single-A.

In an effort to prevent lefty Ryan Yarbrough from facing the righty-heavy top of the Angels’ lineup (Zack Cozart, Mike Trout, Justin Upton), Romo started Saturday’s game, pitching the first inning before giving way to Yarbrough in the second. Romo struck out the side, in fact. The Rays went on to win 5-3.

The Rays did it again on Sunday afternoon, starting Romo. This time, he got four outs before giving way to Matt Andriese. Romo walked two without giving up a hit while striking out three. The Angels managed to win 5-2 however.

Despite Sunday’s win, Cozart wasn’t a happy camper with the way the Rays used Romo. Via Fabian Ardaya of The Athletic, Cozart said, “It was weird … It’s bad for baseball, in my opinion … It’s spring training. That’s the best way to explain it.”

It’s difficult to see merit in Cozart’s argument. It’s not like the Rays were making excessive amounts of pitching changes; they used five on Saturday and four on Sunday. The games lasted three hours and three hours, 15 minutes, respectively. The average game time is exactly three hours so far this season. I’m having trouble wondering how else Cozart might mean the strategy is bad for baseball.

It seems like the real issue is that Cozart is afraid of the sport changing around him. The Rays, like most small market teams, have to find their edges in slight ways. The Rays aren’t doing this blindly; the strategy makes sense based on their opponents’ starting lineup. The idea of valuing on-base percentage was scoffed at. Shifting was scoffed at and now every team employs them to some degree. Who knows if starting a reliever for the first three or four outs will become a trend, but it’s shortsighted to write it off at first glance.