Lenny Dykstra pleads guilty in bankruptcy fraud case

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Lenny Dykstra’s legal problems continue to mount, as the Associated Press reports that the former All-Star outfielder pleaded guilty Friday to three counts related to a bankruptcy fraud case in Los Angeles. He could face a maximum 20 years in prison when he’s sentenced on December 3.

According to Reuters, Dykstra admitted defrauding creditors by declaring bankruptcy in 2009 and then stealing or destroying furnishings, baseball memorabilia and other property from his $18.5 million mansion. He also admitted to giving false or misleading testimony about what was removed from the home.

As part of a plea deal with prosecutors, Dykstra has waived his right to appeal if he is sentenced to no more than 51 months in prison and $200,000 in restitution.

Dykstra is already serving a three-year prison sentence in California after pleading no contest to grand theft auto and providing a false financial statement. In April, he was sentenced to nine months in jail and 36 months probation after pleading no contest to assault with a deadly weapon and lewd conduct.

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.