Otis Nixon arrested with “a crack pipe in his pocket”

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Longtime big leaguer Otis Nixon, who just a few months ago was accused of scamming the families of prison inmates out of money, was arrested over the weekend after police found him in possession of crack cocaine.

Alexis Stevens of the Atlanta Journal Constitution has more details:

Nixon, 54, had a crack pipe in his pocket and a crack rock in his vehicle when he was stopped on I-575 early Saturday, according to a Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office reported obtained by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. …

“Otis admitted to me that the substance was crack cocaine but it didn’t belong to him,” a deputy wrote in the report. “Otis said the crack cocaine and the pipe belonged to his son.”

Nixon passed a field sobriety test and is currently being held on $11,880 bond.

Even when he was a leadoff man/center fielder who stole 620 career bases Nixon always looked like he was about 50 years old, but now that he’s actually 54 years old he appears to be about 104 in the mugshot. Bad times.

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.