Indians’ closer Chris Perez pleads not guilty to misdemeanor drug possession

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According to the Associated Press, Chris Perez and his wife pleaded not guilty today to misdemeanor possession after marijuana was delivered to their home in Ohio last week.

As we learned last week, the couple allegedly had “a little more than a third of a pound of marijuana or 163.9 grams” delivered to their home. Amusingly, the packages in question were addressed to their dog.

Police say postal inspectors tipped them to suspicious packages mailed to the Perez home and arranged a delivery last Tuesday under surveillance. Police say Melanie Perez accepted two packages.

Authorities say Melanie Perez, whose maiden name is Baum, told the undercover officer delivering the packages that they were intended for the family dog, named Brody. The package was addressed to Brody Baum.

The pleas that were faxed today requested that a requirement that the couple appear in person for a June 19 arraignment be dropped. It’s unlikely that the Indians’ closer will face any jail time.

Perez has been sidelined since May 26 with right shoulder soreness. The 27-year-old has a 4.32 ERA, six saves and an 18/10 K/BB ratio in 16 2/3 innings this season.

Major League Baseball to launch an elite league for high schoolers

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This morning Major League Baseball announced a new elite league for high school baseball players who are likely to be drafted. It’s called the Prospect Development Pipeline League. It’ll start next summer and it’ll invite 80 of the best current high school juniors to play in a league in Florida from June through early July, culminating in an All-Star Game during MLB’s All-Star week.

The idea behind the league: to combat the current system in which a couple of pay-to-play, for-profit showcase leagues dominate the pre-draft season. Major League Baseball, schools and a lot of players’ parents have criticized this system because it favors rich kids who can afford to play in them. Major League Baseball is also likely quite keen on having greater control over the training, health and physical monitoring of prospects.

As Jeff Passan notes in his report about this, there will be a component of the program which involves live data-tracking of players during games and drills. Major League Baseball has become increasingly interested in such things but is limited in how much it can do in this regard due to labor agreements. There is no such impediment with high schoolers. Your mileage will vary when it comes to how you feel about that, I presume.