Former major leaguer Chad Curtis’ criminal sexual conduct trial is underway

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Chad Curtis, whose major league career featured stints with the Angels, Tigers, Dodgers, Indians, Yankees and Rangers — and who has two World Series rings from his time in the Bronx — is on trial in Michigan on multiple counts of criminal sexual conduct arising out of his time as a volunteer weightlifting coach at a high school. The charges came to light last summer.

Curtis is accused of inappropriately touching girls between the ages of 13 and 16. He faces a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison if convicted at the trial.

Curtis’s career highlight was probably hitting two homers for the Yankees in Game 3 of the 1999 World Series, including a walkoff. He was also know to have alienated multiple teammates over the course of his career, in part because his deeply religious beliefs led him to call out their off-field conduct. It has been reported that this is what led him to be traded away from the Yankees following the 1999 season, as he took issue with Derek Jeter’s dating habits.

Would that were the worst thing he was ever accused of.

Jim Crane thought the heat over sign-stealing would blow over by spring training

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The Astros’ sign-stealing story broke in November, a steady drumbeat of coverage of it lasted through December and into January, when Rob Manfred’s report came out about it. The report was damning and, in its wake, Houston’s manager and general manger were both suspended and then fired.

After that a steady stream of media reports came out which not only made the whole affair seem even worse than Manfred’s report suggested, but which also suggested that, on some level, Major League Baseball had bungled it all and it was even worse than it had first seemed.

Rather than Manfred and the Astros putting this all behind them, the story grew. As it grew, both the Red Sox and Mets fired their managers and, in a few isolated media appearances, Astros’ players seemed ill-prepared for questions on it all. Once spring training began the Astros made even worse public appearances and, for the past week and change, each day has given us a new player or three angrily speaking out about how mad they are at the Astros and how poorly they’ve handled all of this.

Why have they handled it so poorly? As always, look to poor leadership:

Guess not.

In other news, Crane was — and I am not making this up — recently named the Houston Sports Executive of the Year. An award he has totally, totally earned, right?