Cincinnati Reds pitcher won't lose spot | Baseball Notebook
Reds starter Mike Leake will keep his spot in the rotation while he handles a misdemeanor shoplifting charge.
CINCINNATI — Cincinnati Reds starter Mike Leake will keep his spot in the rotation while he handles a misdemeanor shoplifting charge.
Manager Dusty Baker decided to keep Leake as his starter for the final game of a series against Arizona on Thursday. Leake was arrested Monday afternoon at a downtown department store, accused of removing the tags from six T-shirts and trying to steal them.
Baker talked to Leake before deciding to keep him on schedule.
"We talked about how he felt and could he handle the pressures of it, and he said yeah," Baker said. "Sometimes when you're in times of trouble, it's easier to go to work than to not go to work.
"I remember when Pete Rose was having problems at home — his dad passed — I asked Pete how he was dealing with it. He said those three or four hours at the park were a sanctuary from his problems."
Police arrest reports said Leake removed price tags from six American Rag T-shirts at a Macy's store on Monday and tried to leave without paying for them. The six shirts were valued at $59.88. Leake makes $425,000 in his second season in the majors.
Leake has not discussed the arrest, other than to issue an apology "for this distraction."
He had his first court hearing on Tuesday. His lawyer asked to let him enter a diversion program for first-time offenders. If accepted, he would pay a $200 fee, likely perform volunteer work and take a class. Leake also would have to acknowledge guilt.
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