Leake to start Thursday

The Reds are still planning on having RHP Mike Leake make his scheduled start on Thursday vs. the D-Backs, even after Monday’s arrest on allegations of shoplifting.

“He’s still our guy,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said on Tuesday.

Leake still has not addressed the media, but media relations director Rob Butcher said that Leake would speak to reporters following Thursday’s game. He was court earlier Tuesday and requested a diversion program for first time offenders, something that would eventually expunge the misdemeanor crime from his record.

Did the club have thoughts about not starting Leake?

“There was consideration,” Baker said. “We talked about how he felt and could he handle the pressure of it. He said ‘yeah.’ Sometimes in times of trouble, it’s easier to go to work than not go to work.

The club realizes that fan reaction could be unpleasant for Leake in the coming days.

“You’re always concerned. It will happen sooner or later,” Baker said. “It will probably be less adverse fan reaction at home than there would be on the road. We considered that. I can’t say, but at some point, his story will come out with exactly what happened. It just can’t come out now.”

7 Comments

I am so glad the Reds (and MLB) are not following the NFL model in cases like this: Commissioner Goeddel has a permanent punishment hardon and gets off suspendng players arrested for any infractions. There are four negative effects – players lose salary in what amounts to a fine completely out of proportion with the infraction; the stories about the infraction remain in the news far beyond the normal cycle, fueled by speculation regarding a possible suspension and then whether the suspension was the right length; teams and fans are punished as well, when their stars aren’t available to play; and finally, we get to watch the NFL grapple with such earth-shaking moral questions as, does a 2nd misdemeanor littering citation deserve a shorter or longer suspension than a 1st jaywalking arrest? And please note: all the punishments have not reduced the number of incidents, which seem to have increased in recent years instead; and the negative publicity is magnified rather than minimized. We’ve all grown up over the last generation: we understand that players are just people, not role models; their behavior is not a reflection on the leagues and teams they play for, just on themselves. They should be law-abiding; we expect that. But we shouldn’t expect that they pay a higher price than the law requires when they’re not. We love to punish, even vicariously, people richer and more skilled than ourselves. That doesn’t make it right or sensible. The NFL’s got it wrong; good for the Reds and MLB if they don’t go down that path.

On the other hand, tomorrow night’s game might be the first in baseball history where, instead of the team shooting T-shirts into the stands, the fans shoot them onto the field!

Look I’m not booing Leake Thursday, but I’m disappointed that the Reds didn’t come down and say no, you don’t get to start. I understand the problems that could cause with the rotation etc. But still. Ha. I hope Leake gets on base and steals second. That’s comedy.

Max I hear you, but the number of incidents only appears larger because of the time spent in the news. Look up the availability heuristic.

I don’t know if you noticed but the NFL is more popular than the MLB. Sad but true. The MLB and Selig, should be following suit with the NFL. I’m not suggesting Leake be suspended, but he is a role model, and a human being. He is held to a higher standard, because he gets paid to do something so many people wish and failed to do. When your face is blown up and covering your place of business, and people pay and cheer to see you, you owe it to them the people that pay your salary to not be an idiot.

Jacob – I’m the guy you tell a joke to and he laughs 45 minutes later. I was driving back from lunch, thinking ‘Steals second. Steals second.’ Then it hit me. That’s very funny! Leake goes Lou Piniella on second base and tucks it under his jersey. By the way, how does one get those security thingys off clothing? Don’t you need a special tool? That would seem to suggest premeditation. Anyway, regarding the NFL, J , we’re going to have to agree to disagree. Yes, I think there are just as many incidents now as before the Inquisition, and that’s based on my impression, but impressions are what it’s all about, n’est pas? The NFL is more popular than baseball because of the salary cap, not the Commish’s morality crusade. IMHO, anyway.

Ha. Lol. I wasn’t even thinking of Lou, just the pun. Classic. That’s why I love the game.
Fair enough. Go Reds! Arroyo needs to be big today.

Indeed, go Reds!

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