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04/18/11 10:48 PM ET
Leake arrested for department store theft
By Mark Sheldon / MLB.com
CINCINNATI -- Reds pitcher Mike Leake was arrested by Cincinnati police on Monday on a misdemeanor charge of theft. He is accused, according to The Associated Press, of shoplifting six shirts worth a total value of $59.88.
Leake and the club declined to comment, but the team issued two statements, one on behalf of Leake.
"On behalf of the Cincinnati Reds organization, at this time we are advised to not publicly address this matter because of the pending legal proceedings," the Reds statement read. "However, we do not condone behavior of the type alleged, which is wholly inconsistent with the principles of this organization and our community and is detrimental to the positive direction we seek to follow. When the legal process has been completed, we will handle this matter internally."
The statement included an apology from Leake on his behalf.
"Today, Mike Leake was arrested on a misdemeanor charge of theft from the Macy's store downtown," read the statement. "Right now, he has been advised by his attorney to offer no further statements on this matter. This case will proceed in the justice system, where Mike's story will be told. Until that time, there will be nothing further from Mike on this episode until the court proceedings have concluded. However, Mike wishes to apologize to his family, the fans, Mr. [Bob] Castellini, Walt [Jocketty], Dusty [Baker], his teammates and the entire Reds organization for this distraction."
According to the arrest report obtained by the AP, Leake removed the price tags from six American Rag T-shirts at a downtown Macy's store and tried to leave without paying for them. Police told WCPO-TV that Leake was caught on security camera leaving the store. If found guilty of the charge, Leake faces a maximum of 180 days in jail.
Leake, who last pitched on Saturday vs. the Pirates and earned the victory in an 11-2 Reds win, was booked Monday afternoon at the Hamilton County Justice Center while his teammates were arriving at the ballpark. He was not on the field during batting practice, but was in uniform and spotted in the dugout with the team during Monday's game against the Pirates.
In three starts this season, Leake is 2-0 with a 5.40 ERA. He is earning $425,000 in 2011. It is not yet known if Leake will make his next scheduled start on Thursday vs. the D-backs.
"We really don't have any answers right now, because we really haven't had time to delve into it too deep," Baker said.
The Reds made Leake the eighth overall pick of the 2009 First-Year Player Draft out of Arizona State University and signed him with a $2.27 million bonus. The following season, he became only the 21st player to go straight to the Majors since the Draft began in 1965, and the first starting pitcher since Jim Abbott in 1989.
During his rookie season, Leake was 8-4 with a 4.23 ERA in 24 games, including 22 starts. He was shut down in August for the rest of that year after hitting a limit of 138 1/3 innings.
Leake has had no known prior brushes with the law.