Thursday, June 18, 2009

Wash Out?

THIS CAN'T SUCK ENOUGH! After raining all night, it's 8:36am and still pouring out, so there's a very real danger that my first Yankees game this year, and thus my first shot to check out the new Stadium, is gonna be washed away. I had written YANKEES 1:00 on my wall calendar weeks and weeks ago when Jimi the Greek told me had tickets. Who knows when the makeup date will be if it gets rained out? What a drag this "spring" has been -- with literally one sunless day after another... more like global wetting if you ask me. Joba Chamberlain was scheduled to start, and I was looking forward to a nice sunny day, seeing my old buddies. It's criminal, I tell ya.

But not the kind of criminal a former Yankee got himself mixed up in. It took only about an hour yesterday for a Texas jury to sentence Mel Hall -- a decent slugger for the Cubs (1981-84), Indians (1984-88) and Yanks (1989-92) who mentally tormented a sensitive young Bernie Williams -- to 45 years yesterday for torment of a much more serious kind: the rape of a 12-year-old girl and sexual abuse of 3 other minors. Those are not the kinds of stats you want to be connected to as a ballplayer. If you're counting, barring parole, Hall will be 93 years old should he be invited to attend the Yankee Old-Timers game in 2054. So hold onto your Mel Hall memorabilia, kids.

When it comes to athletes, however, Florida justice is another matter. Earlier this week, a Cleveland Browns wide receiver received a sentence of 30 days after pleading guilty to a manslaughter charge for killing a pedestrian while driving drunk. Returning home from an all-night party celebrating a $4.5 million roster bonus, Donte Stallworth's Bentley was going 50 in a 40MPH zone when he struck a construction worker getting off his shift at around 7:15am.

The sentence mandates 1,000 hours of community service, a lifetime driver's license ban (yeah, right), eight years' probation, and drug & alcohol testing. Prosecutors cited Stallworth's clean record and cooperation -- he remained at the scene and called police -- for the light jail time; he could have faced up to 15 years in prison without a plea bargain. But you don't have to read between the lines to notice that it was the family's need for "closure" that evidently played the larger role: "a confidential financial settlement to avoid a potential lawsuit from the family of 59-year-old Mario Reyes."

Dog-killer Michael Vick becomes eligible to play again in the NFL this season after spending the last 2 years in jail, should any team want to deal with that PR nightmare. Will Stallworth end up suspended for the upcoming season after killing a man? Probably -- but he's still getting off too lightly. In fact, with time served (the day of his arrest) and an automatic state credit of 5 days for every day served, Stallworth will be in jail for a total of 24 days.

They say Justice is blind, but more likely it's just shutting its eyes so it doesn't have to see all the money changing hands in the courtroom.


Serge A. Storms said...

About Vick:

The local Tampa sports writers were hypothesizing the Bucs may consider picking him up.

The Buccaneers head office called them all morons, in so many words.

He'll probably be signed here before the season.

The Warden said...

Good for the Bucs. I hope you're wrong about someone signing him, but I wouldn't bet large sums of money against someone taking a chance. Oakland Raiders maybe?