Reds pitcher Leake arrested
CINCINNATI — Mike Leake, 23-year-old pitcher for the Cincinnati Reds, was arrested Monday afternoon in a downtown department store and charged with misdemeanor shoplifting.
Leake was stopped by store security with six t-shirts valued at $59 with the tags removed, according to Cincinnati police. Police arrest reports said Leake removed the price tags from six American Rag T-shirts at a Macy's store and tried to leave without paying for them. If convicted, Leake faces a maximum 180 days in jail.
The incident occurred at 2 p.m., about five hours before his team faced the Pittsburgh Pirates at Great American Ball Park.
Leake was released by Cincinnati police and was in uniform at the park in time for the game.
Neither Leake nor club officials spoke directly to the media, but a brief statement was issued through the team’s media relations department.
"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. 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," the team’s statement read. "When the legal process has been completed, we will handle this matter internally."
A statement also was released on Leake's behalf and read, "Today, Mike Leake was arrested on a misdemeanor charge of theft from the Macy's store downtown. 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, (CEO/owner) Mr. (Bob) Castellini, (general manager) Walt Jocketty, (manager) Dusty Baker, his teammates and the entire Reds organization for this distraction.”
Leake, 2-0 with a 5.40 ERA this season, is scheduled to start Thursday afternoon against the Diamondbacks and there was no immediate indication that he would not make that start.
Leake was the team's No. 1 draft pick out of Arizona State University in June 2009 but didn't sign until near the end of the season, so he did not pitch in the minor leagues that year.
He reported to spring training in 2010 and made the starting rotation, having never pitched an inning in the minor leagues.
After starting his major-league career with a 5-0 record, Leake finished the season 8-4 with a 4.23 ERA but was shut down most of the month of September because the Reds feared his young arm had thrown too many innings.
He didn't make the rotation this spring and was scheduled to work out of the bullpen at the beginning of the season, but when the Reds lost starting pitchers Johnny Cueto and Homer Bailey to spring training injuries Leake was plugged into the rotation.
The 6-foot-1, 185-pound right-hander is a native of San Diego and he won 40 games at Arizona State, tying a record for most wins by a pitcher at ASU in a three-year period.
He was signed for $2.3 million two years ago and his base salary is $450,000 per season.
— The Associated Press contributed to this report