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Following up on the Mike Leake arrest

Apr 19, 2011, 8:25 AM EDT

Leake mugshot

I think the strangest thing arising out of the Mike Leake shoplifting arrest yesterday is not the fact that a man who makes over $400,000 a year and recently got a $2 million signing bonus felt it necessary to steal. Rather, the strangest thing is that he somehow got caught stealing “six shirts worth $59.88.”  Upon seeing this, some people suggested that it was an elaborate ploy by Macy’s to publicize just how affordable their merchandise truly is.

Thankfully today we have clarity on this important point: they were American Rag pocket t-shirts. They normally retail for $14.50, but were apparently on sale for $9.98.  Macy’s was virtually giving them away! Any less and you’d practically be stealing from them! Wait. Bad choice of words.

Anyway, as Hal McCoy notes this morning, Leake got a paycheck for $40K on Friday and the Reds’ clubhouse manager probably would have given Leake six shirts for free if he had asked.  All of which makes me wonder what the hell was going on here. Leake isn’t an actor so he can’t play the “I was researching a role” card. He’s not as cute as Winona Ryder, so there likely won’t be any “Free Mike” t-shirts printed up.  It all just makes me wonder if there isn’t some sort of mental issue or impulse control problem or existential crisis or something like which explains this.  Remember Jeff Reardon’s thing? Not all property crime is about greed or possessions. Sometimes it’s just an outlet.

As for the more pedestrian explanations, the Reds and Leake issues the following statements last night. Via Mark Sheldon at, here’s the Reds:

“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. When the legal process has been completed, we will handle this matter internally.”

And Leake’s statement:

“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, Mr. Castellini, Walt, Dusty, his teammates and the entire Reds organization for this distraction.”

Leake pitches on Thursday.

  1. bklynbaseball - Apr 19, 2011 at 8:30 AM

    There can be only one explanation for this: He is a D-I-R-T-B-A-G.

    • gregteb - Apr 19, 2011 at 10:02 AM

      He was just confused. He thought he was a Cincinnati BENGAL, not a Red.

  2. yankeesfanlen - Apr 19, 2011 at 8:32 AM

    “Cool Hand Leake” should play for the Phillies- oh wait, the pinstripes point in the wrong direction.

    • yankeesfanlen - Apr 19, 2011 at 9:14 AM

      By using his “one-day savings coupon for the lowest price of the year” he saved Macy’s $27.12. If he signed up for a MacyCard on his way out, he could have saved them even more. The kid might find a future career spraying perfume at passing strangers.

    • mercyflush - Apr 19, 2011 at 9:26 AM

      yankees have pinstripes too, douche.

    • phillyhomer - Apr 19, 2011 at 11:00 AM

      Ha Ha. Stop hating because you didn’t get Lee. At least the Yankees will get to watch the playoffs in the comfort of their own homes.

      • Phillies Homer - Apr 19, 2011 at 2:12 PM

        I guess my username wasn’t very creative!

  3. Chipmaker - Apr 19, 2011 at 9:14 AM

    There was an umpire, about 15-20 years ago, who got busted for shoplifting some baseball cards. Cheap ones too. Sure, umps aren’t as well-compensated as players generally are, but they pull in some good coin. It was strange.

  4. BC - Apr 19, 2011 at 9:27 AM

    What the heck? Was the guy hammered or something?

  5. Nick C - Apr 19, 2011 at 10:09 AM

    Fits right in with the rest of the d-bags on that team. If this were an NCAA team they would be found to lack “institutional control”.

  6. purnellmeagrejr - Apr 19, 2011 at 10:34 AM

    I just checked the guys career stats and this is his first CS.

    • Panda Claus - Apr 19, 2011 at 10:47 AM

      Good catch. And he’s also got the Christopher Walken hair going on too.

  7. jhorton83 - Apr 19, 2011 at 10:46 AM

    He’s probably a kleptomaniac. They steal just for the sake of stealing, even with items of little to no value. It doesn’t have to make sense on any rational level. It’s compulsive behavior.

  8. Jonny 5 - Apr 19, 2011 at 11:11 AM

    Maybe it was on a double dog dare? Nobody can say no to the double dog dare.

    • balewsquare - Apr 19, 2011 at 11:24 AM

      No it’s the Triple Dog Dare! If he had turned that down there’d be articles all over the internet and the Reds would be apologizing out their asses

      • marshmallowsnake - Apr 19, 2011 at 12:12 PM

        Lloyd: You’re it.
        Harry: You’re it.
        Lloyd: You’re it, quitsies!
        Harry: Anti-quitsies, you’re it, quitsies, no anti-quitsies, no startsies!
        Lloyd: You can’t do that!
        Harry: Can too!
        Lloyd: Cannot, stamp it!
        Harry: Can too, double stamp it, no erasies!
        Lloyd: Cannot, triple stamp, no erasies, Touch blue make it true.
        Harry: No, you can’t do that… you can’t triple stamp a double stamp, you can’t triple stamp a double stamp! Lloyd!
        Lloyd: [hands over ears] LA LA LA LA LA LA!
        Harry: LLOYD! LLOYD! LLOYD!

  9. Old Gator - Apr 19, 2011 at 12:05 PM

    I don’t get it. Walt has been dead for years. Why not apologize to Michael Eisner? He embarrasses easily.

  10. WhenMattStairsIsKing - Apr 19, 2011 at 2:05 PM

    I’d guess this is more of a mental issue – though likely not as severe as Reardon’s – than a case of Leake being a jerk and stealing meager shirts. I hope he’s alright.

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