Cincinnati Pitcher Mike Leake Caught Red-Handed Shoplifting

John EwenContributor IIIApril 19, 2011

Mike Leake was arrested Monday, April 18, for shoplifting from a Macy's in Cincinnati
Mike Leake was arrested Monday, April 18, for shoplifting from a Macy's in CincinnatiChristian Petersen/Getty Images

Yes, you read that headline right.

Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Mike Leake was arrested Monday by Cincinnati police after he walked out of a Macy's store with six shirts worth an outstanding sum of $59.88.

Let that sink in.

A professional athlete who is making four hundred twenty five thousand dollars this year shoplifted sixty bucks worth of clothes.

Cause that makes sense.

While it's certainly not the first time an athlete has had a run-in with the law, this is definitely one of the more surprising criminal acts in the sports world. Leake has no previous criminal record, and then there's the fact that he stole shirts.

Obviously, stealing is stealing, but I just cannot grasp the fact that the Reds pitcher would even attempt something so stupid.

According to the Seattle Times, Leake is facing a 180-day jail sentence if convicted.

Moving on past the sheer absurdity of the whole situation, it remains unclear what effect this will have on Leake's rotation spot and baseball future. He started off the season in the minor leagues, but was brought up to Cincy after both Johnny Cueto and Homer Bailey went to the DL with injuries. He posted a 5.40 ERA in his two wins this year.

Cueto is expected back in the rotation by the end of the month, as is the same with Bailey. If both men do recover as April turns to May, the Leake situation will likely not be cause for concern for the Reds team.

As for Leake himself, his future lies in the hands of the judge. If found guilty, Leake could face the full 180-day sentence. Should this be the case, it will be interesting to see if this damages his career. The kid showed promise, earning an 8-4 record with a 4.23 ERA since his 2010 debut.

Athletes have been able to bounce back from jail time (see Vick, Michael), but Leake's case will be an interesting one to say the least.

Let this be a lesson to you, kids: don't shoplift.

Especially when you have a cool $425,000 in your back pocket.