My suspicion is that Texas is not offering ANYTHING even close to reasonable value. Whereas Bavasi appeared to simply accept orders to dump Soriano, Jack probably is at least trying to get as much value as possible. My 2 cents.
Q. Is it reasonable for a sports fan to point at a guy and say, "I don't want that guy on my team?"
A. I suppose I've got to admit that it is.
But in my experience, that fan is usually being inconsistent and unfair, with the target. He'll argue that Joe Shlabotnik is despicable and shouldn't even be in sports -- and then turn around and give John Crumb a complete pass for doing something as bad, or worse.
If the average sports fan had ANY idea what the typical pro athlete is up to on the road, and the situations he gets into, he'd have a LOT of re-thinking to do.
It's the same thing with Zdurencik, or any other sports GM. If he's going to avoid all criminals, convicted and otherwise, he's going to have a pretty weird-looking roster.
Me personally, it takes an awful lot for me to say "I don't want that guy on my team" -- and especially if the player has repented of wrongdoing. But if somebody else has a hot button about gender assault, I sympathize.
Q. Is it reasonable to assume that Josh Lueke, whatever he is now, used to be super slimy?
A. I don't personally think it's reasonable to assume that, no.
Like I said, there are many possible scenarios that could wind up in court as assault cases. A few of those possible scenarios include Lueke doing things that are not much different from what a lot of pro athletes do -- and leaving him as little more than a political football.
Possible also -- maybe even probable -- that whatever Lueke did was very, very wrong. Possible that what he did, would have merited 20 years in prison, or worse.
How do you know? You don't. So since when do we assume guilt beyond what we know to be true?
Q. We do know that he was convicted* of a crime.
A. Right. And if the best-case scenario in Lueke's favor -- he had de facto consent, but left himself open to a power play later -- still offends you deeply, then I respect that.
Q. Where is SSI on the severity of the crime?
A. I've got a question for you. :- )
It's not rhetorical. I'm sincerely mystified. This is the one part of the whole conversation that is completely opaque to me.
The Rangers have stated, publicly, they'll take Lueke back any time.
Here's the question. Why hasn't Armstrong traded Lueke back?
Riddle me that,
A related question, and one of equal importance in my view:
If Leuke was such a slime-ball, why would the Rangers take him back?
My answer to the question you posed is twofold. First, like jpax, I think the Rangers' offer, in view of the Mariners' extremely weak position, is likely nowhere near "baseball" value. But value is indeed affected by the circumstance. Value is "what is it worth to YOU." To the M's under these circumstances Leuke is worth less than he otherwise would be.
Second, I think Z has hoped that he could hold onto Leuke because (1) he believes the man is not nearly so bad as has been portrayed -- that is, this a PR nightmare, but in moral terms it is less than a nightmare, and (2) he brings big-time talent to an area of team need, and he does it cheaply. I think Baker's spotlight makes it highly problematic for Jack to realize his hopes.
Baker's argument carries a little more weight with me than it seems to with you Doc, w/r/t Leuke's culpability.
From what we do know of the crime, the victim's story never changed, and she exhibited none of the motivations sometimes seen in these types of cases - lust for money and lust for fame. She's pursued neither, and in all aspects her behavior has been consistent with 'victim of a sex crime'. There's no reason based on (what we know of) the facts to project any of your P-E-R-H-A-P-S scenarios. They are possible, yes, but even less likely in this case than usual. Baker is drawing the most reasonable conclusions from the facts. As did, presumably, the judge and prosecutors.
Armstrong hasn't traded Leuke back to the Rangers because would be usurping JZ's authority to such a degree as to be effectively firing him. And he and Lincoln are not ready to do that. That's my guess.
The thing about Leuke's situation is, I think many of us can see how we could get caught in the same situation.
Me, I had a girlfriend, and in the early days of dating - I think date number 3 - we went out for drinks at a bar near her apartment. Everything was fine until the 3rd cocktail, then BAM, she was suddenly sloppy drunk. I didn't know at the time that she couldn't metabolize alcohol well, so this came as a surprise. She literally went from being smiling and chatty to barely coherent and falling off her chair in the span of a minute.
She started being overtly amorous and I was getting embarrassed, so I hastily paid the bill and helped her outside. People outside were asking her if she was OK as I helped her along the sidewalk, and I can see why - if you saw our scene, with her a bit belligerent and barely able to walk, me half-carrying her, you might think I slipped her a roofie or something.
I got her back to her apartment where she managed to strip to her underwear and promptly passed out on her bed. I crashed on her couch after sitting around for a while, it wasn't that late but I didn't want to just leave her there. In the morning, she couldn't remember anything after the 2nd drink.
As sloppy-affectionate as she was in the bar, it's easy to see how she *could have* been the same at her place. And, if she couldn't remember walking home, it's likely she couldn't have remembered any sexual activities that happened, even if she had initiated them herself.
I know I'm not the only guy that has had something like this happen to them, and what we know of Leuke's story is eerily similar. This is why so many of us have at least a bit of skepticism w/r/t Leuke's guilt. And why you say, 'we don't know', which is true. Baker is going exclusively by the court documents and results. Which is all he can do, really. But if say, in my circumstance above, the woman had in fact initiated something, couldn't remember the next day, but felt violated and remorseful, all the evidence would be against me.
This is why Baker's feeling the heat from some areas, this blog included. He's not allowing for any gray area in what may have happened. And he's skewering Mariners brass over not blatent lies, but shades of the truth that in another series of posts you characterize as protecting relationships. It *feels* like the reporting style, the expose-like stories, have a melodrama that's not exactly proportionate to the actual magnitude of Leuke's crime or Zduriencik's forthrightness.
... although if Armstrong is at the point of firing Carmen Fusco, he's well past the point of worrying about fair value in a Lueke powerflush.
From what we do know of the crime, the victim's story never changed, and she exhibited none of the motivations sometimes seen in these types of cases - lust for money and lust for fame. She's pursued neither, and in all aspects her behavior has been consistent with 'victim of a sex crime'.
I agree, and that's important.
The only thing that confuses me, about your specific point, is the D.A's decision not to put Lueke away for ten years.
If he's got a witness who holds up under cross, he's got hard time for Lueke with no problems. And if that's what the defense lawyer is looking at, then the defense is going to accept a bargain involving a lot worse than time served, right?
I therefore surmise that the victim's credibility isn't quite what Geoff concludes it to be. ... I could be wrong.
Once again, if you are truly talking about a situation in which she did not consent, then Lueke should be looking at 5 years, 10 years, the death penalty, or pick a card.
This is why Baker's feeling the heat from some areas, this blog included. He's not allowing for any gray area in what may have happened. ...It *feels* like the reporting style, the expose-like stories, have a melodrama that's not exactly proportionate to the actual magnitude of Leuke's crime or Zduriencik's forthrightness.
And many others in the mainstream media is interested in SUPPRESSING these shades of gray, when it comes to gender war.
It's easy to assume that Baker is walking in step with the MSM as to gender warfare, when perhaps he's not.
And here is where the argument can get very heated, very fast.
My *guess* (GUESS) is that Lueke's scenario was something like yours -- but adding the complication that, then back at the apartment, the girl was either passed out or incoherent, and Lueke went ahead without a "yes" immediately beforehand.
Your interpretation of the penalty for that will differ wildly, depending on where you are on these political issues.
Some college groups, for example, want SIGNED consent forms -- and without written consent, you've got rape by definition. Some add the requirement of verbal YES's at each stage of undress -- do you mind if I take off your belt? Can I take off my socks? etc. etc. Your mileage may vary :- )
Of course the woman needs to consent, but that's precisely the defense's claim, that she did consent.
My guess is the plea bargain was a result of a) compelling physical evidence meeting b) lack of memory on the part of the victim. The prosecution had enough to convict, but not enough to absolve the victim of any responsibility. Just my guess.
I think SABRMatt's point about Leuke preferring an expedient resolution to a messy and protracted one has a lot of merit too.
Prove intercourse, right...
To convict, you've got to prove no consent, right?
It seems possible that they wanted to move on to the next (juicier) case, sure.
Gotta say, there's really no mystery here. Prosecutor had physical evidence to convict and a lousy witness. That's the end of it. They offered deal, charges reduced, defense countered, time served. Prosecution's motivation is always questioned, but the answer rarely fits conspiratorial theories. The reality is that they don't push cases (hard) without evidence to back. That's not to say they may not win, but they feel that they have the goods, as it were. As to the issue: of course the M's lower, middle and upper mgmt. knew, of course the upper mgmt. was told, and of course they reacted to a story in a newspaper and heads are rolling.
My thoughts: Give the kid a chance to right the ship. But, Baker did his job and I applaud him for it.
Hi Dr. D,
I know you're not a USSMariner fan, but they have provided a link to the Bakersfield newspaper which reported incidents of the details (pasted above). From what I read, it DOES look very gray, with the victim kissing all the players and acting in a way which unfortunately, could be read as consensual of future sexual behavior. Sex without consent is wrong. No if, ands, or buts about it. However, unfortunately, in this case, I can understand why Leuke believed he had consent.
Just hoping to add more light bulbs to the situation. Please keep up the great work Doc.
...Then again, the more I think about this, the more some of what Leuke did, does chill me. IF it was him who sodomized the victim (possible, but again we're not sure if it was another one of the people at the apartment), that surely was not consensual--and quite disgusting from my point of view (but my own feelings are unrelated to the discussion at hand). If she did pass out and Leuke had sex with her while she was unconscious, as seems to be the case, then even if she had given prior consent, I see the crime as much less forgivable. If she was conscious after throwing up, and simply cannot remember being conscious (and surely Leuke was also drunk after visiting three bars and not in command of his full mental capacities), sadly I can see the situation being similar to the "three drink" situation proposed in the thread above. Frustratingly, this all comes down to things that we do not know and have not been released in the paper, but the article does provide a few more details.
This makes me wonder a bit more about GB’s article however. Was it true that the prosecution felt they had a case (or that the victim wanted to avoid a trial), and thus accepted a plea-bargain? While the victim’s story may not have changed, could her behavior of “kissing many of the men at the bars,” and visiting three bars with the baseball players be argued legally as tacit consent? In an age where “ménage a trios” and “hook-ups” are common especially in the college-aged (I suppose I’m just old/old-fashioned), could that have been the message which she [unintentionally] sent and was [mis-]interpreted by the baseball players? While certainly the guilt lies on the players in this case in my view, I think her behavior might have led the prosecution not to push for tougher charges.
While I appreciate you pointing out the slanted take of others reporting this Doc, the facts of the case make giving Lueke the benefit of the doubt real difficult. This [was anal sex]. I don't know that she didn't consent to it, i do know that its pretty rare to find any girl, sober or drunk, willing to do the dirty like that on the first "date".
If we were talking about the circles that you and I run in.
How much do you know about the circles that pro athletes run in?
I do appreciate what you're getting at, and it does make you wonder somewhat, but for me it's a bit too much soup off of one oyster. How much does this girl hang with minor league ballplayers? What kind of bar was it? Had she been with ballplayers before and had a rep? Did she tell Lueke, "I cannot wait to .... " ?
Not accusing her, and if she says Yes to twelve guys she still has the right to say No to the 13th. But bear in mind the prosecution gave the defense a great plea bargain, because the witness' behavior that night, was an asset to the defense.
Your ability to cut to the chase, continues to boggle. :- )
I would say "physical evidence to prove sex occurred," not to convict. The conviction centers around consent. The woman might very well have consented. It's very possible.
We're purely speculating about the judicial process throughout ...
but the speculation is useful in that, at you say "the more I think about it, the more Lueke chills me." That kind of sorting through the details, IMHO, allows us to triangulate and decide for ourselves.
Thanks for the link. References to USSM aren't censored here, and we don't go off on rants at the mere mention of the website. Great comments bro'.
Thats a fair point, pro athletes do get to indulge every fetish they can think up, if they so choose. I think in all the moral debating, we're missing the big picture. At the very least, Josh isn't brightest guy, and at the very most he's a rapist w/ a capital R. Between you and me, I don't care either way. I'd root for the Satan/Hitler AllStars, and im not joking. It's entertainment after all.....Just win baby! Just don't rape me, and we're fine. ? Id suggest for anyone that is bothered having "undesirables" on their team, pro sports might not be for you.
For weirdest post of the month. ;- )
Would see you and raise pardner: at the very least, Lueke (a) isn't the brightest guy and (b) is, or used to be, a slimeball with a capital S.
Good stuff Steen.
Y'know, I've tried to read all these posts about the Lueke situation, and the thing that bothers ME the most is 95% of them seem fully directed on "what happened?" As Doc notes - we don't know - we can't know - and we'll never know. So, everything that follows is complete speculation.
The part *I* find disturbing is that in America we DO have a Justice System. It ain't perfect, of course, but it's entire purpose is to try and mete out JUSTICE. While imperfect, the general concept is - if you do something REALLY bad, you get punished really bad, (up to and including death - at least in some states). If you do something only a little bad - you pay your fine and walk away -- your "debt to society" paid in full - literally.
But, pretty much every line about this from beginning to end seems to be built on a foundation that it is somehow reasonable that "regardless of what the court says and does", Leuke - (and whatever future associates he may have - including the Rangers and Mariners) - are supposed to continue paying for *HIS* crime -- (the one that he's in theory, already paid for - at least as far as the body that is officially in charge of making that determination is concerned).
The unfortunate reality here is that the basic premise that SEATTLE has done anything wrong here is based on the foundation premise that the court DID NOT punish him enough.
As our Lawyer Acquaintance notes above - some crimes (felonies) come with long-term pentalties, (cannot own a gun). Some don't. In any case, the kid was arrested, processed through our judicial system - and a punishment was meted out. That is *THEIR* job.
The notion that Seattle did anything wrong here has to assume that the punishment of the court was insufficient - and that not only should the kid suffer more - but that those that would choose to employ him should also suffer.
Granted, any business has the option to choose to hire a known felon or not.
For me - what this ALL boils down to is - Z (and his office) decided the punishment meted out by the branch of government who has that responsibility was good enough for them. For Howard and Lincoln, that appears NOT to be the case. But, I get the Doc's angst over whether the H&L reaction would have occured WITHOUT the headline news.
Having lived through the months surrounding the Duke Lacrosse debacle, maybe I'm a little jaded in assuming that the 'typical' D.A. in America today tends to want to OVER-convict - and is perfectly willing to do everything in their power to carve another notch into their conviction belt regardless of actual guilt. (I can barely turn on the TV these days without stumbling across ANOTHER - "set free" expose where DNA evidence proved the innocence of someone wrongfully convicted). And here in NC, we're currently in the middle of an investigation of the entire SBI crime lab - where so far, it is looking like lab results may have "routinely" been hidden (or lied about).
Clearly, the powers that be that actually had the case file, charged him, and plead him out did not feel Leueke was a danger to society. So, MY objection is this -- if the people who DID have the files, DID have the evidence, DID have the power and authority to decide Leueke's future decided to give him a slap on the wrist and let him go -- exactly why should H&L or Z or the Mariners organization feel compelled to assume that was insufficient?
Why hasn't Lueke been traded back? $64,000 question! Thank you Jeff for articles and all for such balanced comments. What is such a shame is that this all should have been handled so much better by people who are supposed to be professionals. If Lueke is really going to act like a changed man, this all leaves a tarnish on him and all around him. He messed up and if he does again, public opinion should be the least of his worries. But if he wants to get his act together, the club didn't exactly make a smooth transition for him. Why not though, kind of a good summary of the year 2010 for the M's!
The unfortunate reality here is that the basic premise that SEATTLE has done anything wrong here is based on the foundation premise that the court DID NOT punish him enough.
Having lived through the months surrounding the Duke Lacrosse debacle, maybe I'm a little jaded in assuming that the 'typical' D.A. in America today tends to want to OVER-convict - and is perfectly willing to do everything in their power to carve another notch into their conviction belt regardless of actual guilt.
In the 1980's, I thought I got it: they media-lynched guys so that --- > they'd have political advantage in the gender debates.
But 20 years later, the media lynchings (I am NOT talking about Baker here) don't work any more -- yet the media still attempts them.
I don't understand the echoes of an obsolete era.
As to why they don't move him?
Resistance to Baker's pressure, perhaps? :- ) Maybe they don't want to acknowledge Baker's efforts?
Maybe because they need him for the 9th inning tonight in Memphis!
Now we're talking commitment to winning.....
Do you remember when Seahawk fans were angry at mounting losses and wanted more Al Davis-type thugs rather than the "choir boys" like Zorn and Largent?
Was there any reason the Rainers played Nelson so much in the last month and so little of Wilson? Nice to see MW do well in playoffs. I have rooted for him since that great Spring training and ultimate injuries.
Never did get an explanation for that.
Kind of an atypical 9th hole hitter. Makes one wonder if he is semi-stuck in the proverbial dog house. I think his bat/eye would fit better than many playing tonight in Safeco. But who am I??? LOL!
There must be some other explanation. Can't imagine what it is.
Much of the year he was slugging .600.
Thanks for your comments. See the Rainers won....good for them. In time, hopefully something known about Wilson. Hopefully something good for him. As usual, great reporting Jeff!