Jerry Sandusky is upset over Penn State sanctions

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Jerry Sandusky is upset over Penn State sanctions

From Comcast SportsNet
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) -- Jerry Sandusky is distraught over the NCAA penalties issued to Penn State's football program for the school's handling of his child sexual abuse scandal and maintains his innocence as he awaits sentencing, his defense lawyer said Wednesday. Attorney Joe Amendola told The Associated Press in a phone interview that Sandusky told him that even if people believe he is guilty of the crimes for which he was convicted in June, it would be "ridiculous" to think Penn State administrators engaged in a cover-up. The NCAA imposed a multi-year bowl ban on Penn State, invalidated 112 wins, fined the school 60 million and took away future scholarships. The university leadership said the alternative could have been a complete ban on playing games and has acquiesced to the penalties. Wednesday, the NCAA announced it had picked former U.S. Sen. George Mitchell of Maine to monitor Penn State's compliance with the sanctions. Sandusky was convicted in June of 45 counts of child sexual abuse, including attacks on boys inside athletics facilities at Penn State, where he played college football and became a successful defensive coach under Joe Paterno. "He said, To do what they're doing to Penn State is so unjust,'" Amendola said. "He loves the program and he loves the university." Amendola said Sandusky has asked county jail officials to remove him from what is effectively solitary confinement. "He continues to believe that the truth will come out at some point, and that he'll get another trial or another opportunity to establish his innocence," Amendola said. A spokesman for the attorney general's office declined to comment. Amendola said he expects sentencing will occur in September, although a date has not been set. Sandusky, who did not testify on his own behalf during the trial, has been writing a statement to read to Judge John Cleland at sentencing that will address all 10 sets of charges. "Whether he winds up doing it despite what I tell him, is going to be up to him," Amendola said. "It's his life." He said there may not be anything Sandusky can say to prevent an extended prison sentence, but Sandusky has "a fighting spirit" and is "cautiously optimistic." Michael Boni, lawyer for the young man described in court documents as Victim 1, for which Sandusky was convicted of six counts, said the truth came out during the trial. "We care, everybody should care, about what he presents at the sentencing hearing, because it's in all of our interests that he have as long a sentence as possible, hopefully life without parole," Boni said. Amendola said work had begun on an appeal, which may not be filed until after sentencing. If Sandusky appeals to Cleland, rather than going directly to Superior Court, he would have 10 days to file, and Cleland then would have four months to rule, Amendola said. The NCAA said Mitchell will serve as Penn State's athletics integrity monitor for the coming five years, keeping tabs on the school's compliance with the sanctions and related matters. Mitchell's duties will include making four progress reports each year to the NCAA, Big 10 and the university's trustees. Also Wednesday, Cleland struck from the record a filing made by Sandusky co-counsel Karl Rominger last month that challenged an order by the judge designed to figure out if lawyers were leaking information to the media. Cleland's order on Wednesday, citing rules of legal procedure, gave Rominger three weeks to file a new version. Rominger had argued Cleland's demand for a sworn statement listing all material he obtained from prosecutors and gave to third parties would violate protections for attorney work products. A call seeking comment from Rominger was not immediately returned.

New photo surfaces of noticeably thinner Pablo Sandoval

New photo surfaces of noticeably thinner Pablo Sandoval

When it comes to Pablo Sandoval and his weight, a picture is worth a thousand words.

During spring training it wasn’t a good thing. Sandoval made headlines when a number of photos revealed significant weight gain for the Red Sox third baseman.

But the last two images have been more positive for Sandoval.

In October, a noticeably thinner Sandoval was photographed at an FC Barcelona game.

On Monday, Dan Roche of WBZ tweeted a more recent picture of the new-look Sandoval.

Sandoval, 30, is entering the third season of a five-year, $95 million contract. In his lone full season in Boston, 2015, Sandoval hit .245/.292/.366 with 10 homers and 47 RBI.

Red Sox taking stricter luxury tax penalties into consideration this offseason

Red Sox taking stricter luxury tax penalties into consideration this offseason

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- The newly agreed upon Major League Baseball collective bargaining agreement features higher taxes and additional penalties for exceeding the competitive balance threshold -- and don't think the Red Sox haven't noticed.

The Red Sox went over the threshold in both 2015 and 2016, and should they do so again in 2017, they would face their highest tax rate yet at 50 percent. Additionally, there are provisions that could cost a team in such a situation to forfeit draft picks as well as a reduced pool of money to sign its picks.

None of which means that the Red Sox won't definitively stay under the $195 million threshold for the upcoming season. At the same time, however, it remains a consideration, acknowledged Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski.

"You would always like to be under the CBT (competitive balance tax) if you could,'' offered Dombrowski. "And the reason why is that are penalties attached for going over, so nobody likes to (pay) penalties.

"However, the Red Sox, if you follow history, have been up-and-down, right around that number. We were over it last year and the year before that. So I would prefer (to be under in 2017). However, a little bit more driving force in that regard is that there are stricter penalties now attached to going over. And some of them involve, for the first time, differences in draft choices and sacrificing money to sign players and that type of thing. So there's a little bit more drive (to stay under).

"But I can't tell you where we're going to end up. Eventually, does it factor (in)? Yeah. But until we really get into the winter time and see where we are, will I make an unequivocal (statement about staying under the CBT)? Maybe we won't. But there are penalties that I would rather not be in position to incur.''

Dombrowski stressed that he's not under a "mandate'' from ownership to stay under the CBT.

"But I am under an awareness of the penalties,'' he said. "Last year, I would have preferred to be under, too, but it just worked for us to be above it, because we thought that would be the best way to win a championship at the time.''

He added: "I think we're going to have a good club either way.''

But it's clear that the CBT is part of the reason the Red Sox aren't being more aggressive toward some premium free agents such as first baseman/DH Edwin Encarnacion, who is said to be looking for at least a four-year deal at an annual average value of more than $20 million.

Currently, the Red Sox have nearly $150 million in guaranteed contracts for 2017, plus a handful of arbitration-eligible players, some of whom (Drew Pomeranz, Jackie Bradley Jr.) will see significant raises.

Together, with insurance premiums and others costs tallied, the Sox stand at nearly $180 million, just $15 million under the 2017 tax.

"I've said all along I've wanted to stay away from long-term contracts for hitters at this point,'' Dombrowski said of the current free agent class, "(especially) with some of the guys we have in our organization coming. I just haven't felt that that's a wise thing to do.''

The Sox saw two potential DHs come off the board over the weekend, with Carlos Beltran signing a one-year $16 million deal with Houston and Matt Holliday getting $13 million from the Yankees. Either could have filled the vacancy left by David Ortiz's retirement, but Dombrowski would also be taking on another another eight-figure salary, pushing the Sox well past the CBT.

"I figured we would wait to see what ends up taking place later on,'' said Dombrowski, "and see who's out there.''