Indians pitcher arrested for using false identity

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Indians pitcher arrested for using false identity

From Comcast SportsNet
CLEVELAND (AP) -- From year to year and game to game, the Cleveland Indians never knew what to expect from Fausto Carmona. On Thursday, he stunned them again. Carmona, the Indians' opening-day starter last season, was arrested in the Dominican Republic for allegedly using a false identity. Officials in his native country are contesting his real name and birthdate. Police spokesman Maximo Baez Aybar said Carmona was arrested in Santo Domingo outside the U.S. consulate, where he had gone to renew his visa. Carmona had played winter ball in the Dominican as he prepared to report to the Indians' training camp in Goodyear, Ariz., next month. At this point, his future with the club is uncertain. Aybar said Carmona's real name is apparently Roberto Hernandez Heredia and he's 31, three years older than the pitcher claimed. The Indians list Carmona's birthday as Dec. 7, 1983, in their 2011 media guide. "We were recently made aware of the situation that occurred today in the Dominican Republic and are currently in the process of gathering information," Indians general manager Chris Antonetti said. "We are not prepared to make any additional comment at this time." Carmona's agent said he was caught off-guard by the arrest and that there are Dominican lawyers working on the player's behalf. He did not disclose the names of the lawyers. "This took us by complete surprise," agent Jay Alou said. "What we have to do now is wait to find out the process that has to be done with the consulate with this new identity in order to see if he can get a new work visa." Carmona's arrest is the second involving a major leaguer in four months in a false identity case. Miami Marlins reliever Leo Nunez was arrested in September. Last month, an apologetic Nunez said he falsified his identify when he was young so he could play professional baseball. Nunez's real name is Juan Carlos Oviedo and he's 29, a year older than listed in the Marlins' media guide. Carmona's career in Cleveland has been one of extremes. After going 1-10 in 2006, the right-hander with a wicked slider came out of nowhere to win 19 games in 2007, shocking the Indians who had briefly experimented with him as a closer. Carmona, though, followed up with a disappointing 2008 season, and in 2009 the club sent him to the lower minors to work on his mechanics. Carmona rebounded to win 13 games in 2010 in manager Manny Acta's first season. Although he went just 7-15 last season, Carmona stayed healthy, didn't miss a start and was expected to be part of the starting rotation this season. The Indians picked up his 7 million option for 2012 in October. The Indians signed Carmona to a four-year contract in 2008. The club has options on him for 2013 at 9 million and 2014 at 12 million. Cleveland signed Carmona as a free agent in 2000.

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Celtics-Raptors preview: Ibaka is 'capable of changing the game'

Celtics-Raptors preview: Ibaka is 'capable of changing the game'

TORONTO – The decision to stand pat at the trade deadline for the Boston Celtics was made in part because they felt that as their roster is constructed, they can hold their own with anybody.

We’re going to find out just how true that is tonight as they face a revamped Toronto Raptors team that added a couple of notable players via trade, chief among them being Serge Ibaka from Orlando.

“That was a really good trade for them,” said Boston’s Isaiah Thomas. “Bringing in a guy like Serge Ibaka; a defender, a four-man that can switch out on guards. A guy that can space the floor, shoot the 3.  So that was a good addition. I’m excited to see how that’s gonna work other than tomorrow.”

Celtics head coach Brad Stevens was also impressed with the Ibaka trade.

“That’s an improvement; there’s no question about it,” Stevens said. “Now you can play a number of different ways. He’s a really good player; he’s very agile. He’s a very good shooter. You can play him or (Patrick) Patterson at the four (power forward) the entire game now. You can play them together as a small-ball four and five (center). It gives them a lot of options on offense and defense.”

While praise for Ibaka is nothing new, you have to remember there were reasons as to why the Magic decided to give up on him so quickly, something even more hard to understand considering the assets they gave up (Victor Olidipo and a 2016 first-round pick used to select Domantas Sabonis, among others) to acquire him.

The Magic decided that they would not be in the running to re-sign Ibaka when he hits the free agent market this summer; this coming after the Thunder traded him primarily because they did not plan on giving him the near-max contract he’ll be seeking. So rather than play out this season and lose him for nothing, the Magic decided to trade him while they still could get something (Terrence Ross) in return.

While in Orlando, Ibaka averaged a career-high 15.1 points, 6.8 rebounds and 1.6 blocked shots per game. For his career (all prior to this season spent in Oklahoma City), he’s averaging 11.9 points, 7.3 rebounds and 2.4 blocks per game.

But he never seemed to provide the kind of impactful, difference-making play that Orlando was seeking.

And while the Celtics speak highly of Ibaka, he hasn’t been much of a problem for the Celtics this season.

In two games against Boston, Ibaka has averaged 6.0 points and 4.0 rebounds.

Jae Crowder believes the struggles Ibaka has endured against the Celtics, are not a clear reflection of what he’s capable of doing as a player.

“For sure it makes them better,” said Crowder in describing the Raptors with Ibaka. “He’s a guy that can stretch the floor and rebound at a high rate. We know what he brings to the table.”

And those struggles we saw of him with the Magic?

“I think it was him more so than us,” Crowder said. “I give him credit because he wasn’t playing with the energy and passion he usually brings. I’ve been able to line up against him a quite a few times.  He didn’t have that passion like he did when he was in O-K-C (Oklahoma City). Maybe he’ll have it now. I know exactly what he’s capable of doing; he’s capable of changing the game with his play.”