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Dykstra sentenced in bankruptcy fraud case

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Dykstra sentenced in bankruptcy fraud case

LOS ANGELES (AP) Former All-Star outfielder Lenny Dykstra was sentenced Monday to 6 1/2 months in prison for hiding baseball gloves and other heirlooms from his playing days that were supposed to be part of his bankruptcy filing, capping a tumultuous year of legal woes.

U.S. District Judge Dean Pregerson weighed Dykstra's battle with drugs and alcohol versus the crimes he committed and opted to give the ex-big leaguer a lenient prison term but saddled him with 500 hours of community service. He also ordered Dykstra to pay $200,000 in restitution.

Dykstra, 49, apologized for his actions and promised to turn his life around.

``I don't think I'm a bad person,'' said Dykstra, who was in handcuffs and wearing a white prison-issued jumpsuit. ``I made some bad decisions.''

Pregerson initially issued a 14-month sentence, but revised his ruling after he noted Dykstra had already served seven months in federal custody awaiting sentencing. Dykstra was already behind bars after pleading no contest to grand theft auto and providing a false financial statement.

The sentences will run concurrent and Dykstra could be released by mid-2013, Pregerson said.

Prosecutors sought a 2 1/2-year sentence after Dykstra pleaded guilty earlier this year to bankruptcy fraud, concealment of assets and money laundering.

The sentencing was part of a downward spiral for Dykstra, who earned the nickname ``Nails'' during his 12-year career with the New York Mets and Philadelphia Phillies because of his gritty style of play.

Dykstra, who bought a mansion once owned by hockey star Wayne Gretzky, filed for bankruptcy three years ago, claiming he owed more than $31 million and had only $50,000 in assets.

After the filing, Dykstra hid, sold or destroyed at least $200,000 worth of items without permission of a bankruptcy trustee, prosecutors said.

Court documents show Dykstra said he put an oven, sconces and chandeliers into a storage unit, but prosecutors said he actually sold the items for $8,500. Then Dykstra went to another house where his ex-wife lived and sold a cache of baseball memorabilia to a Las Vegas dealer for $15,000 and pocketed the proceeds.

Deputy federal public defender Hilary Potashner said Dykstra has battled drug and alcohol abuse that date back to his playing days when he took painkillers. Dykstra was arrested last year by Los Angeles police who said they found cocaine, Ecstasy and synthetic human growth hormone at his home. As part of the grand theft auto case, prosecutors dropped 21 counts against him in exchange for his no contest plea.

Potashner added that when Dykstra ran into financial troubles several years ago, he became a person who was out of control.

Pregerson tried to comprehend the host of legal problems facing Dykstra, including a recent nine-month sentence after he pleaded no contest to exposing himself to women he met through Craigslist.

``There's just a sort of spectrum of conduct I can't understand,'' Pregerson said. ``What I am trying to understand is: Who is Mr. Dykstra?''

Dykstra's attorneys stressed their client has learned a valuable lesson and has paid a high price for his celebrity status. Potashner said in court that Dykstra was ``beaten to a pulp'' recently while in a Los Angeles County jail and had some teeth knocked out.

Steve Whitmore, a spokesman for the Los Angeles County sheriff's department, said there had been a fight involving Dykstra and some deputies in April after the former ball player had to be taken to a hospital for undisclosed reasons. Dykstra was the aggressor and had to be physically restrained, Whitmore said.

``The accusation the defense attorney is making in court is not accurate,'' said Whitmore, who added Dykstra suffered a bloody nose during the incident.

On Monday, Dykstra had about a dozen supporters in court, including his ex-wife and his son, Cutter, who is playing for the Washington Nationals' Single-A team in Maryland.

As the gray-haired Dykstra was being led away from court, he turned to the group and gave a thumbs-up.

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Not everyone thinks the Redskins need to invest more at wide receiver

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Not everyone thinks the Redskins need to invest more at wide receiver

While the rumors about the Redskins potentially trading for Marvin Jones from over the weekend were total nonsense, a reason they resonated so much with fans is because many believe Washington needs major help at wide receiver.

But during a segment of Monday's Redskins 100 show, analyst Trevor Matich assessed the position group and actually thinks that, as a whole, the team should be relatively pleased with the talent it has outside.

"I like it better than I have in recent years, especially if Paul Richardson stays healthy," Matich said.

His "especially" qualifier is a common one, and that's because Richardson is the most established wideout currently on the roster — and he still has just 1,564 career receiving yards to his name. However, a healthy Richardson (which the 'Skins never really saw in his first year, considering he got injured early in training camp and was never the same) provides Jay Gruden the field stretcher he loves to have.

Richardson isn't the only player Matich is anxious to see, though.

"Terry McLaurin, their draft choice from Ohio State, is legitimately a 4.3 guy," he said. "He gets deep down the field and catches the ball in space."

One of the biggest issues for the 2018 Redskins was a lack of speed at every single spot. In Richardson and McLaurin, the Burgundy and Gold now have a pair of pass catchers who can fly past corners, do damage 30-plus yards down the sideline and open things up for other targets as well.

Overall, in reacting to the Jones storyline, Matich really doesn't see a huge need for the organization to make any additions to that collection of pieces. 

"I think that when you take a look at all the other guys, Trey Quinn in the slot, things like that, this receiving corps is fine," he said. "It's not desperate. They don't need to invest resources to bring extra people in."

Now, is "fine" and "not desperate" the level the front office and coaches want their receivers to be? Of course not. But Matich's stance is intriguing, because he's content with who'll be lining up there while plenty of others absolutely don't see it that way and feel a trade would be prudent.

If you're in that second group, recent history indicates this is the dead zone for NFL deals. So try not to waste your time refreshing Twitter over and over and over.

Perhaps Washington gets to Richmond and, after a few weeks of practices and a couple of exhibition contests, realizes their depth chart could use another name. Or maybe an injury happens and forces their hand. But according to Matich, as of now, the offense can function with the parts it has in place.

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Baltimore Ravens Roundup: Wide receiver battle underway

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Baltimore Ravens Roundup: Wide receiver battle underway

Kick off your Tuesday with the latest Baltimore Ravens news.

1. Aside from the battle at left guard, the Ravens also have a battle going on at wide receiver. 13 of the 90-man roster are wide receivers, and when asked who have been standouts at practice thus far, many said Antoine Wesley and Sean Modster. 

2. Just for fun: The Ravens' team photographer Shawn Hubbard took these amazing portraits of the team that will get you hyped up for this season.

Looking Ahead:

July 15: 4 p.m. ET deadline to get a long-term deal done with designated franchise tag players.

The 2019 NFL schedule is set! See the Baltimore Ravens defend the AFC North at M&T Bank Stadium this season. Get your tickets now at www.BaltimoreRavens.com/tickets.

Credit: Baltimore Ravens for news points.

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