Nationals

Ryan Leaf kicked out of drug treatment center

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Ryan Leaf kicked out of drug treatment center

HELENA, Mont. (AP) Former NFL quarterback Ryan Leaf has been moved from a drug treatment center to the Montana State Prison for threatening a staff member and violating his treatment plan, a corrections official said Thursday.

The former San Diego Chargers and Washington State Cougars quarterback was charged last spring with breaking into two houses and stealing prescription painkillers near his hometown of Great Falls. He pleaded guilty in May to burglary and criminal possession of dangerous drugs, and his five-year sentence called for spending nine months in a locked drug treatment facility as an alternative to prison.

Leaf said then that he was looking forward to the treatment at Nexus Treatment Center in Lewistown. But on Thursday, the Montana Department of Corrections released a statement by Great Falls regional probation and parole administrator Dawn Handa that said Leaf will now serve his sentence in the Deer Lodge prison.

``The Montana Department of Corrections terminated Leaf from the treatment program and placed him in prison after he was found guilty of behavior that violated conditions of his drug treatment program. The violations included threatening a program staff member,'' Handa said in the statement.

Leaf attorney Kenneth Olson did not return calls for comment.

Adult Community Corrections Division Director Pam Bunke wrote that Leaf was too great a security risk to leave in a community setting, and that staff had exhausted all resources in keeping him there.

Leaf told his roommate at the treatment center that he wanted to drag a program staffer by his hair, according to the Department of Corrections document approving Leaf's transfer to prison.

Leaf also wrote in three ``Thinking Error Reports'' that he wanted to throw the staffer against the wall and smash his glass into the man's head.

Thinking Error Reports are part of the treatment program meant to help participants monitor their potential problems and help them recognize and cope with the source of their addiction, according to an agency description.

Leaf was moved out of the Lewistown center on Dec. 29. He was held in the Fergus County Jail until he was transported to the Deer Lodge prison Wednesday, said Corrections spokesman Bob Anez.

A disciplinary hearing was held Jan. 9 in which a hearings officer found Leaf guilty of threatening another person or his possessions, according to a summary by the Department of Corrections.

He also was found guilty of wearing clothes he was told not to wear and volunteering his services when directed not to, according to the summary.

Those may seem to be minor charges, but it represented the fourth therapeutic action plan given to Leaf to try to bring him into compliance, the report said.

When Leaf was served papers for the hearing, he was ``less than cooperative,'' according to the report.

``He got angry, swore at staff, refused to sign off on the witness form and threw the hearing notification papers on the floor,'' the report said.

Leaf will remain in the state prison until at least June 30, when he becomes eligible for parole, Anez said. That does not mean he will be released, but he will receive a hearing before the state Board of Pardons and Parole.

James Farren, the district attorney in the Texas county where Leaf was previously given probation in a plea agreement for drug charges in 2010, said his office will move to bring Leaf back to Randall County, where he could stand trial. The original Texas case stems from accusations that Leaf stole prescription pain medicine from a player's home while he was a coach at West Texas A&M.

If Leaf ends up getting prison time from a judge in Texas, he would return to Montana to serve out his time there. He would get credit for his Montana prison time in Texas, Farren said.

Farren said he gave Leaf a chance with the Texas plea deal. The Montana courts gave him another chance, he said.

``It doesn't matter how many chances he gets,'' Farren said.

Leaf was the No. 2 pick in the 1998 NFL draft, but his short-lived pro career earned him the reputation as one of the biggest busts in NFL history.

An investigation began in March 2011, after Great Falls postal workers reported they were suspicious of frequent packages Leaf received by paying COD charges of $500.

Central Montana Drug Task Force officers and Leaf's parole officer confronted the former quarterback and found a container with 28 oxycodone pills inside and another container with a prescription made out to an acquaintance.

The acquaintance said Leaf had entered his home without permission, and Leaf was arrested.

Shortly after his release, two Cascade County residents told authorities they found Leaf inside their home.

The couple reported three different prescription medications missing.

The Great Falls Tribune first reported Leaf's imprisonment Thursday.

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AP writer Betsy Blaney in Lubbock, Texas, contributed to this report.

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Max Scherzer grits his way through broken nose in stellar outing, win vs. Phillies

Max Scherzer grits his way through broken nose in stellar outing, win vs. Phillies

WASHINGTON -- With a broken nose, pronounced black eye and seven shutout innings, Max Scherzer provided a striking capper to the Washington Nationals' day-night doubleheader sweep of the Philadelphia Phillies.

Scherzer himself? He shrugged off his work in the Nationals' 2-0 victory Wednesday night as business as usual.

"Trust me, this thing looks a lot worse than it actually is," Scherzer said. "I felt zero pain. There's been plenty of other injuries where I felt a lot of pain and I've had to pitch through. I'll hang my hat on those starts, but tonight I felt zero pain. This is part of what you have to do. You take the ball every fifth time.

"That's my responsibility to the team, to make sure I always post, and I knew I could post tonight."

Brian Dozier and Victor Robles hit solo homers to support Scherzer (6-5) as Washington won for the 16th time in 23 games. Philadelphia has dropped seven of its last nine and 12 of 18.

In the first game, Patrick Corbin struck out eight while allowing one run over seven innings as the Nationals earned a 6-2 victory in the delayed series opener after the teams were rained out Monday and Tuesday.

Scherzer bunted a ball off his face during batting practice Tuesday, but it didn't stop him from making his scheduled start. His injury may have provided an extra layer of intimidation in the form of a black eye more worthy of a boxing ring than a baseball diamond.

The three-time Cy Young Award winner sported a pronounced bruise arcing beneath his right eye, adding another hue to a glare that already featured one blue eye and one brown eye.

"Going out there and throwing, the only thing I had to deal with was the swelling underneath the eye," Scherzer said. "It was kind of jiggling around, and so in warmups I just had to get used to knowing what it was feeling like to throw the ball and just have that swelling."

While he wasn't at his most efficient on a humid night, piling up 117 pitches, Scherzer was rarely threatened. He struck out 10, yielded only four hits and permitted just two runners to reach scoring position. And he finished strong, striking out three in a row after Cesar Hernandez led off the seventh with a double.

"It really is one of the most impressive things I've seen in a while," Dozier said. "He's probably the best pitcher in our generation, and you don't get that status unless you take the ball every fifth day, no matter if you're doing good, doing bad, you got a broken nose. You always want the ball."

Bryce Harper, Scherzer's former Nationals teammate, was 0 for 4 with four walks in the doubleheader and was loudly booed before each plate appearance -- especially in the better-attended nightcap. This series is his second trip back to Washington, where he played from 2012-18, since signing a 13-year, $330 million contract with Philadelphia in March.

Dozier belted a two-out solo shot in the second off Jake Arrieta (6-6), who allowed two hits and struck out three over six innings and had the misfortune of matching up with Scherzer on the wrong day.

"Max is just one of the best to ever toe the rubber, honestly," Arietta said. "We have ran into him a couple of times. That's just what he does. He is tough to square up, and he is throwing three or four pitches for strikes with electric stuff. Just a tough one."

Robles homered off reliever Pat Neshek in the eighth. Neshek departed two batters later with a left hamstring strain, and manager Gabe Kapler said he was likely to land on the injured list less than a week after returning from an absence of more than three weeks caused by a shoulder strain.

Wander Suero pitched a perfect eighth for Washington, and Sean Doolittle worked the ninth for his 15th save in 18 tries.

Philadelphia was 0 for 12 with runners in scoring position between the two games.

Corbin (6-5), whose start was pushed back twice this week, allowed a solo homer to Scott Kingery in the first inning of the opener. But he let just one other runner to reach third while ending a personal three-game skid.

"It's not ideal, but you have to deal with it to make sure you are ready," said Corbin, who is one strikeout shy of 1,000 for his career. "I was glad we got that one in today."

Dozier and Gerardo Parra had RBI doubles against Phillies starter Zach Eflin (6-7). They later hit back-to-back homers in the eighth inning off Cole Irvin to seal the victory.

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This Nationals fan's Max Scherzer broken nose shirt is the best thing you'll see today

This Nationals fan's Max Scherzer broken nose shirt is the best thing you'll see today

Nationals ace Max Scherzer added another incredible chapter to his legendary career Wednesday, pitching seven shutout innings against the Phillies after breaking his nose in a batting practice accident the day before. 

To honor Scherzer's toughness, one amazing Nats fan wore arguably the greatest shirt ever seen at a baseball game.

(Photo: NBC Sports Washington)

This isn't a good shirt. This is a GREAT shirt, worthy of the man who's face it features. 

Someone get this fan a signed Scherzer baseball. 

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