Orioles

Some of Sandusky's jurors hoping for life sentence

Some of Sandusky's jurors hoping for life sentence

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) Jerry Sandusky should be sent to prison for life when a judge sentences him Tuesday, according to several of the jurors who convicted the former Penn State assistant coach of molesting several boys over a period of years.

None of the jurors interviewed by The Associated Press said they have had second thoughts about their June verdict, and several plan to attend the sentencing.

``There isn't a sentence that I believe is harsh enough for what he has done and how it has affected the university,'' said Joan Andrews, a juror who has worked for Penn State for 41 years and held football season tickets since 1969. ``I don't think there's been one individual in this entire campus that has not been affected by this.''

Four jurors said they plan to be in the courtroom when Sandusky, 68, learns the penalty for sexually abusing boys he met through a charity for at-risk children. Sandusky's own attorney expects his client to be handed a long sentence from Judge John Cleland after conviction on 45 counts.

Although a list of jurors has not been released by Cleland, the AP was able to contact five of them. They said they recently received a letter from the court informing them about the sentencing and offering to have a court official meet them outside the courthouse.

A court system spokesman said the jurors are guaranteed a seat but won't necessarily be sitting together.

Only one of the five, retired Penn State soil sciences professor Daniel D. Fritton, said he would not attend.

``I'd just like to stay out of the limelight, for one thing,'' Fritton said. ``I figure I could read in the paper what happens.''

Gayle Barnes, a homemaker and former school district employee, said she thinks a lot about the victims, particularly the eight who testified against Sandusky and provided what she considers the critical evidence of guilt. She said he deserves life in prison.

``I do still feel good, what we as jurors did,'' Barnes said. ``I didn't go there saying off the bat he's guilty. I needed to listen to every single thing that was said.''

Barnes said she has been in touch with a fifth juror and an alternate juror who also plan to attend the sentencing.

High school science teacher Joshua Harper, who has bachelor's and master's degrees from Penn State, said that he takes pride in having served on the jury, and that the guilty verdict was not a close call. He wants Sandusky ``put away for the rest of his life, really.''

``This is what prisons are for, you know,'' Harper said. ``I mean, I don't think you let a guy loose like that.''

He also felt the victim testimony was pivotal.

``It was such a consistent pattern of behavior,'' Harper said. ``It was just so solid. The defense was just so thin. There was no evidence that these kids were lying. Even the minor inconsistencies that the defense tried to bring up - and did bring up - that made it more convincing.''

Through a relative, juror Ann T. Van Kuren said she also plans to attend.

Barnes and Harper both said they hoped to learn more about what Penn State officials did or did not do in 1998 and 2001 after getting complaints about Sandusky showering with boys. That was a major theme of the report issued to Penn State this summer by Louis Freeh, the former FBI director, and is likely also to arise during civil litigation by Sandusky's victims against the university.

``We don't know the whole story to this whole thing yet,'' said Barnes, a Nittany Lions fan who felt so strongly that Joe Paterno's statue should remain in place that she went to the scene outside Beaver Stadium the day it was removed in July, about a month after the verdict. ``I just felt like they jumped ship, they didn't do the right thing, that they needed more information. What's going to happen if Curley and Schultz are found not guilty?''

Tim Curley, the school's athletic director on leave, and Gary Schultz, a retired vice president, are awaiting trial on charges they did not properly report suspected abuse and lied to the grand jury that investigated Sandusky. Paterno, the school's Hall of Fame coach, was fired after Sandusky was arrested in November and died of lung cancer in January.

The names of Curley, Schultz and even Paterno did not come up in deliberations, Andrews said.

``I don't know what to think about Curley and Schultz,'' she said. ``I think Joe Paterno was and is and has been falsely accused of many things. I don't think the man was informed of the detail for him to understand how serious this was.''

Sandusky's sentencing on Tuesday will begin with Cleland determining whether he qualifies as a sexually violent predator, a status that would require lifetime registration if he is ever paroled.

Quick Links

What exactly did the Orioles get in return for Manny Machado?

yusniel_diaz.jpg
USA Today Sports Images

What exactly did the Orioles get in return for Manny Machado?

So, the Orioles made some headlines earlier this week. I’m not sure if you’ve heard, but minor league pitcher Asher Wojciechowski exercised his opt-out clause and is no longer with the organization. Please keep Orioles fans in your thoughts during this trying time.

As everyone reading this is undoubtedly already aware, the Orioles *also* made a trade yesterday, sending 26-year old superstar Manny Machado to the Los Angeles Dodgers. In return for their once-in-a-lifetime talent, the Orioles received a whopping five prospects from the Dodgers’ minor league system.

Yusniel Diaz, OF, 21

It’s fitting that this trade is being compared to the Erik Bedard trade, which was also a five-for-one, because Diaz could be a poor man’s Adam Jones. He’s not the prospect Jones was, but he could end up being a really nice player.

Talent evaluators are split on his ultimate ceiling. Some describe him as a bona fide stud, and others leave him off their top 100 lists. I’ve seen him ranked as high as 31st overall (by Baseball Prospectus), which, if accurate, is a terrific main piece in a package for a star rental. 

Most consider Diaz’s main flaw as a prospect to be his in-game power, though anyone watching the 2018 MLB Futures Game would be confused by that, as he became the second player ever to hit multiple home runs in the game. It’s possible that more power develops as he matures, and he certainly wouldn’t be the first player to hit for more power once reaching the Majors, but for now, it’s not a strength. I wouldn’t expect him to top 20 home runs in most seasons.

His bat-to-ball ability is his clearest strength, as he projects to consistently hit for a high average. His batting eye, while formerly a weakness, has become a strength in 2018, as he’s actually walked more times than he’s struck out (a rarity in this day and age). That will play well with O’s fans who are tired of seeing their players challenge strikeout records.

Dean Kremer, RHP, 22

Kremer isn’t a major name, which is a disappointment for O’s fans and one of the reasons their haul felt so uninspiring. Compared to more highly-touted prospects like Dustin May, Kremer looks like the team settled.

That said, he’s currently sporting the best K/9 ratio in the minors, and could end up being a diamond in the rough. He’s come a long way since being a 14th-round pick two years ago, and you have to wonder if the Orioles’ much-maligned pitching development can pick up where the much more successful Dodgers instructors left off.

Kremer is also notable for being the first Israeli-born player ever drafted in Major League Baseball.

Rylan Bannon, IF, 22

Bannon was an 8th-rounder last year and is having somewhat of a breakout this season. He’s leading the league in home runs, though playing in a notorious band box of a home park is skewing those numbers.

Bannon is undersized, but has a reputation of a good, if not elite, fielder. He’s a third baseman, but will likely spend some time at second as well. If the power breakout is real, he could end up a solid starter for the Orioles down the road. Again, that’s about all you can hope for in trades of this nature.

Zach Pop, RHP, 21

Pop has been described as potentially a future “right-handed Zach Britton,” which every O’s fan would take in a heartbeat. Of course, he’s not ranked like a future All-Star, as even in the weaker Orioles farm system he’s likely no better than around 25th. 

Still, the filler players in big trades like this are just lottery tickets, and considering his lack of pedigree, Pop seems like a relatively “safe” pitcher with projectability. He strikes out a lot of batters and gets a lot of ground balls, and at the very least can likely become a decent middle reliever.

Breyvic Valera, IF, 26

In a best-case scenario, Valera becomes the Orioles’ Ryan Flaherty replacement. If you squint, you can see somewhat decent upside in each of the other returning players, even despite their modest prospect rankings, but Valera is a clear utility player. 

He gets on base and hits for contact well enough to stick around and has proven capable of defending multiple positions, so there actually might be a spot for him at the end of the Orioles bench.

Overall

This trade has been described as anywhere from adequate and somewhat deflating to a great haul O’s fans should be excited about. Four of the five players have decent ceilings, though the chance of all four (or even just two of them) reaching those ceilings is highly unlikely. It’s just the nature of baseball.

Ultimately, this trade will be judged on the success or failure of Yusniel Diaz, who is the clear centerpiece of the package. Whether or not he succeeds will be partially up to him, and partially up to the front office and player development team.

If this trade is the beginning of the core for the next competitive Orioles team, then it’ll have to be considered a success. If these players each bust out of the league, then it was still the correct decision to trade Machado instead of settling for draft pick compensation, but it will still sting all the more for O’s fans seeing Manny soar to new heights elsewhere.

Quick Links

Capitals re-sign Madison Bowey leaving Tom Wilson the lone remaining RFA

usatsi_10325478.jpg
USA TODAY Sports

Capitals re-sign Madison Bowey leaving Tom Wilson the lone remaining RFA

Defenseman Madison Bowey re-signed with the Capitals on Thursday, inking a two-year extension that will carry an average of $1 million.

Bowey carried a cap charge of $703,333 last season.

The 23-year-old appeared in 51 games for the Caps in 2017-18, amassing 12 assists, 24 penalty minutes and a plus/minus rating of minus-3.

Bowey also suited up in nine contests for AHL Hershey, though he finished the season as one of the Black Aces during Washington's run to the Stanley Cup.

With Bowey back in the fold, the Caps now have six of seven defenseman from last season’s roster under contract. (Veteran Brooks Orpik remains an unrestricted free agent.)

Bowey had an uneven first year in the NHL—he didn’t play following the late-February addition of Michal Kempny—but the Caps expect that the 6-2, 198-pound right-shot blue liner will become reliable full-time player with more seasoning.

Bowey’s deal leaves Tom Wilson as the Caps' only remaining unsigned restricted free agent. The sides are in discussions on a multi-year extension.

Including Bowey’s extension, the Caps have roughly $7.3 million in salary cap space remaining, according to www.capfriendly.com.

MORE CAPS NEWS: