Get caught stealing second base, and you go back to the dugout. Get caught stealing from one of your teammates, and you lose your job.
The Arizona Diamondbacks released 20-year-old left-handed pitcher Anderson Placido earlier this week after he was accused of stealing from a teammate during a game. Placido was a minor leaguer with their Class A team in Hillsboro, Ore. Although he has been described as not "a significant prospect" in Arizona's organization, Placido was the Northwest League's pitcher of the week for June 22 and he has put up encouraging numbers — a 2.61 ERA with 167 strikeouts in 158 2/3 innings — over parts of three minor league seasons.
What is he accused of doing? Andrew Nemec of The Oregonian writes:
The incident began when a Hops player approached Hillsboro manager J.R. House after Saturday's win and informed him that valuables were missing from the player's locker. The Hillsboro teammate indicated that he had reason to believe Placido had stolen from him.
House immediately questioned Placido, who vehemently denied the accusation. A search of Placido's belongings led to the discovery of the missing items, and House called the Diamondbacks front office to report the situation.
"We always call the organization when things like that happen," House said. "They tell me what to do."
And that was to give Placido the ax, figuratively (unless he already had swiped the ax). House added that he wasn't sure if more items were missing. A part of Placido's story that's particularly damning? Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic writes:
A source said Placido was released in 2012 by the Cleveland Indians after being accused of the same offense.
It also makes you wonder if this photobomb earlier in the season was just a distraction for some kind of heinous clubhouse robbery:
It's also possible, however unlikely, that Placido simply was trying to be part of the Derek Jeter farewell tour by re-creating the incident in 2002 when Ruben Rivera was released by the New York Yankees after he was accused of stealing a glove from Jeter.
Is this the end of Placido's career? First of all, it appears he needs to find help for his kleptomania. And, even then, he surely is going to have trouble presenting himself as a trustworthy teammate. However, he's 20. And he's left-handed. And he gets strikeouts. Someone will pick him up, even if that team has to count the bats in the bat rack every time he leaves the dugout.
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