Mike Leake gets community service

CINCINNATI -- Cincinnati Reds pitcher Mike Leake was sentenced to counseling and 30 hours of community service after pleading guilty Friday to a charge reduced from theft to unauthorized use of property.

The 23-year-old right-hander was arrested by Cincinnati police on April 18 after trying to leave Macy's with six T-shirts having a total value of $59.88. He said before the Reds' game Friday against the Florida Marlins that he was trying to exchange T-shirts he'd purchased on April 2 that were too small.

Instead of seeking help from a clerk, he simply left the already-purchased T-shirts, picked up new ones and tried to leave the store. Security personnel stopped him and called the police.

"I realize how boneheaded a move it was, and I sincerely apologize," Leake said during a news conference in Cincinnati's dugout, adding that he had a credit-card statement that confirmed the original purchase, but he didn't have the sales receipt. "It was a serious lapse in judgment. I can't tell you what was going on in my head. It was a bad mistake."

Macy's and the Hamilton County court system agreed Friday to reduce the charge, which will be dismissed if he completes the community service and counseling.

"I want to thank Macy's for being professional," Leake said. "Everybody's been great to me. I'm looking forward to moving on."

Leake said he talked about the incident with the team in a meeting and apologized to the Reds, the team's owners, his teammates and family "for putting all of this pressure on them and for the drama this caused."

Cincinnati's 2009 No. 1 draft pick is 3-0 with a 4.40 ERA in five starts, going 2-0 since his arrest.

"That was my goal," he said. "I didn't want it to affect anybody around me. I wanted to keep my head on straight."

Manager Dusty Baker was impressed with Leake's demeanor after the arrest.

"He pitched better, actually," Baker said. "That's something he wanted to prove to us. Hopefully, he'll have some closure now. I'm pleased that he got a chance to tell his side of the story to everybody in the country."