Charlie Samuels' case adjourned

NEW YORK -- Ex-Mets clubhouse manager Charlie Samuels will have to wait for his day in court.

Samuels' court case has been adjourned until July 28 as the defense and prosecution review documents and evidence relevant to the case.

Last month, Samuels was arraigned on charges that he criminally possessed nearly $2.3 million worth of game-used memorabilia -- including signed jerseys, bats and baseballs -- that belonged to the Mets' organization.

Samuels, who was with the team 27 seasons, was also charged with embezzling $24,955 from the Mets by submitting inflated expense claims and failing to report or pay taxes on $203,789 in tips and dues that he received from Mets players and others in 2008 and 2009.

Dressed in a blue pinstriped suit, Samuels politely declined comment after his Friday morning appearance in Queens Supreme Court. His defense attorney, Michael Bachner, also refused to discuss specific aspects of the case.

"We're reviewing documents. We're in discovery and then we'll move forward," the attorney said.

Bachner entered a plea of not guilty for Samuels after his arraignment on May 11. Samuels was released after posting a $75,000 bail through a bondsman. According to the 21-count indictment Samuels faces, he could spend between 8 1/3 to 25 years in prison.

The indictment was the result of a months-long investigation into Samuels' alleged illegal gambling and pilfering of sports memorabilia from the Mets' clubhouse.

The investigation was first revealed in November. Samuels was fired shortly thereafter. Investigators initially focused on allegations that Samuels had been involved in gambling with people who had ties to organized crime.

But the investigation, led by the Queens District Attorney's office and New York police department detectives from the Organized Crime unit, soon extended to Samuels' alleged theft of memorabilia in the Mets' clubhouse.

The Queens District Attorney's office alleges that Samuels stockpiled 507 signed and unsigned jerseys, 304 hats, 828 bats, 22 batting helmets and 10 equipment bags. Officials recovered the collectibles at a friend's basement in Madison, Conn. Prosecutors allege Samuels accumulated the items to fund his retirement.

Samuels was not charged with selling the memorabilia.

After Samuels' arraignment last month, Bachner stated that the Mets gave Samuels permission to possess the items. Bachner said at the time that Samuels gathered signatures on the items after he obtained them with team permission. He says that the signatures were obtained "in a friendly capacity with players."

The lawyer also said that prosecutors' valuation of the memorabilia was "legally incorrect."

"This indictment barely made it to first base, it's never coming home," Bachner said after the arraignment, adding, "there's no criminal conduct here."

Ian Begley is a regular contributor to ESPNNewYork.com.