The Rams are, of course, long gone and the Honda Center remains in need of an NBA team, but Orange County still has the Angels, Ducks, a whole bunch of mixed-martial arts fighters and assorted pro sports retirees who reside and/or hailed from here.
Current and former pro athletes get into trouble some times--you'll often go to a daily newspaper police log to discover the sports page has broken out. Check out the 10 athletes after the jump . . .
Santa Ana-born pride of Garden Grove High, pro baseball warrior, Orange County car wash king, crony of CNBC Mad Moneyman Jim Cramer and convicted thief, druggie, conman and sex offender Lenny Dykstra was sentenced this month to 6 1/2 months in lockup, despite federal prosecutors seeking 2 1/2 years. The former All-Star with the New York Mets and Philadelphia Phillies is also serving his federal time concurrently with his state stretches for grand theft auto, providing false financial statements, possession of cocaine, Ecstasy and synthetic human growth hormone and exposing himself to maids he'd recruited online. The 49-year-old was also ordered to serve 500 hours of community service and pay $200,000 in restitution once he smells free air again by the middle of next year. (Lenny Dykstra, Former Pro Baseball Player Out of OC, Gets 6 1/2 More Months in Prison)
Los Angeles Dodger and Baltimore Oriole Hall of Fame first baseman Eddie Murray agreed in August to pay $358,151 to settle a federal lawsuit tied to an insider-trading tip he received from his buddy and former teammate Doug DeCinces. On Nov. 28, the former Oriole and California Angel third baseman, who resides in Laguna Beach, and three associates were named in a 44-count federal indictment that dangles possible prison time over the trio. (Doug DeCinces, Former Angel Who Paid $2.5 Million to Settle Insider Trading Suit, Now Faces Possible Prison Time After Indictment)
Beach pro surfer Christopher Polovina could be sentenced to up to seven years in prison Jan. 15 after pleading guilty in New Jersey to multiple counts related to threats he made against his ex-wife. The 34-year-old copped to threatening his ex-wife over two days in February 2009, during which he made 19 calls to her when she resided in Delaware Township of Hunterdon County, New Jersey. Free on $20,000 bail, "Bubby" faces three to five years in New Jersey state prison for making the terroristic threats, 18 months for stalking and six months for contempt of court. ( Christopher Polovina, Newport Beach Pro Surfer, Faces Prison for Threatening Ex-Wife)
A California Angel in the early 1990s, Chad Curtis' 10-year career included time with the Tigers, Blue Jays, Dodgers, Indians, Yankees and Rangers. He retired and became a substitute teacher and weight-room volunteer at Lakeview High School in Woodland, Michigan, but the 43-year-old was forced to resign in May after allegations surfaced he inappropriately touched two female students. After a judge held Curtis over for trial, a third girl came forward. The former big leaguer had once dreamed of becoming Lakeview High's head football coach. (Chad Curtis, Former Angels Outfielder, Accused of Inappropriate Touching of Girl Students)
Ultimate Fighting Championship flyweight Ian "Uncle Creepy" McCall was released from Orange County Jail in September after spending a month behind bars on warrants out for his arrest in connection with a 2008 bust for possessing drug paraphernalia and prescription drugs without a script and failure to show up at the Harbor Justice Center in Newport Beach to take care of a June citation for driving on a suspended license. His lawyer later explained the drug paraphernalia was needles used to take the fluid out of his ears and that his failure to appear stemmed from confusion over when Uncle Creepy was supposed to pick up trash for CalTrans. Turns out he was in training and rehab at the time. (Ian "Uncle Creepy" McCall's Arrest Extends Orange County's MMA Crime Wave)
A judge in November dismissed a misdemeanor vandalism count against Jason "Mayhem" Miller, the former MMA fighter and reality TV star who sheriff's deputies found naked in Mission Viejo's Mission Hills Church the morning of Aug. 13. A broken picture frame, a propane tank and other items spray-painted over, books, CDs and boards that had covered a previously broken window strewn about the first floor and a second floor coated with fire extinguisher residue eventually led to led deputies to 31-year-old Miller, who was in the buff on a couch of the place of worship near his home. He was arrested on suspicion of burglary and held for mental observation. Days earlier Miller had been in a Twitter war with UFC chief Dana White. (Jason "Mayhem" Miller of MMA and Bully Beatdown Fame Fights Off Vandalism Count)
A Superior Court commissioner in Orange this month found former NBA freak Dennis Rodman in contempt for failing to pay child support and ordered "The Worm" to cough up $500,000. Rodman already performed more than 100 hours of community service in May after being found guilty of four counts of contempt of court for failing to pay child support for 2009 and 2010. Commissioner Barry Michaelson agreed with the attorneys for Jamie Moyer Rodman of Costa Mesa that her ex-husband has failed to pay up since reaching an out-of-court settlement pinning his tab at $500k. The mad rebounder also received informal probation and threats of more jail time to come from Michaelson should Wormie fail to comply. (Dennis Rodman, Who Wormed His Way Out of Paying Child Support, Must Cough Up $500k)
Former USC and Detroit Lions star Johnnie Morton, Jr. faced up to five years in prison for repeatedly lying to a federal grand jury in 2009, but despite Santa Ana's U.S. District Court Judge Cormac J. Carney having onetime played football for crosstown rival UCLA, he sentenced Morton in July to only two years of probation and a $100 fine in the wake of a plea bargain. The 40-year-old knowingly gave false testimony about his close ties to 32-year-old Irvine businessman accused of making false transactions. (Ex-NFL & USC Star Johnnie Morton Jr. Sentenced For Federal Grand Jury Lies in Orange County)
Hall of Fame slugger, onetime California Angel and Naked Gun robotic Queen-killing machine Reggie Jackson was sued in Santa Ana's Orange County Superior Court in May for allegedly stiffing a former business manager, who now wants nearly $750,000. "Mr. October" made an oral, lifetime agreement in 2002 to employ Frank Perry, pay Perry 10 percent from gross sales of memorabilia and 15 percent of gross earnings from book sales, endorsements, speaking engagements and movie and business deals, according to the suit. Oh, and Perry added he's been due $5,600 a month to run Jackson's "The Mr. October Foundation for Kids." (Reggie Jackson Sued for Nearly $750,000 for Supposedly Stiffing Business Manager)
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It's not surprising that former Angels pitcher Bartolo Colón was suspended for 50 games this past season for using banned drugs as an Oakland A. What was surprising was the drug the 39-year-old tested positive for: testosterone. Those who recall the righty spilling out of his Halos uniform might have assumed it would be Fen-Phen. Colón, who in 2005 became the first pitcher to win a Cy Young Award as an Angel since Dean Chance in 1964, issued this statement at the time: "I apologize to the fans, to my teammates and to the Oakland A's. I accept responsibility for my actions and I will serve my suspension as required by the Joint Drug Program." At least he had company up there in the Bay Area with the Giants' Melky Cabrera (Bartolo Colón, Former Angels Pitcher, Does Not Surprise with Drug Suspension But with Drug)
Want to tee up more of 2012? Check out "Project Un-uncensored: Looking back at 2012 news that was fit to blog but not to print . . . until now"