Former baseball star Strawberry admits violating probation in Tampa hearing

Friday, April 19th 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) _ Former baseball star Darryl Strawberry admitted violating his drug probation Friday and said he is willing to accept the consequences even if it means prison time.

Strawberry, 40, could face up to 18 months in a Florida prison for his 1999 arrest on drug violations and charges of solicitation of prostitution. He fought previous attempts by the state to send him to prison and was sent to drug treatment instead, but he had violated his probation six times.

At a brief hearing Friday, Strawberry apologized to his family and friends and to counselors at the Phoenix House, the drug treatment center where he had been serving his time.

He was kicked out of the Phoenix House drug treatment program near Ocala after counselors said he broke many rules at the program, including having sex with another resident, smoking and being uncooperative and disrespectful.

Sentencing was postponed until April 29 because the judge who has been handling the case is ill.

Strawberry was on World Series championship teams with the New York Mets in 1986 and the New York Yankees in 1996 and 1999. Along with his legal problems, he has been treated for colon and stomach cancer.