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The Tampa Bay Tribune today released news of an alleged rape last night involving a player within the New York Yankee organization. Yankee officials declined to comment but acknowledged that an investigation was being performed by team personnel. However, they were able to stress the fact that the case was alleged. The Yankees Spring Training facilities are in Clearwater, Tampa Bay. Many players from their Class A Staten Island Yankees were supposedly staying nearby according to local sources but once again not confirmed by authorities.
Reports indicate that the rape allegedly took place in the confines of the Hilton Garden Inn on 9th Ave. in Ybor City located in the Tampa region. Police were unable to release the name of the underage girl and declined to release specification of the report. Deputy John Steerage said that the state will be pressing full criminal charges and may already have a lead in the case. Orrin Williams who has worked for Hilton Garden Inn for over thirty years spoke to reporters. He called the girl, "Emotionally distressed and hurt by the actions of the ballplayer." When questioned on the who the ballplayer was Orrin said, "It was no one that was on the immediate Yankee team, but the men that were staying at the hotel were loud and disturbing throughout their stay."
ESPN will follow this case but with so many alleged criminal acts within professional sports, prosecutors of the girl said that they are going for the stiffest penalties. "An athlete must not be above the law in any case and we will do our best to have justice served," said prosecutor Maureen Slinger.

Monday, March 28: Struck Out? "Big Bang Goes Bust"
• Stark: Why this will be the start of a new era
• Olney: Things you can expect to see in new era
• Neyer: Defining MLB's eras from the beginning

Tuesday, March 29: "Setting The Records Straight"
• Schwarz: How records should be viewed in light of the steroids scandal.
• Neyer: MLB's history of cheating.

Wednesday, March 30: "Baseball Back in D.C."
• Kurkjian: What happened in the 30 years since the Senators left the nation's capital?
• Neyer: All-time Senators team.

Thursday, March 31: "Changing Leagues"
• Rogers: Many big-name players switched leagues this offseason. What does it mean?
• Phillips: Breaking down the top players who changed leagues this offseason, and how they'll fare in '05.
• Fantasy: Twenty guys who changed leagues, and what the switch will mean for their fantasy value?

Friday, April 1: "The Great Rivalry"
• McAdam: Why the Red Sox will outlast the Yankees.
• Klapisch: Why the Yankees will outlast the Red Sox.
• McAdam: How the Red Sox can remain economically strong, while remaining in Fenway Park.
• Olney, Kurkjian: Team-by-team previews.

Saturday, April 2/Sunday, April 3: "Predictions"
• Stark: Who will win the World Series and why.
• Staff predictions: Team and individual.