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Blue can avoid prison time with treatment program

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. -- Former major league pitcher
Vida Blue was sentenced Monday to six months in jail after failing
to complete his probation from his latest drunken-driving
conviction.

Blue can avoid incarceration by spending time in a residential
alcohol treatment program. Blue needs to work out terms of his
treatment with the San Mateo County probation department or he will
begin his sentence on June 10.

"Mr. Blue takes full responsibility that he is in violation of
probation," said his attorney, Joshua Bentley.

Blue, a six-time All-Star who played most of his 17 major league
seasons with the Oakland Athletics and San Francisco Giants, failed
to perform his required community service after pleading no contest
in April 2004 to a misdemeanor drunken driving charge.

Under terms of the agreement Monday, Blue is not allowed to
drink alcohol or go to liquor stores or bars. He also is subject to
alcohol testing and must put a device in his car that would prevent
him from his starting his vehicle if he is under the influence.

Blue has been a community representative for the Giants for 15
years, serving as a spokesman for various charitable ventures by
the franchise. He is currently on administrative leave, Bentley
said.

"Vida wants to take some time and tackle these personal
issues," Bentley told the San Francisco Chronicle outside of
court. "He would hope that the fans would stick by him and give
him the opportunity to get through this."

Two months ago, Blue was arrested in Scottsdale, Ariz. -- the
location of the Giants' spring training complex -- on suspicion of
DUI after a minor accident.

The incident in Arizona was Blue's third arrest on suspicion of
DUI in less than six years. Blue also pleaded no contest after
police arrested him for drunken driving in suburban Dublin, Calif.,
on Aug. 2, 1999.

Blue won the AL Most Valuable Player and Cy Young awards in 1971
for Oakland, and went 209-161 with 37 shutouts during his career.