You’ll recall that Reds minor league pitcher Bubba Nelson was charged with driving under the influence and driving on a suspended license three weeks ago in Florida. Nelson blood alcohol content was nearly twice the legal limit.

Well, yesterday, Nelson pled guilty — to a reduced charge of reckless driving. The suspended license charge was dropped.

Seems like a big break for Nelson, doesn’t it? It is a big break. I’m a prosecutor by day, and there have to be some serious extenuating circumstances for me to drop a DUI to a lesser charge. As a matter of fact, as a general policy, we just won’t do it in my office. I’ve seen too many people hurt and killed by drunk drivers. We take them very seriously.

Upon closer inspection, it appears that the prosecutors in Nelson’s case had some real problems with their case — specifically, with probable cause. That seems to be why they were so willing to plead this case.

I doubt we would have seen Nelson in the majors this year anyway, but this entire episode surely doesn’t help his case.