Has the Yahoo! Sports writer responsible for this gaffe pleaded guilty in criminal court, because this attempt at spelling the past tense of plead is an assault on the English language?
The writer should be thrown in the grammar slammer for impersonating a professional. Anyone who has gone through the third grade in an English-speaking knows that the past tense is pleaded or pled.
Perhaps the writer has confused this word with the word read (pronounced reed); its past tense is also spelled read, but pronounced red. And then the writer passed the confusion on to the reader.