Litigation over a falling fat guy at Shea Stadium enters year four

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The New York Post reports today
on a lawsuit filed against the Mets by a woman named Ellen Massey who,
in 2007 was more or less crushed by a fat guy who came hurtling out of
his seat in her direction, breaking her vertebrae. Massey says the fat
guy was drunk. The fat guy said he was pushed. No word on whether Roger
McDowell has been subpoenaed yet.

My interest in this case is more one of personal blogging history, as it led to one of my first blog posts over at ShysterBall back in May of 2007
when it first arose.  My take on it then echoes the rule we were taught
over and over in law school:  if you’re going to sue a ballclub and the
beer vendor for overserving a fat guy who later falls on you and breaks
your back, you’d better be able to prove he wasn’t fit to be served in
the first place. It’s hornbook law, as they say.

By all accounts, Ms. Massey didn’t identify the falling fatty until
well after the event (back in 2007 it was still a John Doe complaint)
and if she didn’t know who he was at the time, I have no idea who she’s
supposed to establish that he was drunk and overserved at the time. And
that’s really the only basis for the Mets to have liability here.  I
mean sure, the fat guy or his shovey friend could get sued
individually, but they’re not big and rich like the Mets are, so why
would any self-respecting plaintiff’s lawyers sue them?

But I think the best thing about the Post story is the way they portray one
of the Mets’ defenses — a boilerplate contributory negligence
allegation — as the kind of thing only a souless and heartless
victim-blaming monster could concoct. It’s a standard defense guys.
Lighten up, smarten up or stick to the wedding announcement business.

(thanks to Jason at IIATMS for the heads up)

Report: Mark Trumbo signs three-year, $37.5 million contract with Orioles

TORONTO, ON - OCTOBER 04:  Mark Trumbo #45 of the Baltimore Orioles runs the bases after hitting a two-run home run in the fourth inning against the Toronto Blue Jays during the American League Wild Card game at Rogers Centre on October 4, 2016 in Toronto, Canada.  (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
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Update #2 (6:21 PM EST): Make that $37.5 million, per Heyman.

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Update (6:02 PM EST): The deal is for “around” $37 million with deferrals that lower the present-day value, per Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports.

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Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that free agent 1B/OF Mark Trumbo is close to a deal with the Orioles. He first reported that the two sides were back in touch earlier on Thursday afternoon. According to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, the deal is expected to be for three years and under $40 million.

Trumbo’s market hasn’t developed as he expected. The slugger turned down the Orioles’ $17.2 million qualifying offer back in November. Then the Orioles reportedly made a four-year contract offer to him in December but pulled it off the table. Most recently, a report indicated that Trumbo lowered his expectations to a three-year deal in the $40-50 million range.

Trumbo, 31, led the majors with 47 homers for the Orioles this past season. He also hit a solid .256/.316/.433 with 108 RBI in 667 plate appearances. With Trumbo back in the fold and some slight offensive upgrades made, the Orioles figure to have a formidable offense in 2017.

Astros avoid arbitration with Mike Fiers

SEATTLE, WA - SEPTEMBER 17: Starting pitcher Mike Fiers #54 of the Houston Astros walks to the dugout after pitching an inning during a game against the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field on September 17, 2016 in Seattle, Washington. The Astros won the game 2-1. (Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)
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The Astros avoided arbitration with pitcher Mike Fiers, agreeing on a $3.45 million salary for the 2017 season, per Jake Kaplan of the Houston Chronicle. The right-hander was in his first of three years of arbitration eligibility.

Fiers, 31, made 30 starts and one relief appearance for the Astros in 2016. He finished the year with a 4.48 ERA and a 134/42 K/BB ratio in 168 2/3 innings.

Fiers had a much better showing in 2015 as well as in limited action in 2014, so the Astros are hoping he rediscovers that effectiveness going forward. He’ll slot into the back of the starting rotation.