We originally mentioned this last June, but now J.C. Romero is being sued by the fan who accused him of assault.
Robert Eaton, 26, has filed a lawsuit claiming that Romero caused him “serious and permanent injury” by allegedly hitting him in the neck when he was asking for an autograph. Eaton recalls getting the pitcher’s attention by saying, “How about you get me some juice?” Of course, Romero served a 50-game suspension for violating MLB’s performance-enhancing drug policy, so it’s possible he didn’t take too kindly to the joke, but charges were never pursued on the Phillies left-hander because of conflicting reports from witnesses.
Eaton, who said the assault left him with three herniated disks in his neck, is seeking in excess of $15,000 in damages.
On the pitching side of things, Romero is working his way back from offseason surgery on his elbow. He has yet to face live hitters, leaving the chances of him being ready for the start of the season in doubt.
Last Thursday, we learned that the MLBPA was challenging the Nippon Professional Baseball posting system, delaying Japanese superstar Shohei Ohtani’s move to Major League Baseball. The latest collective bargaining agreement removed a lot of the incentive for players to come to the U.S. by capping pay. Ohtani, for example, can only receive a signing bonus between $300,000 and $3.53 million while his team — the Nippon Ham Fighters — would receive $20 million for posting him.
Jon Morosi reports that the deadline for this issue to be resolved is 8 PM ET on Monday evening. He notes that key NPB officials have worked through the night in Japan to try to reach a resolution. It is possible that even if no agreement is reached, the deadline could be pushed further back.
Ohtani, 23, has become a heralded hitter and pitcher in Japan. At the plate over his five-year career, he has compiled a .286/.358/.500 triple-slash line with 48 home runs and 166 RBI in 1,170 plate appearances. On the mound, he has a 2.52 ERA with a 624/200 K/BB ratio across 543 innings.