Ex-ballplayers Rondell White, Cliff Floyd, Gregg Jeffries and Todd Hundley — and current ballplayers David Wright and Jason Marquis — were allegedly defrauded in a real estate scam. So says the complaint White and Floyd have filed in federal court anyway:
The lawsuit claims that [Defendant Stephen] Hill, who had served as White and Floyd’s
financial adviser for some 15 years, had allegedly “guaranteed that the
Whites would not only get all of their money back quickly, but would
make a substantial profit on their investment,” based on the notion that
a buyer for the distressed property — priced at $14.485 million, but
supposedly appraised at $18 million — had already been secured.
But when White and Floyd both began to inquire about the status of
the deal at various points over the following three years, Hill, they
say, would become “markedly evasive” about the details, finally
prompting them to contact an attorney this spring. White and Floyd claim
that the first documentation for the deal of any kind was shown to them
in March 2010, over two years after their investment.
White is alleged to have been bilked out of $1 million and Floyd is down $1.25 million. The other investors — who are not part of this lawsuit, but could presumably be later — are in for anywhere between $250K and $500K a piece.
I’ve dealt with lawsuits like this one before. The chances that they’re going to see any of that money again are somewhere between slim and oh dear, you gotta be kidding me.
In other news: hey, a Gregg Jeffries sighting! Neat!
The Mets have begun working outfielder Jay Bruce and second baseman Neil Walker at first base as potential insurance in the event Lucas Duda continues to experience back discomfort, Mike Puma of the New York Post reports. Duda has been sidelined recently due to back spasms and missed all but 47 games last season as a result of a stress fracture in his lower back.
Manager Terry Collins spoke about Bruce’s work at first base on Sunday, saying, “I liked everything I saw today. “It looks like he’s got the athleticism, he’s got the hands, he’s got the arm angle. He made some throws in our drills that you wouldn’t expect an outfielder to be able to make, but yet he does. If that’s where we have to go, I think we’ll be fine.”
Bruce has only three games’ worth of experience at first base at the major league level, but still has high expectations for himself. He said, “I am going to work at it. I want to give myself a chance and the team a chance. I am not going to go over there and be a butcher. It’s just not the way I go about my business on the baseball field and it wouldn’t be fair to the team if I wasn’t capable to do it, so I am going to work at it and we’ll see what happens.”
The Mets made Bruce available via trade over the offseason but didn’t get an offer that whet their appetite. As a result, Michael Conforto appears to be the odd man out in the Mets’ crowded outfield.
Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis has been diagnosed with a strained rotator cuff in his right shoulder, MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian reports. Kipnis has received a cortisone shot and will be shut down from throwing for the next four to five days.
There’s a lot of spring left, so it’s perfectly sensible for the Indians to play it safe with their star player. The club already had Kipnis on a shoulder strengthening program.
Kipnis, 29, helped the Indians to the playoffs after batting .275/.343/.469 with 23 home runs, 92 RBI, 91 runs scored, and 15 stolen bases in 688 plate appearances during the regular season last year. He then helped the Indians reach Game 7 of the World Series against the Cubs, where they were eventually stopped, as he provided a .741 OPS including four homers and eight RBI in 15 playoff games.