Bryan Stow’s family to sue the Dodgers

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UPDATEA copy of the lawsuit can be seen here.

2:35 PM: From the “It Was Only a Matter of Time Department” comes the latest news in a sad saga:

The family of Giants fan Bryan Stow is expected to file a lawsuit against the Los Angeles Dodgers today in Los Angeles Superior Court, according to a report from CBS Los Angeles. The suit will allege that the Dodgers are responsible for exposing Mr. Stow to criminal acts of third parties.

With the caveat that I am not a California lawyer, generally speaking, the law is that a business owner owes a duty to patrons to take reasonable steps to secure the premises against foreseeable criminal acts of third parties.  The key word there is “foreseeable.” As in if you’re on notice that there is violent hooliganism about and you don’t take reasonable measures to prevent it, you’re gonna be liable when inevitable and unprevented-by-you violent acts take place.

So if you own a big white building and a parking lot which people have been saying have been growing ever more dangerous and violent for years, and then you, I dunno, fail to hire a chief of security for four months despite being aware of these complaints, you may have a bit of a sticky legal problem on your hands.

You know, just for example.

UPDATE:  Twitter follower AntiGlib reminds us that such suits are no sure thing, and that the Dodgers have won these in the past.  For example.

I guess I’d say that no plaintiff ever has a sure thing of winning a suit, so my sense that the Stow family here has a case doesn’t mean they have a win.  It simply means the suit would not be frivolous.  That said, the more incidents that pile up — and that linked suit was from three years ago — the more “on notice” the Dodgers are of a problem. Indeed, that incident can be used as evidence by the Stows here, as can any others that have since taken place.  If there has been no change — or worse, a degradation — in overall security since then, that could be bad for the Dodgers.

And of course, let us not discount the severity of the Stow beating compared to past incidents. Which, while it shouldn’t change the legal calculus, will likely have some effect on a jury if the case gets that far, for they are only human.

The Japanese playoffs are super unfair

Hiroshima Carp
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I know a little about Japanese baseball. Not a lot, mind you. Like, I couldn’t hold my own with people who actually watch it or report on it or whatever, but I could explain some of the broad differences and similarities between the NPB and the U.S. majors.  I can say a few things about how the two leagues compare competitively speaking. I can name some stars and (I think) all the clubs. But there’s, quite obviously, a ton I don’t know.

A thing I did not know until today: the NPB playoffs are really messed up.

The NPB is divided into two leagues, the Central and the Pacific, with the winner of each league facing off in the Japan Series. Like the U.S. majors, they have preliminary playoff rounds in each league. Each league has three playoff teams, with the second and third seed teams playing a series first, and the winner of that series playing the top seed — the team with the best record in the league — in what is called the Climax Series.

Here’s the weird part: the higher-seeded team in the Climax Series — the team which won the league in the regular season — gets every single playoff game at home. What’s more, that team begins the Climax Series with an automatic 1-0 advantage. So, yes, it’s a seven-game series on paper, but one of the teams only has to win three games to advance to the Japan Series.

Oh, in Japan, they also have no problems ending a playoff game early if it rains. That’s what happened in the Central League Climax Series last night, where the lower-seeded Yokohama BayStars took on the league champ Hiroshima Carp. Here’s the report from Jason Coskrey of The Japan Times:

The rainy conditions in Hiroshima caused the umpires to stop play for over 30 minutes and ultimately call the game after five innings, minutes after the Carp put three runs on the board. Just like that, it was over. The Carp won 3-0, with Yokohama robbed of the four innings (at least) it would’ve had to try and rally.

Even better: as Coskrey notes, there are five days in between the end of the Climax Series and the beginning of the Japan Series, so there is no reason they could not suspend a game and resume it the next day. They just choose not to. The upshot: the Carp were staked to a 2-0 series lead despite the fact that they had only played five innings of baseball. UPDATE: they played a full game today, the BayStars won, so now it’s 2-1 Hiroshima.

Imagine if that happened in the NLCS. Imagine if the Dodgers began the series with a 1-0 lead over the Cubs and played all of their games in Los Angeles. Imagine there was a freak L.A. storm and it ended one of the game in the fifth inning, right after Justin Turner hit a homer. I’m pretty sure people would riot.

Kinda makes our complaints about the replay system seem rather quaint, eh?