I realize that Nats Park is private property and that the Nats can kick anyone out of it they want to. But this still feels wrong:
On Saturday, 17 union organizers with IAM District 4 attended the game, wearing t-shirts that encouraged Nationals Park’s 341 guest service workers to vote “Yes” in an upcoming union election. They claim security kicked them out for wearing the shirts. Two days later on Labor Day itself, another 4 union organizers wearing similar t-shirts were also kicked out.
We’ll take your money for our stadium — and we’ll push hard to make you have to pay for the Metro to run late to benefit us — but don’t you dare come in here and advocate for anything we don’t like!
Like I said: I know it’s legal. But I do think we have a fundamentally screwed up idea of what is public and what is private these days. And it seems to me that if you want a private club, you should at least pay to build it.
And from last year — equally applicable this year — our reminder that Major League Baseball doesn’t much care for labor to begin with.
John Wisely of the Detroit Free Press reports that current free agent reliever Francisco Rodriguez is being sued by his former landlord for damage to the rented property as well as missing artwork. The landlord is asking for $80,000 after having kept Rodriguez’s $15,000 security deposit.
The lawsuit says that Rodriguez damaged a bedroom TV, a crystal floor lamp, glass shelves in the bar, glass tiles in the master bath, and a Moroccan mirror in the powder room. Additionally, the suit claims that the bedding is stained and paint has chipped, as well as other damages. And the piece of art that is allegedly missing, which depicts a tiger, is valued at more than $10,000.
Rodriguez has not yet been served with the suit, but the landlord has been speaking to his managers.
The Nationals released Rodriguez, 35, two weeks ago after having signed him to a minor league contract in late June. He started the season with the Tigers, but struggled to a 7.82 ERA over 25 1/3 innings before being released.
MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand reports that the Rays have acquired first baseman Lucas Duda from the Mets. The Mets will receive pitching prospect Drew Smith in return, per Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports.
Duda, 31, is batting .246/.347/.532 with 17 home runs and 37 RBI in 291 plate appearances for the Mets this season. He’ll provide a potent bat in the Rays’ lineup as they attempt to overcome their current 2.5-game deficit in the AL East.
Smith, 23, is the Rays’ No. 30 prospect, according to MLB Pipeline. He ascended from High-A to Triple-A already this season, posting an aggregate 1.60 ERA with a 40/9 K/BB ratio over 45 innings across four stops with High-A Lakeland (Tigers), High-A Charlotte (Rays), Double-A Montgomery, and Triple-A Durham.