Bud Selig

MLB sues Biogeneis, Anthony Bosch, claims interference with contract

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Major League Baseball has filed its lawsuit against Anthony Bosch and Biogenesis. There are multiple other defendants as well.* The claim: that by selling drugs to major league players, Biogenesis and Anthony Bosch “enabled such Players to possess and/or use [performance enhancing drugs] and thus knowingly and intentionally caused and/or induced such Players to breach their contractual obligations under MLB’s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program not to possess or use [performance enhancing drugs].”

UPDATE: The entire complaint can be seen below.

This morning my primary legal criticism of the claims were that Major League Baseball could not show damages as a result of these acts. I have not changed my mind, if for no other reason than the contract MLB claims interference with is the Joint Drug Agreement, in which MLB has no direct financial interest. Indeed, it EXPECTS the JDA to be breached and has built in a punishment system because of it. When a player takes PEDs he violates it, by definition. Major League Baseball does not have a cause of action for breach of contract against them. How Major League Baseball expects to get greater satisfaction from an alleged third party tortfeasor than it could get from a party to the contract is … interesting.

That said, here are their damages allegations:

Due to Defendants’ actions, MLB has suffered damages, including the costs of investigation, loss of goodwill, loss of revenue and profits and injury to its reputation, image, strategic advantage and fan relationships.

Nothing surprising. But also nothing which seems at all to be the stuff of a meritorious lawsuit.  It’s loss of goodwill, outside of that involving a few columnists, is impossible to quantify. Its revenue and profits are at record highs and many would argue that these were achieved thanks in part to the PED-inflated offensive numbers of the past 20 years, not despite it.

This lawsuit is crazy on its face. It should be thrown out of court. I am shocked Major League Baseball found someone who would file it.

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*The defendants:  BioGenesis of America, LLC, a Florida Limited Liability Company (“BioGenesis”); Biokem, LLC, a Florida Limited Liability Company (“Biokem”); Anthony P. Bosch (“Bosch”); Carlos Acevedo (“Acevedo”); Ricardo J. Martinez (“Martinez”); Juan Carlos Nunez (“Nunez”); Marcelo Albir (“Albir”); and Paulo da Silveira

Dexter Fowler: “I didn’t say anything wrong.”

JUPITER, FL - FEBRUARY 20:  Dexter Fowler #81 poses for a portrait during St Louis Cardinals Photo Day at Roger Dean Stadium on February 20, 2017 in Jupiter, Florida.  (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
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New Cardinals outfielder Dexter Fowler was recently asked by ESPN’s Mark Saxon how President Trump’s efforts to institute a travel ban affected him and his family. Fowler’s wife is from Iran and Fowler said that he had reconsidered traveling with his daughter to Iran to visit her family. His wife’s sister also delayed her return from a business trip to Qatar as a result of Trump’s executive order. “It’s huge,” Fowler said. “Especially anytime you’re not able to see family, it’s unfortunate.”

Fowler’s statement was pretty bland as far as athletes wading into political waters go. He didn’t criticize Trump or conservatives, nor did he espouse support for liberals or Democrats. It was a simple statement that his life had been adversely impacted by an executive order.

The responses to Fowler’s comment were mostly awful. The @BestFansStLouis Twitter account highlighted this, as did Jeff Passan for Yahoo Sports and Will Leitch for Sports on Earth. Fans suggested that Fowler “shut up and play” because “nobody cares” and that Fowler is “property” of the Cardinals. The responses were so negative that Fowler tweeted about it:

Fowler, however, isn’t backing down. Via MLB.com’s Jenifer Langosch:

“I didn’t say anything wrong,” Fowler said. “I think it was taken out of context [by other outlets]. I don’t think people read the article. I think people made their own [headlines]. The question was asked out of empathy to my family, and I appreciate that. If anybody is asking about my family, then I’m going to let them know that, ‘Yeah, obviously it affected my family. My wife is Iranian.’ … I think it’s kind of ignorant of people to just come at me like that and not read the article.”

[…]

“I’m always going to care for my family,” Fowler said. “And if a question is asked out of concern, I’m going to answer the question. And I’m going to answer it truthfully. It’s not to hurt anybody. It’s unfortunate that people think of things that way. I believe they’re sensitive. I’m not the sensitive one. I appreciate the ones that understood.”

Manager Mike Matheny has Fowler’s back. He said, “I think he handled it correctly. He was very clear that he was trying to make a statement about his family [and it] ended up becoming a political statement.”

Tony Clark, executive director of the MLBPA, also expressed support for Fowler:

“Baseball players are a microcosm of society, and I was a grown man before I was a baseball player,” Clark said. “If I have a view, I should be willing to share it, while understanding what I’m a part of and what my responsibilities are. Any player understands that when they take a particular position, it may not be a popular one.

“There may be pushback. That shouldn’t be a reason not to have an opinion. In this instance, it’s a very personal one to Dex. I respect the commentators that responded. I respect their freedom to respond to it.”

Indeed, Fowler had every right to say what he said and it’s good to see that both his manager and the head of the MLBPA support him fully. It would have been easy and politically safe to allow Fowler to hang out to dry.

Report: Extension talks between Mets, Neil Walker are “probably dead”

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - AUGUST 21: Neil Walker #20 of the New York Mets sits in the dugout before the game against the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park on August 21, 2016 in San Francisco, California.  The New York Mets defeated the San Francisco Giants 2-0. (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)
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On Sunday, it was reported that second baseman Neil Walker and the Mets were discussing a potential three-year contract extension worth “north of $40 million.” Those discussions took a turn for the worse. The Mets feel extension talks are “probably dead,” according to Mike Puma of the New York Post.

Walker underwent a lumbar microdisectomy in September, ending his 2016 season during which he hit .282/.347/.476 with 23 home runs and 55 RBI over 458 plate appearances.

The Mets may not necessarily need to keep Walker around as it has some potential options up the middle waiting in the minor leagues. Though Amed Rosario is expected to stick at shortstop, Gavin Cecchini — the club’s No. 3 prospect according to MLB Pipeline — could shift over to second base.