The Marlins and NFL linebacker Jonathan Vilma are in a legal fight over BBQ

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The New Orleans Saints’ Jonathan Vilma is part owner of a barbecue restaurant chain called Brother Jimmy’s. Until recently there was a Brother Jimmy’s in Marlins Park in Miami. Now there isn’t and the Marlins and Vilma’s restaurant have filed lawsuits at one another.

The upshot: the Marlins say that Brother Jimmy’s never paid a $75,000 sponsorship fee it owed the team to be in the ballpark. Brother Jimmy’s claims no agreement was ever reached and, even if one was, the Marlins and their concession operator totally botched the operation of the franchise by making bad food and providing crappy service, which hurts the Brother Jimmy’s brand. And then there’s this:

Brother Jimmy’s and Vilma also claim the Marlins made promises that attendance for the new ballpark would average 28,000 per game for the 2012 season, a mark that wasn’t hit. “They unfortunately sold us a dream, the attendance wasn’t what they were marketing to us, it was probably a fraction of that,” Vilma said.

Shocking there.

No idea who is right and who is wrong here, legally speaking, but I would advise Vilma and his business to push for a jury trial in Miami. No Dade County jury is gonna give the Marlins the benefit of the doubt.

Clayton Kershaw could return on September 1

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Dodgers starter Clayton Kershaw has been out since July 24 with a lower back strain. He’s slated to throw a three-inning simulated game in Pittsburgh on Monday, per Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register. Plunkett adds that if all goes well, the earliest Kershaw could return is August 31 against the Diamondbacks, but September 1 is more likely against the Padres.

Kershaw, 29, hit the disabled list on a pace to win his fourth Cy Young Award. He’s 15-2 with a 2.04 ERA and a 168/24 K/BB ratio in 141 1/3 innings.

The Dodgers have managed just fine without Kershaw. The club is 19-4 since July 24. At 87-35, the Dodgers own baseball’s best record, well ahead of the second-best Astros at 76-48.

Ian Kinsler was fined for ripping umpires publicly. Brad Ausmus says it’s the largest fine he’s seen in 25 years.

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Last week, Tigers second baseman Ian Kinsler was ejected from a game against the Rangers after giving home plate umpire Angel Hernandez a look after a pitch was thrown outside for a ball. Kinsler was apparently unhappy with calls Hernandez had made earlier. Manager Brad Ausmus, too, was ejected.

After the game, Kinsler said that Hernandez “needs to find another job.” He added, “…he needs to stop ruining baseball games.”

Kinsler was fined by Major League Baseball for his remarks, Mlive’s Evan Woodbery reports. According to Ausmus, the fine levied on Kinsler was the largest one he’s seen in nearly 25 years in baseball. Kinsler said, “I said what I felt and what I thought. If they take offense to that, then that’s their problem.” Ausmus said, “To single out one player as a union is completely uncalled for.”

As Ashley noted on Saturday, the umpires wore white wristbands to protest “escalating attacks on umpires.” The umpires agreed to drop their protest on Sunday after commissioner Rob Manfred agreed to meet with the umpire union’s governing board, Gabe Lacques of USA TODAY Sports reports.