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.
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.
The Dodgers have pulled off their first blockbuster trade of the offseason, sending Brandon McCarthy, Scott Kazmir, Charlie Culberson, Adrian Gonzalez and cash considerations to the Braves for Matt Kemp, per announcements from both teams. The Braves are set to designate Gonzalez for assignment on Monday, making him a free agent.
Kemp, 33, had a down year with the Braves in 2017, hitting a career-low -0.5 fWAR in 115 games with the club. At the plate, he slashed a modest .276/.318/.463 with 19 home runs and a .781 OPS through 467 plate appearances, but was hampered by a nagging left hamstring strain through most of the season. This will be his 10th campaign with the Dodgers.
Whether or not Kemp can rebound during his second stint in Los Angeles is almost beside the point, however. The deal is effectively a salary dump to end all salary dumps. Offloading multiple one-year contracts for McCarthy, Kazmir and Gonzalez should bring the Dodgers back under the $197 million luxury tax threshold and position them to make a run at some of the big fish in next year’s free agent pool. It’s also worth noting that they may not keep Kemp around for long — per Ken Gurnick of MLB.com, the club appears as likely to flip the veteran outfielder as they are to use him. As for the Braves, they not only rid themselves of the $43 million due Kemp through 2020, but added some rotation and infield depth with McCarthy and Culberson and can now give top prospect Ronald Acuna a legitimate tryout in left field.