Minor leaguers suing over unfair labor practices amend their lawsuit

29 Comments

Remember that lawsuit filed by three minor leaguers against Major League Baseball a couple of weeks ago? It was amended yesterday, with many more teams added as defendants, many more players added as plaintiffs, and a couple of new counts added as well.

Multiple new minor leaguers are now signed on as plaintiffs, and the teams for whom the played are now defendants, including the Royals, Marlins, Giants, Red Sox, Blue Jays, White Sox, Indians, Astros, Angels, Athletics, Mariners, Reds, Cardinals, Rockies, Padres, Twins and Nationals. One presumes that, eventually, the plaintiffs will attempt to get players from every major league team and thus sue every franchise.

The introduction to the suit:

The collective Defendants are either members of or govern the cartel known as Major League Baseball (“MLB”). The organization traces its roots to the nineteenth century. Unfortunately for many of its employees, its wage and labor practices remain stuck there.

The entire complaint is embedded below, and a larger version can be read here.

This is a doozy. Whether it will be successful is hard to say. It’s superficially appealing, legally speaking, but I’m no labor lawyer. The suit is large and complex enough to where anything can happen. But the allegations strike right at the heart of the Major League Baseball monopoly and the very manner in which it does business. If this is successful — or if it even leads to a settlement of some kind — it could mean major changes to the way baseball does business.

Javier Baez, D.J. LeMahieu have disagreement about sign-stealing

Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
19 Comments

Fellow second basemen Javier Baez of the Cubs and D.J. LeMahieu of the Rockies got into a disagreement in the top of the third inning of Sunday’s game at Coors Field over sign-stealing.

LeMahieu reached on a fielder’s choice ground out, then advanced to second base on Charlie Blackmon‘s single. While Nolan Arenado and Trevor Story were batting, Baez was concerned that LeMahieu was relaying the Cubs’ signs to his teammates. Baez decided to stand in front of LeMahieu to block any information he might have been giving to Arenado and Story. LeMahieu got irritated and the two jawed at each other for a bit. Umpires Vic Carapazza and Greg Gibson had to intervene to tell Baez to knock it off.

There has always been a back-and-forth with alleged sign-stealing. As long as teams aren’t using technology to steal signs, it’s fair game for players to relay information to their teammates about the opposing team’s signs. Last year, MLB determined the Red Sox went against the rules and used technology — an Apple watch in this case — to steal signs from the Yankees. Other teams in the past have been accused of using binoculars from the bullpen to steal signs. In this particular case with Baez and LeMahieu, there was no foul play going on, just Baez trying to make the Rockies cede what he perceived to be their slight competitive advantage.

The Cubs went on to beat the Rockies 9-7 on Sunday.