Defamation lawsuit against Ryan Braun thrown out

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Last August, after Ryan Braun got his Biogenesis suspension, his former friend, Ralph Sasson, sued Braun for defamation. The upshot: Sasson claimed that Braun doped while playing for the University of Miami, committed academic fraud, and accepted money while a student. He said that he helped Braun successfully appeal his original suspension back in 2011, and that Braun then turned around and talked smack about him to various people.

Whether there is any truth to that is unknown and will forever be unknown as a matter of law, because Sasson’s lawsuit was thrown out yesterday. Why? Because he was basically acting like a loose cannon/nutcase as he served as his own lawyer:

Now Ralph Sasson has finally struck out;  a judge on Wednesday dismissed his case with prejudice as a sanction for the  plaintiff’s “egregious” and persistent misconduct in the litigation . . . In a detailed, 15 page order issued Wednesday, Van Grunsven granted defense motions to dismiss the case as a sanction. The order recounts the history of Sasson’s sometimes over-the-top demeanor and questionable legal strategy throughout the case.

The biggest is violating the judge’s order that deposition testimony be sealed by telling people about what other people said in depositions. But it also sounds like he committed the full panoply of pro se plaintiff asshattery: frivolous discovery, refusing to produce his own discovery, name-calling and everything else.

Everyone hates lawyers, but they’re around for a reason, folks. It’s possible this guy had a legit claim against Braun. It’s possible that he didn’t. But being a self-lawyering jerk cost him any chance to make his case.

Astros’ bullpen throws combined one-hitter for MLB-best 30th win

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The Astros’ bullpen did yeoman’s work in place of the injured Dallas Keuchel on Monday against the Tigers. Keuchel is temporarily sidelined with a pinched nerve in his neck.

Brad Peacock made the spot start, limiting the Tigers to one hit and two walks with eight strikeouts over 4 1/3 innings. Chris Devenski took over with one out in the fifth, finishing out that inning as well as the sixth and seventh, facing the minimum. Will Harris pitched a perfect eighth and Ken Giles closed out the 1-0 victory in the ninth. Devenski, Harris, and Giles each had two strikeouts.

The Astros scored their only run in the bottom of the first inning as George Springer drew a leadoff walk, then scored on Jose Altuve‘s one-out double. Tigers starter Brad Fulmer pitched well enough to win on most days, giving up the lone run in seven frames.

After Monday’s win, the Astros became the first team to reach 30 wins, sitting on a 30-15 record. With a +55 run differential, even their expected record matches up with their actual record.

Brandon Phillips hit his 200th career home run

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Braves second baseman Brandon Phillips became the 337th player in baseball history to hit 200 career home runs, driving a solo home run to left-center field during Monday night’s home game against the Pirates. Phillips is the 14th second baseman (who played a min. of 75 percent of his career games at the position) to rack up at least 200 career home runs.

Phillips, 35, entered Monday’s action batting .290/.345/.405 with two home runs and 12 RBI in 142 plate appearances. If he’s anything, he’s consistent, as he finished with an adjusted OPS between 90-99 (100 is average) every year between 2012-16 and it was sitting at 97 coming into Monday.