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.

Yankees re-sign Jon Niese to a minor league deal

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The Yankees have re-signed pitcher Jon Niese to a minor league contract, George A. King III of the New York Post reports. Niese was released on Sunday, but he’ll stick around and provide rotation depth for the Yankees.

Niese had knee surgery last August and got a late start to spring training as a result. In six spring appearances lasting an inning each, the lefty gave up three earned runs on five hits and a walk with five strikeouts.

Niese, a veteran of nine seasons, put up an aggregate 5.50 ERA with an 88/47 K/BB ratio in 121 innings last season between the Pirates and Mets.

Orioles acquire Alec Asher from the Phillies

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The Phillies announced on Tuesday that the club traded pitcher Alec Asher to the Orioles for a player to be named later.

Asher, 25, was the victim of a roster crunch. He was not going to make the 25-man roster and the starting rotation at Triple-A Lehigh Valley was already full. The Phillies acquired him from the Rangers in the July 2015 Cole Hamels trade.

Asher had good results in 27 2/3 innings in the big leagues last year, posting a 2.28 ERA with a 13/4 K/BB ratio. While it didn’t show in those stats, the right-hander sometimes struggles with command and he doesn’t miss bats often enough to make up for it. The Orioles, however, are happy to add some pitching depth.