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.
According to Jorge Castillo of the Washington Post, Nationals infielder Danny Espinosa declined to attend the team’s annual Winterfest because of his dissatisfaction with management following their trade for outfielder Adam Eaton.
A source told Castillo that Espinosa’s unhappiness stemmed from a belief that the acquisition would jeopardize his starting role in 2017. With Eaton in center field, Trea Turner will likely return to his post at shortstop, leaving Espinosa out in the cold — or, as the case may be, on the bench. The move shouldn’t come as a big surprise to Espinosa, however, as Nationals’ GM Mike Rizzo spoke to the possibility of trading the infielder or reassigning him to a utility role back in early November.
Offensively, the 29-year-old had a down year in 2016, slashing just .209/.306/.378 with 24 home runs in 601 PA. Defensively, he still profiles among the top shortstops in the National League, with eight DRS (Defensive Runs Saved) and 8.3 Def (Defensive Runs Above Average) in his seventh year with the club.
Espinosa will reach free agency after the 2017 season.
The Red Sox might be trying to move the wrong pitcher, according to the Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo. Cafardo revealed that while the Sox have been trying to market right-hander Clay Buchholz, more teams would be interested in trades involving southpaw Drew Pomeranz.
The club appears reluctant to deal Pomeranz, especially because his price tag comes in at a cool $4.7 million to Buchholz’s $13.5 million in 2017. Those who have already expressed interest in the veteran hurlers, including the Twins, Mariners and Royals, also seem put off by Buchholz’s salary requirements as he enters his 32nd year.
Health could be another factor preventing teams from jumping to make trade offers, as Cafardo quotes an AL executive who believes the “medicals on both Pomeranz and Buchholz probably aren’t that great.” Neither pitcher suffered any major injuries during the 2016 season, though Pomeranz missed just over a week of play due to forearm soreness.
Pomeranz outperformed his fellow starter in 2016, pitching to a 3.32 ERA and career-best 9.8 K/9 through 170 2/3 innings with the Padres and Red Sox. He got off to an exceptionally strong start in San Diego, where his ERA dropped to 2.47 through the first half of the year before the Padres dealt him to Boston for minor league right-hander Anderson Espinoza. Buchholz, on the other hand, struggled with a 4.78 ERA and saw a decline in both his BB/9 and K/9 rates as he worked out a career-low 1.69 K/BB through 139 1/3 innings with the Sox.