Grady Sizemore sics his lawyers on a blogger

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The Diamondhoggers blog put up a couple of those oh-so-sexy photos of Grady Sizemore yesterday.  Last night, Sizemore’s lawyers sent them a cease and desist letter, threatening suit if they don’t take them down.  I haven’t practiced law since last Friday, but I suppose I can brush off the rust and parse this bad boy:

“It has come to our attention that you are posting a number of photographs of Mr. Sizemore that are his property. The photographs, which were stolen from a personal computer . . .”

Oooh, clever lawyer.  Stolen from “a” personal computer. Not “Mr. Sizemore’s” personal computer. A small distinction, but one that had to be made because every single article on the topic has reported that the pics were stolen from the computer of one Brittany Binger — Grady Sizemore’s girlfriend — after Sizemore sent them to her.  Which means that the photos aren’t Mr. Sizemore’s property. Unless Grady gave them to Binger on a lease with an option to buy.  If a letter should be coming from anyone it should be coming from Binger’s lawyer. Maybe Sizemore has a copyright complaint as the photographer, but I don’t think that’s what is really animating this letter, do you?

“. . . the posting of pictures known to be stolen is an invasion of Mr. Sizemore’s property and may be actionable at law. Such posting, therefore, subjects the Website, you, your employees and principals, and all individuals/entities associated with this activity to serious potential liability.”

Oh noes!! Not Serious Potential Liability!! Is that like Double Secret Probation?

Look, the key word here is “may.” The law on this varies from state to state, but to sue someone for invasion of privacy, there has to be some sort of an intrusion on one’s private affairs or the revealing of one’s private information, with “private” being defined (roughly) as “stuff no one knows,” not “involving one’s privates.”

Setting aside the fact that these pics were all over the Internet before Diamondhoggers posted them, if I was defending the case I’d feel pretty comfortable arguing that Grady lost any claim to privacy the moment he hit “send” and transported the pics over any number of servers and to any number of potential recipients, intended or otherwise.

“We trust that you can appreciate the serious nature of this situation . . .”

Serious? sorry, I saw the pics and there’s nothing serious about them. They’re absolutely hilarious.

“We ask that you preserve any records associated with the submission of the photographs to you in anticipation of a criminal complaint to be filed with local law enforcement.”

Great moments in boilerplate threat-letter language. I’m not sure where the writers of Diamondhoggers live, but I’m guessing that it’s in a jurisdiction where law enforcement officials don’t give a diddly durn about Grady Sizemore’s girlfriends’ pictures being reposted on the Internet. What, you think McNulty, Bunk, Freamon and Pryzbylewski are sitting in the dingy offices of the Nudie Internet Pic Takedown detail just waiting to spring into action?  If anyone goes after anyone for this it will be feds going after the person who hacked the computer in the first place, and even then, this sort of thing isn’t high on anyone’s list.

“Should you fail to comply immediately with the terms of this letter, we will be forced to explore all available remedies against the Website and you.”

Sorry, your threat letter pretty much constitutes all the remedies there are.

Look, it’s obviously a crime to hack someone’s computer, and if Sizemore’s girlfriend’s computer was hacked, whoever did it should have their butt in a sling (and if they’re liable to anyone it’s his girlfriend, not Sizemore).  But these poor bloggers didn’t hack anything. They merely posted something that about umpteen hundred other websites posted yesterday, long after the initial crime — assuming there even was one — took place.

A cease and desist letter like this — coming from the legal arm of Sizemore’s agents, by the way — is an exercise in P.R. damage control, and a hamfisted one at that.  Sizemore showed some bad judgment in taking these pics of himself and sending them into cyberspace. Anyone who has been alive for the past decade or so knows that what happened with them — their ultimate release to the public — was inevitable.

Most people in Sizemore’s situation would probably take this as a learning experience, hope it all dies down quickly and move on. Sizemore decided to release the legal hounds to harass bloggers.  Which is a pretty weak move on Grady’s part in my mind.

Nationals’ starting pitching carrying them into World Series

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In my postseason preview at the end of September, I listed the Nationals’ starting rotation as a strength and their bullpen as a weakness. Anyone who had followed the club this season could have told you that. Even the Nats are aware of it as manager Dave Martinez has leaned on his rotation to hide his sometimes unreliable ‘pen.

In Game 1 of the NLDS against the Dodgers, Martinez was burned by his bullpen as Tanner Rainey, Fernando Rodney, and Hunter Strickland combined to allow six base runners and four runs. Martinez used ace Max Scherzer in relief in Game 2, sandwiched by Sean Doolittle and Daniel Hudson. Starter Patrick Corbin pitched in relief in Game 3 and it backfired, but the bullpen after Corbin continued to allow more runs — three officially, but Wander Suero allowed two inherited runners to score on a three-run homer by Max Muncy. Martinez only had to rely on Doolittle and Hudson in Game 4 and he again went to Corbin in relief in Game 5.

The strategy was clear: use the actual bullpen as little as possible. If Martinez absolutely has to, Doolittle and Hudson get top priory by a country mile, followed by a starter, then the rest of the bullpen.

Thankfully for Martinez and the Nationals, the starting pitching has done yeoman’s work in the NLCS, jumping out to a three games to none series lead over the Cardinals. Aníbal Sánchez famously brought a no-hit bid into the eighth inning of Game 1, finally relenting a two-out single to José Martínez before his night was over. Doolittle got the final four outs in the 2-0 win. Max Scherzer flirted with a no-hitter in his Game 2 start as well, losing it when Paul Goldschmidt led off the seventh with a single. He was erased on an inning-ending double play. Doolittle, Corbin, and Hudson got the final six outs in the 3-1 victory.

It was more of the same in Game 3. While Stephen Strasburg didn’t flirt with a no-hitter, he was dominant over seven innings, yielding one unearned run on seven hits with no walks and 12 strikeouts. The Nats’ offense woke up, amassing eight runs through seven innings which allowed Martinez to give his main relief guys a night off. Rodney and Rainey each pitched a perfect inning of relief with two strikeouts in low-leverage situations, their first appearances in the NLCS.

The Nationals starting pitching has been outstanding by itself, but it has also had the secondary effect of allowing Martinez to hide his team’s biggest weakness. Now Martinez just has to hope for more of the same for one more game, then at least four more in the World Series.