Bryan Stow’s family to sue the Dodgers

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UPDATEA copy of the lawsuit can be seen here.

2:35 PM: From the “It Was Only a Matter of Time Department” comes the latest news in a sad saga:

The family of Giants fan Bryan Stow is expected to file a lawsuit against the Los Angeles Dodgers today in Los Angeles Superior Court, according to a report from CBS Los Angeles. The suit will allege that the Dodgers are responsible for exposing Mr. Stow to criminal acts of third parties.

With the caveat that I am not a California lawyer, generally speaking, the law is that a business owner owes a duty to patrons to take reasonable steps to secure the premises against foreseeable criminal acts of third parties.  The key word there is “foreseeable.” As in if you’re on notice that there is violent hooliganism about and you don’t take reasonable measures to prevent it, you’re gonna be liable when inevitable and unprevented-by-you violent acts take place.

So if you own a big white building and a parking lot which people have been saying have been growing ever more dangerous and violent for years, and then you, I dunno, fail to hire a chief of security for four months despite being aware of these complaints, you may have a bit of a sticky legal problem on your hands.

You know, just for example.

UPDATE:  Twitter follower AntiGlib reminds us that such suits are no sure thing, and that the Dodgers have won these in the past.  For example.

I guess I’d say that no plaintiff ever has a sure thing of winning a suit, so my sense that the Stow family here has a case doesn’t mean they have a win.  It simply means the suit would not be frivolous.  That said, the more incidents that pile up — and that linked suit was from three years ago — the more “on notice” the Dodgers are of a problem. Indeed, that incident can be used as evidence by the Stows here, as can any others that have since taken place.  If there has been no change — or worse, a degradation — in overall security since then, that could be bad for the Dodgers.

And of course, let us not discount the severity of the Stow beating compared to past incidents. Which, while it shouldn’t change the legal calculus, will likely have some effect on a jury if the case gets that far, for they are only human.

Mariano Rivera elected to Baseball Hall of Fame unanimously

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Former Yankees closer Mariano Rivera deservingly became the first player ever inducted into the Hall of Fame unanimously, receiving votes from all 425 writers who submitted ballots. Previously, the closest players to unanimous induction were Ken Griffey, Jr. (99.32% in 2016), Tom Seaver (98.84% in 1992), Nolan Ryan (98.79% in 1999), Cal Ripken, Jr. (98.53%), Ty Cobb (98.23% in 1936), and George Brett (98.19% in 1999).

Because so many greats were not enshrined in Cooperstown unanimously, many voters in the past argued against other players getting inducted unanimously, withholding their votes for otherwise deserving players. That Griffey — both one of the greatest outfielders of all time and one of the most popular players of all time — wasn’t voted in unanimously in 2016, for example, seemed to signal that no player ever would. Now that Rivera has been, this tired argument about voting unanimity can be laid to rest.

Derek Jeter will appear on the Hall of Fame ballot for the first time next year. He may become the second player ever to be elected unanimously. David Ortiz appears on the 2022 ballot and could be No. 3. Now that Rivera has broken through, these are possibilities whereas before they might not have been.

Another tired argument around Hall of Fame voting concerns whether or not a player is a “first ballot” Hall of Famer. Some voters think getting enshrined in a player’s first year of eligibility is a greater honor than getting in any subsequent year. I’m not sure what it will take to get rid of this argument — other than the electorate getting younger and more open-minded — but at least we have made progress on at least one bad Hall of Fame take.