All quiet on the Biogenesis lawsuit front

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Major League Baseball filed the lawsuit against Biogenesis on Friday. My view is that it’s a ridiculous, meritless claim asserted solely for the purposes of obtaining documents, not vindicating any actual legal rights.

My view of that is that is based on a legal analysis of the claim, the lack of a damages case and my understanding of the nature of the Joint Drug Agreement which baseball says Biogenesis interfered with. But sometimes analogies work way better. I like this one from a Roger Abrams in this Reuters analysis of the suit:

Roger Abrams, a sports law professor at Northeastern University in Boston, used the example of player contracts that call for the player to hit specific weight targets in spring training.

“Does that mean you can sue McDonald’s for selling Big Macs to this guy?” he said.

Hey, at least a team could hope to recover something from McDonalds if they were successful.

In other news, when the Miami New Times story first came out a couple of months ago, Mike Lupica and a host of other sportswriters hastily wrote angry columns saying that, boy oh boy, if only Major League Baseball could get people under oath this thing would be blown wide open. Since Friday, however, I’ve been unable to find any columns or commentary from the usual suspects lauding Major League Baseball for its lawsuit.

What’s up guys? Wasn’t this what you wanted? Or were you just being angry then and hadn’t yet thought out the end game?

Zack Cozart thinks the way the Rays have been using Sergio Romo is bad for baseball

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The Rays started Sergio Romo on back-to-back days and if that sounds weird to you, you’re not alone. Romo, of course, was the star closer for the Giants for a while, helping them win the World Series in 2012 and ’14. He’s been a full-time reliever dating back to 2006, when he was at Single-A.

In an effort to prevent lefty Ryan Yarbrough from facing the righty-heavy top of the Angels’ lineup (Zack Cozart, Mike Trout, Justin Upton), Romo started Saturday’s game, pitching the first inning before giving way to Yarbrough in the second. Romo struck out the side, in fact. The Rays went on to win 5-3.

The Rays did it again on Sunday afternoon, starting Romo. This time, he got four outs before giving way to Matt Andriese. Romo walked two without giving up a hit while striking out three. The Angels managed to win 5-2 however.

Despite Sunday’s win, Cozart wasn’t a happy camper with the way the Rays used Romo. Via Fabian Ardaya of The Athletic, Cozart said, “It was weird … It’s bad for baseball, in my opinion … It’s spring training. That’s the best way to explain it.”

It’s difficult to see merit in Cozart’s argument. It’s not like the Rays were making excessive amounts of pitching changes; they used five on Saturday and four on Sunday. The games lasted three hours and three hours, 15 minutes, respectively. The average game time is exactly three hours so far this season. I’m having trouble wondering how else Cozart might mean the strategy is bad for baseball.

It seems like the real issue is that Cozart is afraid of the sport changing around him. The Rays, like most small market teams, have to find their edges in slight ways. The Rays aren’t doing this blindly; the strategy makes sense based on their opponents’ starting lineup. The idea of valuing on-base percentage was scoffed at. Shifting was scoffed at and now every team employs them to some degree. Who knows if starting a reliever for the first three or four outs will become a trend, but it’s shortsighted to write it off at first glance.