Most of you will say that all is fair when steroids are involved, but it’s still worth pointing out that MLB’s civil lawsuit against Anthony Bosch and Biogenesis — a suit which has basically zero legal merit and which isn’t really a contested lawsuit given that Bosch and MLB are now working together — is still active. And MLB is using it to discover evidence in its investigation of the Biogenesis players.
The latest: A-Rod’s famous cousin, Yuri Sucart, was in court yesterday challenging MLB’s right to take his deposition in the case. The Miami Herald reports on it. The upshot: Cousin Yuri argued that the state court lawsuit is invalid as a means of MLB vindicating its rights under the Collective Bargaining Agreement (remember: the suit is for alleged interference with that contract) because the Collective Bargaining Agreement is governed by federal law. The judge actually suggested that this argument is valid, but said that as a non-party Sucart can’t challenge it so he’ll have to appear at a deposition.
The judge also wondered why none of the actual defendants — like Tony Bosch — are challenging the suit on those grounds. Well, the answer is simple: it’s an essentially fake, non-contested lawsuit in which the primary defendants are now on the same side as the plaintiffs so of course they’re not going to challenge it. It’s a sham and it should not exist, but no one seems to care.
We talked last week about the gloves-off, get-tough nature of MLB’s investigation. Whatever you think of that, let us not forget that part of it involves the misuse of the court system in an effort to handle its employee discipline and public relations problems.
The Astros walked off 3-2 winners in the bottom of the 11th inning of ALCS Game 2 against the Yankees. Carlos Correa struck the winning blow, sending a first-pitch fastball from J.A. Happ over the fence in right field at Minute Maid Park, ending nearly five hours of baseball on Sunday night.
Correa’s heroics were precipitated by two highly questionable calls by home plate umpire Cory Blaser in the top half of the 11th.
Astros reliever Joe Smith walked Edwin Encarnación with two outs, prompting manager A.J. Hinch to bring in Ryan Pressly. Pressly, however, served up a single to left field to Brett Gardner, putting runners on first and second with two outs. Hinch again came out to the mound, this time bringing Josh James to face power-hitting catcher Gary Sánchez.
James and Sánchez had an epic battle. Sánchez fell behind 0-2 on a couple of foul balls, proceeded to foul off five of the next six pitches. On the ninth pitch of the at-bat, Sánchez appeared to swing and miss at an 87 MPH slider in the dirt for strike three and the final out of the inning. However, Blaser ruled that Sánchez tipped the ball, extending the at-bat. Replays showed clearly that Sánchez did not make contact at all with the pitch. James then threw a 99 MPH fastball several inches off the plate outside that Blaser called for strike three. Sánchez, who shouldn’t have seen a 10th pitch, was upset at what appeared to be a make-up call.
The rest, as they say, is history. One pitch later, the Astros evened up the ALCS at one game apiece. Obviously, Blaser’s mistakes in a way cancel each other out, and neither of them caused Happ to throw a poorly located fastball to Correa. It is postseason baseball, however, and umpires are as much under the microscope as the players and managers. Those were two particularly atrocious judgments by Blaser.