MLB is still using its bogus civil suit against Anthony Bosch to collect evidence

11 Comments

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.

Dan Straily suspended five games, Don Mattingly one for throwing at Buster Posey

Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
4 Comments

Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald reports that Marlins pitcher Dan Straily has been suspended five games and Don Mattingly one game for throwing intentionally at Giants catcher Buster Posey on Tuesday in San Francisco. Straily plans to appeal his suspension, so he will be allowed to take his normal turn through the rotation until that matter is settled.

Everything started on Monday, when the Marlins rallied in the ninth inning against closer Hunter Strickland. That included a game-tying single from Lewis Brinson, who pumped his fist and yelled in celebration. Strickland took exception, jawing at Brinson who was on third base when the right-hander was taken out of the game. Strickland went into the clubhouse and punched a door, breaking his hand.

The next day, Giants starter Dereck Rodriguez hit Brinson with a fastball, which prompted warnings for both teams. Mattingly came out to argue with the umpires about the fairness of issuing warnings right then and there. On his way back to the dugout, Mattingly apparently said, “You’re next” to Posey, who was standing around home plate. The next inning, Straily hit Posey on the arm with a fastball, which led to immediate ejections for both him and Mattingly.

Neither Rodriguez nor Giants manager Bruce Bochy were reprimanded, which is ludicrous because it was plainly obvious Rodriguez was throwing at Brinson. But neither team had been issued warnings. Essentially, Major League Baseball is giving free reign for teams to get their revenge pitches in. Furthermore, Straily’s five-game suspension is hardly a deterrent for throwing at a hitter. The Marlins could simply give Straily an extra day of rest and it’s like he was never suspended at all.

Beanball wars are bad for baseball. It puts players at risk for obvious reasons. When players have to miss time due to avoidable injury, self-inflicted (in the case of Strickland) or not (if, for example, Posey had a hand or wrist broken from Straily’s pitch), the game suffers because it becomes an inferior product. That’s, of course, second behind the simple fact that throwing at a player is a tremendously childish way to handle a disagreement. When aimed intentionally at another human being, a baseball is a weapon. That’s especially true when it’s in the hands of someone who has been trained to throw anywhere from 90 to 100 MPH.

Commisioner Rob Manfred has spent a lot of time trying to make the game of baseball more appealing, such adding pitch clocks and limiting mound visits. He should spend some time addressing the throwing-at-batters problem.