The city that rejected a bar called “Buck Foston” just got slapped with a $1.5 million jury award

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We wrote about this back in 2011A New Brunswick, New Jersey businessman sued the city in federal court, claiming that the mayor held up approval of his liquor license for a sports bar because he didn’t like the bar’s proposed name — Buck Foston. The claim asserted that the mayor was a Red Sox fan and illegally singled out the bar in violation of the First Amendment.

The owner of Buck Foston just won big. Specifically, after six days of evidence, the jury sided with the bar owner, calling the license denial an outrageous First Amendment violation and awarding him $1.5 million.  This, from the Post is the best part:

. . . the jury heard testimony that the mayor had met with Blatterfein to ask him to change the name, which he allegedly called “vulgar.” During the conversation, Blatterfein asked Cahill why it’s OK to have a Cluck-U Chicken restaurant in town but not a bar called Buck Foston’s, court papers state.

Cahill responded that the name was fine because “chickens cluck,” according to the lawsuit.

I don’t remember the “chickens cluck” exception from my Constitutional law class, but I suppose I might’ve skipped class that day.

Viva democracy. And viva New Jersey businessmen for having the right to name their probably gross bars whatever silly name they want to. That’s what America is all about.

Mariners, Indians and Rays make a three-way swap

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The Indians, Mariners, and Rays are working toward finalizing a three-team trade. The full details have not been revealed yet, and there are conflicting reports as to who is going where, but we know that Carlos Santana and Edwin Encarnacion are involved.

Initial reports have the Mariners getting Edwin Encarnacion from the Indians in exchange for Carlos Santana, with Cleveland also receiving first baseman Jake Bauers from the Rays. Outfielder/third baseman Yandy Diaz will reportedly head to Tampa Bay along with a player to be named later. There has been a conflict in the past few minutes, however as to where Encarnacion is actually going: Seattle or Tampa Bay. Mark Feinsand of MLB.com says it’s Seattle, Bob Nightengale says it’s Tampa Bay. We’ll know soon enough, I suppose.

Santana played for the Phillies last year and was traded to Seattle just a couple of weeks ago. He’ll never have a chance to wear a Mariners uniform and, instead, will go back to Cleveland, where he played his entire career until 2018. Encarnacion has spent the last two years in Cleveland. Santana is owed $35 million over the next two seasons and has a 2021 buyout. Encarnacion is owed $24 million in 2019 if you include the buyout on his 2020 club option.  If Encarnacion is going to Seattle, you have to figure that the Mariners will flip him in mid-season if possible.