Closing arguments were given in the Bryan Stow-Dodgers civil case last week, and it has been in the jury’s hands for five days. But they’ve decided absolutely nothing on those five days. From Courthouse News Service:
The Los Angeles Superior Court Information Office said in a statement Wednesday:
“The jurors in the matter of Bryan Stow v. L.A. Dodgers have announced that they are having difficulty reaching a verdict. They were instructed to return to the jury room and continue deliberations.”
The case is in its fifth day of deliberations. The jury has yet to answer a single question on the verdict form, Los Angeles City News Service reported Wednesday.
The first question on the jury form is whether or not the Dodgers are liable. If they can’t get nine of 12 jurors to answer “yes” to that, then the case is over and Stow does not recover. If they can’t reach any decision whatsoever and remain deadlocked, a mistrial could be declared.
Commissioner Rob Manfred spoke with the media today. Naturally, he was asked various questions about the landscape of the sport, given that superstars Manny Machado and Bryce Harper remain unsigned as spring training begins. Per The Athletic’s Brittany Ghiroli, Manfred said that he thinks the free agent market will begin to move once spring training exhibition games begin. Manfred also said that Harper’s camp suggesting that he wants $400 million back in 2016 was “an impediment” to discussions throughout the offseason.
No word on why Machado is also as yet unsigned, as he did not have a reported $400 million ask.
Manfred’s job is to look out for ownership, so it’s not surprising to see him point the finger at Harper. Consider:
Manfred’s comment comes just months after the Red Sox won 108 regular season games and the World Series with baseball’s largest payroll. And ongoing evidence that there is indeed a positive correlation between dollars spent and team success. We often hear justification for tanking/rebuilding because the Cubs and Astros did it and won championships because of it. When the Red Sox use financial muscle to win a championship, it’s crickets.
Manfred didn’t stop there, however.
An easy way to get baseball’s “glow” back would be for two of the game’s best and most popular players to be in uniform playing games. The first spring training exhibition game will be played on February 22, so it’s not looking like that’s going to happen anytime soon.
Baseball’s “glow” would also come back if more teams were actively trying to win. Instead, one-third of the league is “rebuilding” or otherwise coasting on revenue-sharing. For fans of the Rangers, Orioles, Royals, and Marlins — to name a few — the outcomes of their favorite teams’ seasons have already been decided, so what is there to get excited about?