Back in May, Mitch Williams was in the spotlight for his boorish behavior while coaching little league games. He was alleged to have cussed out an umpire, called kids on opposing teams derogatory names and, in one instance, ordered one of his players to bean a player on an opposing team. As a result of the controversy, Williams took a leave of absence from his MLB Network job.
Apparently, he has now been fired and he is now suing MLB Network for wrongful termination and Deadspin for defamation:
The suit alleges that the MLB Network wanted Williams to sign a contract saying he would no longer attend the sporting events of his five children. When he refused, Williams said he was fired, losing out in the $2 million balance of his contract, along with positions at mlb.com, the Sports Network and Fox Sports. Williams is seeking damages separately from each party.
On the defamation, well, given that Williams publicly apologized for his behavior, good luck with that.
As for the wrongful termination: I guess it all depends on the terms of his contract with MLB Network. I’m no employment law expert, but I have a contract with a major media company too, and I can tell you that there are a lot of things in there that would allow a major media company to fire an on-air personality should be a monstrous jackwagon and bring bad press upon said major media company. So good luck with that too.
The real scandal here, though: someone at MLB Network not only thought that Mitch Williams was worth paying for his awful baseball analysis, but that he was worth paying $2 million for it.
Guys: I’ll give you better than he got for 10% of that. And I won’t verbally and physically assault children. You have my number. Think about it.
Major League Baseball wants to give the United Kingdom a taste of America’s pastime when the Yankees and Red Sox visit next month. Based on the playing surface they’re going to use, however, they may as well have sent the Blue Jays and the Rays:
Major League Baseball has access to Olympic Stadium for 21 days before the games on June 29 and 30, the sport’s first regular-season contests in Europe, and just five days after to clear out. The league concluded that there was not enough time to install real grass.
Starting June 6, gravel will be placed over the covering protecting West Ham’s grass soccer pitch and the running track that is a legacy from the 2012 Olympics. The artificial turf baseball field, similar to modern surfaces used by a few big league clubs, will be installed atop that.
At least they will not use the old-style sliding pits/turf infield that you used to always see. That’ll all be dirt. There are comments in the article about how it’s a cost savings too since they’re going back next year and won’t have to bulldoze and re-grow grass. Aaron Boone and Xander Bogaerts were asked and they don’t seem to care since it’s similar to the surface they play on in Toronto or down in Florida against the Rays.
Still, this whole deal is not aimed at doing whatever is minimally necessary to pull off a ballgame. It’s supposed to be a showcase on a global stage in a world capital. I have no idea how anyone thinks that doing that on a surface everyone has decided is obsolete for baseball playing purposes unless the ballpark is either outdated or in an arid environment is a good idea.
It’s certainly not baseball putting its best foot forward. Major League Baseball could’ve avoided this by choosing a different venue or even building a temporary one like MLB has done on a few occasions in the past. That, I suppose, would limit the revenue-generation capacity of these games, however, that’s off the table in the Rob Manfred Era.
Yankees and Red Sox on turf. What a decision.