Minor leaguers suing baseball over unfair labor practices get a small victory

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You’ll recall the lawsuit filed by minor leaguers against Major League Baseball alleging the violation of fair labor practices. Well, today there was a preliminary ruling in the case that, while small, does help the minor leaguers’ cause:

In separate motions also addressed Friday, defendants’ attorneys asked the judge to transfer the case to the Middle District of Florida because that’s where “the largest concentration of parties and witnesses can be found.” [Judge] Spero said it is unlikely he will transfer the case, because it is a “nationwide case” with many parties inside and outside of California.

This was kind of a big deal because Florida is assumed by most observers to be more employer-friendly than California is, and state law claims which go along with the federal law claims would be much harder to bring under Florida law than California law.

At the same time, the judge noted that, if the plaintiffs want to keep the case in California, they need to add some California-based plaintiffs, and have given lawyers leave to do that.

Meanwhile, Minor League Baseball’s efforts to lobby Congress to change the law to moot the entire lawsuit by exempting baseball players from the Fair Labor Standards Act is presumably still continuing apace, mostly at upscale steakhouses in the greater Washington, D.C. area.

Donaldson ejected for kicking dirt on plate after home run

David Banks-USA TODAY Sports
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Minnesota’s Josh Donaldson managed to get ejected while hitting a home run.

Donaldson barked at plate umpire Dan Bellino for the second time in the sixth inning of a 4-3 loss to the Chicago White Sox on Thursday.

With the score 2-2, Bellino called a strike when the 2015 AL MVP checked his swing on a 2-0 pitch from Reynaldo Lopez.

Manager Rocco Baldelli came out to speak with Bellino, and Donaldson homered down the left-field line on the next offering. After rounding the bases, Donaldson kicked dirt at home plate as he crossed it.

Bellino ejected him immediately, and Donaldson, realizing he had missed home plate, returned to the plate to touch it and then argued as he kicked more dirt on it.

Donaldson also had argued with Bellino on a 1-1 breaking ball in the first inning that appeared to be high but was called a strike, leading to a strikeout.

“We need Josh on the field, out there playing, and at third base,” Baldelli said. “That’s when we’re at our best. And so that’s really the end of it. I think we can move past it at his point, and go from here.”

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