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

13 Comments

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.

Pujols hits 701st career home run, connects for Cardinals

albert pujols
Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images
5 Comments

ST. LOUIS — Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols hit his 701st home run, connecting Friday night against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Pujols launched a slider from former teammate Johan Oviedo over the Big Mac Land sign in left field at Busch Stadium. The solo drive in the fourth inning made it 1-all.

Pujols faced Oviedo for the first time and made the 24-year-old righty the 456th different pitcher he’s homered against.

The St. Louis star hadn’t homered in a week since hitting No. 699 and 700 at Dodger Stadium last Friday. Pujols had gone 10 at-bats without a home run after two starts and one pinch-hit appearance.

The Busch Stadium crowd gave the 42-year-old Pujols a long standing ovation before he came out of the Cardinals dugout to tip his cap for a curtain call.

Pujols hit his 22nd home run this season for the NL Central champion Cardinals.

Pujols is fourth on the career home run list behind Barry Bonds (762), Hank Aaron (755) and Babe Ruth (714).