Anti-aging clinic owner sues Major League Baseball, claiming it ruined his business

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That lawsuit we mentioned yesterday was filed today. The plaintiff is a former minor leaguer, former training academy owner and former anti-aging clinic owner, Neiman Nix. He sued Major League Baseball in New York today alleging that it and its investigators ruined his anti-aging and supplement business via heavy-handed and, in some cases, illegal acts in the course of the Biogenesis investigation.

Nix, who was a 29th round draft pick of the Reds in 1998 but whose career ended early due to arm injuries, operated a Florida anti-aging and supplement business called DNA Sports Labs. Nix says that during the Biogenesis investigation Major League Baseball’s investigators — including those who were subsequently fired following allegations of unprofessional and possibly illegal conduct — threatened him and his business with criminal charges, spread false allegations about him and his businesses and claimed to others to be DEA and FBI agents in the course of doing so. Nix says all of this was done with the knowledge of and at the direction of Rob Manfred, who led the investigation on behalf of Bud Selig and Major League Baseball.

Nix further claims that MLB investigators hacked into and/or caused the closure of his company’s social media accounts, YouTube account and PayPal, which he used as his primary mode of advertising and payment, forcing them to be taken down and his business to subsequently close. Finally, he claims that MLB investigators falsely accused him of selling performance-enhancing drugs to major league players, which harmed his reputation and ultimately ruined his business.

Nix’s complaint alleges that this was not the first time MLB has messed with him. Before opening DNA Labs, Nix owned a training facility for unsigned players in Clearwater, Florida. Nix claims that in 2011, at the prodding of a disgruntled former employee, MLB investigators falsely accused him of claiming to employ real major league scouts in order to lure clients to his academy. Once this lie spread, Nix claims, it caused his business to tank and he had to sell his controlling stake.

Nix previously sued Major League Baseball in Florida in 2014 under many of these same facts. Nix claimed that the attacks on his social media accounts — accomplished primarily by MLB investigators falsely informing YouTube, PayPal and other services on which DNA Labs depended that Nix was associated with Biogenesis — took place in retaliation for Nix filing the Florida suit. That lawsuit was dismissed without prejudice. You can read the entire suit at the embedded link below. I would not expect Major League Baseball to have any substantive comment on the suit, if indeed it does comment on it at all.

As for the merits: it’s hard to say based on just a complaint. These things always turn on the facts, and presenting actual evidence is not the purpose of a complaint. It’s worth noting, however, that Nix is not the first person to accuse Major League Baseball and its investigators of misconduct during the Biogensis investigation and, again, its lead investigators on the Biogenesis case were subsequently fired. Moreover, going back to the Mitchell Report, Major League Baseball has a history of closely associating itself with law enforcement and hiring former law enforcement officers in the course of what are, essentially, internal company investigations. It’s not crazy to assume, therefore, that at some point its investigators either created the impression that they were, in fact, members of law enforcement or allowed that impression to persist, much to their advantage. And, allegedly, in violation of the law.

The claims Nix asserts — tortious interference with business relationships — are often hard to win. But they’re not frivolous. The mud through which Major League Baseball trudged in order to nail Alex Rodriguez and the other ballplayers at the end of the Biogenesis investigation was pretty thick. It’s not at all shocking, therefore, that Major League Baseball is now accused of having a great deal of it on its shoes.

UPDATE: Major League Baseball has released a statement in response to the lawsuit:

“The lawsuit filed today by Neiman Nix against MLB repeats many of the same allegations he asserted in a Florida lawsuit that was dismissed in 2014. Mr. Nix’s new attorney, Vincent White, has in the past made outrageous claims about MLB. Mr. White’s purported source for this lawsuit is a disgruntled former MLB employee who was terminated for cause. Mr. White has been threatening to file this lawsuit for months in an attempt to coerce MLB into paying his client. MLB considers the allegations in this lawsuit, including the allegations relating to the hacking of DNA Sport Lab’s social media accounts, to be sanctionable under New York law. Other than noting that in Paragraph 40 of the Complaint Mr. Nix admits to selling products purportedly containing at least one banned performance-enhancing substance (IGF-1), MLB has no further comment on this frivolous lawsuit.”

Saying it’s “sanctionable” is a shot at the lawyer who filed it, saying that it was unethical for him to file the suit, not merely that the suit has no merit. That’s way beyonf the usual rhetoric you see. So buckle up, kids. This should be a bumpy ride.

Nix Complaint MLB by craigcalcaterra on Scribd

Yankees star Judge hits 61st home run, ties Maris’ AL record

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TORONTO — Aaron Judge tied Roger Maris’ American League record of 61 home runs in a season, hitting a tiebreaking, two-run drive for the New York Yankees in the seventh inning against the Toronto Blue Jays on Wednesday night.

The 30-year-old slugger drove a 94.5 mph belt-high sinker with a full-count from left-hander Tim Mayza over the left-field fence at Rogers Centre. The 117.4 mph drive took just 3.8 seconds to land 394 feet from the plate, and it put the Yankees ahead 5-3.

Judge watched the ball clank off the front of the stands, just below two fans who reached over a railing and tried for a catch. He pumped an arm just before reaching first and exchanged a slap with coach Travis Chapman.

The ball dropped into Toronto’s bullpen and was picked up by Blue Jays bullpen coach Matt Buschmann, who turned it over to the Yankees.

Judge’s mother and Roger Maris Jr. rose and hugged from front-row seats. He appeared to point toward them after rounding second base, then was congratulated by the entire Yankees team, who gave him hugs after he crossed the plate.

Judge moved past the 60 home runs Babe Ruth hit in 1927, which had stood as the major league mark until Maris broke it in 1961. All three stars reached those huge numbers playing for the Yankees.

Barry Bonds holds the big league record of 73 for the San Francisco Giants in 2001.

Judge had gone seven games without a home run – his longest drought this season was nine in mid-August. This was the Yankees’ 155th game of the season, leaving them seven more in the regular season.

The home run came in the fourth plate appearance of the night for Judge, ending a streak of 34 plate appearances without a home run.

Judge is hitting .313 with 130 RBIs, also the top totals in the AL. He has a chance to become the first AL Triple Crown winner since Detroit’s Miguel Cabrera in 2012.

Maris hit No. 61 for the Yankees on Oct. 1, 1961, against Boston Red Sox pitcher Tracy Stallard.

Maris’ mark has been exceeded six times, but all have been tainted by the stench of steroids. Mark McGwire hit 70 home runs for the St. Louis Cardinals in 1998 and 65 the following year, and Bonds topped him. Sammy Sosa had 66, 65 and 63 during a four-season span starting in 1998.

McGwire admitted using banned steroids, while Bonds and Sosa denied knowingly using performing-enhancing drugs. Major League Baseball started testing with penalties for PEDs in 2004, and some fans – perhaps many – until now have considered Maris the holder of the “clean” record.

Among the tallest batters in major league history, the 6-foot-7 Judge burst on the scene on Aug. 13, 2016, homering off the railing above Yankee Stadium’s center-field sports bar and into the netting above Monument Park. He followed Tyler Austin to the plate and they become the first teammates to homer in their first major league at-bats in the same game.

Judge hit 52 homers with 114 RBIs the following year and was a unanimous winner of the AL Rookie of the Year award. Injuries limited him during the following three seasons, and he rebounded to hit 39 homers with 98 RBIs in 2021.

As he approached his last season before free agent eligibility, Judge on opening day turned down the Yankees’ offer of an eight-year contract worth from $230.5 million to $234.5 million. The proposal included an average of $30.5 million annually from 2023-29, with his salary this year to be either the $17 million offered by the team in arbitration or the $21 million requested by the player.

An agreement was reached in June on a $19 million, one-year deal, and Judge heads into this offseason likely to get a contract from the Yankees or another team for $300 million or more, perhaps topping $400 million.

Judge hit six homers in April, 12 in May and 11 in June. He earned his fourth All-Star selection and entered the break with 33 homers. He had 13 homers in July and dropped to nine in August, when injuries left him less protected in the batting order and pitchers walked him 25 times.

He became just the fifth player to hold a share of the AL season record. Nap Lajoie hit 14 in the AL’s first season as a major league in 1901, and Philadelphia Athletics teammate Socks Seabold had 16 the next year, a mark that stood until Babe Ruth hit 29 in 1919. Ruth set the record four times in all, with 54 in 1920, 59 in 1921 and 60 in 1927, a mark that stood until Maris’ 61 in 1961.

Maris was at 35 in July 1961 during the first season each team’s schedule increased from 154 games to 162, and baseball Commissioner Ford Frick ruled if anyone topped Ruth in more than 154 games “there would have to be some distinctive mark in the record books to show that Babe Ruth’s record was set under a 154-game schedule.”

That “distinctive mark” became known as an “asterisk” and it remained until Sept. 4, 1991, when a committee on statistical accuracy chaired by Commissioner Fay Vincent voted unanimously to recognize Maris as the record holder.