The latest from around baseball …
- Last time out, we discussed MLB’s reported vendetta against Ryan Braun, and the lengths to which they were willing to go to bust him in the wake of the Biogenesis PED scandal. Well, now MLB will file suit today in Florida in order to attempt to gain access to documents it believes it needs to thoroughly investigate Braun, and other players allegedly implicated in Biogenesis materials, according to the New York Times. Without boring you about the legal hilarities of discovery, unless this move prompts “sources” to start cooperating behind the scenes with MLB, there will be no resolution in this matter for quite some time. Filing suit is but the first step in a long process, the meat of which could yield you documents, but sometimes not for months or years. (I once worked on a case that was still in the discovery phase – e.g., the exchange and review of documents – nine years after it was originally filed. Incidentally, I’m told the case finally settled soon after I left the practice, so maybe I was the problem ….). I don’t know that this will actually go anywhere, but it’s further evidence of just how pissed off MLB is about players getting away with PED use. Seriously, Cubs players: don’t ever juice.
- (Just to be precise: MLB has indeed filed suit against Biogenesis, Anthony Bosch, and others, claiming that their relationship with MLB players has caused MLB harm. This is a pretty significant step in the evolution of drug investigations in sports, which have, to date, avoided the courts.)
- Barring a “significant change,” Aroldis Chapman will not be a starting pitcher this season with the Reds, despite efforts to move in that direction all offseason. Chapman never wanted to start, and Dusty Baker never wanted him to start, so the duo are going to get their way. Mike Leake, then, returns to the rotation, and Jonathan Broxton becomes a very, very expensive setup man. (This seems like an appropriate time to link this Dusty/Chapman movie poster.)
- Although Jorge Soler got all the pub last year, Yasiel Puig got the much healthier contract. Until scouts were able to see Puig consistently late last year, and then more this Spring, folks wondered what the Dodgers were thinking. Well, now that talk of Puig making the Dodgers has legitimately arisen (as opposed to illegitimate talk of Soler or Javier Baez making the Cubs), I think we know what the Dodgers were thinking. They may have found a good one. He’s still unlikely to open the season with the big team (who gets bench: Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier, or Carl Crawford?), but he’s going to be knocking on the door quickly.
- Minor League Baseball teams continue to be innovators of all things awesome. The Sacramento River Cats – note that precise formulation of the name – issued a press release informing everyone who write for or about the team of a new fine system: any time a member of the organization, the media, or even a ticket-holder improperly writes “River Cats,” they will be fined $1. Apparently formulations like “Rivercats,” “River cats,” and “RiverCats” have frustrated the organization for too long, and so they decided to take it on with a tongue-in-cheek release (do I owe them $3 now?). The proceeds from the fines will go to a good cause. I would like to shake the hand of the media relations person who came up with this idea.