Category Archives: Baseball

Agent and Trainer Seek Light Sentences for Smuggling in Cuban Ballplayers

On October 10, 2017, baseball agent Bartolo Hernandez and sports trainer Julio Estrada requested a Florida federal judge give light sentences — instead of the government’s request for harsher sentences — for their convictions for smuggling Cuban baseball players into the United States. In March, a Miami jury convicted Hernandez and Estrada for their roles in a scheme that coerced vulnerable baseball players, obtained false documents, and assisted in fraudulent and outright illegal entry into the U.S. Hernandez faces 3 to 15 years in prison…

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Zachary Lutz Hopes for Home Run in Suit Against Japanese Team over Abandoned Contract

On August 30, 2017, former New York Mets player Zachary Lutz filed a lawsuit in Pennsylvania federal court against the owners of the Japanese baseball team, Rakuten Golden Eagles, for fraud, negligent misrepresentation, and promissory estoppel for their sudden abandonment of his negotiated contract. Lutz debuted with the New York Mets in 2012, and in 2014 he decided to sign a contract with the Golden Eagles for the 2014 season, which spanned from June 2014 to November 2014. As the end of the 2014 season…

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A Fight Over Baseball Hall-of-Famer Honus Wagner’s Trademarks

Florida-based Honus Wagner Co. filed a complaint on July 5, 2017 in Florida federal court against an Indiana licensing management company for trademark infringement. Honus Wagner, considered by some to be the greatest shortstop ever, played for the Pittsburgh Pirates and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1936 as one of its original five members. In the beginning of the Twentieth Century, no player was more dominant than Wagner. He led the majors in hits, runs, doubles, total bases, extra-base hits, runs…

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Baseball Scouts Strike Out on Claims League Conspires on Low Wages

Former Kansas City Royals scout Jordan Wyckoff and ex-Colorado Rockies scout Darwin Cox urged the Second Circuit on August 24, 2017 to narrowly construe Major League Baseball’s long-held antitrust exemption to only those functions essential to the holding of actual professional baseball games. The three-judge panel was skeptical of the scouts’ oral arguments. The dispute came up on appeal after the class action suit on behalf of 1,600 scouts was dismissed in September 2016 by the U.S. District Court in Manhattan. The complaint alleged that…

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Can Consumers of Louisville Slugger Baseball Bats Hit a Homerun in Legal Battle Against Wilson Sporting Goods?

In January, a class-action lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court in Chicago against Wilson Sporting Goods by a consumer who purchased a Louisville Slugger baseball bat for his high-school age son. The Louisville Slugger baseball bat has a design flaw that causes its handle to move independently of the barrel when swung, which is alleged to decrease the power and detract from the performance of the bat. Wilson Sporting Goods also advertised the bats as meeting standards set by the United States Specialty…

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Rawlings Defensive Over Easton’s Plan to Release Bats With Similar Logo

On August 15, 2017, Rawlings Sporting Goods Co. filed a lawsuit against Easton Diamond Sports LLC arguing that Easton ripped off Rawlings popular “5150” brand of bats with a new “S150” line that Easton planned to release pursuant to a recent equipment rule change. Starting January 1, 2018, Little League Baseball has banned the use of all 2 ¼ inch barrel baseball bats constructed with composite material in the barrel, unless approved. Little League bats will now be governed by the BBCOR bat standard

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Baseball Owner Believes Denial of Expansion Opportunity in Foul Territory

In July 2015, the Washington Wild Things (Frontier League) filed suit in U.S. District Court over MKE Sports and Entertainment’s lease at Kokomo Municipal Stadium for the Kokomo Jackrabbits (Prospect League) claiming damages over the loss of the market after months of negotiations. Wild Things owner, Stuart A. Williams, has claimed damages because the Prospect League, through allegedly unlawful actions by MKE Sports and Entertainment head Mike Zimmerman, landed Kokomo, thus denying a Frontier League franchise that would have generated $50,000 in expansion fees. They…

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