There has been extensive fallout of the Houston Astros cheating scandal in baseball. From suspensions to fines to taking away draft picks, the MLB has internally disciplined the Astros. However, there has been speculation as to the potential legal consequences of the cheating scandal. On January 23, 2020, one such legal consequence became apparent when five fantasy baseball players filed a class action lawsuit in the United States District Court, Southern District of New York against the MLB, the Astros, and the Boston Red Sox. …Continue Reading
The Tail of the Phillie Phanatic – The Hidden Underbelly of the New-Look Mascot
As reported by the Philadelphia Phillies, “[h]e has evolved, but clearly hasn’t matured.”
This week, the Phillies unveiled their new-look mascot… who received little more than a touch-up. As discovered at the Phillies’ spring training home opener, the infamous Phillie Phanatic arrived with new feathers, stars outlining the eyes, an enlarged backside, and a brand new powder-blue tail, among other minor detail changes.
Most casual fans will hardly notice a difference, and even die-hard Phillies fans are split; some prefer the traditional style, while others …Continue Reading
Former MLB Prospect Sues Yankees for $34 Million
Garrison Lassiter was selected by the New York Yankees in the 27th round of the 2008 MLB draft out of West Forsyth High School in Clemmons, North Carolina. The Yankees gave him a $675,000 signing bonus. In five minor league seasons, Lassiter never played above high-A ball and hit just .244 with four home runs and 73 RBI in 235 games.
In December 2008, Lassiter filed a pro se lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina against the New …Continue Reading
Signs and Signals and Trashcans, Oh My! Astros Cheating Scheme Exposed
Sports scandals are not a foreign concept to fans, players, coaches, owners, and the like. For example, on March 2, 2012, the NFL announced it had evidence of the New Orleans Saints’ “bounty system that gave cash rewards for knocking [opposing players] out of games” during the 2009-2011 NFL seasons. Somewhat similar, MLB is experiencing something that, while less dangerous, is just as detrimental to the integrity of the sport.
Baseball catchers use signs and signals to determine what type of pitch will be thrown …Continue Reading
MLB’s Shane Bieber Faces Surprising Opposition to “Not Justin” Trademark
Cleveland Indians pitcher Shane Bieber is facing opposition to his attempt to register “Not Justin” as a trademark, though it’s not coming from pop star, Justin Bieber.
In August 2019, Shane Bieber applied to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) to register “Not Justin” as a trademark. He wore a special jersey with the phrase on it, humorously referencing his uncommon last name that he shares with the pop star. Shane Bieber plans to use the phrase in standard character on various types of …Continue Reading
Los Angeles Dodgers try to Leave Ballgame by Transferring Jackie Robinson Contracts to Foundation
In a dispute over a pair of Jackie Robinson contracts, the Los Angeles Dodgers told a New York federal court that it transferred its purported interest in the contracts to the Jackie Robinson Foundation.
As we reported in October, the Dodgers entered a legal dispute over two of Jackie Robinson’s historic contracts. One is his 1947 contract with the then-Brooklyn Dodgers, in which he became the first African-American to play in Major League Baseball. The other is his 1945 contract with the Kansas City Monarchs, …Continue Reading
Players’ Unions v. Jock Taxes: An Inside Look at This Waging Legal Battle
Last week, we reported that the NHL Players’ Association, MLB Players’ Association, and NFL Players’ Association sued the city of Pittsburgh for charging a fee on nonresident professional athletes that play within the city. These fees, often referred to as jock taxes, have come under fire over the past few years.
The players’ associations are not challenging the legality of jock taxes in general, about which you can continue reading here. It is well established that states and municipalities have the right to tax …Continue Reading
NFL, MLB, and NHL Players’ Associations Sue Pittsburgh Over “Unconstitutional” Athletes Fee
The city of Pittsburgh is being challenged for a fee it is charging nonresident professional athletes who play for Pittsburgh teams.
The NHL Players’ Association, MLB Players’ Association, and NFL Players’ Association, along with baseball player Jeff Francoeur and hockey players Kyle Palmieri and Scott Wilson, have sued the city of Pittsburgh. The city currently imposes a three percent general revenue income fee on professional athletes who reside out of state. Athletes who live in the city, however, pay only a one percent fee. Pittsburgh …Continue Reading
MLB Umpire Joe West Sues Ex-Player Paul Lo Duca for Defamation Over Bribery Claims
Major League Baseball umpire Joe West has filed a lawsuit against ex-player Paul Lo Duca, alleging that Lo Duca defamed West by falsely accusing him of bribery.
In one of his podcasts this past April, Lo Duca claimed that a teammate told him that West engaged in bribery. That teammate, Billy Wagner, allegedly told Lo Duca at a 2006 or 2007 New York Mets v. Philadelphia Phillies game that he lent West his 1957 Chevrolet in exchange for opening up the strike zone for him. …Continue Reading
Dodgers Enter Legal Fight Over Valuable Jackie Robinson Contracts
The Los Angeles Dodgers will enter a legal dispute regarding the ownership of two of Jackie Robinson’s player contracts, which may be worth as much as $10 million.
In 2013, Collector’s Café, run by Mykalai Kontilai, purchased two of Jackie Robinson’s MLB contracts for $2 million. One is Robinson’s historic 1947 contract with the then-Brooklyn Dodgers, in which he became the first African American to play in the MLB. The second is Robinson’s 1945 contract with the Kansas City Monarchs, the Dodgers’ minor league affiliate. …Continue Reading