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Voiding contracts for bad behavior: case studies

Jan 19, 2011, 4:14 PM EDT

Sidney Ponson

This morning I explained how hard it is for a team to void a player’s contract and why the Mariners are unlikely to be able to do so in the case of Milton Bradley.  I hadn’t seen Larry Stone’s take on it from last night in which he went through three recent case studies: Denny Neagle, Sidney Ponson and K-Rod. It’s instructive to see how those all played out. It’s also instructive to remember just how big a screwup Sidney Ponson was. Mercy.

All of those cases eventually settled, though the details about the terms and impetus for settlement are all a bit vague.  The biggest takeway: if fist fights with judges, prostitute solicitation and repeated drunk driving beefs aren’t enough to get your contract voided, not many strictly off-the-field incidents are.  At least if they don’t involve dead bodies and stuff.

Really, it seems like Uniform Player Contract provisions 7(b)(1) and 7(b)(3) are directed more at behavior that directly impacts one’s ability to play, not behavior that is merely scandalous, embarrassing or criminal.

  1. bloodysock - Jan 19, 2011 at 5:28 PM

    Of course, the BBWAA will get you on the back end for that misbehavior when you try to get into Cooperstown.

    • Old Gator - Jan 19, 2011 at 5:43 PM

      Of course they will. Poor citizenship just stinks of steroid abuse.

  2. BC - Jan 20, 2011 at 10:41 AM

    What did Neagle do? I missed the memo on that one.

    • bloodysock - Jan 20, 2011 at 11:43 AM

      November 2004, soliciting a woman for oral sex.

      January 24, 2006, pleaded guilty in Jefferson County, Colorado, on one charge of patronizing a prostitute.

      August 27, 2007, arrested for and later pleaded guilty to driving under the influence.

      December 13, 2007, mentioned in the Mitchell Report in connection with steroids.

      • BC - Jan 20, 2011 at 12:30 PM

        That’s not good.

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