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The Phillies’ former batting practice pitcher is suing the team for defamation

Nov 6, 2012, 9:50 AM EDT

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This is fun. At least if you’re not one of the parties to the lawsuit. Former Phillies’ batting practice pitcher Ali Modami is suing the Phillies and Ruben Amaro personally, saying that Amaro defamed him.

The upshot: Modami was fired, and when he tried to get jobs with the Dodgers and Nationals, he claims that Amaro told those teams that Modami was stealing equipment and memorabilia and selling it on the Internet. And that Modami was badmouthing the team.  The kicker:  Modami claims in his suit that Jayson Werth told him that Amaro was doing those things.

I don’t practice anymore, but I think I would love to depose Jayson Werth. I just have this feeling that he’d be the best/worst (depending on your point of view) witness in the history of depositions.

  1. mojosmagic - Nov 6, 2012 at 9:55 AM

    A thief hires a low life attorney and sues. What else is new.

    • mrfloydpink - Nov 6, 2012 at 10:27 AM

      Some jerk, hiding behind the anonymity of the Internet, reaches an unsubstantiated conclusion and makes a douchey comment about it. What else is new?

      • protius - Nov 6, 2012 at 12:29 PM

        From a disinterested by-standers POV, you could be talking about yourself.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Nov 6, 2012 at 10:28 AM

      A thief hires a low life attorney and sues.

      So the inverse of that would be, what a real man just bends over and takes it in the ass?

      • deathmonkey41 - Nov 6, 2012 at 12:43 PM

        No, that’s just Friday night at Tim Tebow’s house.

    • natslady - Nov 6, 2012 at 2:28 PM

      There is a little more to the story. Here is the Nationals’ side of it. Yes, Werth was involved, and apparently after all the alleged bad-mouthing by Amaro to Rizzo and to the Dodgers, the guy got a job.

      http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/nov/6/ali-modami-nationals-batting-practice-pitcher-sues/

  2. manute - Nov 6, 2012 at 10:06 AM

    Even if the guy did steal, telling potential employers about it just plain stupid. Not Ryan-Howard-extension stupid, but stupid nonetheless.

  3. kiwicricket - Nov 6, 2012 at 10:07 AM

    If there is one job in MLB I genuinely want/think I would be good it, it’s the batting practice pitcher. Earn a decent relative whack for 3hrs work per day, free kit, free shoes,sunglasses etc. Plenty of functions to attend if you feel like it. Plenty of golf sprinkled into your summer. Win win.

    Mentions Lopes in the article?

    • rollinghighwayblues - Nov 6, 2012 at 10:27 AM

      I’d also love to be a clubhouse attendant for opposing teams. I saw Craig Monroe a couple years back at a hitting facility in north Dallas and he was telling me how he would pay a certain opposing teams “clubby” in upwards of $800 for a three game series just to have a stiff screwdriver waiting on him in his locker after the game.

    • mississippimusicman - Nov 6, 2012 at 12:06 PM

      I may not be in top health anymore, but I can still serve up meatballs like a Swedish grandmother. Let’s try to figure out how to get this job, even we have to work our way up the farm system – what say you?

  4. Francisco (FC) - Nov 6, 2012 at 10:19 AM

    Lopes apparently said something similar as well.

  5. deathmonkey41 - Nov 6, 2012 at 10:57 AM

    It would be awesome if Werth went on the stand and started yelling responses with those crazy eyes like he did in the post game interview where he hit that game winning HR in the playoffs.

  6. chadjones27 - Nov 6, 2012 at 11:00 AM

    So, any of you (actual) law-types know of what the laws are in regards to this situation. I know, an ex-employer is only allowed to tell a possibly new employer that the dude worked there, and that’s it. And I have to believe this carries over to baseball (or all professional sports) teams. But, can two bosses of two different companies talk about the particulars of a someon’s firing? I know in any industry, you know people in other companies, and people talk. But, I’d have to assume anything beyond, “yes, that shetbag worked for me,” constitutes breaking that rule.

    • paperlions - Nov 6, 2012 at 11:18 AM

      A former employer can say anything the like; however, if anything they say that is negative is not recorded in the employees records (performance reviews, complaints, etc.), the employer is opening itself up to a law suit.

      • stlouis1baseball - Nov 6, 2012 at 1:18 PM

        As someone who deals with this very issue on a regular basis…the only thing a former employer can “legally” do is confirm or deny one’s employment. They can NOT discuss production, absenteeism, workplace disposition, etc…
        However, also speaking as someone who deals with this very issue on a regular basis…there are numerous ways to get around this during the course of a telephone conversation.

      • paperlions - Nov 6, 2012 at 1:33 PM

        Kind of makes employment history as a source of references 100% useless, doesn’t it?

      • stlouis1baseball - Nov 6, 2012 at 1:41 PM

        Yeah…it (employment history as a source of reference) isn’t the best that’s for sure.

        I will tell you this though…
        When hiring someone the length of time they spend at one place or another very much helps me get an idea of their work ethic.
        Specifically, job hoping after 1 – 2 years on a regular basis will get your Resume shredded.

        What I really find amusing is when I call someone to verify employment and they voluntarily start bemoaning a longtime former employee’s work ethic, disposition, etc…
        My first thought(s):
        1) If the person was employed by you that long you must be a pushover off a boss.
        2) You are being dishonest. Otherwise you would have terminated their employment long ago.

      • forsch31 - Nov 6, 2012 at 9:35 PM

        >>>”Specifically, job hoping after 1 – 2 years on a regular basis will get your Resume shredded.”

        Unfortunately, job hopping many times has nothing to do with the employee, and tossing a resume simply because of job history, especially in this economy, is beyond stupid. The last time I left a job on purpose was 2006. In between, my jobs were eliminated due to budget cuts, temporary positions that didn’t go permanent, or simply had the contract come to a sudden end. Thankfully, most of my former supervisors gave me references, written and otherwise, and after two years of nearly becoming homeless, I finally got a decent job. And then got outsourced.

        Thanks for keeping guys like me unemployed.

  7. natslady - Nov 6, 2012 at 2:22 PM

    You might ask, did this guy get a job? Answer, yes. He was the batting-practice pitcher for the Nationals.

    According to the lawsuit, Werth texted Modami in January 2012: “[Mike] Rizzo talked to [Amaro] NO GOOD, call me ASAP.”

    After Amaro allegedly bad-mouthed Modami to the Dodgers, they didn’t hire him either… however

    Despite Amaro’s alleged comments, the Nationals hired Modami for the 2012 season and he became a popular figure in the clubhouse.

    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/nov/6/ali-modami-nationals-batting-practice-pitcher-sues/

  8. rich7041 - Nov 6, 2012 at 4:08 PM

    I used to do background investigation for potential police officers. We had an extensive two-page notarized release modeled after the FBI. It gave us access to everything, even sealed or expunged records. But I doubt a routine hiring (i.e. – a position not requiring you to carry a gun) would go so far.

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