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Major League Baseball’s lawsuit against Biogenesis should be laughed out of court

Mar 22, 2013, 7:44 AM EDT

MLB Commissioner Bud Selig speaks during a news conference in New York

And should probably cause the lawyers who file it to be slapped with sanctions, but I’ll get to that in a minute.

In case you missed it, the backstory here is that Major League Baseball plans to sue Biogenesis today in an effort to obtain the documents it has thus far been unable to obtain and which it needs to punish ballplayers like Ryan Braun and Alex Rodriguez for taking performance enhancing drugs.

There are, however, a few slight problems with this strategy. The largest being that this is a transparent and cynical attempt by Major League Baseball to obtain documents to discipline its employees, not an attempt to vindicate an actual legal injury, and courts do not like to be used in such a fashion.

Baseball has loudly lamented that it (a) has no way of getting the Biogenesis documents; and thus (b) has no way of punishing the ballplayers named in the documents. For them to now, suddenly, tell a judge that this is really about redressing some legal injury it suffered at the hands of this little clinic is laughable in the extreme. If someone had handed them a box of documents last week they would have never considered suing Biogenesis. They are now suing with the sole intent of getting documents. Which is problematic because the purpose of the legal system is to redress legal injury, not to be used as a cudgel in some employment dispute involving non-parties to the lawsuit or to help sports leagues with their public relations problems.

Baseball’s lawyers probably realize this, so they will not be so dumb as to put the real purpose of the lawsuit in the complaint. They will assert some legal claim in the suit — maybe tortious interference with a business relationship? — and claim they were damaged. Indeed, an expert cited in the New York Times story about all of this lays out how that might look:

“If I sold drugs to a baseball player, the league might say it damaged the good will of the league and its ability to make money and prosper,” Eckhaus said. “That’s probably a good claim.”

This would be a fun deposition:

Defense lawyer: Mr. Selig, your claim asserts that baseball has not been able to make money and prosper as a result of performance enhancing drugs like those alleged to have been given to your players by my client, yes?

Selig: Yes sir!

Defense lawyer: Can you tell me, Mr. Selig, how baseball’s revenues, profits, attendance, TV ratings and popularity have been negatively impacted as performance enhancing drugs?

Selig: …

Defense lawyer: Mr. Selig, you’d agree with me, wouldn’t you, that since the mid-1990s through the present day, baseball has had unprecedented financial success, yes?

Selig: …

Defense lawyer: And that this period, often called The Steroid Era, is when performance enhancing drugs proliferated?

Selig: …

Defense lawyer: And that now baseball is experiencing a mind-boggling windfall due to television dollars and exploding franchise values?

Selig: … well, um, that may be true. But Mr. Lupica is really, really upset.

It’s total nonsense to suggest financial damage here. If baseball asserts in its complaint that it has suffered financial damage due to the actions of Biogenesis it is lying. If it does not assert financial damage the complaint will be thrown out for failing to state a legal claim.

And it may be total nonsense for Major League Baseball to articulate a theory of recovery even if some damages claim can be cobbled together. I no longer have access to my magic legal research resources, but I’d be rather surprised if there is any kind of rich case history in which companies have been allowed to sue drug dealers for selling to its employees.  Employees are not the company’s property. They have no standing to assert such claims. Baseball would have a better claim against the NFL for damaging its brand than it would have against Anthony Bosch.  The Beatles would have just as good a claim against Yoko Ono for breaking them up than Selig would have against Biogenesis.

Baseball is having a highly-publicized, real time temper tantrum. It has been impotent in its attempts to obtain the Biogenesis documents and it casting about for any way to obtain them. That it is now looking to waste scarce legal resources in an ill-conceived lawsuit to do what it has been unable to do otherwise is every bit as shameful as it is unlikely to succeed. If they get a bored judge who doesn’t care about such things maybe this has some legs for a while. If they get a judge like most judges I’ve ever known — ones who do not abide nonsense like this — they could very well find their lawsuit dismissed with a quickness and their lawyers sanctioned as a result of the frivolity of the claims they are about to assert.

But hey, there’s part of me which actually wants this thing to go forward. Because if baseball is going to disingenuously claim that it has suffered financial damages as a result of all of this, it will have to turn over financial documents to prove that such damages exist. Tell me: when was the last time baseball was eager to do that?

  1. danrizzle - Mar 22, 2013 at 7:55 AM

    To the last I grapple with thee; from hell’s heart I stab at thee; for hate’s sake I spit my last breath at thee.

    • redguy12588 - Mar 22, 2013 at 8:03 AM

      WHITE WHALE! HOLY GRAIL!

      • aceshigh11 - Mar 22, 2013 at 10:11 AM

        Oh, man…Mastodon RULES.

        Nicely done, good sir.

    • voteforno6 - Mar 22, 2013 at 8:09 AM

      KAAAAAHHHHHNNNNN!!!!!!!!

    • Old Gator - Mar 22, 2013 at 8:16 AM

      Didn’t Brian Wilson write that?

    • heyblueyoustink - Mar 22, 2013 at 8:16 AM

      Selig: ” I’ve seen horrors… horrors that you’ve seen. But you have no right to call me a murderer. You have a right to kill me. You have a right to do that… but you have no right to judge me. It’s impossible for words to describe what is necessary to those who do not know what horror means.”

      • polonelmeagrejr - Mar 22, 2013 at 8:25 AM

        A nothing column other than the gratuitous swipe at Lupica.

      • zzalapski - Mar 22, 2013 at 9:23 AM

        There’s no such thing as a “gratuitous” swipe at Lupica.

    • aceshigh11 - Mar 22, 2013 at 10:20 AM

      He tasks me! He tasks me, and I shall have him!

      I’ll chase him round the Moons of Nibia, and round the Antares Maelstrom, and round Perdition’s flames before I give him up!

      • Old Gator - Mar 22, 2013 at 11:06 AM

        …Ricardo Mantalban

  2. chc4 - Mar 22, 2013 at 7:57 AM

    Set aside the fact that I actually agree with you on the silliness of this, has there ever been an issue you don’t unabashedly side with the players on? You have a major credibility issue on anything related to the business relationship b/ owners and players.

    • Kevin S. - Mar 22, 2013 at 8:07 AM

      Have you considered the possibility that management has consistently been n the wrong? Striving for “balance” in reporting is why Republicans have gotten away with throwing a two-year temper tantrum – anyone who consistently called them out on it would be branded a liberal shill, even if they were correct each time.

      • paperlions - Mar 22, 2013 at 8:13 AM

        Exactly, this is like balanced reporting on climate change or evolution, and accusing someone of bias by saying “you always support the side that is supported by huge mountains of data, has there ever been an issue in which you just ignored all the data and chose to continue to believe something that obviously was not true?”

      • Bill Parker - Mar 22, 2013 at 8:16 AM

        Yeah. chc4’s comment immediately made me think of Culbert’s quote, “reality has a well-known liberal bias.” It tends to have a pretty strong pro-players bias, too.

      • Old Gator - Mar 22, 2013 at 8:17 AM

        Ah, but haven’t we a right to be suspicious of those who amass huge mountains of data? I mean, what are they going to do with the stuff? They can’t take it with them.

      • heyblueyoustink - Mar 22, 2013 at 8:20 AM

        For the record, Republicans also are to blame for malaria, poisonous snakes, Elvis, and in the future, the zombie apocalypse, which will start when an executive from Fox news bites an every day citizen.

      • Bill Parker - Mar 22, 2013 at 8:23 AM

        Hmm, weird autocorrect on that comment. Stephen Colbert, obviously, not whoever Culbert is.

      • paperlions - Mar 22, 2013 at 8:23 AM

        Luckily for us, those mountains of data are in a thing called the public domain, either freely available for download or accessible via request. Refusal of data requests are ground for retraction of publish research, meaning pretty much no one ever can deny a request for data. In addition, any data collected via government grants is public property and must be provided to anyone that requests the data in a timely fashion (note: researchers that collect the data generally have a 2-3 yr window in which to publish on the data before they are required to provide it to anyone else….but people usually aren’t aware the data exists until then anyway).

      • polonelmeagrejr - Mar 22, 2013 at 8:26 AM

        dang Liberals.

      • chc4 - Mar 22, 2013 at 8:45 AM

        Don’t we also have the right to be suspicious of players whose names appear multiple times in the logs of known steroids dealers? The presumption of malfeasance seems to only work one way with some people. And when the final response from people like Craig is “well who know if steroids have any effect on performance so what does it matter if they use” then all logic has gone out the window.

      • Kevin S. - Mar 22, 2013 at 8:51 AM

        You have the right to be suspicious of whomever you want. I’d say MLB has gone a bit past being suspicious of Braun and A-Rod, no?

      • Kevin S. - Mar 22, 2013 at 8:54 AM

        And Braun has an entirely plausible reason for being in Bosch’s records, one that nobody has provided any refutation of.

      • chc4 - Mar 22, 2013 at 1:58 PM

        You really find Braun’s reasoning plausible? How many times does he appear in the logs again? And in the same grouping as Melky, Arod and other suspected or known juicers? You can choose to believe whomever you want but don’t be naive.

      • Kevin S. - Mar 22, 2013 at 2:16 PM

        We already know Gio wasn’t in the notes for PEDs. All the notes claimed were that Braun owed Bosch money. Braun’s legal team used Bosch as a consultant. If you have some evidence the note referenced something else, by all means share it, but right now it’s the only reason we’ve heard for Braun being in there.

      • chc4 - Mar 22, 2013 at 2:51 PM

        Kevin… you’re conveniently only telling part of the story. This is from a previous Craig article:

        “That list, a source familiar with Bosch’s operation told “Outside the Lines,” indicates that those players received performance-enhancing drugs from Bosch, and owed him money. The document, one of dozens obtained by “Outside the Lines,” suggests a closer link to Bosch and the now-shuttered clinic he ran in Coral Gables, Fla., than Braun has acknowledged.”
        ________________________________________________________
        So let me get this straight… Braun tests positive for PEDs but it’s overturn b/c of a broken seal. I get why MLB tossed the results… protocol was not followed. But in order for his urine sample to test positive and Braun not have taken PEDs, one has to assume the handler intentionally tampered with it. Or someone after him did. Seems highly unlikely.

        Then add Braun’s name appearing in the Biogenesis books with Melky, Colon, Arod, Grandal and others… just don’t see how it can all be one big coincidence. Just b/c something can’t be proven doesn’t mean a guy is innocent. See OJ.

  3. redguy12588 - Mar 22, 2013 at 8:00 AM

    Hey Craig, as far as I’m aware, suing companies to get private documents is a fairly common occurrence, at least in my industry it is. And you can’t argue that steroids haven’t harmed the MLB, of course it has. Sure the MLB is successful, who’s to say that they still couldn’t be making more money?

    Just look at the NFL, even though they drug tests are a joke, the vast majority of people don’t think it has as much of a drug problem as the MLB.

    • Craig Calcaterra - Mar 22, 2013 at 8:13 AM

      “And you can’t argue that steroids haven’t harmed the MLB, of course it has.”

      How? Really, please explain. And if the answer is “well, maybe they could have made MORE money than the truckfulls of money they have already made,” know that that is what the law calls “speculative damages.” There has to be some tangible basis for such a claim.

      • chip56 - Mar 22, 2013 at 8:18 AM

        Financially you can argue that the players who have used PEDs entered into contracts with the teams under false pretenses.

        But MLB could more successfully argue damage to the brand’s reputation.

      • redguy12588 - Mar 22, 2013 at 8:25 AM

        Steroids in baseball have harmed the publics image of baseball. Hurting the image of baseball has to have had some effect on revenue. If a parent sees a drug problem in baseball and signs their kid up for football or basketball instead, doesn’t that hurt baseball and thus the MLB?

        I’m an engineer, not a lawyer, but I’m betting the billion dollar corporation that is the MLB probably thinks they can get what they want.

      • deadeyedesign23 - Mar 22, 2013 at 8:36 AM

        What Chip said and it shouldn’t take more than 5 seconds for someone to realize that. Fortunatly you manage to jump to any conclussion that allows you to deflect blame in less than 4 seconds.

      • freddieoh - Mar 22, 2013 at 8:38 AM

        Correction: “And if the answer is ‘well, maybe they could have made MORE money than the truckfulls of money they have already made,’ know that that is what the law calls” a “question for the finder of fact” on the issue of damages.

        The whole legal gambit here is to articulate a plausible cause of action that eludes 12b6 dismissal and voila, mission accomplished in terms of discovery. Then, if you’re correct, MLB can voluntarily dismiss pre-summary judgment. Or they can settle for nominal damages or ride it out, as they choose.

        Or are you angling for Biogenesis to retain you as counsel? Or maybe they can just hire you as a “consultant” for roughly the same fee as Braun’s lawyers paid them…

      • Matt - Mar 22, 2013 at 9:04 AM

        Haven’t we covered this “signing contracts under false pretences” nonsense with regards to the Yankees trying to void A-Rod’s contract b/c of steroid use? I was pretty sure it had been well understood that there is no such merit to this, as if there were the Yankees surely would have used it to get out from under the millions still owed to the aging/injured A-Rod.

      • cggarb - Mar 22, 2013 at 12:03 PM

        Guys, when someone says “it had to have caused damages.” Well, that’s what Craig means by “speculative damages.” A court doesn’t just accept your conclusion that something “must have” hurt you. They need proof. Also called evidence.

        While MLB could certainly find some economist willing to take their $450/hour expert witness fee, he’ll need to base his testimony on MLB’s actual financials — to prove “we would’ve made $X+1,” MLB will need to disclose what $X is.

        That, they ain’t willing to do. This is not a well thought out strategy.

      • dparker713 - Mar 22, 2013 at 2:14 PM

        Here’s the main problem with their speculative damages claim. If they want to proceed with a lawsuit, they’ll need to submit supporting documents prior to discovery. If you’re the opposition, you demand the supporting documents be all of baseball’s financials for the past 30 years. No way in hell the owners let Selig continue his vendetta at that price. The only public books we’ve seen have been due to bankruptcy: one was an embarrassment, the other was criminal.

      • 4356gejm - Mar 22, 2013 at 4:57 PM

        @dparker713 – MLB will not need to provide documents before discovery begins. They get discovery as a matter of right upon filing the complaint. That’s the whole point of discovery – to allow parties to obtain the evidence to prove their claims. And by the time the other side is in a position to move for a summary judgment that there is no evidence of actual damages, MLB will have the records it wants to use against the players.

    • paperlions - Mar 22, 2013 at 8:17 AM

      MLB witch hunts have cause more negative PR than PED use itself. PED use has been going on for decades in MLB (documented since the 1960s). There is far more evidence that PED use could have increased profits rather than decreased them. If MLB didn’t have it’s collective head up its ass, they could have done what every other sport has managed to do: install a testing program, maintain confidentiality, and suspend those that fail tests. End of issue.

      • Old Gator - Mar 22, 2013 at 11:08 AM

        I think the solution is obvious. Throw Braun in the pond. If he drowns, he was innocent.

  4. proudlycanadian - Mar 22, 2013 at 8:03 AM

    That is rather convoluted Craig. It is a good example of why the legal profession is often not held in high regard and lawyers are often called shysters.

    • unclemosesgreen - Mar 22, 2013 at 8:12 AM

      Shysterball!

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Mar 22, 2013 at 9:30 AM

      It is a good example of why the legal profession is often not held in high regard and lawyers are often called shysters.

      I think in most cases I agree, but how is this the fault of lawyers (other than most in power probably are lawyers)? It’s not like the law offices of Dewey, Cheatem and Howe called up MLB and said, “hey, you guys should sue the clinic to get those records, and we’ll help you!”. MLB wanted to do this so they set their lawyers out to find a way to justify the lawsuit.

  5. chip56 - Mar 22, 2013 at 8:11 AM

    To follow up on the post by CHC4 – Craig also has a credibility issue on the topic of PEDs in general as I believe he has decried them as mostly hokum and that baseball is silly in its efforts to punish users and increase testing.

    MLB doesn’t have to allege financial damages to bring this suit; they can say that Biogenesis contributed to steroid use that has irreparably damaged the image and reputation of the industry.

    • unclemosesgreen - Mar 22, 2013 at 8:15 AM

      MLB’s PED enforcement efforts have not been “silly” – they’ve been incompetent and draconian.

      • chip56 - Mar 22, 2013 at 8:22 AM

        Draconian would be kicking a player out of the league for a first offense. And their efforts haven’t been incompetent, they have however been stymied by weak negotiators and a strong opponent.

      • Kevin S. - Mar 22, 2013 at 9:43 AM

        “No, draconian would be suspending a player for taking a supplement after he cleared it with MLB’s hotline.” – JC Romero.

      • chc4 - Mar 22, 2013 at 3:00 PM

        Kevin — the suspension policy was negotiated in the last CBA. If the players don’t like then too bad…. blame the MLBPA leader. They signed off on it. Can’t blame Selig or MLB for that.

      • Kevin S. - Mar 22, 2013 at 4:25 PM

        You’re moving the goalposts. I didn’t say it was all MLB’s fault, I said it was draconian. JC Romero did everything he was supposed to do and still got punished. That’s draconian.

      • chc4 - Mar 22, 2013 at 4:44 PM

        Here’s the key part of the story from ESPN at the time:

        Romero said on Monday that he bought a supplement from a GNC store in Cherry Hill, N.J., in July. The Major League Baseball Players Association had told players the supplement was acceptable, but now the Philadelphia Phillies left-hander will receive a suspension and lose $1.25 million.

        The PA did him wrong. But fact is he still violated the drug policy. If MLB starts making exceptions then it becomes a very slippery slope. Romero should’ve sued the union for the $1.25m in lost wages. He had a great case. But there is no way to claim the ruling to suspend was unfair or “draconian”.

    • Kevin S. - Mar 22, 2013 at 8:16 AM

      On the first part, the evidence (actual evidence, not anecdotes) suggests that he’s right. See http://www.steroids-and-baseball.com

      On the second part, citation effing needed.

      • chip56 - Mar 22, 2013 at 8:20 AM

        You want citation that MLB’s reputation has been negatively impacted by PED usage of its employees? Have you read a newspaper in the last 10 years?

      • Craig Calcaterra - Mar 22, 2013 at 8:25 AM

        Having columnists mad at the league over PEDs is not the same as having its reputation damaged. It has not hurt gate, revenue, TV ratings, anything.

      • Kevin S. - Mar 22, 2013 at 8:29 AM

        Have you seen attendence and revenue figures in the past ten years? Journalistic butthurt is not irreparable damage to image and reputation.

      • unclemosesgreen - Mar 22, 2013 at 8:30 AM

        Those same columnists by and large were very much along for the ride with Sosa, Mcgwire et al. Their outrage now seems very calculated and shame-based.

      • chomsky66 - Mar 22, 2013 at 8:30 AM

        There’s nothing on that site about how the use of steroids caused MLB to suffer financial damages. Got a source for that?

      • Kevin S. - Mar 22, 2013 at 8:35 AM

        No, because there’s absolutely no evidence to that effect.

    • cggarb - Mar 22, 2013 at 12:04 PM

      Why does one have a “credibility issue” when they point out the total lack of empirical evidence to support one side’s claim?

      Or did I miss the day someone produced evidence (as opposed to histrionic sports columns) that PED use leads to improved baseball performance.

      • chc4 - Mar 22, 2013 at 2:55 PM

        Brady Anderson? Melky’s only really good season? Bonds going from a skinny doubles hitter to the all time HR king. McGwire and Sosa hitting 70+ when no one has come close since? And those are just the ones we know of. Guys take the stuff for a reason.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Mar 22, 2013 at 6:12 PM

        Brady Anderson…And those are just the ones we know of.

        How do we know that Anderson took steroids, and by know I mean not that farce of an investigation called the Mitchell Report? Because one year he hit a ton of HR’s and didn’t any of the remaining years? Well where’s the speculation about Roger Maris, who did the same thing? Steroids were prevalent in the world of sports back then, why does he get off unblemished?

        Melky’s peripherals were very similar to the year before, and what difference they did have was largely due to an increase in BABIP. If you want to suggest that steroids help increase a player’s ability to hit the ball where the defenders aren’t, well [citation needed]

      • chc4 - Mar 22, 2013 at 7:11 PM

        How do we know that earth is round? Or that 9/11 was not perpetrated by the US gov’t? Or that Lindsey Lohan isn’t an alien from Mars. You can argue anything.

        Melky was a Yankees and Braves cast-off. He was a fat slug with the Braves. He improved in 2011 then went crazy in ’12. I would argue he realized his paychecks were numbered in 2010 and started the regime in ’11. Do I have proof of that ? No. Looks at his #s from ’05 thru ’10. He was a 4th OF. But I do have proof in ’12… since he tested positive. And then tried to conceal it. Maybe the steroids had nothing to do with his performance… maybe they helped cleared up his allergies. Is that your next claim?

  6. chip56 - Mar 22, 2013 at 8:14 AM

    MLB owners could also file a class action suit against the company claiming that BioGenesis helped players commit fraud by giving them the means to secure contracts under false pretenses (performance enhanced by illegal methods).

    • paperlions - Mar 22, 2013 at 8:18 AM

      Yes, and fans could file a class action lawsuit against all teams that have received tax money citing fraud because promises made about local financial gains have been manifest exactly 0 times.

      • chip56 - Mar 22, 2013 at 8:23 AM

        No they can’t.

      • paperlions - Mar 22, 2013 at 8:24 AM

        Sure they could…why not, there is more evidence that this claim is true than the bullshit you suggested.

    • bravojawja - Mar 22, 2013 at 9:46 AM

      Doesn’t every player have to have a team-administered physical exam (or at least an exam administered by a third party approved by the team) before a contract is finalized? (See: Napoli, Mike)

      If the exam doesn’t find anything weird, you can’t blame the player. It’s the team’s fault for administering (or accepting) an exam not thorough enough.

    • clydeserra - Mar 22, 2013 at 2:25 PM

      the 30 owners would not be certified as a class.

  7. unclemosesgreen - Mar 22, 2013 at 8:17 AM

    CC – I’d say MLB hasn’t enough to get document production, but they also haven’t so little as to warrant sanction. Not that defense counsel won’t try anyhow should they prevail. Wouldn’t you?

    • 4356gejm - Mar 22, 2013 at 5:14 PM

      uncle moses – MLB doesn’t need anything to get document production. The complaint will only be dismissed without discovery if it doesn’t state a cause of action, i.e., accepting the allegations in the complaint as true, is there a case? The way motions are decided in court is, the court accepts the allegations of the non-moving party as true, and asks if the motion nevertheless should be granted. Here, Biogenesis will move to dismiss, and the court will say, if we accept MLB’s allegation that they have suffered financial harm, does their complaint state a valid cause of action? Answer – yes. But Biogenesis says, no your honor, MLB made millions. The court says, oh really, how do you know? Biogenesis – it’s in their records. And how will BioGenesis get those records? Discovery. Voila – goose and gander both get discovery, and MLB gets what it wants.

  8. townballblog - Mar 22, 2013 at 8:20 AM

    Couldn’t have said it better meself.

  9. amhendrick - Mar 22, 2013 at 8:41 AM

    I disagree – “helping our players cheat” seems like a plausible legal claim.

    • Kevin S. - Mar 22, 2013 at 8:48 AM

      Only if you have no understanding of the law. Or should MLB sue telescope, sandpaper and Vasaline manufacturers as well?

      • 4356gejm - Mar 22, 2013 at 5:33 PM

        @Kevin – I don’t know about amhendrick’s knowledge of the law, but yours I question. The count is for tortious interference with contract. There is an element of intent. That intent could be as little as negligence, i.e. you acted knowing that there was a substantial likelihood that the harm would occur. In other words, you sold PEDs to the players under contract with us knowing that there was a substantial likelihood that this would cause them to breach their contract with us. So a claim against the telescope, sandpaper, and Vaseline manufacturers would have to allege that they put their products into the market knowing that there was a substantial likelihood that they would be used to cheat in baseball. In the former case, there is no legal use for the substances by the buyers, and the sellers knew both that the players would use them and that their use would violate their contracts. In the latter, there is substantial non-cheating use for the products, and their use for cheating in baseball is not reasonably forseeable by the manufacturers. The thumbs down for amhendrick must be from people who don’t understand the law, who are unhappy with its consequences, or who simply are knee-jerk against the owners. Are the owners hypocritical to go after the players now? Sure. Does that mean that their legal tactic will not work? As Clint once said, “Deserve’s got nothing to do with it.”

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Mar 22, 2013 at 6:14 PM

        In the former case, there is no legal use for the substances by the buyers,

        IANAL, but if there are legal uses of the substances, how does that work then? Because there are legitimate uses of HGH and steroids, if prescribed by a doctor.

    • paperlions - Mar 22, 2013 at 9:38 AM

      Based on this argument, every gun and knife manufacturer should be sued for “helping criminals commit crimes”, which do have a huge negative economic effect on society. Every beer/liquor/wine/automobile maker should be sued for “helping people drive under the influence” In short, that’s a dumb argument. In short, that’s a dumb argument.

      • 4356gejm - Mar 22, 2013 at 6:14 PM

        In case you haven’t noticed, gun and liquor manufacturers have been and are being sued for product liability. That’s why warning labels appear on the packaging nowadays.

        In any event, you armchair pundits always gloss over the details in your outrage. Reading these comments is a bit like listening to Carl Pilkington. It’s a wonder that you still know how to breathe.

        There are critical differences here with the hypotheticals you propose. Primarily that the products in question, steroids, are controlled substances that only may be prescribed by doctors, if they are FDA-approved, that is, and have no other uses by the players that are not illegal and in violation of their contracts and collective bargaining agreement, facts well-known to both the players and sellers. Both guns and liquor have substantial legal uses outside of the illegal ones you mention, and their legal sellers in most instances have no reasonable way to know whether a buyer of their products intends to use them illegally. In situations where they do, they get sued, like a bar that sells to a drunk who crashes, or a gun seller that ignores obvious signs of a criminal buyer. So the theory of liability here depends on additional facts not applicable to the gun and liquor sellers and does not support a case against them as you propose. So stop getting yourself and others worked up about a false analogy.

  10. riceforpres27 - Mar 22, 2013 at 8:42 AM

    Starting to think Craig is really Anthony Bosch in disguise!! Or maybe uses hgh!!

  11. jessethegreat - Mar 22, 2013 at 8:51 AM

    Simple solution to this steroid era hyperbole…. Baseball owners agree that it “is negatively effecting the game”, so have old Bud reject any contracts going forward that do not mandate that any failed drug test that does not comply with MLB rules and banned substances negate said contract and ban the player from participating in said league from this day forward. That is IF OWNERS ARE REALLY SERIOUS ABOUT CLEANING UP THE GAME, and not just concerned with the all mighty dollar.

    • Kevin S. - Mar 22, 2013 at 8:57 AM

      Of course, there’s this little document called the Collective Bargaining Agreement preventing them from doing that, but hey, everything was just peachy when owners ruled by fiat, right?

  12. fatsoandfruitloops - Mar 22, 2013 at 8:57 AM

    Man, where’s Florio when you need him? Craig’s out of his depth here.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Mar 22, 2013 at 9:24 AM

      You mean when we need a former lawyer to shill for ownership over players right, because that’s all Florio is good for.

  13. therealtrenches - Mar 22, 2013 at 9:01 AM

    Craig, i happen to agree w/ you. but people might take your attempts at discussing legal issues more seriously if you didn’t present your arguments in the form of a junior high school play.

    • zzalapski - Mar 22, 2013 at 9:34 AM

      What’s wrong with junior high school plays? At least those are over within two hours, unlike MLB’s Javertian PED kabuki theater.

  14. randygnyc - Mar 22, 2013 at 9:04 AM

    There’s no denying that baseball has suffered a damage of perception among the public. Whether that can be quantified is besides the point and hardly needs to be specific. Look no further than the hall of fame and the mess it currently finds itself. Writers can not come to consensus about voting in new members and the reason is steroids. Fans, players, writers and MLB are all adversely effected.

    • Kevin S. - Mar 22, 2013 at 9:09 AM

      Is that the fault of drug usage or dipshit writers using arbitrary, capricious and inconsistent logic? If not getting into the Coop is a harm, then Baggs and Piazza were harmed by the BBWAA, not steroids.

    • dparker713 - Mar 22, 2013 at 2:19 PM

      MLB and the HOF are two separate entities. Any damages caused to the HOF do not provide MLB with standing to sue.

  15. rdillon99 - Mar 22, 2013 at 9:06 AM

    “It has not hurt gate, revenue, TV ratings, anything.”

    Craig, you state that as a fact, but you (just like the rest of us) really have no idea whether that is true or not. I have no idea whether MLB can prove that they have suffered damage as a result of Biogenesis’ actions, but I am certain that simply saying that MLB has done well financially over the last 15 years is not a complete answer to this claim.

    And the claim is not one for “speculative damages” as you assert above. Speculative damages as per Black’s Law Dictionary are “prospective or anticipated damages … which depend upon future developments which are contingent, conjectural or improbable.” MLB’s claim, as I understand it, is not that they may suffer damages in the future, but rather that they have suffered damage to date. That’s not speculative.

  16. sc101071 - Mar 22, 2013 at 9:10 AM

    I disagree. People sue to get docuemnts and depositions all the time. First claim in most class actions, in politics, and even in sports. the NCAA sued to get depositions in the Miami case. (That blew up bc of NCAA violations, not the use of the legal system).

    Any wrong/damages, however slight, is a legit claim. They hurt the brand of MLB by prolonging cheating.

    • Kevin S. - Mar 22, 2013 at 9:18 AM

      When that happens, the discovery isn’t so blatantly for the purpose of something completely unrelated to the lawsuit.

      • sc101071 - Mar 22, 2013 at 10:11 AM

        That’s not why someone would be sanctioned though. The case just have to have some merit.

    • cggarb - Mar 22, 2013 at 12:18 PM

      You don’t quite have the facts right in the NCAA case. The issue there was that the NCAA retained another party’s lawyer to conduct irrelevant discovery in a bankruptcy hearing, so that the NCAA could use that information in its own investigation.

      Both the judge in that bankruptcy case, and the Florida State Bar, are looking into it.

      http://www.cbssports.com/collegefootball/story/21832777/federal-judge-florida-bar-eyeing-shapiro-attorney-in-miami-case

      The concepts of malicious prosecution and abuse of process may be relevant here.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Mar 22, 2013 at 6:17 PM

        The issue there was that the NCAA retained another party’s lawyer to conduct irrelevant discovery in a bankruptcy hearing, so that the NCAA could use that information in its own investigation.

        It’s actually a lot worse than that. Shapiro, a convicted felon for running a $900M+ ponzy scheme, was actually paid by the NCAA to testify against players he actually gave money too. The NCAA authorized these payments, after saying they didn’t. They also purchased a burner phone for him to use in prison so they could continue their investigation and paid the bills as well as contributed to his prison “bank” account.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Mar 22, 2013 at 6:18 PM

        err testify was probably the wrong word. Give evidence to the NCAA against the players he paid.

        edit function!!!
        EDIT FUNCTION!!!
        EDIT FUNCTION!!!

  17. Jason @ IIATMS - Mar 22, 2013 at 9:14 AM

    If MLB cries about finances, don’t they have to then, almost by default, open their books to prove it?

  18. snowbirdgothic - Mar 22, 2013 at 10:54 AM

    Any cartel that counts Jeffrey Luria as a member in good standing making claims that someone else is affecting their good name and competitive balance is, by definition, leading with their chin.

    • Old Gator - Mar 22, 2013 at 12:04 PM

      Excellent point but, in all fairness, you have to include the ownerships of the Kansas City Royals and Montreal Expos, too.

  19. jkcalhoun - Mar 22, 2013 at 11:01 AM

    Minor quibble: pre-filing risibility amounts to being laughed into court.

  20. nategearhart - Mar 22, 2013 at 11:46 AM

    The Beatles are my absolute favorite band. Yoko Ono did not break up the Beatles. The Beatles broke up because John Lennon and Paul McCartney were arrogant, petty, self-centered, self-righteous, egotistical assholes.

    • Kevin S. - Mar 22, 2013 at 12:00 PM

      And yet they’d still have a better claim against Ono than MLB has against BioGenesis.

  21. Stiller43 - Mar 22, 2013 at 1:33 PM

    If theres anythinf i learned over the years, its that the more ridiculous the lawsuit, the more chance it has to win.

  22. bh192012 - Mar 22, 2013 at 2:44 PM

    This seems like something that MLB thought up while brainstorming, and should have been thrown out. It doesn’t sound workable.

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