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Tuesday, January 21, 2020

20 Big Questions About MLB’s Sign-Stealing Scandal

A sample question-and-answer:

3) Could Manfred suspend or ban players who used cameras, buzzers and other electronic devices?

Yes. Under Article XII of the collective bargaining agreement, Manfred has the authority to take appropriate disciplinary measures against players for conduct that is “materially detrimental or materially prejudicial to the best interests of Baseball.” Cheating is unquestionably damaging to the best interest of Baseball. It undermines the integrity of games and could cost the league substantial revenue if fans are turned off.

Also, no one has a legal “right” to play in a private sports league, just as no one has a right to a job at a private employer. Being kicked out of a pro league is not, in and of itself, an unlawful act by that league.

Lastly, MLB has a long history of suspending and even banning players. Bowie Kuhn banned Ferguson Jenkins after he was found with cocaine and other drugs (Jenkins was later reinstated). Bud Selig banned Steve Howe after a drug offense (Howe was also reinstated).

Lawyers of this site: How much of this analysis would you concur with?


QLE Posted: January 21, 2020 at 12:31 AM | 6 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: lawyers, sign-stealing

Reader Comments and Retorts

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   1. The Yankee Clapper Posted: January 21, 2020 at 01:13 PM (#5917827)
Lawyers of this site: How much of this analysis would you concur with?
You have to go pretty deep into the article before it mentions the MLBPA’s ability to contest any player discipline, and it seems to wrongly minimize the Union’s likelihood of success, while (based on a quick skim) not even mentioning that Manfred can’t now revoke the immunity given to players in exchange for their testimony.
   2. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: January 21, 2020 at 01:33 PM (#5917844)
Just based on one quick read, my first impression is that I generally concur, and specifically with the excerpt above. I get the practical reasons for not wanting to take on the union, but I don't think they would have a very good case *if* (i) there is solid evidence against particular players who had a discernible role (concerns addressed in TFA) and (ii) there is no immunity agreement in place (so this would be on a going-forward basis, presumably). "Cheaters shouldn't be punished because the CBA doesn't have language addressing a specific punishment for this particular type of cheating" isn't exactly a compelling argument, legally or in terms of public opinion.
   3. Sunday silence Posted: January 21, 2020 at 03:24 PM (#5917887)
Has Manfred made any public comment on the buzzer taped to the chest rumors?
   4. The Yankee Clapper Posted: January 21, 2020 at 04:13 PM (#5917908)
MLB said they found ‘no evidence’ of anything by the Astros beyond what was addressed in Manfred’s statement.
   5. Walt Davis Posted: January 21, 2020 at 07:04 PM (#5917997)
#2 ... if you read point #5 in the article, they list a bunch of reasons why what they said in #3 and #4 might not be a great idea. That's before they start addressing the CBA in #6.

I've never been sure whether MVP, etc. are "owned" by MLB or by the BBWAA. But if they need player scapegoats to calm things down, they could take away the Altuve and Betts MVPs as punishment ... similar to "voiding" Melky's batting title.

The article is mainly solid but a bit annoying. We get to 20 questions because it largely goes "can X possibly happen?" then "will X happen?" which could all be done more succinctly and in a single question. I was also annoyed that they cited the factoid of Altuve's 2017 post-season H/R OPS split without noting that, in the regular season, his H/R OPS split was 834/1081. I don't consider either number evidence of anything but 660 PA should certainly count for way more than 76 PA unless there's evidence tying cheating to specific games. Further, despite crushing it on the road overall, his reg season OPS in Fenway in 2017 was just 643 (14 PA); in NYS it was 541 (19 PA) so his post-season struggles there were a continuation of that, all in trivial samples of course. At least cherry pick in some fair manner.
   6. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: January 21, 2020 at 08:37 PM (#5918031)
#2 ... if you read point #5 in the article, they list a bunch of reasons why what they said in #3 and #4 might not be a great idea.
Yes, which is why I made the caveats about solid evidence and no immunity in my post.

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