Thursday, July 19, 2018

There's No Suing in Baseball!

Bonds is suing fellow players now? This could open up a whole can of worms. Sportswriters and announcers will be getting slapped with suits right and left for criticizing athletes. Players will be sued for bench jockeying. Bonds is going to ruffle a lot of feathers with this one, because everyone knows that there’s no suing in baseball.

One of the great things about sports is that attorneys can't play them and don't determine the outcome. Sure, they negotiate players’ contracts and are behind the scenes, but that’s their role and it’s very limited. Now, lawyers will be suing other athletes on behalf of their player clients and it is going to get very ugly.

This article appeared yesterday in The Boston Globe:

Curt Schilling expressed no emotion yesterday after being informed that attorneys representing slugger Barry Bonds may be targeting the Red Sox pitcher for comments he made about the San Francisco Giants to HBO’s Bob Costas.

In a joint statement, attorneys Todd Schneider and John Burris said they are representing Bonds “in connection with legal issues arising from the myriad of false statements attributed to him by players, the media and others.”

Attorney Michael Rains, who has represented Bonds in the slugger’s ongoing BALCO steroids case, told the San Jose Mercury News, “This is directed at Schilling more than anybody. Schilling said some things that were inappropriate and potentially defamatory. I know it was upsetting to Barry. We talked about the issue and I know he was talking to some civil lawyers to put people on notice that he has someone defending him.”

Schilling, when told of the statement issued by Schneider and Burris, said, “I didn’t read it and I don’t have any comment about it. That’s not something I’m going to talk about.”

In a recent appearance on the HBO program “Costas Now,” Schilling brought up Kimberly Bell, a former mistress of Bonds who in 2000 testified before a grand jury about the slugger’s steroid use. She also testified that Bonds gave her money to buy a new home - money, she said, that came from baseball card shows that was not reported to the IRS

“If I wrote a book about Bob Costas and in that book I wrote about Bob Costas’ girlfriend being on the road, and Bob Costas giving that girlfriend card show money and I outlined your daily steroid regimen, I’ve got to believe your first line of defense is to sue my (butt) off,” Schilling told Costas.

In their joint statement, Schneider and Burris said they “want the public to know that Barry’s silence in the face of the accusations should not be construed as an admission of any kind. In fact, Mr. Bonds retained Schneider and Burris because of the false nature of these statements. While pursuing Hank Aaron’s home run record, Barry felt that it was more prudent to remain silent. Now that the record has been broken, Burris and Schneider will evaluate any and all statements attributed to him that are false. His attorneys are particularly concerned about individuals profiting from his accomplishments by attributing statements and/or conversations to him that never occurred.”

In the aftermath of the Schilling interview on HBO, Bonds referred to Costas as “a midget who knows (nothing) about baseball,” and said, “Don’t worry, my day will come.”

If Schneider and Burris are to be believed, that day may have arrived.

In their statement, Schneider and Burris said, “Certain members of the public and of the media are attempting to personally profit by making false and misleading comments about Mr. Bonds. This conduct has to stop and should not be tolerated by a society which prides itself on free, open and fair public dialogue.”

About the Writer

Ed Attanasio is a writer for BrooWaha. For more information, visit the writer's website.
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