Thursday, March 26, 2020

Virtual Ejections - Robo-Lance Barrett (Compu-Angels)

With MLB's regular season delayed, today's virtual Opening Day produced the first ejection of the computerized calendar. HP Umpire Robo-Lance Barrett ejected Compu-Angels pitcher Robo-Shohei Ohtani (throwing at Compu-Astros batter Robo-Dustin Garneau after warnings for HBP to Robo-Alex Bregman) in the bottom of the 1st inning of the Compu-Angels vs Compu-Astros game.

Following a one out and one on (R1) balk, Robo-Bregman took a 0-0 fastball from Robo-Ohtani for a hit-by-pitch, resulting in warnings after Compu-Houston's virtual Opening Day opponent threw at them for some odd reason.

Replays indicate the pitch was located inside and struck Robo-Bregman in the upper back, the call was irrecusable. Ensuing batter Robo-Garneau then took a first-pitch fastball for a hit-by-pitch, resulting in ejections of Robo-Ohtani and Manager Robo-Joe Maddon, who looked a lot like circa-2018 Robo-Mike Scioscia.

At the time of the ejections, the game was tied, 0-0. The computer ultimately won the contest, 1-0. The home plate umpire was wearing #16, which is Robo-Barrett's sleeve number for 2020.

Baseball, please come back. Video as follows:

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Joe West Settles with Action Network, Accuses Paul Lo Duca of Ignoring Lawsuit

MLB veteran umpire Joe West narrowed his defamation lawsuit, settling his case with The Action Network over purportedly slanderous comments made by Paul Lo Duca during a podcast. While settlement removes defendant TAN, West now accuses Lo Duca of ignoring the suit against him and seeks default judgment from the court.

In October 2019, West sued The Action Network and ex-player Paul Lo Duca after Lo Duca made statements that, according to West, "impugn the integrity, honesty and professional fitness of Mr. West and affect his profession as a Major League Baseball umpire."
Related PostJoe West Sues Paul LoDuca Over Bribery Claim (10/22/19).

Amongst Lo Duca's purportedly slanderous statements were claims made on a podcast produced by The Action Network that strongly suggested West accepted a bribe from Mets pitcher Billy Wagner in exchange for favorable ball/strike calls, as well as claims that West ejected Lo Duca "eight or nine times" during his career.

Fact checks both by Close Call Sports and West's legal team indicate Lo Duca's ejection claim was false—West ejected Lo Duca just once in his career—and that West never actually served as home plate umpire for any game Wagner pitched while Lo Duca was on the Mets.

As West's team wrote in the original complaint, "As a result of the foregoing Plaintiff was damaged in an amount to be determined at trial."
Related PostPants on Fire - Paul Lo Duca's Joe West Accusation (5/10/19).

On January 27, 2020 Judge John J. Kelley ordered that West's team could serve Lo Duca with a copy of the summons and complaint via his Barstool Sports e-mail address because service using more traditional methods, including at least four New York addresses, failed.

On January 29, West's attorney Nicholas J. Zaita submitted an affidavit swearing that he served LoDuca at the e-mail address.

On February 28, Zaita and The Action Network's attorney, Jeffrey G. Landis, stipulated the discontinuance of West's case against The Action Network. In the joint filing, the parties wrote that West's lawsuit "hereby is settled and dismissed, with prejudice, as to the Defendant The Action Network, Inc. only."

Lo Duca's deadline to appear or answer expired on March 9—with Lo Duca having failed to appear or answer.

By March 20, with Lo Duca still having failed to respond to the lawsuit, the Supreme Court of the State of New York updated its procedures in response to the COVID-19 outbreak and impending NY "stay at home" order. This update postpones all civil trials indefinitely.

On March 23, West's team requested that The Action Network be removed from the lawsuit (due to the settlement) and that the court, on April 30, 2020, grant West default judgment against Lo Duca because Lo Duca quite simply has repeatedly failed to respond to the lawsuit.

Nearly two full months after West served Lo Duca at his BarstoolSports e-mail address, Lo Duca has yet to respond to the court.

Video as follows: