You know those stories that you read earlier in the season about something that happened? Whatever came of that? Here’s the round up of what transpired after the big announcements:
Legal updates: How ’bout those Mets? In March, they settled the suit former executive Leigh Castergine brought against them last fall for discriminating against her for being pregnant and unmarried. The terms are confidential, as usual, but you can bet the lady received a tidy little sum.
Also, opening week, the Nationals were sued by three employees for religious discrimination after they were fired for not being able to work on their Sabbath. Within the month, the gentlemen were re-employed by the Nats (possibly to limit damages) and in July the parties settled with a private agreement as well. Again, the terms are not disclosed, so if any of you go to the park and see some old guy ushers sporting big bling, let us know what they bought with their settlement money.
Most depressingly, in September, Robbie Tolan — son of former MLB player Bobby Tolan — settled his civil rights suit against the local police where his parents live near Houston. The younger Tolan had been visiting his parents on New Year’s Eve 2008 when he was shot by a police officer. A typo in a stolen vehicle report led the officer to question the young man outside his parents house. The incident escalated, and the officer fired his weapon at Tolan, who was unarmed. The family filed suit and there has been some back-and-forth in the case. After a judge who tried to dismiss the case was overruled and forced to hold a trial, the family settled for $110,000. Tolan had promising potential to follow in his father’s footsteps but is now unable to play baseball due to the effects of his injuries. The officer was absolved in the shooting, as usual.
Sport expansion: There was some fanfare earlier this year when women’s baseball debuted at the Pan-Am Games. The international competition was a big step for women in baseball. In case you missed the outcome, Team USA won the gold medal over Canada. Ironically, the women’s softball and men’s baseball teams both lost to the Canadians and settled for silver.
Tragic news: More gun violence touched baseball this season. In June, Darryl Hamilton was killed by his ex-girlfriend, who then shot herself. Hamilton had custody of his sons from a previous relationship and was actually returning his third son, a 14-month old, to the boy’s mother after a visit when she shot him. The child was unharmed. After protective services temporarily took the youngster, he ended up with the ex-husband of Hamilton’s killer, who has custody of the children from their relationship, for a brief time. No information is available on permanent custody for the little boy.
At the other end of the age spectrum, just this month Mike Nolan (23), an A’s prospect, died from injuries he sustained in September from a drive-by shooting. Nolan was an 18th round draft pick. He never got the chance to pitch in a major league game.
Some follow-up stats are in order: Earlier this year, the Angels sent Josh Hamilton to the Texas Rangers in a huff. Hamilton ended the season hitting .253/.291/.441 in 50 games with a dWAR of -.2. The Rangers made it to a post-season playoff spot. The Angels did not. It’s the ultimate karma that Hamilton was not great and the Rangers made the playoffs anyway, right?
Also, in June, minor league pitcher Sean Conroy announced publicly that he is gay. That makes him the first openly gay professional baseball player in the US. He ended his season with a record of 5-3, an ERA of 2.70 and a WHIP of .950, despite his Murphy-unapproved “lifestyle.”
Health update: In June, fan Tonya Carpenter was seriously injured by a shattered bat at Fenway Park. Her injuries were gruesome, and the incident inspired demands to extend the netting at parks. Since being discharged from the hospital, Carpenter has had a stay at a rehab facility and continues treatment for ongoing issues related to her injury. Shortly following the accident, Carpenter’s ex-husband sued her for custody of their son. Her ex claimed that Carpenter was unable to care for the boy because of her injuries. He also requested child support from her while he cared for the boy! The judge said nah.
Finally, some good bad news: In July, “comedian” Rob Schneider’s home was burglarized. The thief(s) got away with some jewelry and Schneider’s mint condition Willie Mays rookie card worth $175,000. It is a schadenfreude-filled pleasure to report that the Mays card liberator(s) has not been caught and Schneider is still without his prize possession. Maybe he feels half as bad as anyone who spent $8 to go see Duece Bigalow at the theaters.