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Jason, a labor lawyer, trains his eyes on the Biogenesis disputes.

When news broke on June 4th that MLB would be seeking to suspend a slew of players connected to the Biogenesis clinic in Miami, I was on an airplane back from Pittsburgh, where I was attending a labor lawyers conference. So, a week later than you might have hoped to have it, what I'd like to do, building on the ESPN report linked above as well as Maury Brown's very good piece discussing some of the financial and personal issues raised by the case, is lay out the key contractual provisions and some of the quasi-legal doctrines surrounding this case to provide some idea of the groundwork that the massive structure of strategy and politics covered by Maury, the ESPN team of T.J. Quinn, Pedro Gomez, and Mike Fish, and others is built on.

I'm not a reporter. I don't have inside knowledge about the union, individual player, or management strategies and tactics. What I have are the two basic documents, the collective bargaining agreement (technically called the Basic Agreement, but I'll call it the "CBA") and the joint drug agreement ("Major League Baseball's Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program"—that's a mouthful, so let's just say "JDA"), read with a labor lawyer's eye. (To inform you of my biases: I am, specifically, a union-side labor lawyer, and not by accident.)

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April 13, 2011 9:00 am

Prospectus Q&A: YOU Make the Call! Part II

17

David Laurila

Continuing a look at the nitty-gritty in the rulebook, checking in on what constitutes a catch and a balk.

Most baseball fans feel they know the rules, but many of them are actually misunderstood, at least their nuances and technical definitions. Even you are fairly well-versed in the rulebook, a primer never hurts, so BP asked the MLB Umpiring Department about 10 of them. Major League Baseball umpire supervisor Charlie Reliford, a 19-year major-league umpire, and Major League Baseball umpire supervisor Larry Young, a 23-year major-league umpire, provided the definitions and clarifications.

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August 16, 2010 8:00 am

Under The Knife: 997

17

Will Carroll

The Injury Expert's countdown to his 1,000th column continues as he examines methylhexanamine, the substance that is causing minor-leaguers to get suspended.

Methylhexanamine. If you're like most people—including me just a few weeks ago—you have no idea what this substance is. It's now baseball's most abused performance enhancer. It's a powerful stimulant, described as a natural amphetamine, but legal. In the past months, eight minor-league players have been suspended in rapid succession for testing positive for methylhexanamine, a substance just added to baseball's banned list this year after WADA put the substance on its list. Please note the difference between banned and legal. "Banned" is a substance that is forbidden by a governing body, in this case MLB or WADA. "Legal" means it is not controlled by a government body. While methylhexanamine is banned in baseball and causing positive tests, it's also available at your local vitamin store or at hundreds of online retailers.

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February 6, 2009 3:17 pm

Legally Brief

6

Keith Scherer

With Barry's day in court almost upon, what's the basic background on where things stand in terms of evidence and procedure?

A few years back, Keith Scherer contributed a chapter to Will Carroll's award-winning book, The Juice: The Real Story of Baseball's Drug Problem. Keith has been a legal advisor to Baseball Prospectus on the legal issues surrounding Barry Bonds case, and we asked him to update you and us on what's going on.

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August 11, 2006 12:00 am

Barry and the Law

0

Keith Scherer

Keith Scherer has an update on Barry Bonds' legal situation that covers the period between the publication of Will Carroll's "The Juice" and the present.

Q: Will Bonds be indicted?

A: It's almost certain that he will. The federal government doesn't move against someone until the outcome is more or less guaranteed. Before convening a grand jury, the prosecutors prepare an internal memo analyzing every aspect of the case, including potential objections and motions and credibility problems, and then has that memo vetted by every link in the chain of command. Weaknesses get fixed. In high profile cases even the brass in D.C. has to bless the memo before the case will go forward. This doesn't ensure a conviction, but it just about guarantees an indictment. It also ensures that a vindictive and uninformed prosecutor doesn't embarrass the U.S. Attorney's Office and Department of Justice.

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I get a lot of e-mail suggesting that baseball should use European-style relegation/promotion to encourage teams to compete. People suggest it to me in bars. I've read it in columns by otherwise sensible baseball writers. It is easily the most impractical idea anyone has proposed to solve some of baseball's problems, and I am baffled by its continued popularity.

I get a lot of e-mail suggesting that baseball should use European-style relegation/promotion to encourage teams to compete. People suggest it to me in bars. I've read it in columns by otherwise sensible baseball writers. It is easily the most impractical idea anyone has proposed to solve some of baseball's problems, and I am baffled by its continued popularity.

Let's say that basketball decides to do something even more radical, and every year they're going to turn the NCAA Division I college with the best record into a professional team, and the Nuggets have to go into the amateur business and start a university.

But wait, that's ridiculous, you say. Those players don't have professional contracts. Where would they play? They've graduated, would they then have to stay with the same team? Who would pay these new salaries?

Uh huh, yup, you're right. And those are only some of the problems that relegation in baseball faces. But I want to take a concrete approach to showing the barriers to this course.

Let's say that baseball implemented a modest form of relegation to begin after the 2002 season. One team from each league is relegated. Then one team from each Triple-A league is promoted. I chose that method because it seems fairer that way, but what happens next is applicable no matter how you divvy up the joy and pain.

The two teams in 2002 would be Milwaukee (56-106) and either Tampa Bay or Detroit (55-106), with the tiebreaker being Tampa Bay's 2-4 record against Detroit, and the team's distinguished record of sustained, general haplessness.

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