Jenrry Mejia, the former New York Mets relief pitcher who will probably never pitch in Major League Baseball again, needs to find a new lawyer. His current legal counsel is wasting his time on an ill-fated lawsuit, thereby putting Mejia in a worse position than he already is.
Jenrry Mejia’s Legal Counsel Should be Replaced
The lawyer is Vincent White, and according to a press release by Rick Eberle Public Relations, he is using Mejia’s situation to make some serious allegations against MLB.
A detailed multi year investigation has brought many items to light including statements from former employees that have included the breaking of state and federal laws, invasion of privacy, computer hacking, extortion threats, and obstruction of justice. Years of corrupt mob-like activity will be revealed in The Commissioner Office’s actions against MLB teams, owners, MLB players, agents, accused / suspended players, and many third parties independently operated outside of MLB.
It’s unclear what kind of damages that the suit is actually seeking for Mejia, but it stems from Mejia’s belief that MLB set him up. Ben Berkon’s New York Times interview with Mejia states that after his second positive test for banned substances, he was told to give up his connections who supplied him with the substances. Mejia alleges that when he refused, he was told that MLB would find a way to see he had a third failed test and therefore a lifetime ban.
White is also representing former minor league baseball player Neiman Nix in a similar suit. Nix retired from baseball in 2003 and in 2012 opened DNA Sports Lab. Nix alleges that MLB’s crackdown on doping agencies like Biogenesis ruined his business and that MLB’s investigators acted illegally to obtain documents needed for their case.
Through these two suits, White has painted the picture of a corrupt, powerful MLB determined to protect its image regardless of the cost to individuals. Conveniently, White has become the, “white knight in shining armor,” valiantly taking up the cause of the helpless victims left in the giant’s wake of destruction.
The problem with fairy tales
The problem with fairy tales is that they aren’t real. What’s really going on is that a charlatan has taken an opportunity to prey upon the vulnerable. Both Mejia and Nix are left with very few options other than lawsuits, and no one stands to gain as much from that situation as White.
The fact about Mejia’s situation is that even the MLB Players Association, perhaps the most successful advocate for professional athletes ever, passed when the opportunity to take action on his behalf came up. Another fact is that Nix has tried this once already. His lawsuit making similar allegations against MLB in Florida was dismissed in 2014.
Another fact is that the plaintiff’s star witness in Nix’s case, Eduardo Dominguez, was fired from his position in the MLB investigations department. Even if Dominguez’s testimony has a degree of truth to it, his account will be easily tainted by MLB’s counsel because his separation from MLB was with cause.
In Mejia’s case, the crux is the conversations that allegedly took place between Mejia and MLB employees in which he was told to rat his partners out or else. There is no proof that they ever happened outside of Mejia’s testimony. White has to prove that an atmosphere of corruption exists inside MLB that makes it more likely than not that Mejia’s allegations are true.
That’s going to prove very difficult. That level of allegations is serious, even more serious than the allegations that Tom Brady made in the “Deflategate” proceedings against the National Football League. Brady only alleged that the NFL violated the collective bargaining agreement with the NFLPA. White is alleging that MLB has a pattern of organized crime, that MLB is a “mafia.”
The likely outcome for Mejia, Nix and White
Is it possible that the allegations in both cases are true, if even just to a certain degree? Absolutely. MLB fired the arbitrator who overturned the drug-related suspension of Ryan Braun in 2012, which seems to fall in line with the atmosphere that White says exists.
Is it likely that either Mejia or Nix will win their cases? Not at all. Not only are these suits making extreme allegations built on what appears to be weak, circumstantial evidence, but they are taking on an entity with so much legal power that it has an anti-trust exemption.
It’s uncertain whether Mejia and Nix have hired White on retainers or on contingencies. Even if White was hired on contingencies in both cases, he can still bill both clients for any out-of-pocket expenses after both suits fail. Either way, White will get paid and go about his business.
In the wake of this suit, Nix’s public reputation will be even further damaged and he will have to pay court costs. By filing this case, Mejia has now likely done serious damage to his only real hope of playing in MLB again, which is the application for reinstatement he can file in 2017. Mejia will likely be hit with court costs as well.
The legal counsel for Mejia and Nix is far from a “White knight.” A better analogy would be a vulture.