Former Phillie Mitch Williams is suing his former employer MLB Network for breach of contract, wrongful termination and defamation, and Gawker Media, the company that owns the sports-news site Deadspin, for defamation, stemming from a story that Deadspin reported about Williams’ behavior at his 10-year-old son’s baseball tournament. The suit was filed in the Superior Court of New Jersey, Camden County.
“We are aware that Mitch Williams has filed a lawsuit against MLB Network,” a spokesman for MLB Network said in a statement. “We have not received it, but we have reviewed the reported claims in the statement issued today by his lawyer and there are inaccuracies included throughout.
“We can confirm that Mitch Williams is no longer an MLB Network analyst. We believe that the behavior he demonstrated at the youth baseball tournament speaks for itself.”
The news that Williams was no longer an MLB Network employee was not made public until the suit was filed yesterday.
Gawker Media did not return a statement by press time.
The lawsuit stems from a story posted by Deadspin’s Timothy Burke. On May 11, Burke reported, from anonymous sources, that Williams was ejected from his child’s baseball game for arguing and cursing.
Williams apologized, as ordered by the MLB Network, via Twitter: “I regret what happened at this weekend’s tournament & apologize. I love baseball & coaching.”
Another report from Deadspin followed, including allegations that Williams called a child a lewd name and ordered a 10-year-old to hit the opposing pitcher. Williams’ suit claims that there is “both written and video evidence contradicting the false and baseless accusations.”
On May 17, Williams took a leave of absence from the MLB Network, as requested by the network.
“There are people out there who love to bring down celebrities, and the Internet provides an incredibly easy and powerful forum to destroy a person’s reputation in an instant behind a veil of anonymity,” Williams’ lawyer, Laura C. Mattiacci, of Console Law Offices, said when asked about the May incident, as well as other reported incidents of similar behavior on Williams’ part. “When one’s reputation and livelihood are crushed by anonymous ‘sources,’ it is absolutely devastating, but there are legal recourses available.”
The suit alleges that the MLB Network wanted Williams to sign an amendment to his contract saying that he would no longer attend the sporting events of his five children (or as the suit says, “sign away his rights as a father”), including his 11-year-old autistic son. “As alleged in Mr. Williams’ complaint, for an employer to make a job contingent upon signing away your right to be with your children, it is crossing the line,” Mattiacci said.
When he refused, Williams said, he was fired, losing out on the approximately $2 million balance of his contract, along with positions at mlb.com, the Sports Network and Fox Sports. Williams is seeking damages separately from each party.
Credit to Philly.com who published this article
Jason Barrett is the owner and operator of Barrett Sports Media. Prior to launching BSM he served as a sports radio programmer, launching brands such as 95.7 The Game in San Francisco and 101 ESPN in St. Louis. He has also produced national shows for ESPN Radio including GameNight and the Dan Patrick Show. You can find him on Twitter @SportsRadioPD or reach him by email at [email protected].
Brian Murphy: Paul McCaffrey Tried to Make ‘Radio Magic Every Single Segment’
“He was the most consistent, energetic, relentless pro that I, or any of you, would ever want in your life.”
During a round of layoffs last week, longtime KNBR morning host Paul McCaffrey exited. His co-host Brian Murphy eulogized the pair’s 18-year morning show in his first appearance on the station since the cuts Monday morning.
While reminiscing about the pair’s original, Murphy said a former executive used to frequently point at the radio and say “magic comes out of that box”.
“Paulie Mac may have been the guy who understood that idea more than anyone I’ve ever met in the business,” Murphy said. “Paulie Mac strived every single segment, every single segment, to make magic come out of the box. And he succeeded wildly. He was the most consistent, energetic, relentless pro that I, or any of you, would ever want in your life. He taught this old newspaper guy that we were doing radio and radio mattered. And bits mattered. And getting people through the morning mattered.
“The show, the show, the show. It was always what was good for the show. Not what’s good for him, not what’s good for me, but what’s good for the show.”
Video of Murphy’s comments and reflection on his time with McCaffrey was posted by the station to social media. Former KNBR Program Director Kevin Graham chimed in, calling Murphy’s farewell a “fitting tribute”.
Chris Garagiola to Replace Greg Schulte As Arizona Diamondbacks Radio Voice
“I have a few big-ticket things I want to achieve in my life and being the voice of a major league baseball team is one of them.”
After 25 years as the only radio voice in the history of the Arizona Diamondbacks, Greg Schulte stepped aside after the 2023 season. Chris Garagiola will step into the team’s broadcast booth moving forward.
Garagiola has spent the past two seasons working as the fill-in voice for the club while Schulte missed time to undergo chemotherapy treatments as he battled cancer. He also served as the pregame and postgame host for the D-backs.
“This is the byproduct of a lot of hoping, a lot of being in the right place at the right time and a lot of hard work,” Garagiola told AZCentral.com. “This was a major life goal. It really was. I have a few big-ticket things I want to achieve in my life and being the voice of a major league baseball team is one of them.”
The 31-year-old previously worked as the voice of the AA Pensacola Blue Wahoos. He said if he had the opportunity to choose any MLB play-by-play job, this was the one he wanted.
“People would ask if you could pick any team what would you pick? My pick would have been Arizona,” Chris Garagiola said. “That was my team. That was my childhood team and some of the best sporting memories I ever had.”
Chiefs Radio Voice Mitch Holthus Misses 1st Game in 30 Years After COVID Diagnosis
Mitch Holthus claimed he had not missed a Chiefs broadcast in 30 years — calling more than 500 consecutive games for the team.
Mitch Holthus has been one of the most distinctive NFL radio voices during his 30 years as the play-by-play announcer of the Kansas City Chiefs. His voice was absent Sunday for the franchise’s game after being diagnosed with COVID-19.
In a post to X, Holthus said he tested positive for the virus on Friday, and attempted to find a way to broadcast Sunday’s game against the Green Bay Packers remotely, before ultimately coming to the realization that it wasn’t feasible.
“I appreciate everyone who spent most of the day Friday trying to figure out how I could broadcast this game 2020 studio style,” Holthus wrote. “If it was (a) home game could maybe have had (an) isolated booth. But no way to pull it off on road, and (I) would never put anyone in that travel party in jeopardy, especially those who are immune compromised.”
He called the situation a “challenging 60+ hours”.
Mitch Holthus claimed he had not missed a Chiefs broadcast in 30 years — calling more than 500 consecutive games for the team. However, he concluded that he would start a new streak of broadcasting the team’s games next week.