The Phillies and General Manager Ruben Amaro Jr. are being sued by the team's former batting practice pitcher Ali Modami, reports SB Nation.
This lawsuit came about earlier this week, as Modami claimed the Phillies manager had defamed him and ruined his job prospects.
Modami's connection to the Phillies dates back to 2007. Amaro let him go in 2011, when he made changes to the team's hitting program, according to SB Nation.
But Modami couldn't find work with other teams, he claims. He was rejected after successful interviews with the Nationals and the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Only later did Modami find out (from a Nationals player and a Dodgers coach, according to the Philadelphia Daily News) that his rejections stemmed from something Amaro allegedly told the teams: that Modami had been fired for stealing team memorabilia and selling the items online.
Amaro also allegedly told the teams that Modami had badmouthed the Phillies on the Internet.
In general, a defamation claim can be successful if it can be proven that:
- The statements made were false;
- The statements were seen, heard, or read by at least one other person; and
- The statements caused harm to, or hurt the reputation of, the person against whom they were made.
One way to fight a defamation lawsuit is to claim that the statements made were true. But in this case, this defense may not hold up so well for Amaro. After all, Modami is claiming that the statements were simply not true.
So if the Amaro did indeed make the statements, and they were indeed false, then Modami likely has a good case on his hands. If Modami can show that his interviews with the other teams went well until managers got word of Amaro's statements, then it furthers his case.
A Phillies spokeswoman declined to comment, saying neither the team nor Amaro had yet been served with the lawsuit. Ali Modami is suing for at least $100,000, the Daily News reports.
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