The last time we heard from old pal Mitch Williams, he had taken a leave of absence from MLB Network following an outburst at his child’s Little League game. After that, all was quiet on the Williams front until this week, when we learned that he was doing the American thing and suing MLB Network for wrongful termination and Deadspin for defamation.
MLB Network released a statement about the lawsuit, confirming Williams’ dismissal.
“We are aware that Mitch Williams has filed a law suit against MLB Network. 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.”
Gawker Media, owner of Deadspin, hasn’t made a statement as of yet.
The statement that Williams’ attorney, Laur C. Mattiacci, released about the lawsuit is hilarious.
“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. When one’s reputation and livelihood are crushed by anonymous ‘sources’ it is absolutely devastating, but there are legal recourses available.”
Notice how she doesn’t actually refute the Deadspin report, just blasts the fact that it was anonymous. Williams’ lawsuit also states that MLB Network wanted to add an amendment to Williams’ contract stating that he wouldn’t attend the sporting events of his five children, which he refused to sign, leading to his firing.
This lawsuit is bizarre to me, because as far as I can tell, Williams doesn’t deny being a loud, malicious jackass at the Little League game. He’s suing because he feels that MLB Network didn’t have the right to fire him because he didn’t sign the amendment to his contract. As gross as it may sound, he actually may have a case here, but I’m not a lawyer.
The most shocking part of this? Someone thought Williams was worth $2 million! Even though that was probably just the remaining balance of his contract and not a yearly salary, that’s still pretty crazy.