Former MLB catcher Paul Lo Duca ordered to pay $500,000 for defaming umpire Joe West

A Paul Lo Duca-Joe West lawsuit is like a Braves-Phillies game in that it’s good news because you know one side will lose. You just wish they could figure out a way for them to both take the “L.”

On the podcast, according to West’s complaint, Lo Duca was recalling a mid-2000s game in which he said Billy Wagner struck out a player on three pitches. The catcher said he later asked his pitcher, “What the f–k just happened just right now?” Wagner responded, according to Lo Duca, “Joe loves antique cars … so every time he comes in town, I lend him my ‘57 Chevy so he can drive it around … so then he opens up the strike zone for me.”

In the judge’s ruling, he noted Wagner provided an affidavit in December “in which he essentially denied that the conversation described by Lo Duca had ever occurred.” The judge also noted that Wagner had not pitched in a game when Lo Duca was catching where he threw three straight strikes. Lo Duca also said on the podcast West had ejected him from eight or nine games, and that is unfounded too, Judge Kelley wrote.

Source: Daniel Kaplan, The Athletic (Subscription Required)