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)

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

  • Brian Joura

    What a shock that the guy who thanked his drug dealer using Dodgers stationery would make up a story about an umpire and somehow make Joe West a sympathetic figure.

    Mets fans loved him – for some unknown reason. Yeah, when he put up a BABIP 45 points above his career rate he was a league-average hitter in ’06. Big whoop.

    I hope this means we never have to hear about him again.

  • JimO

    LoDuca also said that Jeff Wilpon swiped his sunglasses out of his locker (while he was in the locker room!).

  • VCTBob

    As a licensed New York lawyer, I always enjoy reading stories wherein the baseball world and the legal world collide. But defamation suits are nasty things. So, there’s now a judgment directing former met Paul LoDuca to pay umpire Joe West half a million dollars. Well, I did a little digging and found that LoDuca did not even mount a formal defense to the case, electing instead to dodge service of the summons and complaint, a tactic he employed without success. Because he defaulted in appearing in the case, the judgment is not subject to an appeal as it would be if the judgment was the product of a jury verdict, so it looks like LoDuca’s bank account will ultimately be $ 500,000 lighter. And the plaintiff Mr. West is entitled to collect 9% annual interest thereon from the date the judgment gets entered, which according to the New York Court web site, has not yet happened. When it does, the amount LoDuca owes will grow by $ 125.00 a day, that sum representing the daily interest at 9% a year. That being said, the easy part of the case for Mr. West’s counsel was securing the judgment–the hard part comes in trying to find assets against which to enforce that judgment. LoDuca’s celebrity status might make it more difficult for him to dodge enforcement efforts, but given his history of questionable behavior, it’s certainly within the realm of possibility that he’ll take steps to try to hide his money.

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