Man Falls Asleep At MLB Game, Sues MLB For $10 Million For Noticing

from the napping-for-fun-and-profit dept

Defamation laws can be a tricky thing. Public figures, for instance, can sometimes have a tough time navigating when the law doesn’t apply, while the more crazy but less famous folks of the world seem to occasionally forget that truth is a defense against defamation. Add to them the times when entire organizations forget that parody exists and is protected speech and suddenly you begin wondering whether anyone ever gets a defamation suit right.

Well, if they do, it sure ain’t Andrew Robert Rector, part-time baseball fan and full-time misguided-lawsuit-filer. See, Andrew fell asleep at a Yankees/Red Sox game, and ESPN’s cameras caught him snoozing. Now Andrew is suing roughly everyone for ten million dollars. Confused? You’re not the only one. The at times hard to understand filing appears to be relatively unconcerned with facts, you see.

Rector claims he was filmed, and defamed, at the April 13 game between the Yankees and Red Sox, at Yankee Stadium.

“In the course of watching the game plaintiff napped and this opened unending verbal crusade against the napping plaintiff,” the complaint states. ESPN focused its cameras on him, Rector says, and then “Announcers like Dan Shulman and John Kruck unleashed avalanche of disparaging words against the person of and concerning the plaintiff. These words, include but not limited to ‘stupor, fatty, unintelligent, stupid’ knowing and intending the same to be heard and listened to by millions of people all over the world …”

Except, other than the camera noticing the dozing fan, none of the other accusations are even remotely accurate. For the millionth time, I find myself thanking the universe for MLB’s Advanced Media, which provides video of the entire episode during the broadcast. Like I said, the complaint isn’t even close to being true. The specific allegations of what the announcers said are simply wrong. They never said those things. On top of that, the complaint appears to be written by someone that needs remedial English classes, because sections of it border on incomprehensible. It even gets the names of the announcers wrong.

John Kruck [sic] in his verbal attack insinuated that the plaintiff is individual that know neither history nor understood the beauty or rivalry between Boston Red Sox and New York Yankee [sic].


Plaintiff alleges that, juxtapositions of photos and text of two men kissing each other and caption “sleeping Yankee’s Fan cares not for your rivalry talk” falsely implied that plaintiff engaged in that type of conduct described or portrayed by the picture. In light of all the surrounding circumstances.

Now, that particular passage had me monumentally confused, until I read Deadspin’s post about this whole situation. They’re postulating that Andrew and/or his lawyers appear to be mistaking a third party for ESPN, which is about as shocking as the sun rising in the east.

That completely nonsensical paragraph seems to be referring to this blog post on, which has nothing to do with MLB or ESPN. But anyway, Andrew Rector wants everyone to know that he’s totally not gay, bro. Stupid, maybe, but totally not gay.

Whoo-boy. In other words, in sum total, it’s difficult to imagine how Andrew Rector and whatever crackerjack legal team he has hired could have screwed this up any worse. Probably best at this point to drop the whole thing and go away, particularly considering how the lawsuit has now streisanded this story and far more people are witnessing the plaintiff’s actions than ever would have otherwise.

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Companies: mlb

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Comments on “Man Falls Asleep At MLB Game, Sues MLB For $10 Million For Noticing”

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David says:

Cough cough

On top of that, the complaint appears to be written by someone that needs remedial English classes, because sections of it border on incomprehensible.

You probably mean “who needs remedial English classes”, and “border on being incomprehensible” or “border on the incomprehensible”.

Of course, it is the irony of grammar flames that they will contain several errors themselves. I have little doubt that my comment will prove no exception to this rule.

Josh in CharlotteNC (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Cough cough

Go for it, unless you plan to work at a dead-tree newspaper. Grammar is important, but the more important issue is to make yourself and your ideas understood. Even if your sentence structure is grammatically correct, if your idea is vague or empty it is worth nothing. If what you are saying is important: say it in the simplest way possible that accurately conveys the idea.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Cough cough

While I try not to be a grammar Nazi I get really annoyed when I see people confuse lose and loose. I see it all the time on the Internet and sometimes the same comment will use the wrong one several times. It’s reaching the point where I stopped correcting it with a follow up comment. Come on people.

mcinsand (profile) says:

I would expect the lawsuit to go the other way

I’m surprised of the direction that the lawsuit is taking. If anything, I would have expected the MLB to sue Rector and the broadcast network for exposing the fact that MLB is boring. They couldn’t exactly sue for defamation; after all, you aren’t defaming anyone if you simply expose the facts. However, given the onerous terms of the entertainment industry’s contracts, I’m sure that the contract was broken in multiple ways.

That Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

And this is fall out from everyone gets a ribbon & nothing you do is ever your fault.

He goes to event, sleeps.
In his rage over people noticing him in a public place where he agreed to be on camera (read your ticket dummy), he decided that everyone who said anything about him had to be the people with the deep pockets who could undo his impotent rage.

He lies about facts in the complaint, and even a casual observer can find that the really bad statements are not coming from the talking heads on tv.

One wonders if in his zeal to “defend” himself, he made that genius mistep of answering people on YouTube and the like and, to use a happy phrase, ‘stuck his dick in a hornet’s nest and was shocked to learn he got stung’.

He should have to pay the legal fees of anyone who bothers to show up to answer this idiocy, the lawyer should be sanctioned for bringing a meritless case as well as lying to the court. Oh and for giggles, they should ban him from attending these events in the future to avoid him getting his feelings hurt in the future.

You thought the public mocking was bad before?
Lets see how much the Streisand Effect can multiply your tears.

sorrykb (profile) says:

Re: Re: Not pro se

I was hoping that he was representing himself, but the Courthouse News Service article states:

He is represented by Valentine Okwara, of Jamaica, N.Y.

The article also notes (in a very generous understatement:

The writing style of the lawsuit is idiosyncratic.

(Now watch as he sues Courthouse News Service for pointing that out.)

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Oh and for giggles, they should ban him from attending these events in the future to avoid him getting his feelings hurt in the future.

Really, that should be the standard response anytime someone sues a business. Most businesses tend to have a ‘We reserve the right to refuse service to-‘ clause, and while refusing service to some groups could get you in hot water, ‘We refuse to serve him/her because we don’t feel like getting sued again’ seems like something that a judge would accept.

Anonymous Coward says:

Well this is one way to get world famous, for a short time. While MLB announcers probably didn’t do what he claimed because they are being broadcast, the same may possibly not be said for radio and independent broadcasters. Who friggin’ knows?

For certain, this Andrew character doesn’t know. Crap he was asleep at the time, which might account for his wildly inaccurate accusations.

Evidently Andrew has plenty of money so I’ll lend him some free advice.

Anyone that has money to burn can easily find someone to tend the fire.

James T (profile) says:

Portion of the Ad profits

I think there is an important distinction here that the videos were not just used for news. They provided peak views and ad revenue over this whole situation. IMO it’s not crazy to think that he has some level of interest in that ad revenue. If this was a paid actor then he would have to sign a release. Since he’s suing I assume he didn’t sign a release.

I don’t like it but I can see that there might be a money grab somewhere in this complaint.

Donglebert The Needlessly Unready says:

Re: Portion of the Ad profits

That’s stretching it.

Even if it’s not on the ticket terms (which it often is), he’s paid to go to an event that he knew was being filmed. That would come under fair use, I believe.

And then, since he’s made a news story out of it, the image of him sleeping can now be used under fair use.

James T (profile) says:

Re: Re: Portion of the Ad profits

I agree it’s a big stretch. The things is the MLB is notorious for claiming control and ownership, to have that I’m sure they opened themselves up a bit legally for this. It sounds like this guy has no chance. Courts usually don’t like it when filings from the lawyers don’t make sense. It has a tendency to cause summary judgements.

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re: Portion of the Ad profits

‘Our games are so boring, we even have people falling asleep in the stands during them!’

Yeah, I’m not really seeing much PR value there , unless it’s for an energy drink company I suppose.

‘… so make sure to pick up our awesome energy drink at the concessions stand so you can make it through the game!’

mcherm (profile) says:

Re: Forrest Gump: My mama says that stupid is as stupid does.

Take the moron, the moron lawyer and the biggest moron of all the drooler judge and deport them to saudi arabia.

You aren’t being fair here. The judge doesn’t have anything to do with this: lawsuits are filed with the clerk of the court, and it’s quite possible a judge hasn’t even been ASSIGNED yet; certainly the judge cannot dismiss the case until it comes into court.

Also it’s not fair to Saudi Arabia.

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