Sports Law Blog
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Tuesday, March 02, 2004

Not Part of the Deal: Following the Yankees release of Aaron Boone, a number of writers have analyzed some of the common clauses in baseball contracts. Jon Fogg of the Washington Times lists a number of the prohibited activities, including croquet, lawn darts, bungee jumping and gardening as some of the off-limits activities. Also included in most contracts is a prohibition on basketball, which doomed Boone. He was injured in a pick-up basketball game last month, a game which violated his contract and allowed the team to release him, opening a slot for Alex Rodriguez. While the clauses do not outright void the contracts, violating them changes the agreement from guaranteed to non-guaranteed, meaning the team does not have to pay the player, or keep them on the roster, if they are injured. The clauses, obviously, protect the teams' million-dollar investments from injuries not related to their job.

Other examples of players that have been injured doing prohibited activities include Ron Gant, who was injured in a dirt-bike accident and released from the Braves, Jay Williams, who recently negotiated a buy-out with the Chicago Bulls following a motorcycle accident, and Jeff Kent, who was injured while riding a motorcycle (he said he was "washing his truck). Kent was lucky enough to keep his job, however, he was not re-signed by the Giants at the end of the season.


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