Ethics Hero: Minnesota Twins Pitcher Phil Hughes

Phil Hughes

This is the final day of the regular baseball season, and an appropriate time to salute a major league player who placed principle over cash….even if I disagree with him

Phil Hughes was a bargain pick-up during the off-season for the Twins, a failed pitching phenom for the Yankees widely viewed to be on a fast slope to oblivion. He surprised everyone with a wonderful season for the otherwise woeful Minnesota team this season, potentially setting the all-time strikeout-to-walk ratio record, and began his final start of the campaign needing to throw eight and a third innings to reach 210 and trigger a $500,000 bonus in his contract.He would have made it, too, pitching eight dominant innings against the Diamondbacks and allowing just one run.  Then there was a downpour, with Hughes needing one more out to get the  extra $500,000.

After more than an hour’s rain delay, the game was resumed, but as is the practice in baseball, Hughes did not return to pitch: too long a delay, his arm too cold, too much risk of injury, especially after throwing so many pitches.  Hughes accepted the bad luck without complaint or rancor, saying that “some things aren’t meant to be.” Continue reading

Unethical Lawsuit Files: The Golfer and the Diner

The tort system  evolved to ensure that those injured by the recklessness, maliciousness or negligence of others can enlist the courts and juries to help them be made whole. It presumes, but, sadly, does not require, a measure of fairness, proportion, personal responsibility, forbearance, prudence, empathy, and common sense, as well as a lack of greed.

Two recent lawsuits, involving a golfer and a diner, illustrate how an otherwise good system can be used unethically.

First, the Diner: Continue reading