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Friend says Ryan Braun cheated on fiancee Larisa Frasier, all his girlfriends

Ryan Braun BrewersRyan Braun cheated the game of baseball, cheated throughout his academic career, and cheated on all his girlfriends, if the words of a former close friend are to be believed.

We mentioned last week that Braun’s longtime friend Ralph Sasson is suing the Milwaukee Brewers outfielder for defamation. Sasson alleges in his lawsuit that he was asked by Braun’s agent to assist in providing background information regarding urine sample collector Dino Laurenzi Jr. following Braun’s positive drug test in 2011. Sasson says the information he dug up — including the part about Laurenzi Jr. failing to follow proper collection protocol — helped Braun win his appeal with MLB.

Sasson, who is a law student, says he was supposed to be paid $5,000 for helping Braun win the case, but he was not paid the money. He alleges that he and Braun had a falling out over the money he was owed, and that he was only paid by Braun’s agent after threatening to sue for breach of contract. Sasson says Braun then defamed him to many of their common friends, which is why he’s suing. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has a full copy of the complaint at their site.

The really juicy stuff does not come from the defamation complaint, but in Sasson’s request for admissions (PDF link).

In a request for admissions filed with the court, Sasson submitted 48 items that he wants Braun to address under oath. Many of the items seem to be secrets that only someone like Sasson would know about Braun and, by filing them publicly, he is forcing Braun to publicly confront issues he would most likely rather keep quiet. Sasson, in essence, is really putting the screws to the former MVP and using the request for admissions to pressure Braun into a possible settlement.

Among other items, Sasson wants Braun to admit that he:

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Lawyer Joe Tacopina accuses Yankees of sabotaging Alex Rodriguez

Alex Rodriguez YankeesAlex Rodriguez’s newest lawyer is coming out swinging, and he has thrown a few haymakers toward MLB and the New York Yankees.

We knew things were going to get interesting when Rodriguez hired Tacopina, who is considered the most-hated lawyer in New York. Tacopina has wasted little time defending his client and putting a new spin on the tense situation between the ballplayer, the club, and the league.

In an interview with The New York Times, Tacopina accused the Yankees of sabotaging Rodriguez by keeping medical records away from him, and he accused MLB of working with the Yankees in an attempt to void the third baseman’s contract.

Tacopina told The Times that the Yankees hid the results of an MRI from Rodriguez that showed the 3B/DH had a torn labrum in his hip last year. Tacopina says the team continued to play Rodriguez when he shouldn’t have been playing. Rodriguez had offseason surgery on his hip and missed most of the season while recovering.

And here’s the big bomb.

Tacopina says the doctor who performed the surgery, Dr. Bryan T. Kelly, told A-Rod the Yankees told Kelly they did not want Rodriguez to play for them again.

Yankees president Randy Levine allegedly told Kelly, “I don’t ever want to see him on the field again,” according to Tacopina.

The Times says Tacopina believes MLB is “working in conjunction” with the Yankees to void Rodriguez’s contract.

“You don’t need to look much further from the top to figure out where this all comes from,” Tacopina told The Times.

Oh, and if all that wasn’t enough, Tacopina is questioning the credibility of Biogenesis founder Tony Bosch as a witness.

While I have no doubt that the Yankees are trying to void A-Rod’s contract and that MLB wants to nail Rodriguez, we can’t allow Tacopina to convince us that Rodriguez is a sympathetic figure, which is what he’s trying to do. A-Rod is a slimeball who has been caught cheating multiple times. He was juicing while partnering with an anti-steroids organization. How much more disgusting does it get?

Lamar Odom avoids charges in paparazzi case

Lamar Odom paparazziLamar Odom must have broken out the checkbook, because the forward will avoid charges for trashing the photography gear of at least one paparazzi member last month.

Odom flipped after reportedly being asked about rumors that he was cheating on wife Khloe Kardashian. He threw one photographer’s gear into the street, and smashed another’s car. The case was originally sent to the county DA for possible felony charges, and then it got kicked down to LA city for possible misdemeanor charges.

[Video: Lamar Odom smashes paparazzi's cameras]

TMZ says Odom has agreed to pay for the photographer’s gear. They will have a hearing at the city attorney’s office where the photographer will hear his rights and responsibilities.

We figured that Odom would end up just paying a good amount to settle the case. He may have also bartered and agreed to give the photographer some exclusive shots in exchange. I wonder if it was all worth it for Odom.

Alex Rodriguez hires top criminal defense lawyer Joe Tacopina

Alex Rodriguez YankeesNew York Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez is reportedly pulling out all the stops to defend himself against the 211-game suspension he was given by Major League Baseball. According to the NY Post’s Page Six, A-Rod has hired top New York criminal defense lawyer Joe Tacopina to head up his legal team.

Tacopina is known for successfully defending clients in a number of high-profile cases including ex-NYPD officer Kenneth Moreno, who was acquitted of charges that he raped a drunk woman in her apartment, and former New York State Senator Hiram Monserrate, who plead guilty to using $100,000 that was intended for a nonprofit company to help his campaign.

“Joe is a fighter, and that is what Alex needs right now,” a source reportedly told the NY Post. “He has been brought on to reinforce the trial team, there’s a possibility this could go all the way to federal court. Joe is known for putting the hammer down, he’s going to take on the Yankees and take on MLB.”

[Related: A-Rod reportedly secretively got products from founder of BALCO]

The Yankees recently fined A-Rod $150,000 for seeking a second opinion on his hamstring without consulting them first, and a source said Tacopina believes that was an attempt to “break his spirit.” New York obviously wants out of Rodriguez’s contract, although there would be nothing they can do about it unless he is suspended for a long period of time. Even still, they would have to pay him when he returned or release him and pay his entire salary.

Given that MLB claims it has evidence against A-Rod proving that he interfered with their investigation, he could face federal charges. Having an experienced defense attorney like Tacopina on his side would be beneficial if that should happen.

Chicago Cubs fighting to put a stop to unauthorized ‘Billy Cub’ mascot

Billy-CubIf you asked Chicago Cubs fans who the team’s official mascot is, some of them would tell you it is “Billy Cub.” Since 2007, John Paul Weier has been climbing into his bear suit and interacting with fans outside Wrigley Field on game day. Now, the Cubs want him to go away.

Weier NBC 5 Chicago on Thursday that he recently received a 120-page cease and desist letter from Major League Baseball claiming he has been infringing on trademarks. The letter ordered him to stop engaging in “unabated Mascot Activities” and claimed that one of the Billys (Weier has recruited others to wear the costume) has been racially abusive toward fans.

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Paparazzi photographer wants to press charges against Lamar Odom

Lamar Odom paparazziOne of the Paparazzi photographers involved in Lamar Odom’s meltdown this week plans to press charges against the NBA player.

TMZ reports that one of the photographers has retained an attorney and wants to see Odom go down. Odom went off on some photographers in Hollywood on Wednesday, removing photography equipment out of one’s car and destroying it in the street, and smashing another photographer’s car with a pole. He reportedly was set off by questions about him allegedly cheating on wife Khloe Kardashian.

TMZ says detectives are investigating the incident and that the case will likely go to the city attorney’s office for criminal prosecution.

Odom will likely have to pay major bucks in damages for the incident, so we have to ask whether or not it was worth it. Dude probably could have bought a stress ball or punching bag and got out his frustration for a few bucks rather than the six figures in damages he’ll probably end up paying.

Alleged attack victim suing Scottie Pippen for $4 million

Scottie PippenScottie Pippen was accused of assaulting a man outside a restaurant in Malibu and sending him to the hospital last month, but the former Chicago Bulls star was not arrested. A story later came out claiming that Pippen acted in self-defense and was being harassed by the alleged victim while he was eating dinner with friends and family. Now, the victim is suing Pippen.

Attorneys for 49-year-old Camran Shafighi filed a $4 million lawsuit against Pippen on Thursday claiming he suffers from headaches, nausea, difficulty breathing and other medical issues stemming from Pippen’s alleged attack on him.

“This has been pretty devastating to him,” Shafighi’s lawyer Lee Boyd told the LA times on Thursday. “This was not the result of some drunken barroom brawl. This is a guy who wanted to take a picture with a cellphone.”

Boyd claims Shafighi simply requested a photo with Pippen for his girlfriend’s 12-year-old son when he was knocked to the ground with a single punch and kicked while he was unconscious.

Police continue to investigate the alleged assault. Pippen was sought out for a possible arrest shortly after the incident occurred, but he voluntarily spoke with investigators who decided an arrest was not warranted. A spokesman for the sheriff’s office said witnesses told police the other man involved in the altercation with Pippen appeared to be intoxicated.

Even if Shafighi wins the lawsuit, $4 million might be aiming a bit high. Pippen works as a special advisor to the Bulls’ president and chief operating officer, but he is not as wealthy as you would expect a six-time NBA champion to be. He was reportedly in a ton of debt several years ago when he was flirting with the idea of an NBA comeback, so I doubt Pippen has millions of dollars lying around to shell out in a settlement.