Former Phillies batting practice pitcher sues team, general manager Ruben Amaro Jr.

Posted: November 06, 2012

A lawsuit filed Monday against the Philadelphia Phillies and the team's general manager reads like: he said, he said, he said, he said.

But those words could end up costing the Phillies big-league bucks.

In the suit, former Phillies' batting practice pitcher Ali Modami claims that GM Ruben Amaro, Jr., defamed him and ruined his job prospects with the Washington Nationals and L.A. Dodgers.

Modami, who is seeking a judgment in excess of $100,000, worked for the Phillies from May 2007 until Oct. 11, 2011, when Amaro terminated him because the team wanted to go in a "different direction" and was attempting to "change up the hitting program," according to the suit, filed by attorney Sidney L. Gold.

The suit states that Modami initially got positive responses from the Nationals and Dodgers when he contacted them seeking employment in late 2011.

But both teams eventually rejected Modami, the suit claims, because Amaro told both teams' general managers that he was no longer with the Phillies because he was stealing and selling memorabilia, the suit states.

"Moreover, Amaro claimed that plaintiff Modami was writing negative things about the team on the Internet," according to the suit.

The suit says that Modami, who now lives in Scottsdale, Ariz., never engaged in that conduct.

]Former Phillies outfielder Jayson Werth, now with the Nationals, first told Modami what Amaro allegedly said, the suit states.

Davey Lopes, the Phillies' former first base coach and current Dodgers first base coach, first told Modami that Amaro's statements about him led Dodgers GM Ned Colletti not to hire him, according to the suit.

The Phillies had no comment.

"Neither the Phillies nor Mr. Amaro has yet been served with the complaint so we have not yet reviewed it and we are not in a position to comment," said team spokeswoman Bonnie Clark. "In addition, it is the club's practice to not comment on pending litigation."

Contact Mensah M. Dean at deanm@phillynews.com or 215-568-8278. Follow him on Twitter @MensahDean.

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