Garrison Lassiter’s law degree failed to help him exact revenge against Derek Jeter and the New York Yankees.
The former New York Yankees prospect sued the team last year, alleging they ruined his baseball career in order to protect the legendary shortstop from the ignominy of losing his spot to a promising youngster. Lassiter acted as his own attorney in the bizarre lawsuit he filed in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina, accusing Jeter of “obviously” controlling the Yankees organization and seeking $34 million, roughly what he believes he would have earned if the team hadn’t interfered with his career.
However, Lassiter’s minor-league career statistics say something else. He never progressed past High-A, and his career batting average was .244. Aaron Ledesma managed Lassiter in 2011 and says describes him as a player with limited talent.
“Offensively, he was OK,” Ledesma told NJ Advanced Media’s Brendan Kuty. “He was below average. Not much power, didn’t really hit for a high average. Speed-wise, he was below average.
“He had good size, but I think his lack of footwork kept him from playing shortstop, and I believe the Yankees moved him over to third base, which I don’t think he was happy about. He tried to make it as a third baseman and he just didn’t have the bat to play that position.”
The Yankees released Lassiter in 2012, four years after drafting him, and he tried until at least 2018 to catch on in another Major League Baseball team’s organization. However, he believes the Yankees provided other teams with poor reviews of him in order to stall his career. Perhaps the letters he wrote to other teams, often entirely in capital letters, concerned them enough not to take a chance on him.
“I cannot get on the field due to the New York Yankees trying to control my career,” Lassiter wrote, per Kuty. “I’m the only Baseball Player that will stand up to the New York Yankees.”
A judge dismissed his lawsuit against the Yankees in May, but that didn’t stop Lassiter’s pursuit of riches professional sports often bring athletes. He sued former NFL wide receiver Ricky Proehl’s training complex in May for failing to net him a tryout with an NFL team. He also sued the Cincinnati Reds on Dec. 30 for $1.635 million, the amount he would have earned by playing three years under MLB’s minimum salary.
Lassiter is persistent if nothing else.
Thumbnail photo via Sam Navarro/USA TODAY Sports Images