The Yankees and confidentiality agreements

It’s being said that the New York Yankee organization is thinking of putting in a “non-disparagement clause” in management and player contracts to help dispel future tell-all books that reflect badly on the team. 

It’s already being done on the front office level. 

Speaking on the condition of anonymity, a Yankee official said yesterday that some members of the front office staff already are required to sign a confidentiality agreement in order to protect “proprietary knowledge of our business model.” The proposed clause is intended to ensure that future books about the Yankees are “positive in tone,” and “do not breach the sanctity of our clubhouse.”

One, I’m surprised it’s not being done already.  I don’t agree with the policy but most large corporations do this on some level and to some degree.  With the high popularity of baseball, it surprising that all team organizations don’t do this.

Two, assuming that this is in place, I’d be surprised that this would hold up in court.  Say Joe Torre did sign this and then wrote The Yankee Years. I’m not a lawyer (and don’t even play one on this blog) but I’d reckon the Yankees would be hard pressed to make a good case in court despite the confidentiality agreement. 

Three, *if* it went to court, I hope it someone like Torre.  Maybe it’s me, but Joe Torre seems to have a little more authority (fairly or unfairly) compared to a lowly draft pick or a rookie who would probably have to sign the the same the clause. 

No, I don’t like the non-disparagement clause.  It smacks of withholding information.  Yes, there’s the danger of inaccurate information which Steinbrenner and Co insinuate.  But let’s be realistic,  that’s not what they’re after.  It’s an issue of media control.  If they don’t have to worry about players or managers leaving and speaking their mind, then that’s less work for their PR guys.  They get pretty dizzy from all the spinning they do, you know.

(h/t The Hardball Times and Baseball Musings)

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