>Hold on...the policy expired at the end of January and Bags
>played later in spring training? On the surface it would seem
>the Astros don't have a solid case here. Reedster...what is
>the nerdy legal opinion?
[in nerdy voice] The claim was made before the expiration, which is the answer to the question: "Why would the Astros treat Bagwell this way in the offseason" (i.e., they had to).
As I mentioned in one of our early podcasts (either Jan or Feb), I expected that the insurance company would deny the claim (particularly because Bagwell would try and play in the Spring).
The only hope for the Astros, of course, is that Bagwell retires. And, I think he is very likely to do that within the next few weeks.
If Bagwell ends up as, say, a DH for another team, the claim would be moot (and the Astros, of course, aren't likely to care because the new team would have to assume the salary -- or, at least, most of it).