Can’t sue Astros in California? See you in Texas, Mike Bolsinger says
On the day a judge told Mike Bolsinger he had no business suing the Houston Astros in California, the pitcher had a swift response: Fine, I’ll sue them in Texas.
The lawsuit filed by Bolsinger, the pitcher who claimed the Astros’ cheating ruined his career, was dismissed Wednesday by Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Robert Draper.
On Tuesday, Bolsinger signed with the Long Island Ducks of the independent Atlantic League. The stint there would mark his first time playing for a North American team since his ill-fated 2017 season. He played the 2018 and 2019 seasons in Japan and did not play last year.
Bolsinger said he planned to proceed with his lawsuit in Texas.
“I’ve already gone this far,” he said. “If I’ve been blackballed in baseball — I don’t know if I have been, but if I have, I’m sure it’s just going to continue to be that way.”
Draper agreed with the Astros’ claim that any such suit belonged in Texas, since Bolsinger lives in Texas, the Astros are based in Texas, the game in question took place in Texas, and potential witnesses live in Texas.
Cody Bellinger was much more open with his front foot, and his bat was angled farther down than last season, when he struggled after his 2019 MVP campaign.
In the 13 months since Bolsinger sued, the court rejected his attorney’s attempts to question the Astros about the sign-stealing scandal, instead focusing on the issue of whether California was a proper venue for the lawsuit. Draper did not rule on the merits of Bolsinger’s case.
The attorney for Bolsinger, Ben Meiselas, argued in Wednesday’s hearing that the suit could properly be heard in California because “the fruits” of the Astros’ cheating took place in California.
“That’s where the World Series was won,” Meiselas said. “It’s not a random state picked out of the blue.”
Said Draper: “ ‘Blue’ is an interesting concept. … Perhaps the thought was that perhaps a jury, or even a judge, could feel badly about the fact that the Houston Astros won the World Series. That’s not a basis for jurisdiction.”
After the hearing, Astros attorney John Hueston said, “We are grateful for the court’s thoughtful decision terminating a frivolous case that should never have been brought in California in the first place.”
Bolsinger, 33, alleged the Astros essentially and fraudulently ended his career. After pitching for the Dodgers in 2015-16, he pitched for the Toronto Blue Jays in 2017.
Dodgers outfielder Mookie Betts wanted to stay with the Boston Red Sox for life. But he also wanted to get paid what he’s worth.
In his last major league appearance — on Aug. 4, 2017, in Houston — he gave up four runs in one-third of an inning. Of his 29 pitches, according to his suit, 12 were preceded by the trash-can bangs since revealed as signals alerting Astros batters that an offspeed pitch was coming.
His suit called that performance “the death knell” of his major league career, an unfair last strike against a journeyman trying to make the transition from starter to middle reliever.
The Blue Jays designated him for assignment the next day. His career record is 8-19 with a 4.92 earned-run average.
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