The Houston Astros have made clear what they think of the lawsuit filed against the team by pitcher Mike Bolsinger: not much.
The Astros asked a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge to throw out the suit or, at least, to move the case to Texas. The Astros’ requests are scheduled to be heard June 12.
Bolsinger, the former Dodgers and Toronto Blue Jays pitcher, filed the suit against the Astros last month, alleging that the Astros' sign-stealing scheme resulted in a pitching performance so poor that he has been unable to find a major league job since then.
“Plaintiff’s lawsuit is utterly devoid of merit,” the Astros’ attorneys said in court papers.
The Astros do not address what they call the “many substantive defects” in Bolsinger’s case. Rather, they argue that a California court is not the proper forum for Bolsinger, “a Texas resident who claims to have suffered injury in Texas because of allegedly improper conduct that occurred in Texas at the hand of fellow Texans.”
In his lawsuit, Bolsinger cited several reasons for pursuing the case in Los Angeles, including the claim that the city was “where the defendant Astros fraudulently won the 2017 World Series.” He also asked that the Astros be ordered to pay $31 million in restitution — an amount believed to be equal to their postseason award bonuses in 2017 — and that the money be donated to charities, “with an emphasis on charities in Los Angeles.”
The Astros’ attorneys dismissed that statement as “pandering” and said Bolsinger had no grounds to argue that the Dodgers were deprived of anything in 2017 since he did not play for the Dodgers in 2017.
The Astros also asked the court to throw out a summons Bolsinger’s attorneys had issued for team owner Jim Crane to appear at a deposition. Crane, in a declaration that cited Commissioner Rob Manfred’s report on the Astros, said: “That report explicitly exonerated me and stated that I was unaware of and had no involvement in any rules violations by the Astros.”
The Astros last week exercised their right to request a new judge. The case since has been assigned to David Cowan, replacing Malcolm Mackey.