Federal judge dismisses lawsuit against Red Sox, Astros relating to sign-stealing misconduct

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The spread of the novel coronavirus may have delayed the start of the Major League Baseball season, but the Houston Astros and Boston Red Sox received good news on Friday. Federal Judge Jed Rakoff dismissed a lawsuit against the teams by daily fantasy sports players concerning their improper use of technology to steal signs during the 2017-18 seasons.As part of a 32-page ruling, Judge Rakoff concluded that the players’ claim that the Astros and Red Sox’s misconduct caused them harm was “too attenuated,” according to attorney and legal analyst Daniel Wallach (hat tip to Yahoo). Wallach shared Judge Rakoff’s opening comment in another tweet. Here’s the text of the excerpt: A sport that celebrates “stealing,” even if only of a base, may not provide the perfect encouragement to scrupulous play. Nor can it be denied that an overweening desire to win may sometimes lead our heroes to employ forbidden substances on their (spit) balls, their (corked) bats, or even their (steroid-consuming) selves. But as Frank Sinatra famously said to Grace Kelly (in the 1956 movie musical High Society), “there are rules about such things.” It should be noted that the Astros are not yet in the legal clear.Former pitcher Mike Bolsinger, whose final big-league appearance came against the Astros and saw him allow seven of the eight batters he faced to reach base, has an outstanding lawsuit against Houston that requests the team forfeit $31 million in bonuses they received from winning the 2017 World Series. That money would be donated to Los Angeles-based charities and used to create a fund for “retired baseball players who need financial assistance.” 

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Additionally, an Astros season ticket holder filed a lawsuit against the team alleging the team of breach of contract, negligence, and violations of the Texas Deceptive Trade Practice Act. That suit is seeking $1 million for full and partial season ticket holders from the 2017-20 seasons.

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