Mike Bolsinger Refiles Lawsuit Against Astros over Sign-Stealing Scandal

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVMay 14, 2021

Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Mike Bolsinger delivers against the Baltimore Orioles during the first inning of a baseball game, Saturday, May 20, 2017, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Gail Burton)
AP Photo/Gail Burton

Former Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Mike Bolsinger refiled a lawsuit against the Houston Astros as he continues to argue the team's sign-stealing scandal cost him his job as a Major League Baseball player.

Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle reported the news, noting the pitcher is seeking more than $1 million in damages and alleges the signs were considered trade secrets under Texas' Uniform Trade Secrets Act.

He filed his initial suit that was eventually dismissed by a judge in February 2019 and listed Astros owner Jim Crane and baseball operations employee Derek Vigoa among the defendants.

The new lawsuit lists the Houston Astros, LLC as the sole defendant.

Bolsinger, 33, has not pitched at the major league level since he allowed four runs and four walks in 0.1 innings during an August 2017 loss to the Astros. The Blue Jays designated him for assignment following that performance and took him off the 40-man roster.

Houston won the game 16-7, and Rome explained that fan Tony Adame compiled data that revealed the Astros banged a trash can as a method of informing batters what pitch was coming a season-high 54 times during that contest.

Judge David Cowan of the Los Angeles Superior Court dismissed Bolsinger's first case in part because he believed the pitcher chose the state of California with the hope of capitalizing on any lingering resentment Los Angeles Dodgers fans, who could have been jurors, held toward the Astros.

Houston defeated the Dodgers in the 2017 World Series.

"There is no single contact between California and this case," the judge said, per Daniel Kaplan of The Athletic. "I don't think you took a state out of the blue, you took the Los Angeles Dodgers out of the blue and perhaps thought it was, that perhaps the jury or even the judge could feel badly about the fact that the Houston Astros won the World Series."

Houston did not go unpunished for its scandal, as the league fined the team $5 million, stripped it of its first- and second-round draft picks in 2020 and 2021 and suspended general manager Jeff Luhnow and manager A.J. Hinch for one year.

The Astros eventually fired Luhnow and Hinch.


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