Before Mike Bolsinger could ask a court to decide whether the Houston Astros played fair with him, the Astros argued that the referee could not play fairly with them.
Bolsinger, a former Dodgers and Toronto Blue Jays pitcher, sued the Astros and owner Jim Crane in Los Angeles Superior Court last month, arguing that the Astros’ character stealing scheme resulted in a pitching performance so poor that he couldn’t find another major or minor league Job.
Astros has not yet responded to Bolsinger’s claim. But Harry Mittleman, one of the defense lawyers, made a statement this week stating that he did not believe Crane and the Astros could have a “fair and impartial trial” before Malcolm Mackey, the judge assigned to hear the case.
Mackey, 90, was first elected to the Superior Court in 1988.
In a court case, each side has the right to request a new judge. Mike Kump, a partner in the Santa Monica firm of Kinsella, Weitzman, Iser, Kump and Aldisert, said such a request was routinely granted, and allowed the case to be adjourned until a new judge was assigned, usually in the case of Weeks.
The request does not require preparation. Mittleman did not respond to a request for comment as to why he believed his clients could not get a fair hearing by Mackey.
“I have no idea why the Astros feel that way about that referee,” said Ben Meiselas, the lawyer for Bolsinger, “but the irony is not lost on me that the team that broke every rule and cheated to win a World Series is not to claim on a randomly assigned judge would not be fair to them. “
In 2017, the year the Astros won the World Series and the year Major League Baseball found them guilty of violating the rules of technically driven stealing, Bolsinger made a relief on August 4 in Houston.
He met eight batters, seven of which reached base. He threw 29 pitches – with 12, according to suit, preceded by the bangers in a garbage that was the sounds used to alert Astros hitters that a speed was coming. He was sent to minor leagues after the match and was cut after the season.
Bolsinger, 32, has a major league career a record of 8-19, with an average of 4.92 earned. This statistic would lead skeptics – and almost certainly Astro’s lawyers – to believe that a game changed their career.
But he said, the Blue Jays had just transformed him from a starter to a reliever, and every outing was critical in their evaluation of whether to keep him.
“The kind of Swedes that I am, a guy who can be on the edge, you only get so many opportunities,” he said. “You can’t be such a guy and go out and have an outing like I did.”
In addition to any damages the court may award him, Bolsinger has requested the Astros to be assessed $ 31 million in repayment – an amount believed to be equal to their bonuses after the 2017 season – and that the money be donated to charities.