One bad game against the Houston Astros in 2017 cost relief pitcher Mike Bolsinger his career.
Bolsinger, who pitched for the Toronto Blue Jays, is now suing the Astros claiming their sign-stealing scheme is the reason his career was cut short after an August 2017 game in which he gave up four runs against the Astros.
Earlier this year, it was found that the Astros illegally created a system that decoded and communicated the opposing teams’ pitching signs during their 2017 championship season.
The lawsuit filed Monday says Bolsinger is seeking two forms of damages. The first is consequential and general damages Bolsinger says he suffered and continues to suffer as a result of the Astros “interfering with and harming his career,” the lawsuit says.
The second form of damages includes restitution in the form of the Astros returning their post-season bonuses from winning the 2017 World Series. The bonuses are about $31 million and Bolsinger wants the money to go to “charitable causes focused on bettering the lives of children” in Los Angeles and a fund for elderly, retired professional baseball players in need of financial assistance.
Bolsinger gave up four runs against the Astros
He was then a starting pitcher in the minor leagues for four years, the lawsuit said.
After being called up from the minors to the major leagues various times and playing for the Los Angeles Dodgers, Bolsinger was traded to the Toronto Blue Jays, where he became a relief pitcher.
Bolsinger was called in during the Blue Jays game against the Astros on August 4, 2017, after prior pitchers on his team gave up several runs, the lawsuit states. He gave up four runs while pitching and “was immediately terminated and cut from the team never to return to Major League Baseball again.”
The Blue Jays ultimately lost to the Astros 16-7.
“For a journeyman pitcher in the MLB like Plaintiff, a disastrous inning, such as was what took place in Houston on August 4th, could and did prove to be the death knell to Plaintiff’s career in the MLB,” the lawsuit said.
“Due to the inning against the Houston Astros, Plaintiff Bolsinger was no longer seen as a successful relief pitcher that could be trusted in this role and was not picked up by the Blue Jays for the following year.”
Bolsinger went on to play baseball in Japan, the lawsuit states, where he was considered one of the top pitchers in 2018.