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2020 Baseball Cheaters vs the World Thread of Hate

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Beau Vine said:

If they were penalized, that's a sign it's not OK, you stupid asshole.   Were they penalized?

Half-assed.

And settle down. It's sign stealing. 

Edited by David Dennison

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Why has no one apologized yet?  Have the Red Sox been stripped of their title yet?

Am I doing this right?

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Posted (edited)

I don't know if this was actually someone hating on the Astros or not, but it's another chance to see Brett Phillips laugh:
 

 

 

Edited by Beau Vine

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The COVID-19 pandemic and the Houston Astros sign-stealing scandal might appear unconnected; one a pandemic that has upended life around the globe, the other a cheating scandal that tainted the Astros’ stellar late-2010s run. The proverbial case of apples and oranges?

Not according to lawyers for season ticket holders suing the Astros over the sign stealing, as last week they amended their complaint to include a new subclass of potentially thousands of fans that the team has not refunded for all of their 2020 payments. 

“The Astros refuse to refund season ticket payments for the entire 2020 season in the face of the Covid-19 coronavirus,” the amended complaint stated. “Adding insult to injury, Defendants continued to debit 2020 season ticket holders’ bank accounts and credit cards for season ticket payments with full knowledge that the full slate of Astros’ 2020 home games would not be played in front of fans at Minute Maid Park.”

The representative of the subclass is Donald R. Rao, a resident of Harris County, Texas who bought four 2020 season tickets for $12,533, according to the complaint. The Astros have already agreed to refund or credit payments for April and May, so the new claims are for the post-May payments.

“Yet, while Rome was burning, Defendants continued to debit Plaintiff Rao’s and 2020 Season Ticket Holder Subclass Members’ payment cards and bank accounts for season tickets, parking, promo packs, ticket printing services, and/or other goods and/or services purchased from the Astros,” according to the complaint. “Continuing to take money from Plaintiff Rao and 2020 Season Ticket Holder Subclass Members Defendants, in the wake of the pandemic and corresponding national economic crisis, is unlawful and frankly, downright immoral.

“The Astros do not seem to understand that there is a pandemic going on and folks are hurting financially. More important, in their public statements, Defendants intentionally failed and refused to address issuing credits or refunds for the amounts paid for season tickets … (for) home games to be played in Minute Park after May 31, 2020 — even with full knowledge that the Astros will not play a full slate of home games in 2020 in front of fans at Minute Maid Park — if any. “

The amended complaint is not the first instance of ticket holders suing over teams not refunding payments in the COVID crisis. A New York Mets fan and a New York Yankees fan filed last month a class-action lawsuit in California federal court against MLB and its 30 teams over the issue. Shortly after the lawsuit was filed, MLB instructed its 30 teams to formulate refund policies.

All did, but only extended refunds and/or credits through the April and May payments. According to one ticket reseller, no team extended its refunds past May 31, and some, like the Mets and Yankees, only covered April. MLB has proposed a July restart, but the players thus far are balking over the compensation details. It’s also unclear if fans will be allowed back, and if so how many.

The Astros fans first filed their lawsuits in Texas state court in February, shortly after MLB’s findings that the Astros illicitly stole signs in 2017 and 2018, winning a World Series championship along the way. Three separate lawsuits were later consolidated, and cover claims for the 2016-2020 seasons. In the earlier complaint, the 2020 season is included only because fans paid their money before the sign-stealing scandal came to light.

In April when the Astros replied in court, their response centered on what legal experts had expected: courts have long ruled fans have no standing to sue over the outcome of games.

“Baseball is a timeless sport,” the Astros’ April 23 reply read. “Nearly as timeless is the rule that sports fans have no standing to bring legal claims based on disappointment in the sports contests they view. That rule holds true regardless of whether the disappointment results from poor performance or a breach of the game rules.

“Consequently, under Texas law, Plaintiffs’ legal rights begin and end with watching an Astros game from their assigned seats. It is undisputed that Plaintiffs were never deprived of this right. Although every sports fan might have subjective expectations for his team to play well and not violate any rule, the law is that this interest is not a justiciable one.”

The Astros did not reply for comment on COVID-19-related refunds now being included in the class action. Lawyers for the fans either did not reply for comment or declined comment.

The rest of the amended complaint hews to the previous one: the fans would not have bought their tickets if they knew their team was cheating.

“While the Astros go to great lengths to discuss their master plan of success, never once do they mention that their victories were the result of coordinated cheating efforts,” the amended complaint read. “And the reason is obvious; if the Astros revealed their true sign stealing cheating scheme to their fans and Class Members, ticket sales — including season ticket sales — would drastically decline.”

The Astros, in addition to citing the numerous cases where courts threw out fan lawsuits, the club also cite the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code, which is “designed to achieve quick dismissal of claims, such as these, when the claims lack merit and are based on communications in connection with a matter of public concern.”

The Astros lay out an argument that the sign-stealing scandal falls under this act because the fans argue that statements the team made about how hard and fair the club played influenced ticket buying. The team is very public, so as a result, the act’s communications element comes into play, the reply argued.

“Indeed, the core of Plaintiffs’ allegations is that the Astros improperly decoded and communicated pitch signs and ‘falsely represented that they were playing by the rules,’” the team argued. “Moreover, the alleged communications relate to professional baseball games played in public. As a result, the communications were ‘in connection with matter(s) of public concern.’”

 

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The Houston Astros have deployed several legal defenses against lawsuits brought by aggrieved season-ticket holders angry over the sign-stealing scandal. But one of the team’s arguments is likely to surprise: that a First Amendment-inspired Texas law, designed in part to protect the media from lawsuits, also insulates the Astros. In fact, the team contends that because it issued press releases on the scandal, which then became the subject of several news stories, the First Amendment-related law nullifies the litigation against the team.

A key element of the lawsuit is the ticket holders’ contention that the team’s pre-scandal statements, press releases and marketing that touted the club’s success and hard work induced them to buy their ducats. The plaintiffs allege that those communications are therefore fraudulent. But the team contends that such messaging is protected by the Texas Citizens Participation Act (TCPA), which the state passed to enable media and others to speak, write and associate without fear of retaliatory lawsuits. These types of legislation are also known as anti-SLAPP (Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation) laws. Commercial speech is exempted, but the Astros maintain what they communicated is a matter of public interest.

“(The plaintiffs’) claims expressly are based on Astros press releases,” the team’s outside counsel, Bryce Callahan of Yetter Coleman LLP, said at a court hearing Friday. “And, of course, press releases, by definition, are designed to communicate information about events to the public and to promote journalistic works. Press releases are given to the press. So the press will cover them and write articles about it. And in fact, that’s exactly what has happened throughout the underlying issues of this case, whether that’s the sign-stealing scandal, whether that’s the specific press releases that we’ve talked about here.”

In a filing made the day before Friday’s hearing, Anita Sehgal, the team’s senior vice president for marketing and communications, wrote: “The Astros issued these press releases to assist journalists in gathering information for the creation and dissemination of journalistic work and also to promote press coverage in articles, newspapers, websites, magazines, social media platforms, and television or radio programs … (they) were not made by the Astros in any capacity as sellers or lessors of goods and services, did not arise out of commercial transactions for the Astros’ sale or lease of goods or services, and the intended audience of those press releases were journalists and the general public.”

Counsel for the ticket holders Friday blasted the team’s position, terming it “absurd and nonsensical.”

“They were promoting their own commercial venture,” said Marion Reilly of Hilliard Martinez Gonzales, LLP.  “They weren’t promoting art, drama, journalism, literature, music, political or other artistic work. Cheating to the Astros was a strategic business decision. It was designed to increase revenue, and it was designed to increase the brand value. Again, simply because journalists later wrote about the Astros cheating doesn’t mean that the Astros promoted that journalist’s work.”

The Harris County District Court judge hearing the case, Robert Schaffer, said little during the nearly hourlong argument but did at one point strongly question the Astros. When their counsel, Callahan, tried to disabuse the argument that his position would eliminate all fraud lawsuits if a company simply issued a press release, Schaffer interrupted and said, “Hold on. That’s exactly my thought as well. So any kind of case would get this exemption?”

And earlier, Schaffer asked, “What are the communications involved here that implicate a person’s right to free speech, assemble and petition on matters of public concern?

“You’re saying, you’re saying because of the way I marketed T-shirts and jerseys, that is a communication made in connection with a matter of public concern,” he said, quizzing the Astros’ counsel.

Callahan replied that the communications covered more than merchandise, but also statements about sign stealing, player and manager interviews and other releases.

The Astros also contend that the plaintiffs don’t have standing to sue because their tickets are a revocable license that does not create a fiduciary duty. The plaintiffs argue that they’re suing over fraudulent marketing and communications they are suing over, the team said, which is why it invoked the TCPA.

“You know, it’s hardly up for dispute that Astros baseball, specifically the sign-stealing scandal, is a matter of public concern,” Callahan said.

Reilly countered that the act protected media organizations, not baseball teams.

“The Astros are not the media, and the TCPA amendments protect the media,” she said. “The person or entity invoking the provision has to be part of the media, where they have to be engaged in the journalism business, such as a newspaper, magazine, news website or broadcaster. … Again, the Astros are not engaged in the journalism business, and they’re not the media. They’re a major league baseball club that ultimately hopes that the media will generally promote their business.”

Callahan countered the TCPA does not extend just to the media.

The law “does not apply only to traditional media companies,” he said. “The idea that the Astros themselves have to be a newspaper or a TV station to take advantage … is simply not supported by the text.”

When Reilly began addressing the legislative history of the TCPA to prove it should apply only to media companies, Schaffer indicated he’d had enough. He said he will rule on the arguments, as well as on whether the plaintiffs have legal standing, by Aug. 16. He ruled out any discovery until he decides whether to dismiss the case.

Hours later, Reilly’s firm filed a motion asking the judge to allow them to depose Sehgal, the Astros’ marketing executive.

“Plaintiffs seek discovery in the form of depositions (or alternatively, written discovery), to determine whether the sworn statements from Anita Seghal (sic) — in her capacity as the Senior Vice President, Marketing & communications, for Houston Astros, LLC (“Astros”) — supports the Astros Defendants’ legal contentions, arguments, and positions set forth in their conflicting motions,” according to the filing.

 

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JK is a punk ass bitch, want to beam one of the Astros go for it, hit them below the shoulders. To throw at a guys head which could end a players career with possible life threatening injury is unacceptable.

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JK is a punk ass bitch, want to beam one of the Astros go for it, hit them below the shoulders. To throw at a guys head which could end a players career with possible life threatening injury is unacceptable.

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For the record, Joe Kelly was on the Cardinals when they were hacking into the Astros' computers and on the Red Sox when they cheated with a much more sophisticated method than banging on a trash can. However, he's aggrieved and hellbent on justice. I wonder if he threw at Mookie Betts' head during batting practice.

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2 minutes ago, Saint Tacky said:

For the record, Joe Kelly was on the Cardinals when they were hacking into the Astros' computers and on the Red Sox when they cheated with a much more sophisticated method than banging on a trash can. However, he's aggrieved and hellbent on justice. I wonder if he threw at Mookie Betts' head during batting practice.

Yup. If anyone knows about cheaters, it's Joe Kelly. And I always get a kick out of a pitcher going out there and writing checks that his lineup will have to cash later.

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Hope the Dodgers enjoyed their little temper tantrum. Maybe they’ll stop the deflection and theatrics now. 
 

And if another Astro gets thrown at tonight, Bellinger needs to get ear-holed.

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Posted (edited)

Wow. Tough talk from the little bitch that never has to go to the plate in 2020, & maybe never again at all.

Edited by wood

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12 hours ago, Smax said:

JK is a punk ass bitch, want to beam one of the Astros go for it, hit them below the shoulders. To throw at a guys head which could end a players career with possible life threatening injury is unacceptable.

That's exactly what the guys were saying during last night's game. Go for the belt. That way even if it gets away up high, an MLB pitcher is still just hitting the guy in the back.

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Dodgers are kind of the little bitches of baseball.

And your astros are the little cheating bitches of baseball, which is worse?

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16 minutes ago, Mileslong said:


And your astros are the little cheating bitches of baseball, which is worse?

The ones who didn't cheat( nobody) or the ones who were best at it?

 

This whole thing smacks of "Hey, we didn't realize you could cheat THAT much.  Y'all should be punished.  Ignore our glass house."

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The ones who didn't cheat( nobody) or the ones who were best at it?
 
This whole thing smacks of "Hey, we didn't realize you could cheat THAT much.  Y'all should be punished.  Ignore our glass house."

Please, Astro’s level of cheating is the worst in baseball since 1919 black Sox

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Joe Kelly got more games than that every Astro who was complicit in the cheating scandal. Let that sink in.

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6 minutes ago, Mileslong said:


Name one worse...

Oh, I dunno ... rampant steroid abuse, for one ... 

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Oh, I dunno ... rampant steroid abuse, for one ... 

And that was done by every team so no team has a clear advantage over another. Try again

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Just now, Mileslong said:


And that was done by every team so no team has a clear advantage over another. Try again

It's only cheating if someone gains a clear advantage by doing it? LOL. OK. Yeah, you try again.

And you've probably never played baseball if you've never played for a team that was trying to steal signs.

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And that was done by every team so no team has a clear advantage over another. Try again
Lol. We're going to find out that the Astros, Sox, Yankees, and Dodgers are the Conseco, McGuire, Sosa, and Bonds of the pitch stealing era. They're all doing it.

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2 hours ago, Mileslong said:


Please, Astro’s level of cheating is the worst in baseball since 1919 black Sox

How did the Black Sox cheat?

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How did the Black Sox cheat?

Well five guys on the white sox threw games for money. I would call that cheating.

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Lol. We're going to find out that the Astros, Sox, Yankees, and Dodgers are the Conseco, McGuire, Sosa, and Bonds of the pitch stealing era. They're all doing it.

Weird that nothing has come out about them. No, not very team is doing it and none to the extent that the Astros did..

Look, instead of going round and round in this just admit it, savor your championship and get a “don’t care, won a championship” t-shirt and be happy.

Just don’t be the guy who defends it or denies it, or says every other team does it!!!

Then you become a liar or hypocrite...

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