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Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Mike Bolsinger amends Astros lawsuit to include Jim Crane, member of codebreaking team

Jim Crane Astros

Houston Astros owner Jim Crane did not face any personal penalties in the team’s sign-stealing scheme after Major League Baseball determined he was unaware of the cheating, but former big league pitcher Mike Bolsinger is trying to hold Crane accountable on some level.

Bolsinger filed a civil lawsuit against the Astros earlier this month in which he alleged that the sign-stealing scheme derailed his MLB career. According to ESPN’s Jeff Passan, Bolsinger amended the lawsuit in a Los Angeles court on Thursday to include Crane and Astros senior manager of team operations Derek Vigoa.

The initial lawsuit only named the Astros and what are called Doe defendants, which allowed for the suit to be amended to add individuals who are involved. Vigoa was an intern in 2016 and was at the center of Houston’s codebreaking computer program, according to the Wall Street Journal. Vigoa is said to have introduced the program to then-general manager Jeff Luhnow. The Excel-based application, which you can read more about here, was used to decode opposing catchers’ signs.

Crane was torched by fans, the media and players across baseball when he said last week that he did not think the Astros’ sign-stealing scheme impacted the outcome of games. He also said he does not think he should be held accountable for the activity since MLB determined he was unaware of it.

Bolsinger faced Houston on Aug. 4, 2017, allowing four runs on four hits and three walks in only a third of an inning. He was demoted after that game, and has not pitched in the majors since. Analysis by Astros fan Tony Adams indicates that there were 54 audible trash can bangs in that game, including on 12 of the 29 pitches Bolsinger threw.

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