Astros owner Jim Crane wins first round in Mike Bolsinger’s lawsuit

Houston Astros owner Jim Crane does not have to testify under oath about his team’s sign-stealing scandal, a judge ruled Friday.

That might happen later in pitcher Mike Bolsinger’s lawsuit against the Astros, if the lawsuit goes forward. But first the court must decide whether the case should be thrown out or transferred to Texas, and Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Robert Draper said Friday that Bolsinger’s attorney had failed to show why sign-stealing questions would be relevant at this time.

Bolsinger sued the Astros in February, blaming them for his inability to find another pitching job after he was shellacked in a game in Houston in 2017. In a report in January, Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred said the Astros had cheated that year by improperly deploying technology to steal signs.

The Astros asked the court to limit the scope of Crane’s pending deposition to issues relating to whether the suit should be heard in California or Texas. As part of that request, Crane submitted a declaration in which he said the report “explicitly exonerated” him. Bolsinger’s attorney, Ben Meiselas, said Crane had opened the door to questions about the report, which Meiselas called in a filing “incredibly critical to the court’s analysis.”

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Draper said Meiselas “does not present any argument as to why such a report, and related cross-examination as to this report, would relate to a decision as to venue.”

Bolsinger pitched for the Dodgers…

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