Major League Baseball Wants to Keep Sign-Stealing Probe Secret

(Bloomberg) -- Major League Baseball wants its investigation of sign-stealing by the Houston Astros and Boston Red Sox kept confidential.

The league and the two teams asked a judge late Monday to block an attempt by users of the DraftKings fantasy sports site to gain access to “highly sensitive internal investigation files.” DraftKings users are suing the MLB in a proposed class action claiming sign-stealing caused them to lose money on corrupted games.

MLB concluded in January that the Astros violated league rules by using cameras to capture the signs opposing teams’ catchers sent to their pitchers during the 2017 and 2018 seasons. The Red Sox are under investigation for similar actions in 2018. Sign-stealing without the use of technology is permitted and has a long history in baseball.

DraftKings users are requesting documents including memoranda prepared by MLB lawyers to advise the baseball commissioner on the investigation, as well as summaries and notes taken during witness interviews, the league said in a court filing.

MLB said the materials are protected by attorney-client confidentiality and said the DraftKings users were engaged in an improper “attempt to satisfy plaintiffs’ curiosity” about the sports league’s investigation.

A lawyer for the DraftKings users didn’t immediately respond to an email seeking comment.

The cases are Olson v. Major League Baseball, 20-cv-632, and Clifford v. Major League Baseball, 20-cv-1000, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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