Major League Baseball has yet to release the findings of its investigation into whether the Boston Red Sox illegally stole signs in 2018, but the club seemingly has litigators prepared to disagree with those findings once they become public.
"I think there are distinctions between what the Red Sox believe occurred and what the commissioner found," Lauren Moskowitz, who's representing the team on behalf of Cravath, Swaine & Moore, told a judge Friday morning, according to Daniel Kaplan of The Athletic. "And I think that certainly (the league is) entitled to disagree that that activity happened at the club level."
The telephone meeting between Moskowitz and Judge Jed Rakoff was regarding lawsuits filed by fantasy sports contestants against the Red Sox, the Houston Astros, and MLB.
According to Kaplan, the defendants are arguing that they don't owe DFS players any compensation or a duty to provide a cheating-free game. Moskowitz added that the "idea that all baseball teams or all sports teams are making an implicit representation about compliance with … the quote-unquote rules; that is a difficult standard to hold all sports to."
Moskowitz also rhetorically asked, "Is there an implicit representation that by baseball, especially since 1919 (the Black Sox scandal), that the games are honest, played by the rules and so forth?"
Rakoff has promised that a decision on whether to dismiss the lawsuits will be reached by April 15, Kaplan added.
In mid-January, the Astros were found guilty of using technology to steal signs from opponents during the 2017 season and playoffs, and partially into the 2018 campaign as well. The league's investigation resulted in the suspensions of manager AJ Hinch and GM Jeff Luhnow, who were both subsequently fired by the team.
MLB has delayed releasing findings from its investigation into the Red Sox while the coronavirus pandemic takes precedent.