The MLB is urging a judge to dismiss a class-action lawsuit brought by five fans who say their fantasy baseball scores suffered because the Houston Astros stole signs. The plaintiffs are suing the MLB, MLB Advanced Media, the Astros, and the Boston Red Sox (also accused of stealing signs), and they claim the league was "well aware that its member teams were engaging in corrupt and fraudulent conduct that rendered player performance statistics dishonest and undermined the validity of its fan wagers on DraftKings' fantasy baseball contests," per Courthouse News. In a Friday rebuttal, the MLB cited the dismissals of similar lawsuits, including those brought after the 2015 Floyd Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao boxing match—Pacquiao said he fought with an undisclosed shoulder injury—and the New England Patriots' "Spygate" scandal.
In the latter case, a Jets season-ticket holder sued over what he claimed was "systematic fraud," but the court said he was not entitled to any money back. Fans can't claim they don’t know "that players often commit intentional rule infractions in order to obtain an advantage over the course of the game," the court ruled. The MLB sees a precedent. "Every court that has been faced with similar claims" has issued rejections, "recognizing that these types of issues are best resolved on the field and not in the courtroom," MLB attorneys wrote, per the Houston Chronicle. "It is not the role of judges and juries to be second-guessing the decision taken by a professional sports league purportedly enforcing its own rules," wrote attorneys for the Astros. No word on when the judge will rule on the motion to dismiss. (A pitcher is suing, too.)