Former Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Mike Bolsinger is suing the Houston Astros in light of the franchise's widely-publicized cheating scandal.
In a civil lawsuit filed in Los Angeles Superior Court Monday, Bolsinger alleges that Houston's pitch-stealing scheme led to a 29-pitch, 4-run outing in August of 2017 that ended his major league career.
After an investigation, the MLB found that the Astros illegally used technology and garbage cans to steal signs during the team's World Series-winning season in 2017.
According to USA Today, Bolsinger is seeking $31 million — roughly the amount Houston earned in bonuses from its World Series title — to donate to various charitable initiatives.
The Houston Astros' 2017 cheating scandal rocked the entire MLB, but some individuals were disproportionately affected by the team's malfeasance.
Former Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Mike Bolsinger alleges that Houston's sign-stealing scheme ended his major league career, and he's suing the franchise as a result, per USA Today.
On August 4, 2017 — right in the middle of the Astros' illegal use of video streams and garbage cans to tip pitches —the MLB journeyman entered a game at Minute Maid Park in relief. In just 29 pitches thrown, Houston managed to rack up four runs off of four hits and three walks.
"I don't know if I've had a worse outing in my professional career," Bolsinger told USA Today. "I remember saying, 'It was like they knew what I was throwing. They're laying off pitches they weren't laying off before. It's like they knew what was coming.' That was the thought in my head."
"I felt like I didn't have a chance," he added.
Now that his suspicion has been confirmed in the form of an MLB investigative ruling, Bolsinger believes the Astros should be forced to forfeit the some $31 million in bonuses they earned after winning that year's World Series. And since that one-third inning stretch marked the last time Bolsinger pitched in the majors — and fan film suggests that Houston banged garbage cans 12 times over his 29-pitch outing that day — Bolsinger felt he was well-positioned to hold the franchise accountable through a civil lawsuit.
"I was an older guy. They had younger guys to call up," Bolsinger said. "Let's say that [Astros game] doesn't happen … I probably don't get sent down. But at that point, they probably lost faith in me and were over it."
Bolsinger filed his suit in Los Angeles Superior Court Monday. If the court rules in his favor, the pitcher hopes to donate at least some of the money to charities in Los Angeles "focused on bettering kids' lives," according to USA Today. He also wants to help former baseball players in financial need by creating a fund for retired players.
"I don't think the punishment has fit the crime," Bolsinger said. "And let's be honest, all these guys are going to get managing jobs again. … Guys like us that were cheated? I don't have a job. I'm not playing."