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Here’s what the Astros said in their first legal defense to a cheating scandal lawsuit

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HOUSTON – In the wake of the Houston Astros sign-stealing scandal, multiple lawsuits have been filed against the team, one of them coming from daily fantasy sports users last month.

In the lawsuit, DFS players claim that the team’s sign-stealing interfered with their bets in 2017 and in response, the Astros raised their first legal defense arguing that rule-breaking and cheating are part of the sport, according to a report by The Athletic.

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The 26-page legal document has a statement that reads in part:

“It is well established … that attendees or viewers at sporting events have no express or implied right to an event free of penalties, undisclosed injuries, rules violations, cheating, or similar conduct, and claims asserting such a right have been repeatedly dismissed,” the Astros’ brief said, via Daniel Kaplan of The Athletic. “Even accepting the Complaint’s allegations as true, the alleged sign-stealing does not in itself render false any statement about the team’s strengths and successes.

“If there is any implied understanding of fans, it is that rule infractions will occur during the games.”

The documents also presented statistics that argue that the team had better hitting while they were on the road than during their home games.

Major League Baseball, who are also part of the lawsuit along with MLB Advanced Media and the Boston Red Sox, also argued that attempts at cheating are part of sports and urged a federal judge to dismiss the lawsuit, according to the Associated Press.

“Rules violations — large and small, intentional and unintentional, technical and game-changing — are a never-ending source of sports television, talk radio, web and elevator commentary by sports pundits and fans alike,” MLB said Friday in papers submitted to U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff. “And fans’ general awareness of the potential for infractions is underscored in this case by the fact that clubs were publicly disciplined for electronic sign-stealing violations during the 2017 regular season.”

Read MLB’s legal defense document here.


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