Agent Casey Close sued Fox Sports activities radio host Doug Gottlieb for libel Thursday, alleging that Gottlieb “falsely and recklessly” defamed Near and Excel Sports activities Administration in a tweet that claimed they had not introduced a agreement supply to star to start with baseman Freddie Freeman through absolutely free agency, according to a complaint filed in a New York court docket.
The lawsuit specifics Close’s negotiations with the Atlanta Braves, the workforce with which Freeman experienced used his vocation in advance of signing a six-calendar year, $162 million absolutely free agent contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers in March. On June 29, Gottlieb tweeted: “Casey Near hardly ever instructed Freddie Freeman about the Braves closing supply, that is why Freeman fired him” — an allegation the criticism says is untrue and has prompted loss of life threats toward Shut and tens of thousands and thousands of pounds in damages to Near and Excel.
In a assertion, Near said: “While we gave Mr. Gottlieb an chance to retract his fake assertion, he unsuccessful to do so. The Complaint sets the history straight as to what transpired for the duration of the negotiations with the Atlanta Braves.”
Gottlieb and his attorney, John Tehranian, did not return messages from ESPN in search of remark.
On March 29, in accordance to the complaint, Atlanta offered a five-calendar year, $110 million contract to Freeman, the five-time All-Star who experienced put in 15 a long time in the Braves’ firm. Freeman turned down that offer as nicely as an Aug. 1 offer you of 5 several years and $125 million and an Aug. 4 give of five-year and $135 million extension, according to the complaint.
Freeman attained free agency immediately after encouraging lead the Braves to a Entire world Sequence title. Their ultimate conversations on a likely offer took location March 12, according to the grievance, when Close proposed two likely delivers — previously reported as six many years for $175 million or five yrs for $165 million — to the Braves. The workforce, the complaint said, turned down the two, and just after Shut sought an provide to provide to Freeman and was informed the Braves would not give 1, Shut “straight away communicated the last conversation to Freeman.”
Times right after Freeman returned to Atlanta on June 24 with the Dodgers, Freeman fired Close, according to the complaint.
In a statement, Close and Excel’s lawyers, Mitch Schuster and Kevin Fritz, reported: “Doug Gottlieb’s statement — Casey Close, a highly regarded member of the sports agent neighborhood for around 30 several years, did not connect a agreement give to a client — is not only wholly wrong, but also is an assault on the character of Mr. Shut and his hugely reliable company, Excel Sports activities Management. This sort of reckless misconduct by Mr. Gottlieb will not be tolerated.”
Libel is the formal time period for published defamation, and the typical in the United States relies upon on no matter if the man or woman who has allegedly been defamed is a public or private figure. The conventional for community figures — a broad phrase for persons who are recognized in the community domain — is significantly larger. The complaint states Near, a former New York Yankees insignificant leaguer who has negotiated billions of dollars in contracts more than a 30-year occupation as an agent, is a personal figure.
If his personal-determine position is upheld by a court docket in the Southern District of New York, Near would need to have to confirm Gottlieb’s statement was bogus and created with carelessness. For public figures, the threshold is that the defendant published the statement with “genuine malice,” or, as the Supreme Courtroom defined, “knowledge that it was fake or with reckless disregard of irrespective of whether it was untrue or not.”
A previous higher education basketball player and ESPN analyst, Gottlieb, 46, did not make contact with Shut or Excel trying to get comment just before his tweet, in accordance to the grievance. Close and Excel asked for a retraction of Gottlieb’s tweet, the grievance mentioned, “but he has unsuccessful to do so.”