Agent Casey Close sues radio host Doug Gottlieb of Fox Sports
Ricky Gray | July 15, 2022
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The libel case is in regard to Gottlieb's comments on Close and Excel Sports Management.
Things are heating up not only on the field in Major League Baseball but in offices as well. Agent Casey Close has sued Doug Gottlieb of Fox Sports for libel after comments made by the host.
Close alleges that Gottlieb "falsely and recklessly" defamed Close and Excel Sports Management in a tweet that claimed they had not presented a contract offer to star first baseman, Freddie Freeman, during free agency.
The lawsuit details Close's negotiations with the Atlanta Braves, a team that Freeman had spent his career before signing a six-year, $162m free agent contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers in March.
The tweet Close is referring to is as followed: “Casey Close never told Freddie Freeman about the Braves final offer, that is why Freeman fired him.”
In a statement, Close commented: “Although we gave Mr. Gottlieb an opportunity to retract his false statement, he failed to do so. The Complaint sets the record straight as to what occurred during the negotiations with the Atlanta Braves.”
In fact, records show that the Braves sent multiple offers to Freeman, all of which were declined. On March 29, according to the complaint, Atlanta offered a five-year, $110m contract to Freeman.
Freeman rejected that offer as well as an Aug. 1 offer of five years and $125m and an Aug. 4 offer of five-year and $135m extension.
In a statement, Close and Excel's attorneys, Mitch Schuster and Kevin Fritz said: “Doug Gottlieb's statement -- Casey Close, a respected member of the sports agent community for over 30 years, did not communicate a contract offer to a client -- is not only wholly false, but also is an attack on the character of Mr. Close and his highly reputable agency, Excel Sports Management. Such reckless misconduct by Mr. Gottlieb will not be tolerated.”
Gottlieb and his lawyer, John Tehranian, did not return messages from ESPN seeking comment.