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Lawsuit Claims Agent Received Death Threats After Doug Gottlieb’s ‘Reckless’ Tweet

  • Casey Close and Excel Sports Management sue Gottlieb for defamation over his tweet about Freddie Freeman's contract negotiations.
  • Plaintiffs claim Gottlieb’s tweet about caused 'tens of millions of dollars in damage.'
Agent lawsuit
Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports
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Fox Sports Radio personality Doug Gottlieb was sued for defamation in federal court Thursday by agent Casey Close and Excel Sports Management over his tweet last month about Los Angeles Dodgers first baseman Freddie Freeman’s contract negotiations with the Atlanta Braves. 

Close promised legal action after Gottlieb tweeted on June 29 that Freeman was “never told” of the Braves’ final offer and “that is why Freeman fired” Close. 

The civil complaint filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York described Gottlieb’s tweet as “grossly irresponsible” and alleged it has led to reputational harm. Close “received death threats from people believed to be Atlanta Braves fans,” according to the lawsuit. 

“Earlier today, Excel Sports and I filed a defamation lawsuit in federal court against Doug Gottlieb,” Close said in a statement to Front Office Sports. “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.”

Close and Excel Sports Management seek compensatory and punitive damages, along with courts costs, attorney fees and expenses. 

“As a direct and proximate result of Gottlieb’s defamation, plaintiffs have been damaged in an amount to be determined at trial but estimated to be tens of millions of dollars,” the lawsuit states. 

A message left for Gottlieb was not immediately returned. 

The lawsuit detailed the offers made to Freeman during his final season with the Braves, where he was part of the franchise’s first World Series title-winning team since 1995. According to the complaint, Close presented Freeman with each offer. Freeman rejected multiple offers during the 2021 season, including a five-year, $135 million contract extension. 

On March 12, Close sent the Braves two contract proposals. Both were rejected by the Braves. 

“Close then asked the Atlanta Braves if they had any offer that Close could bring to Freeman, and the Atlanta Braves responded in the negative,” the lawsuit states. “Thereafter, Close immediately communicated the final conversation to Freeman.”

There were no further conversations between the Braves and Close before the team acquired Oakland A’s first baseman Matt Olson on March 14. 

Freeman signed a six-year, $162 million contract with the Dodgers on March 17. 

“Such reckless misconduct by Mr. Gottlieb will not be tolerated,” attorneys Mitch Schuster and Kevin Fritz, who represent Close and Excel Sports Management, said in a statement. “We have commenced a lawsuit to hold him responsible and to set the record straight as to what transpired with Freddie Freeman’s contract negotiations.”

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