Fox Sports’ Doug Gottlieb shocked the sports world two months ago, claiming Freddie Freeman’s former agent Casey Close did not provide his client with a final contract offer from the Atlanta Braves. Turns out the sports world was shocked for good reason, as Gottlieb has now retracted the report.
“Casey Close never told Freddie Freeman about the Braves (sic) final offer,” Gottlieb tweeted on June 29. “That is why Freeman fired him.”
After the report was heavily refuted by Close, Gottlieb has now issued a statement to retract his initial claim and acknowledge the damage he caused.
Re: Casey Close/Freddie Freeman negotiations pic.twitter.com/dhFD8dj49H
— Doug Gottlieb (@GottliebShow) September 7, 2022
“On June 29, I commented on alleged circumstances surrounding Freddie Freeman’s negotiations with the Atlanta Braves and his relationship with his former agent Casey Close,” Gottlieb wrote. “While I always strive to report accurate information, I prematurely reported on these events and simply got it wrong. Upon further vetting of my sources, a review of the lawsuit filed against me in this matter, and a direct conversation with Casey himself, I have learned that the conduct I alleged did not occur and that there is no credible basis for stating that it did. My ultimate investigation into this matter confirms that Casey Close did, in fact, communicate all offers to Freddie Freeman and the sources I relied on were incorrect, in no uncertain terms. I appreciate the damage that misinformation like this can cause and have been in touch with Casey Close to apologize directly. I have also deleted my original tweet.”
Gottlieb’s false claim occurred after Freeman made an emotional return to Atlanta as a member of the Los Angeles Dodgers and promptly fired Close from being his agent after the series.
In addition to deleting the original tweet, Gottlieb has pinned the retraction statement to his Twitter profile. Gottlieb breaking a significant MLB story always seemed surprising, because the Fox Sports Radio host does not have baseball insider credentials. After crossing into a new lane, Gottlieb has now retracted the statement, but not without claiming he concluded an “ultimate investigation” into the matter. Gottlieb did not expound on what his “ultimate investigation” featured, but he appeared to receive enough new information to determine his initial report was not credible.
On July 14, Close sued Gottlieb for libel alleging the Fox Sports Radio host “falsely and recklessly” defamed Close and Excel Sports Management. In the lawsuit, Close claimed Gottlieb was given an opportunity to retract his statement, but the radio host failed to do so. Now that Gottlieb has obliged by retracting his report and pinned the statement to his Twitter profile, Close said he and his firm “consider this matter closed.”
Statement on behalf of Casey Close: https://t.co/9t7rHYCpeE pic.twitter.com/MyqLczqbMO
— excel sports (@excelsm) September 7, 2022
[Doug Gottlieb on Twitter]