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Major League Baseball: not so impressed with the San Jose lawsuit

Jun 19, 2013, 10:30 AM EDT

Bud Selig

Major League Baseball released a statement about the San Jose lawsuit last night:

“In considering the issues related to the Oakland Athletics, Major League Baseball has acted in the best interests of our fans, our communities and the league.  The lawsuit is an unfounded attack on the fundamental structures of a professional sports league.  It is regrettable that the city has resorted to litigation that has no basis in law or in fact.”

I disagree with the first sentence. I think the second sentence is partially right in that it’s an unfounded lawsuit but disagree that anything about Major League Baseball’s structure is “fundamental” or at least that it should be. The final sentence I agree with.

As I said yesterday, I think this lawsuit is a loser. I wish, however, it had been filed by Lew Wolff or someone who had a better shot at winning, because the outcome the suit seeks — the dissolution of Major League Baseball’s antitrust exemption — is a worthy one.

  1. flamethrower101 - Jun 19, 2013 at 10:34 AM

    This is a case of good intention, poor execution. However, as I stated in a previous post, and as I’ve seen many other bloggers claim, the only way MLB can win this thing is if it incriminates itself concerning its Biogenesis investigation. So…yeah.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jun 19, 2013 at 10:53 AM

      the only way MLB can win this thing is if it incriminates itself concerning its Biogenesis investigation. So…yeah.

      For those of us who aren’t attorneys, can you elaborate on this point (not denying it, just don’t know how/why)?

      • flamethrower101 - Jun 19, 2013 at 11:03 AM

        I have no idea. In fact that’s not even my opinion. THat’s merely the opinion of other posters that I’ve read since this topic’s come out.

    • Craig Calcaterra - Jun 19, 2013 at 11:13 AM

      I’m really not buying into any connection between Biogenesis and this. Yes, they asserted a tortious interference claim there and are defending one here. That happens often with big companies, however. There is not necessarily a disconnect between saying “we have a righteous tortious interference claim in Florida, they do not have a righteous one in San Jose.” They just need to follow ethical rules which prohibit parties from representing that the law is X in one case and representing it to be Y in another.

      • badintent - Jun 20, 2013 at 2:00 AM

        Torts ? Torts ? Call Melvin Beli, King of the Torts and every lawyer’s messiah.I know he’s still dead, but he’s next to Michael Jackson and you know that he can come back………………………….Starry Decisis and all that rot.

  2. cur68 - Jun 19, 2013 at 10:37 AM

    If Lew Wolff had the stones to try this he would have done so a year ago, so I doubt its going to happen if its just Lew Wolff having to go it alone. However, if The City of San Jose can make any headway at all, get a ruling that indicates SOMEONE has grounds, if NOT SJ, then, though the case be dismissed for SJ, Wolff might then try it. In a way, SJ could be showing Wolff that HE could get this done.

    • flamethrower101 - Jun 19, 2013 at 10:48 AM

      To me this is just a feeble attempt from San Jose to bring real attention to the issue since MLB clearly is not interested in doing anything. So if they succeed and MLB comes under severe scrutiny because of the long delay then I suppose it’s mission accomplished

      • cur68 - Jun 19, 2013 at 11:01 AM

        I think you’re right. Its an attention getting ploy. I think its meant to get Lew Wolff’s attention, though. As in “Hey, Lew! Look! The judge said that we, the City of San Jose, hasn’t a leg to stand on BUT that an owner of an MLB Franchise DOES. How about that, eh Lew? Wanna get off your whiny arse and DO something real about this? Lew? LEW! Pay Attention here!”

  3. Old Gator - Jun 19, 2013 at 10:47 AM

    If Joe Posnanski’s column week before last was correct – that Bud Light is concerned with his “legacy” (I never knew he wore panty hose) – I think it would be hilarious if he made some kind of progress on Bufogenesis only to let his distraction and his gutlessness with regard to the Oakland-San Jose debacle lead to an antitrust disaster.

    • flamethrower101 - Jun 19, 2013 at 10:51 AM

      Bud is concerned about his “legacy” yet has absolutely no idea how to salvage it. He’s taken far too long with this stadium situation and yet now that this lawsuit has come up he and MLB will find a way to convince us that they’ve been working on it this whole time, and then proceed to metaphorically middle-finger us all. That’s Bud Selig for you: screwing up the sport since 1994.

    • raysfan1 - Jun 19, 2013 at 12:28 PM

      Selig is concerned about his own view of his legacy only. He went for the grand gesture with the Mitchell Report and is doing so again with Biogenesis because he wants to feel he did something big to rid the game of PEDs. Actually doing something lasting would be much harder and take longer than the time he has left as commissioner as he seems serious about leaving at the end of his current term this time.

      I think what he really wants with the A’s is for Oakland to somehow pony up the cash for a new stadium there. We’re that to happen, Selig would pat himself on the back and not care what anyone else thought about how bad San Jose is getting screwed. Barring that, he’s content to keep kicking the problem down the road until after he leaves so that, in his world, the blame for a team relocating or for a lost lawsuit is on the next commissioner.

  4. Jeremy T - Jun 19, 2013 at 10:50 AM

    Squandering a perfectly good opportunity to use that Mckayla Maroney meme

  5. heyblueyoustink - Jun 19, 2013 at 11:04 AM

    Is this all a part of “Moneyball”?

  6. Old Gator - Jun 19, 2013 at 12:25 PM

    The breakfast garbage you throw into the Bay
    They drink at lunch in San Jose.

    - Tom Lehrer

  7. APBA Guy - Jun 19, 2013 at 12:55 PM

    A big part of our (fans) difficulty in fully assessing the potential impact of the San Jose suit is that we don’t have access to the final report the MLB Blue Ribbon White Wigged Eternal Committee on the A’s to SJ. Now, maybe we only need to see what has resulted from the 51 months of inaction by MLB’s committee: nothing. And from that we conclude that SJ filed this suit out of desperation. They had to do “something”. But the lawyer they got is not some novice, he represented the Raiders v NFL, and won, and he’s been advising the city for some time, and he’s taking this case on contingency.

    Yet the strategy isn’t clear to me. Perhaps the point is this:

    “Today’s legal action is hopefully the first step in a process which will bring the City, Major League Baseball, the Giants and the A’s to the table. I firmly believe that there is an opportunity for a positive outcome for all parties, and for too long we’ve all been so focused on our own best interests that we haven’t pursued that conversation.” -Donald Rocha, Councilmember, District 9

    We can only hope.

  8. Marty - Jun 19, 2013 at 1:07 PM

    I like the idea of the A’s in SJ. But, if I were Bud Selig, I wouldn’t return a call from a San Jose administrator for 2 years, just to show them whose league this is.

    In the meantime, San Jose is welcome to build a professional sports league and finance a team all by themselves.

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