City of San Jose Challenging MLB in Court


The long rumored lawsuit by the City Council of San Jose has finally come to fruition.  As reported by the San Francisco Chronicle, in documents filed this morning in San Jose at the US District Court, the Council is challenging not only the rights of the San Francisco Giants to block the proposed move of the Oakland Athletics to San Jose, but also the antitrust exemption of Major League Baseball as a whole.  This is the first concrete news we’ve had on the stadium situation in quite some time, so it comes as a welcome sight considering the raw sewage fiasco that took place following Sunday’s game versus the Seattle Mariners at the Coliseum.

April 1, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; General view before the game between the Oakland Athletics and the Seattle Mariners at Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

While this suit challenges the overall business model of Major League Baseball, alledging that they have conducted anticompetitive practices in not allowing the Athletics to move to San Jose, where it is believed they will drastically increase revenue, the one aspect that strikes a chord with me is what deals with the MLB constitution.  The suit claims that the league-wide constitution expired last year, and was never renewed by the owners, and thus any provisions such as territorial rights owned by the San Francisco Giants, would no longer be valid.

Everyone has their opinions as to what should be done with the Athletics, many are adamant that the team needs to stay in Oakland no matter what, some feel the only true solution for success is to move down to San Jose where revenue will be plentiful, and others simply want a solution where the Athletics remain in the Bay Area.  I fall into the latter category, while I would absolutely love to see the Athletics stay in Oakland, where I do believe the team belongs, I’d much rather have them move to San Jose than leave the Bay Area altogether.  There is no doubt that residing in the East Bay gives the Oakland A’s a lot of what makes them special, and a lot of that might be lost by relocating to the South Bay, but it’s still better than having no team at all.

There’s no doubt that a move to San Jose would alienate a lot of fans, and that’s a shame because the Athletics are such a fun team to root for.  But as made evident by this weekend’s embarrassing incident in the clubhouse, the Coliseum has gone far past being just being outdated, it’s embarrassing.  While we all stood up for the Coliseum a few weeks ago when Jon Heyman made his infamous comments about “ATandT” Park during the Bay Bridge Series, there is no defending something like this.

For the longest time all we’ve wanted was some kind of answer, regardless of whether we would like it or not.  Dealing with the unknown of this situation has grown tired, and it is refreshing to see someone finally taking action.  This litigation process will undoubtedly take a while on its own, but at least we can take comfort in knowing they might actually be working towards a resolution.