Judge questions San Jose lawsuit against MLB over A's move

October 4, 2013
San Jose Mercury News

San Jose's bid to be the Oakland A's new home met with skeptical questions from a federal judge in the first hearing on the city's lawsuit accusing Major League Baseball of illegally blocking the team's move.

MLB lawyers asked Judge Ronald M. Whyte to dismiss the city's antitrust lawsuit, arguing the U.S. Supreme Court has repeatedly ruled since 1922 that laws barring monopolies don't apply to the "business of baseball."

"What is the business of baseball if not the relocation of teams?" Whyte asked San Jose's lawyer, Joseph Cotchett, echoing arguments by John Keker, a lawyer for MLB, during the hour and 45-minute Friday hearing in U.S. District Court in San Jose.

Whyte agreed there is "no question" baseball's antitrust exemption is "an aberration," but also suggested it's the Supreme Court's job to change it.

"That's up to them," Whyte said, "not to me."

Cotchett argued the Supreme Court with its last decision in 1972 narrowed baseball's antitrust exemption to a "reserve clause" allowing teams to control players careers, which Congress later eliminated altogether with a 1998 law. Whyte wasn't so sure... (To read the entire article, please click HERE)