Judge Whyte allows antitrust claims to go to 9th Circuit, state claims to proceed

UPDATE 1:30 PM – Thurm’s report from today is now up. As is Mintz’s report.

I’ve been following the Twitter timelines of both Fangraphs’ Wendy Thurm and the Merc’s Howard Mintz as they covered today’s case management conference. From the looks of things, MLB didn’t exactly get what they wanted.

MLB’s strategy had been to call for a delay in the San Jose-v.-MLB case until the land option issue in the Stand for San Jose case was decided. They also wanted Whyte to grant a summary judgment against San Jose. Instead, Judge Ronald Whyte allowed for the state claims to proceed in state court, while the federal antitrust claims, which were previously denied by Whyte, can now go to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. San Jose lead attorney Joe Cotchett indicated that the appeals court filing could happen ASAP.

Assuming that San Jose’s refiling occurs shortly, it’ll be a few months before MLB makes its own filing in response. If anyone was hoping for a swift resolution, it’s not happening anytime soon. Links and more coming soon.

I wasn’t there, but an courthouse observer told me that on the way out, Cotchett kept talking up the Supreme Court loudly for everyone to hear.

91 thoughts on “Judge Whyte allows antitrust claims to go to 9th Circuit, state claims to proceed

  1. @ML–the usual time for responding to a complaint is 30 days after service. mlb probably will ask the Santa Clara Superior Court to stay proceedings, pending resolution of the SfSJose dispute that may determine the validity of the option agreement under the redevelopment dissolution statute. I have no idea how that’ll play out. But mlb will no doubt reassert in state court the arguments based on the refusal letter asap. By dismissing the small state-law claims, Judge Whyte gets rid of the messy part of the case, makes his name with a fairly entertaining A/T exemption ruling that will be cited forever, and avoids having to have full briefing and hearing on whether a stay is appropriate. Pragmatic choice–with the holidays upon us, and all. 😉

  2. MLB is getting nervous right about now…

  3. I am hoping and praying that the new justices (Chief Roberts, Alito and Sotomayor) will hear the A/T case if and when it reaches the court. It may take 3 or 4 years but hopefully SJ will take it to US Sup Ct.

  4. Don’t count your chickens before they hatch Daniel. This still has to go to 9th Circuit, still a ways from possibly going to SCOTUS, if at all. But hey, so long as MLB continues to sweat, its good.

  5. Thus begins the unraveling of the abusive monopoly. Yes, MLB is nervous, as are the heinous gnats.

  6. I still doubt this concludes with an end to A/T for MLB. If it were to get to the possiblity of that point, MLB would quickly settle. Best case is discovery and settle.

  7. @Xoot: From my understanding Whyte’s A/T exemption ruling set up a way for SJ to appeal it. How would you classify it as being cited forever?

  8. @Jeffrey, I doubt that you’re right. In his order setting today’s cmc, Judge Whyte made it clear that he was leaning toward entry of judgment to allow an appeal on the A/T issues. The 9th Circuit’s bound by the same precedent that bound Judge Whyte. Also, mlb can reassert the lack-of-standing and lack-of-antitrust-injury arguments in the 9th Circuit, both of which Whyte dodged because he wanted to publish his A/T decision.

    Also, both San Jose and mlb asked Judge Whyte to hang on to the remaining state-law claims. Dumping those claims into state court doesn’t benefit either side. The scope of relevant discovery there remains the same.

  9. @Steven, what I mean is that Judge Whyte went out of his way to attack the A/T exemption, thoroughly and with some flair, while acknowledging that he had to uphold it. Anyone who wants to argue or lobby against the A/T exemption will add Whyte’s language to their arsenal. That’s all I meant.

  10. This seems like it’s the first step on the long path to MLB being forced to settle, because they don’t want to entertain even the tiniest shred of possibility that their antitrust exemption gets overturned. Eventually this has to lead to the Giants being forced to give up SCC. Am I wrong?

  11. So this is a big loss for MLB, no? Looks like San Jose did the right thing in suing.

  12. @mossback–I think I understand your position on the monopoly and the way the Giants are using it to their advantage. I can respect that position. But, and I mean this seriously, don’t you think Wolff/Fisher love the monopoly profits, too? And arent’t their behind-the-scenes bizness machinations a bit suspect in this drama? I just don’t see it as a clear-cut good guys vs. bad guys story.

  13. pjk, I wouldn’t consider this a big loss for them. I’m sure they’d prefer to delay everything as long as they can, but given the ruling that’s being appealed, they’re still on the winning side. And having the state claim tossed down, they have more ability to delay delay delay and yet another judge they can persuade to help them do just that. And that other judge could just as easily toss the whole thing.

  14. Dmoas: We can be pretty sure Cotchett has already counseled San Jose to expect losses in federal and appellate court so the case can get to where he wants it to go – to the US Supreme Court.

  15. pjk, be that as it may, SJ has a long road to get there and they may have to fight it twice, once for standing and once for the AT. xoot, correct me if I’m wrong, but the 9th Circuit could just as easily toss it for standing forcing SJ to appeal that without having to rule on the AT, right?

  16. Did San Jose do the right thing? I don’t know, perhaps yes, perhaps no. Sounds like most of us here what want to here.
    I wish San Jose would drop the suite and try to work toward the requirements MLB would like to see, I am sure the denial letter they A; s received, details what needs to happen for the Dirdon site, to be cool with MLB, I would hate to think this suit was the best chance we have at keeping the A’s in the Bay Area.

  17. So let’s do a mini-recap. Remember how everyone thought the case was going to be tossed from the moment it was filed? Reporters were screaming about how dare SJ challenge MLB’s anti-trust exemption, San Francisco Giants were LOL-ing, “legal” scholars, like Mr. Grow, made everything seem like a slam dunk for MLB. But, wait… wait… the case continues… How come? There is no grand slam when it comes to the law. So we continue…

    It would be wise for San Jose and A’s/Wolff to focus on issues not pertaining to the lawsuit. Use this time to build a better case for moving to San Jose. Work out financing, Giants compensation, stadium size issues or whatever MLB thought was bad about San Jose’s first proposal without focusing on t-rights.

    The fastest way to San Jose is to make all parties realize everyone can profit.

  18. @dmoas–you’re right. I mentioned that in one of my earlier comments. Maybe I should make em shorter. Judge Whyte avoided the lack-of-standing and lack-of-antitrust-injury arguments becz he wanted to decide the A/T issue. mlb can reassert those defenses before the 9th Cir.

  19. This worked out perfectly for San Jose. They are able to “piece meal” their A/T case to the 9th Circuit while still arguing the smaller State claims in state court.

    Judge Whyte did this for these reasons in my opinion.

    -He knows the MLB ATE is ridiculous but it out of his scope to even say Franchise Relocation alone does not apply. Vincent Piazza lost in the lower court but won where? The 9th Circuit, MLB settled the case for 16M and the Tampa Bay Devil Rays came into existence. MLB was dealt a major blow when this appeal was allowed to proceed as it was the 9th Circuit who ruled in Piazza’s favor that the ATE did not apply to Franchise Relocation.

    -Whyte knows the S4SJ and Option agreement claims are things that can be handled by the state court so he can wash his hands clean and be out of this mess. MLB wanted this to stay in Federal Court so their ATE could apply as much as possible, in state court who knows how they are going to view the ATE or interpret it? MLB has to start from scratch, hence why they wanted Whyte to handle it.

    You can see Whyte actually wants San Jose to win so he forcing MLB to fight it on two fronts, the 9th Circuit and State Court. By doing it this way the State will force MLB into discovery as Piazza did with Florida Supreme Court. Piazza had to fight in both places and won big.

    MLB will never let this reach SCOTUS, I would not doubt they let this head to the 9th Circuit and California Supreme Court but now all of a sudden prior precedent no longer favors them.

    San Jose is celebrating a big win today, while MLB is back to the drawing board.

    Had Whyte denied the appeal to the 9th Circuit MLB would be in a big position of power.

  20. xoot, how many steps is the 9th Circuit from the Supreme Court again? And how bound to precedent is the Supreme Court? Taking into account recent rulings that may have over turned precedent, I’d say “not very.”

  21. Steven said it best at 1:05! “The fastest way to San Jose is to make all parties realize everyone can profit.” Damn straight!!

  22. @Jeffrey–are you familiar with the Prop. 8 case that the US SCt reviewed, after the 9th Cir decision that partially affirmed the SF district court decision? August 2010, federal court decision; Feb. 2012, 9th Cir. decision. December 2012, US SCt grants certiorari (the SCt selects what cases it wants to hear; never a sure thing). June 2013, US SCt decided not to review the 9th Cir. decision on the merits because the appellants lacked standing.

    If the US SCt had reviewed on the merits, the appeal probably would’ve taken longer.

    The lack-of-standing and lack-of-antitrust-injury defenses reside like time bombs in mlb’s case vs. San Jose.

    The odds don’t look good. But judges do surprising things. So we’ll see. It’s like watching a long game.

  23. Xoot, it’s pretty clear that one side walked out of court today happy. It wasn’t MLB. Forgive me if I think you are a little unobjective in analyzing the proceedings.

  24. unfortunately, Frisco don’t want to share the profits so here we are.

  25. @Jeffrey–forgive me if I think you are responding to superfice. Obviously San Jose was happy that they didn’t get bogged down with no immediate right to appeal and a stay. They still may face a stay, however. I’d say I’m being pretty objective.

  26. Jeffrey, the thing is, SJ hasn’t actually “won” anything. And they haven’t forced anything out of MLB. Expediting going to the 9th Circuit is the closest thing they have to hang their hat on, but even though that’s what SJ wants, it doesn’t really have any significance until they have a ruling in their favor. So yes, they’re happy for the decision, but that’s the only outcome left in this mess that’s gone in their favor and it’s pretty weak at that.

  27. I am no lawyer and don’t ply one on T.V., but this suite faces some long odds, I fill like SJ needs to forget this, and put together a package MLB will be happy with, before they decide they don’t want to dill with SJ at all, its pretty clear MLB is willing to give SJ a chance, I wish they would just work with them, and not against them.

  28. re: fill like SJ needs to forget this, and put together a package MLB will be happy with,

    …I don’t think San Jose can do that. MLB will want taxpayer dollars for ballpark construction and the mayor has already vowed the stadium would be privately built. San Jose is going to court to try to ram through its sweetheart deal: San Jose provides just the land and infrastructure and the team pays for the ballpark. If MLB won’t go for this, then the city is going to use the courts to try to get around MLB’s objections. Trying to drive a stake through MLB’s precious and totally undeserved anti-trust exemption is how to go about it. What does San Jose have to lose?

  29. “SJ needs to forget this, and put together a package MLB will be happy with,”

    @Lakeshore/Neil, A lot has been going on behind the scenes for the A’s to get their new Bay Area ballpark on the site of their own choosing. I believe that the Judge’s ruling today did not come as a total surprise to any of the parties to the lawsuit. Also, the inability of Oakland’s elected official to make any progress to getting a new A’s ballpark, especially after all this time, has also gotten the full attention of those who will make the ultimate decision regarding the A’s permanent future home. The negotiations are ongoing for a settlement, and the A’s will be getting their new Bay Area ballpark at their preferred venue.

  30. Lakeshore, the issue is MLB was NOT willing to talk them at all. Reed sent Selig a letter and in response got a cold shoulder. If MLB was willing to work with them, the city would have sat down and talked to them instead of filing a lawsuit. The suit may not be a winner, it’s certainly no slam dunk, but as of right now, the only one in this whole mess being active instead of reactive is SJ.

    pjk, while Reed has sold it as a “tax-free” stadium, it’s never to late to back off of that stance. It’s just a question of finding someone willing to take on that tax to help support it. It would take a creative tax to get it done with voter support, but like the lawsuit, it wouldn’t be a slam dunk. It really needs to be fought on both fronts.

  31. dmoas: The Giants tried for a utility tax to get a San Jose ballpark in 1992. It went down in flames. There is no appetite for new taxes for anything except maybe a tax on hotel rooms and rental cars.

  32. pjk, that was 20 years ago. It’s hard to really compare today to then. But also keep in mind i said a) it would need to be creative and b) it wasn’t a slam dunk. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t make the effort.

  33. @pjk,
    I wouldn’t exactly call the 1992 52-48% vote against a Giants utility tax as going down in flames, but a loss is a loss regardless.
    Re “Mello-Roos” style hotel tax and (perhaps) rental car tax,
    If you’re going to fund anything, be it a convention center expansion or sports venue, that’s the way to go; have out of town visitors pay for it! And no, having slightly higher room rates to cover said hotel tax isn’t going to discourage folks from staying in San Jose or hurt business (the hotel owners seem to think it’s a good idea, or else they wouldn’t have voted for it themselves).

  34. Dmoas: Today it would fail even worse. We’ve seen city services cut and responsibilities dumped on property owners, cops laid off, pension costs skyrocketing out of control, school class sizes increasing. I wouldn’t want to be the one to sell a new tax on San Joseans to pay for a ballpark – unless it’s only paid for rental car and hotel patrons.

  35. @PJK
    I guess your right San Jose has nothing to lose, I just hope it does not back fire, and yes I am sure they are negotiating behind closed doors.
    Yes, I sure hope that new permanent Bay Area baseball only; ballpark for the A’s will be coming soon, well perhaps the resolution to one, even if the facility itself is 5-7 years away.
    Yeah I know the hole Reed letter, on one hand I am prod of San Jose for standing up and trying to force the issue, on the other I guess I hope, they don’t get on MLBs bad side, I don’t think they have quite yet, just hope they don’t.

    @Tony D.
    I know you have brought up the idea of Mello-Roos, or hotel tax, before and I am with you. I just hope SJ is thinking the same thing, because Dirdon seems like the far and away best site in SJ, but it looks like its going to take some sort of tax money. I don’t think any of us, thinks this is going to get done for free, even if Lew would not mind paying for everything, which it seems as though he is, at (least at), Dirdon anyway.

  36. pjk, do you realize you just say it would fail miserably. Then said it might work if were x tax. Are you not reading what I’m saying? You’re basically saying unless it were a special/creative tax, it would fail miserably. Well, that’s EXACTLY what I’ve been suggesting it would need to be.

    Tony, the convention center would get Hotel support because there’s a direct fiscal benefit for them. People come to the convention, they need a place near by to stay. A baseball stadium doesn’t attract anywhere near the same level of people and doesn’t have anywhere near the same fiscal benefit. So saying they supported the convention center so that somehow equates to them willing to support a stadium is foolish at best. There is a limit to the impact they’ll be willing to take on and additional taxes do effect them. If they don’t see the potential benefit to them, they won’t support it. That’s not to say a tax there wouldn’t work, but just don’t think they would be actively backing it.

  37. @Lakeshore/Neil bad side ? I’m pretty sure it’s beyond that point, who wants to get sued and better yet a business such as MLB by a city who in MLB’s opinion thinks they know what’s better for there own “business”. Pretty sure with Selig’s ego SJ has already burnt a few bridges. Hell Selig wouldn’t even give the time or day for Reed so they sued. Like Tim Kawakmi said His sources A’s SJ is more unlikelier than every.

  38. @Karim: please man. Tampa sued BS and MLB. What did happen in Tampa?

  39. Per Kawakami, the 49ers will never get a new stadium in SC and if they did, he would kiss Jed Yorks boots. Kawakami has not kissed Jeds boots yet

  40. @Karim Yeah you could be correct, but as mad as MLB could be at San Jose, they still may chose for the A’s to be there, which would be fine. I just dont fill like a lawsuit is the best way to go about it, and I cant help but to think if Oakland pulled somthing like this, the reviews would not be the same.

  41. The only way the lawsuit helps SJ is if they win at some point. They made placed that bet. As Harry Reed said at the time this is a last resort. Tampa Bay didn’t get a franchise by filing a suit, they won a favorable judgement. The same thing happened in Seattle, but only after a trial started and the owners made themselves look like buffoons. This case is a long way from that point.
    What I meant by “MLB is getting nervous..” is that I expect they expected today to go their way. It didn’t. But it didn’t go so badly that they are forced to settle. Just like the law suit was SJ’s last resort, settling with SJ will only happen if it is MLB’s last resort, which is still a bit off in the distance, if it ever is going to come to be.
    No big business likes to go before the 9th Circuit of Appeals. It’s not exactly a “business friendly” venue.

  42. fucking dayquil… Chuck Reed.

  43. I here you guys on the Tampa and Seattle thing but they both eather had a team or a team was on the way, all San Jose had was the potential for an agreemen, San Jose had a really good case for a MLB team without the lawsuite, many say they had to do this, because MLB would not listen, but at the same time many say they are behind closed doors and they will work it out. I am only saying, based on the little we know about the letter MLB gave the A’s when they denied them SJ back in June, it sounded like they were willing to work with the A’s and SJ.

  44. Tampa Bay didn’t have a team, they (Vincent Piazza and his partners) had an agreement with the owner of the Giants that required MLB approval. That’s about where the similarities end.

  45. If San Jose ever gets the A’s I dont think it will be because they filed the lawsuit, lots of balls to do it, but I fill like it will simply be because they go along with MLBs request, they may get a modest settalment and lose the A’s to Portland

  46. @Lakeshore/Neil agreed and I think the suit still comes down to the package MLB/ Giants are requesting is way to big for there liking. Like they say everyone/thing has a price and we see “MLB turned down the proposal not SJ” but if recent quotes by Larry Reid (who iv’e said in the past is a straight shooter not political talker so has a lot more merit than others) about Lew finally coming around to talk, it looks like that price is to big for Lew.

    @Daniel Were Territory rights the issue? Because the Giants have threatened to sue if the rights are overturned. Also Tampa and Vincent Naimoli threaten to sure MLB after he lost out on acquiring the SF Giants, so MLB promised to get him a expansion team. SJ has sued so don’t you think that MLB is going to stand down now. MLB stall tacit is to delay for no decision, Oakland gets there issues in order and has a plan for Lew and MLB, decision is made, lawsuit is merit less. SJ may get “a MLB team” in the next few years like SJ attorney said but it wont be the A’s. Check out the article below from Ken Rosenthal from 2011, its all about the Giants giving in, which they will not.


  47. @ Lakeshore/Neil

    doubt that. If BS/MLB is willing to work /w SJ, there will be no appeals. Instead, they are going to the 9th ct now then CA Sup Ct and hopefully US Sup Ct. The monopoly must be broken up and let’s hope Chief Roberts and other justices will hear the case. It is all SJ can do right now.

    My belief is that BS/MLB is forcing LW to stay in Oakland thus the lawsuit. SJ would not have filed it w/o LW’s approval.

  48. @daniel a good question to ask is should the courts be forcing a business to move somewhere they don’t, I.E The A’s fall under MLB, MLB is the business the A’s are the franchise. That’s like you suing Mc Donald’s because you want it across the street from your house, because you want it, doesn’t mean Mc Donald’s is gonna lease out a franchise there.

  49. @Karim:

    good question to ask is why baseball deserves to have an exemption while other major sports don’t.

  50. Guys, there is not going to be an Oakland A’s and a San Jose expansion team. There will be either an Oakland A’s, a San Jose A’s or a (insert city name here not in Nor Cal) A’s and an expansion team in San Jose, though that is very unlikely.
    This is nothing like McDonald’s. Let’s be real. This is going to be either the San Jose A’s or the Oakland A’s if there is going to be two teams in Nor Cal.

  51. on the topic on the Giants suing MLB, that’s a bit of an overblown possibility. In the event that the TR’s are overturned they will have been overturned one of two ways: 1. With a deal between the A’s and Giants and MLB that is approved by all of the other owners. 2. Without a deal but by the authority given the league in the MLB Constitution with 3/4 of the owners approving.
    In either event, the Giants will have no real case. If 3/4’s of the owners vote for a change in Territory, that is following the process that the Giants signed on to follow.

  52. Not sure what egos really have to do with it at this level of play. I don’t think the fact that SJ sued automatically means they’re out, that’s more Oakland wishful thinking that all the other preferred alternatives go away and they win by default. I mean A) you don’t rise to this level without getting used to having people criticize you and not taking it personally, B) you realize it’s really all about money and C) let’s face it, Bud Selig is out the door in a year. This matter is unlikely to be resolved then (unless it’s Selig’s Swan Song) so I doubt he’s up at night burning with anger over SJ daring to sue him. Cities sue (and get sued) all the time and what the Don said is true, “it’s not personal, it’s business.”

  53. @daniel-I see what your saying, but is MLB forceing the A’s to stay in Oakland, or is it simply where they happen to be located? @Jeffrey-I agree, the Tampa situation was the only one, that really comes close to the A’s and, I dont fill that one was all that close, because it did not have the TR’s issue in it. People keep looking at Seattle, and Tampa but neather place was, in another teams area at the time they got a team. I dont think the SC will over turn AT, or even part of it, if the case even got that far. I think it will take congress, and they dont agree, on much. If HT is a no go, because of cost among other things, and CC is a no go, because Oakland cant get its act togather, MLBWolff dont like it ect., and MLB dose not like Dirdon, because the A’s would have to much debt, and Fremont is off the table, and the only hope is SJ vs MLB, I would say the A’s are as good as gone.

  54. @Jeffrey-Yeah, I dont know why anyone would think the Bay Area would get another MLB team, its the smallest of the two team areas, no way the Bay Area would have three MLB teams, not in 100 years, hell LA and NY metro’s are the only one’s close, each has almost three times the people the Bay Area has, and they will not get a third team anytime soon.

  55. Jeff you’re absolutely right. It’s San Jose A’s or Oakland A’s. Not a team in each and not an expansion team.

  56. @dmoas way back,
    I’m definitely no expert on any of this, but the major SC hotels near Levi’s Stadium seem to think the new venue will help their businesses; hence their support for SC’s Mello-Roos hotel tax for stadium. For SJ, I’m sure a new yard and surrounding developments could make DSJ more attractive for conventions/trade shows, as well as the prospect for an All Star Game.

  57. I was being sarcastic, it’s Oakland or sj and putting together what we know and what we see I have to say Oakland is in the game, A’s got the letter, price is to much to match MLB requirements, sj sues on last hope. Lew MLB and Oakland have been quiet since the letter, We now can see Larry Reid’s video that was posted, so he recently meet with Lew because he’s never been positive about the A’s until this past meeting to approve the A’s extension. Now it’s up to Oakland to get it done, if Lew is sincerly ready to negiocate. And we will all know in a few months the outcome

  58. @Karim–and how do you balance your optimism that LW now is interested in Oakland with his comments today that he continues to be focused on SJ only?

  59. GoA’s- Hope they dont win battle today, and lose the war (team), in the long run.

  60. @goA’s I tend to look at track record too and credibility and like I said before any of this came out, personally I know and what the media knows about Reid is he’s a stright shooter it is what it is he doesn’t bs around, he’s already bad mouth there own “investors” about putting there money up and like the article said just a few weeks ago he was calling out everyone from board members to why should Oakland be fighting to keep them with no attempt from the A’s so on and so on. U can say he’s a politician but don’t play politics if you know what I mean.

    Lew lets see, he’s lied time and time again and has 3 quotes
    “I’m focused on sj”
    “Oakland is not feasible”
    “I’m following the process set by MLB”
    All pretty much the only quotes that have been said, so pretty much they have been recycled over and over again. Nothing new
    If he followed the policy he would keep to his word that he wouldn’t challenge giants territory. And besides since we know when the letter was received in June, lews attitude as loosened up a lot towards oak, from nothing this nothing that to a ballpark needs to be downtown weather Oakland or sj , latter back tracked I know I know someone will say that but it was never said ever before so lets look at that a little with open mind

  61. @GoAs–that linked article doesn’t impress me. It’s filled out with irrelevant summary of the court’s orders, with no context.

    The real focus now should be on San Jose’s refiling of the tiny state-law claims in Santa Clara Superior Court. (Meanwhile, the appeal of the real case, the A/T case, to the 9th Circuit will take about 2 years.) The truly interesting question about the state-law case is how much discomfort will that lawsuit cause mlb? There’s a common discovery motion in California based on a simple principle: You don’t need to take the deposition of Chevon’s CEO in a case concerning a fender bender at an Oakland gas station. The remaining San Jose state-law claims truly are no larger than a fender bender. So don’t hold your breath hoping for a Bud Selig deposition. Yet the mlb decision-making processes are implicated in this fender bender, just a bit. So things will be contentious as the lawyers fight it out over the permissible scope of discovery in the new case. Meanwhile, mlb also will ask the new judge to enter a stay of all proceedings until the DoF has ruled on the issues that have stalled the Stand for San Jose lawsuits. Such a stay would create further delay. And the DoF ruling could ruin the case. We’ll see.

    So that’s the venue and those are the games to watch–for now. Enjoy.

  62. @xoot thanks for the breakdown very informative broken down in everyday language

  63. @xoot- yup- gonna be awhile but MLB can’t like a federal judge publicalky stating how ridiculous their AT exemption is. And I would guess that even you would agree that SJ achieved its best possible outcome today.

  64. “And I would guess that even you would agree that SJ achieved its best possible outcome today.” No he wouldn’t…

  65. @GoAs–even me? ok. But go back and look at the joint case management conference statement that both sides had to file before today’s cmc. Both sides asked Judge Whyte to retain jurisdiction over the small remaining state law claims. Judge Whyte didn’t do that. San Jose’s not happy, for many reasons, about being sent to superior court. (mlb’s not happy either.) Also, San Jose’s legitimate joy today is based on a simple principle: The worst did not occur. The judge didn’t screw San Jose. So San Jose survives to fight another day. Well, other days–in a couple of courts. So the fight, the game, goes on.

  66. @Tony D. You can really be funny, at times.

  67. @xoot You make really good points

  68. Karim, you can’t say in one breath that “I’m focused on SJ” is a lie if you say in another breath that Lew won’t give Oakland a chance. These are the same thing.
    Personally, I think Steven Tavares is reading something that isn’t there. CM Reid also said at one time he’d risk his political career to make Coliseum North happen. Color me unimpressed.

  69. @karin–I appreciate that. Thanks.

  70. @xoot- bttm line SJ continues on- they left today with more than MLB did – their end game is to continue to lose while still being allowed to move forward- until they get to the SC. They accomplished that today. As someone pointed out earlier most of the “legal experts” said it would never reach this point. Relative to the state case- goal is to get to discovery- doesn’t matter how you accomplish that-

  71. @Karin- assume that is also Karim- if LW was focused on Oakland all he has to do is pass on the option for the land purchase in SJ- end of all the lawsuits- end of SJ. He’s not doing that- now I have no doubt that LW as a business man wouldn’t listen if Oakland said we will contribute $300M to build a ballpark like they will have to do for the Raiders- but I don’t see that happening. Last- as I recall MLB said they weren’t interested in CC. It was 2 days ago that LW was quoted as saying MLB has ruled out HT as a site- so I guess he must be lying again.

  72. On what planet do Reid and Tavares reside? They are obviously not of this Earth…

  73. I’ve probably been a bit too optimistic about their being a fighting chance the lawsuit will be the impetus that propels the A’s to SJ. As our resident expert, Xoot, has so deftly pointed out, chances are and have been very slim for the legal proceedings to ultimately go in favor of the A’s (the city of SJ as their proxy). With that being the case, BS/MLB aren’t likely to budge. So given that, given chances are slim on the legal front, every single solitary ruling that breaths a little more air into the proceedings is a positive thing. And if it is merely an iota’s worth of one single breath? That’s markedly better than having your air completely cut off.
    Any event that causes BS/MLB to get an update from their legal team that says ‘this ruling means virtually nothing **except we have an additional round of boxing to go** before our almost certain victory” is a help to achieve the goal of SJ. Anything! that primes the situation, even if just a smidgeon, for MLB to eventually become nervous is a good thing for the cause of the A’s in SJ (and, fyi, that cause is also the A’s best chance to remain in the Bay Area).

  74. @TW I here you, and I agree with you 100%, its just crapy that it really seems that the A’s (our), best hope to stay in the Bay Area comes down SJ vs MLB, and not that San Jose wins (us), but that they bother MLB enough, so they give in. Damn, those odds while much better then MLBWolf takeing the path of lest resistance, witch would be CC, (turned down to this point), are small, I really think we may have lost.

  75. @TW, I couldn’t agree with you more. Even in the worst case scenario, this ongoing lawsuit calls attention to the behind the scenes roll that the Giants are playing in blocking the A’s from their building for themselves a successfully operated new Bay Area ballpark. I would tend to think that the overwhelming majority of Bay Area Giants fans could care less where the A’s build their new ballpark. I would also tend to think that South Bay area Giants fans are at least somewhat ticked off at their team’s ownership for blocking a possible move of the A’s to San Jose. It’s not only about ones own area civic pride that’s involves, but it shows how selfish the Giants are coming across in order to maintain a competitive advantage over the other Bay Area market team. These ongoing lawsuit actions, if nothing else, is forcing the Bay Area media to cover these issues. This publicity is not what the Giants want to see or hear from the local media. This alone will, IMO, ultimately force a settlement to allow the A’s to move to San Jose. It should also expedite the process, as well.

  76. IIpec- I sure hope you are correct.

  77. Reading the thread again, interesting that Cotchett said the appeals court filing could happen ASAP. “Could?” I thought it was a definite Cotchett was going all the way to the Supreme Court with this thing? Perhaps at this time SJ (and A’s) go back to MLB with a revised proposal to hopefully avoid further legal nonsense (?).

    BTW I nominate Steven as our resident expert. Xoot’s just another SF Giants attorney ;)…

  78. llpec, the media and the bay area as a whole will take a mild interest in all of this. If they were going to step up and really do anything that might force a settlement, it would have been done at some point in the last 5 years. It’s not going to happen. Every part of this lawsuit will take months in between. Actual newsworthy stories will be few and far between. The only thing that will force the issue is an activist judge or the A’s getting booted from the Coliseum. Anything else will be done on MLB’s timetable.

  79. @Tony D. Yeah, thats my hope, that the A’sSJ try to come up with a way, to give MLB what they want. IMHO, thats the only way this works, I think the lawsuite is paper thin, and will not force MLB to do anything. SJ has everything they need, to host a MLB team, just come up with whatever MLB requires, and we are good, if that is some sort of tax lets try to get it done, its pertty clear that MLB will not let Wolff buld it by himself, weather its a matter of the A’s debt going foward, or other owners mad, because he did not take as much SJ tax money as he could. We talk a lot about some folks in Oakland wanting a free ballpark, and how thats not going to happen, but it not going to happen in San Jose eather, SJ needs to stop this lawsuite and come up with some numbers, its resonable to think it will cost them much less then it would cost Oakland, but its going to cost them somthing, nothing is free.

  80. “IIpec- I sure hope you are correct.”

    @Lakeshore/Neil, With all the recent news about the ongoing lawsuits, the apparent focus from Oakland’s officials only on a new stadium for the Raiders, and the recent leak of MLB’s letter to Lew Wolff, all the roads for the A’s are heading towards San Jose. I am more confident than ever that the A’s are going to get their new Bay Area ballpark. The Bay Area will have two very successful MLB teams for many many years to come.

  81. @IIpec- I agree, I also am cofident, that all roads lead to San Jose, or nothing and I am confident in San Jose’s ability to host the A’s its the best place for them, in the Bay Area or out of it, what I am not so confident about is San Jose’s ability, or willingness to pay, what they will have to pay, the on going lawsuit may imply, that San Jose is more then happy to have Wolff build a new ballpark in their city, what major american city would not want that? My question is what are they willing to pay?, if that answer is vary little to nothing, well then I am also confident the A’s new home will be in Portland

  82. So JQ claims that they have been working with MLB and now says they are getting ready to release a design for HT. LW was quoted in the purdy article as saying MLB has rejected HT as unfeasible. JQ also claimed they were working on VC with MLB and we all know what happened there. Amazing that the Oakland only crowd and reporters ever ask her the tough questions, whether it be on what happened to VC after an EIR was approved to how does CC economically work without a ballpark bringing people to that area to if HT is feasible show us the economics that prove this. She will keep this charade going thru Election Day and so will the Oakland reporters who fail to ask the tough questions because they don’t want to hear the answers.

  83. JQ tells the Oakland-only crowd and the Frisco and East Bay media what it wants to hear: that the city is moving forward with a plan to keep the A’s in Oakland. But we’ve heard this before with Victory Court, which turned out to be a big nothing, as just stated by GoAs.

  84. @Tony–San Jose can’t file a notice of appeal until Judge Whyte uses Fed. R. Civ. P. 54 to enter judgment on his A/T decision. “Filing” the appeal isn’t a very big deal. The document is usually one short sentence. A lot of losing parties file a notice of appeal to preserve their rights, even if they have no strong intention of spending the time and money to brief and argue the issues. And the briefing occurs much later.

  85. Lakeshore/Neil: The sad thing is, we’ll all lose. While there’s Oakland only and San Jose only partisans, there’s a lot of bay area A’s fans who would likely go to either venue. They want them here, in the Bay Area. But you’re right. San Jose’s plan seems to be one of using the lawsuit as a plan to get MLB to give up and surrender to them. Oakland’s plan seems to be to wait for all the “better” alternatives to fall apart and then assume the A’s will have no other option but to return to them.

    The weakness is obviously that neither city seems to be offering up a real deal but simply waiting for the other guy to be defeated (perhaps secret talks are going on but the public statements are not encouraging). It cedes the initiative and is too passive when direct action is needed. Oakland seems to think they deserve the team because they’ve had it awhile and they hope MLB ignores that they were often in the lower end of the charts for league attendance, good season or bad. San Jose thinks they’re entitled since they’re now the largest city in the region by population. The fact is though is that San Francisco is still the head of the region in many ways, and they have a team.

    Playing the waiting game with MLB is going to be a long wait. There isn’t anything out there that’s clearly going to compel them to pick one over the other. Sure, Bud Selig called the Coliseum a pit, but it’s been a bit shabby for awhile. They’ll cope. San Jose is trying to compel the MLB into surrender by threatening to dig into MLB’s business or perhaps going after their Anti-Trust status. However, as other wiser legal minds have stated, this doesn’t seem to be an open and shut case. If SJ loses, they may not be out of the running, but then they’re back at square one.

    We might as well not get too excited about each thing in the press, I doubt this is going anywhere fast.

  86. @GoA’s
    Re: “If HT is feasible show us the economics that prove this”
    In all fairness Lew has not shown HT would, or could not work either, he has only said “We have looked at it and it won’t work”, as his supposed assistant, made the same claim in a thread earlier in the week, as that person also claimed ML was vilifying Lew, just as the Oakland only people, have not proven HT is viable, Lew has not proven, that it is not viable. I am not fighting for HT, because it probably is way too expensive to build on, ever if it’s possible, but it’s easy to point out Oakland’s inconsistencies, without being as honest with ourselves about Lew’s. In a normal situation I would say it’s not up to Lew to prove anything, since it’s not his desire to build at that location, but with the Giants breathing down his neck with this TR’s BS, MLB may want to make sure every conceivable option, in the A’s current territory is ruled out, so they may pacify the Giants, before letting the A’s go to San Jose.
    Please no quotes about they looked at HT 10-12 years ago in a study, or but Lew said MLB has ruled out that site, again I am not fighting for that site, I am saying MLB is going to make damn sure the suite cant, and will not work TODAY, along with CC, why? Because of the San Francisco Giants, MLB could not care any less about Oakland, and they don’t care that much more for San Jose, all that this is about, is the San Francisco Giants and their TR’s claim, so Lew may have to show why HT won’t work, other then simply saying it won’t, just as Oakland needs to show that it will work, and not simply say that it will (not that it by itself will keep the A’s in town), but just like Lew they need to do more than talk.
    Please no meaningless economic reasons why HT, will not work, I am not saying it will, I am saying Lew may have to prove, to the satisfaction of the Giants, why it can’t, or will not work.
    Yeah I am with you 100%, I think most people simply want the A’s in a new ballpark in the San Francisco Bay Area, then there are others, that don’t prefer one city over the other, but much like IIpec expresses, they fevers San Jose, because that’s the best place for the A’s from a finical stand point, I don’t think there is any doubt, that if the A’s remain in Oakland, there will have to be revenue sharing in the deal, regardless of them being in a two team market, as much as I would love for it to be in Oakland, I am starting to hope for San Jose for obvious reasons, but as you say we may lose, and that’s a damn shame, in no small part thanks to the San Francisco Giants.

  87. Even MLB doesn’t believe its MLB ATE is as strong as some gnats and anti San Jose A’s fans believe it is. MLB typically will quickly make deals (Tampa Bay, Seattle, etc.)in order to a avoid a legal fight in the higher courts and risk losing its ATE. San Jose city officials and the A’s actions carry much more weight than the comments of the typical pro giants media types such as Tim Kawakami, Ratto, etc.(who are not legal experts, offer no expertise about the SJ vs MLB situtation and shouldn’t be making comments about it anyways)

  88. #duffer:

    BS/MLB has not lost yet ! so nothing will happen yet !
    BS/MLB and Frisco don’t believe that the case will ever get to US Sup St so right now, everything is cool.

    It may take 3 or 4 years but once the case gets all the way to US Sup Ct, the shock/scare will settle in. Hopefully, SJ will keep appealing until it reaches US Sup Ct

  89. @daniel: That’s the San Jose plan. Also the MLB ATE was passed in 1922 to protect the intrastate commerce of MLB teams (way before cable television, internet, or even practical airplane transportion) It is obvously obsolete legislation – the higher courts likely won’t continue to support it. MLB evidently also believes that.

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