On Sunday evening, as the twitterverse exploded with the news that the O.co Coliseum clubhouses had flooded after a pipe had burst, I was admittedly rather unsurprised. It was exactly the kind of nonsense that’s come to be expected from the Oakland Athletics loveable yet wildly outdated home.
Then today, the city of San Jose announced it was suing MLB. To be precise, the Pitre & McCarthy Law Firm will be disputing the league’s exemption to federal antirust law, which according to USA Today has been described as a “guise” that allows the league to control the location of its teams. In the court of common sense, San Jose might just have a pretty good case.
The league’s exemption might have made a bit of sense back in 1922 when the Supreme Court granted it. But today, it’s utterly laughable. The only way that the MLB wouldn’t be described as interstate commerce is if it was classified as international commerce. Which brings me back to the flood.
Since 2009, a committee appointed by MLB commissioner Bud Selig has been diligently studying the Athletics proposed move to San Jose. Four years later, seemingly nothing has been achieved.
It’s worth noting that Selig turned down the opportunity to have a sit-down with San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed earlier this year. But it’s also worth noting that about a day after the Coliseum hit the national headlines for all the wrong reasons, the San Jose lawsuit was filed.
I’m not saying that agents of the Pitre & McCarthy Law Firm surreptitiously burst a pipe deep within the bowels of the O.co, but that sure would have been a stroke of public relations genius.
What does team owner Lew Wolff, who is, of course, not involved in the suit think of all this?
“I have no details,” Mr. Wolff told USA Today. “However I am not in favor of legal action or legal threats to solve business issues.”
Which leaves me to wonder just what type of action Mr. Wolff is in favor of for solving the issue.