The city council voted Tuesday to take Major League Baseball to court. The lawsuit names baseball Commissioner Bud Selig as a defendant along with the 30 teams that make up Major League Baseball. The city's complaint is that MLB has unlawfully conspired to limit competition by controlling the location of teams.
The owner of the A's wants to move his team to San Jose and has said he'd build a stadium. The city of San Jose wants the team. But the San Francisco Giants claim territorial rights to San Jose and so far, the commissioner's office has refused to rule against the giants.
So, the city has hired Peninsula attorney Joe Cotchett to file a lawsuit. "This is all about economics. And, you have a city like San Jose, the tenth largest city in the United States, cannot get a baseball club. I can name you other cities that are pulling for San Jose for the same reason. They want the right and the chance to bring a baseball team to their city, their county, whatever it might be," he said.
A 2009 study found that a new ballpark for the A's could pump $130 million a year into the San Jose economy. And, San Jose's mayor has hinted in the past that he's considered legal action, but the city has always deferred to the principal owner of the A's -- Lew Wolff.
Wolff is a former fraternity brother of Selig and has consistently stuck to baseball's process, which is that three-quarters of the teams must approve the A's move into Giants territory. In 2009, Selig commissioned a three-member committee to review the move, but one of the members of the committee was Corey Busch, former Executive Vice President for the Giants.
"Bud Selig appointed a commission to look at this very proposal that you just mentioned not one, not two, but four years ago. They're still studying the situation," Cotchett told ABC7 News.
Cotchett believes Major League Baseball intends to study the issue forever. That's why San Jose is suing.