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Judge dismisses city of San Jose’s case against MLB

Sat., Oct. 12, 2013

The city of San Jose’s antitrust claims against Major League Baseball were dismissed Friday by a federal judge, who allowed the city to pursue allegations of contract interference in connection with the Oakland Athletics’ stalled relocation plans.

U.S. District Judge Ronald M. Whyte in San Jose ruled that MLB’s antitrust exemption, created by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1922, barred most of the claims in San Jose’s lawsuit. The city filed the lawsuit in June, accusing MLB of conspiring to stop the team’s proposal to move to a planned ballpark in downtown San Jose.

MLB defines San Jose and its suburbs in Santa Clara County as the exclusive territory of the San Francisco Giants.

Whyte rejected San Jose’s contention that the antitrust exemption was limited to the player reserve system and ruled it includes MLB’s “business interests,” such as relocation issues.

The Supreme Court last upheld the exemption in the 1972 Curt Flood case, when the court said it was up to Congress to change the exemption. Whyte said the fact that Congress altered the exemption in the Curt Flood Act of 1998 only with respect to the employment of major league players was evidence that Congress did not wish to alter it for baseball’s other business.

The A’s play in the Coliseum, which opened in 1966, and it is the only facility shared by MLB and the NFL, whose Oakland Raiders are based there. A sewage problem forced the A’s and Seattle Mariners to use the same locker room after a game this summer.

Dodgers’ Kershaw named best lefty

Los Angeles Dodgers left-hander Clayton Kershaw has been selected the winner of the 2013 Warren Spahn Award.

The award is presented to the top left-handed pitcher in the Major Leagues. It’s named for Hall-of-Famer Warren Spahn, whose 363 career wins are the most by a left-hander.

Kershaw went 16-9 during the 2013 campaign with 232 strikeouts and a 1.83 ERA.

Clearing the bases

According to a news release, Miami Marlins manager and former Gonzaga Bulldog Mike Redmond will be joined by two new coaches for the 2014 season. Brett Butler has been named third base/outfield coach, and Frank Menechino will be the new hitting coach. … Reliever Jason Frasor has agreed to a $1.75 million, one-year deal to remain with Texas rather than become a free agent. The 36-year-old righty went 4-3 with a 2.57 ERA in 61 appearances in his first season with the Rangers.

Tags: baseball, MLB

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