That’s three strikes, and it looks like San Jose is out.
The Supreme Court took a huge step toward making that official Thursday morning when it announced which appeals it would hear this year, and San Jose’s lawsuit against Major League Baseball was NOT on the list.
To be fair, the court might add a few new cases by early next week, but that small list likely won’t include ‘San Jose v. MLB,’ legal expert Nathan Grow said Thursday on Twitter.
What does this all mean?
It likely means that San Jose’s last, desperate attempt to help Lew Wolff move the A’s to the South Bay is over. Completely over. Kaput. Finito. As in … the final nail in the coffin for San Jose and Lew Wolff’s pipe dream to move there.
If true, then only one question remains: Will A’s owners John Fisher and Lew Wolff finally start working with Oakland officials on a new baseball-only park in Oakland? If they do, it would be the first time the A’s owners gave Oakland a chance to do so during the 10 years they’ve owned the team.
First, a recap of the city of San Jose’s failed legal war against Major League Baseball.
San Jose initially filed its lawsuit in June 2013, claiming that MLB violated antitrust laws by stopping Wolff’s plans to move the A’s to San Jose. Essentially, the suit sought to repeal MLB’s antitrust exemption, which allows the sport to ignore monopoly laws that govern all other industries in the United States.
San Jose lost its first crack at the lawsuit when a U.S. district judge ruled against the city in late 2013. San Jose appealed the decision. Strike two came in January 2015, when the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals also ruled in favor of MLB. San Jose then appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. But the Supreme Court only hears a fraction of the cases submitted to it. And Thursday’s announcement made it almost completely official that the court will NOT hear San Jose’s case. At all.
San Jose chose the nuclear option — a lawsuit that angered other owners and MLB officials — and lost. So San Jose not only lost its all-in bet, it also made its name mud in the eyes of MLB, making it very unlikely the South Bay will ever get a MLB franchise.
A’s owners have been trying to move the franchise to the South Bay since 1995. If it was going to happen at all, it would have happened by now.
So, now what?
Well, now Wolff and Fisher are out of excuses. All San Jose options are officially exhausted. And Floyd Kephart and his vision for Coliseum City have been rejected. If Wolff and Fisher have a sincere plan for a new A’s ballpark in Oakland, now would be the time to submit it. A’s fans are all ears.
If Wolff and Fisher don’t have a sincere plan to build a new Oakland park, then they should sell this storied franchise to someone who will.