San Jose is ready for the A's. They've got a plot of land. They're willing to finance a new stadium. Hell, there's already a stadium naming rights deal waiting. But nothing can happen until the Giants sign off or MLB gets off its ass, neither of which seem immediately likely. So it's lawsuit time.
The San Jose City Council voted today to file an antitrust suit against MLB and Bud Selig, just days after the sewage system at the outdated Coliseum overflowed, filling both clubhouses with human waste. That's not the only pile of shit here, according to the suit.
"This action arises from the blatant conspiracy by Major League Baseball to prevent the Athletics Baseball Club from moving to San Jose," according to the suit. "This action challenges - and seeks to remedy - Defendants' violation of state laws and use of the illegal cartel that results from these agreements to eliminate competition in the playing of games in the San Francisco Bay Area."
The A's have been looking to get out of Oakland for a long time. After the death of the Fremont plan, owner Lew Wolff set his eyes on the South Bay, which is becoming a new sports hotbed. (The Wolff-owned Earthquakes have a soccer-specific stadium under construction, and the 49ers new stadium in neighboring Santa Clara will open in 2014.) But there's a big problem. The Giants have exclusive territorial rights to San Jose and all of Santa Clara county, and can block another team from moving in on its turf.
Bud Selig hoped to avoid getting involved, telling the Giants and A's to work things out on their own. The Giants haven't budged, and Selig has refused to put it to a vote (23 owners could overrule the Giants' territorial rights), so Selig did what executives do when they don't want to do anything: he created a committee to study the issue. That was four years ago, and nothing's been heard from them since.