MLB to court: Bud Selig rejected A’s proposed move to San Jose
Commissioner Bud Selig told the Oakland Athletics six months ago that they would not be allowed to move to San Jose, attorneys for Major League Baseball said in a court filing Friday.
The formal notification letter was not included in the filing, but MLB attorneys wrote that Selig “was not satisfied with the club’s relocation proposal.” The rejection of the proposed move was “his final decision,” according to the filing.
However, the decision was specific to that proposal and was not a judgment that the A’s would not be allowed to move at all, according to a person familiar with the matter but not authorized to discuss it. It is expected that the league would consider a new proposal once the court case -- filed by the city of San Jose -- is resolved.
A’s managing partner Lew Wolff declined comment Saturday, as did a league spokesman.
The A’s recently agreed to a lease at Oakland Coliseum through the 2015 season. That gives the A’s two years to persuade Selig -- or his successor -- to reconsider the San Jose option, to get a new ballpark in Oakland, or to consider putting the team up for sale. Wolff has previously said he has no interest in moving the team out of the San Francisco Bay Area.
In October, a federal judge upheld MLB’s right to determine where its teams play but chastised the league for not rendering a decision on the A’s proposal “within a reasonable time.” As a result, U.S. District Judge Ronald Whyte ruled, the league could be liable for damages to the city of San Jose.
“MLB denied the Athletics’ relocation request on June 17, 2013, one day before this lawsuit was filed,” league attorneys wrote in the filing.
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