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MLB’s battle with City of San Jose wages on following possible conflicting court statements

Mark Townsend
Big League Stew

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On June 18, the city of San Jose filed a federal antitrust lawsuit against Major League Baseball in an attempt to stop the league from standing in the way of the Oakland A's desired move to their city. The timing was interesting, since two days earlier O.co Coliseum made news for a raw sewage problem that would ultimately become a reoccurring theme during the season. But it turns out there's a lot more to the story.

According to court documents from the on-going proceedings, MLB claimed late Friday night that commissioner Bud Selig formally denied the A's relocation proposal to San Jose on June 17 and firmly called it his final decision on the matter.

Here's more from the court document:

In fact, MLB denied the Athletics' relocation request on June 17, 2013, one day before this lawsuit was filed. On that date, Commissioner Selig formally notified the Athletics' ownership that he was not satisfied with the club's relocation proposal. The sole basis of Plaintiffs' only claims that remain after the MTD Order — the purported failure of MLB to render a decision within the initial two-year term of the Option Agreement — is therefore meritless.

Those statements led to some confusion and conflict over whether or not MLB was simply denying one specific proposal or the entire idea of moving to San Jose.

It seems odd that not everyone was clear about what MLB's court statements meant. Unless, of course, the other parties were unaware of what Selig's "final decision" in June truly meant. Here's more from the court document.

Defendants assert that this Court should take action based on a June 17 letter from Defendant Bud Selig. Defendants have failed to provide this letter to Plantiffs or to this Court. Therefore, this Court should refuse to take any steps based on the letter.

Wendy Thurm and Susan Slusser have been all over the story on Saturday, so their timelines will be worth a follow as more information comes forth. As it stands now, Slusser says MLB "never technically rejected the A's move to San Jose," which indicates that door is not completely closed.

The never-ending battle wages on.

As for the A's immediate future, last week they agreed to a new lease agreement that will keep them at O.co Coliseum until at least 2015. Beyond that, their stadium situation remains very much in the air, with a concrete solution seemingly further away than ever.

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Mark Townsend is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at bigleaguestew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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