San Jose sued MLB and Commissioner Bud Selig last year in a bid to clear a possible path for the A’s to move to San Jose in a new stadium that would be built on city land. It claims MLB has violated antitrust laws by interfering with a possible move through a territorial rights rule and a four-year delay by an MLB committee that is studying the potential relocation.
Under the territorial rule, the Giants have rights to the South Bay that can be overturned only by a three-fourths vote of all clubs.
The city made its arguments to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in the opening brief of its appeal of a decision in which U.S. District Judge Ronald Whyte of San Jose dismissed the antitrust claims last year.
Whyte based his ruling on a 1922 U.S. Supreme Court decision that specifically exempted baseball from federal antitrust laws.
The city’s brief contends that exemption is “outdated” and a “highly questionable precedent.”