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John Woolfork
San Jose Mercury News

SAN JOSE — A federal judge Friday struck out San Jose’s illegal-monopoly claims against Major League Baseball over a stalled Oakland A’s move but still let the city pursue a case involving a ballpark-land deal with the team.

U.S. District Judge Ronald M. Whyte’s split decision in a 26-page ruling acknowledged baseball’s unique antitrust exemption seems illogical but that it was beyond his authority to change it. The ruling left both sides claiming victory in the dispute over the A’s four-plus-year effort to build a new San Jose ballpark over the San Francisco Giants’ territorial objections.

“Ninety-nine percent of this case is gone,” MLB lawyer John Keker said. “And we’re confident that once the rest of the case is developed, the rest of the case will be gone.”

But San Jose officials cheered the chance to continue litigation, which they hope will ultimately lead MLB to greenlight the A’s move.

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