Major League Baseball hires the lead prosecutor from the Ollie North trial to fight San Jose

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Major League Baseball put out a press release a little while ago announcing that they’ve hired a lawyer to fight the San Jose antitrust lawsuit:

 Major League Baseball has hired John W. Keker, a partner in the San Francisco firm Keker & Van Nest LLP, to serve as its lead counsel in the lawsuit filed in federal court by the City of San Jose, California on June 18th, it was announced today.

Keker specializes in complex antitrust, commercial and intellectual property cases and securities cases.  Regarded as one of the country’s top trial lawyers, Keker was the lead counsel for the U.S. legal adviser to the group of Ecuadorian citizens who successfully won an $18 billion judgment against a corporation over environmental damage in their country, the largest single pollution judgment ever imposed.  Keker recently won a defense verdict for an employee who was targeted in a Securities & Exchange Commission enforcement action in New York.  In 1989, Keker was the chief prosecutor in the Iran-Contra trial involving Oliver North.  He has represented Google, Standard & Poor’s and many corporate executives throughout his four-decade career.

Big guns, as you would expect.

Still, kinda weird as I can’t recall baseball issuing press releases about legal matters before. Certainly not the hiring of counsel.  It makes me feel like they’re just matching San Jose’s obvious p.r.-first approach in the drafting and filing of the lawsuit and that this case will be every much a battle in the media as it will be in the courts. So:

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Will Middlebrooks carted off field with injury

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Phillies third baseman Will Middlebrooks suffered a serious injury during Saturday’s Grapefruit League contest against the Orioles. The infielder was chasing down a pop fly in the eighth inning when he ran into left fielder Andrew Pullin, who inadvertently trapped Middlebrooks’ ankle under his leg. Middlebrooks was unable to put weight on his leg following the collision and was carted off the field and taken to a local hospital for X-rays.

Per MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki, not much is known yet about the severity of the ankle injury or the recovery time it will require, though it appears serious enough to set Middlebrooks back considerably as he seeks a backup/bench role with the team this spring.

The 29-year-old is currently seeking another opportunity to extend his six-year major-league career in 2018. He’s coming off of two down years with the Brewers and Rangers, during which he slashed a cumulative .169/.229/.262 with four extra bases through 70 plate appearances.