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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Hyun-Jin Ryu will open season in Dodgers’ rotation

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Dodgers manager Dave Roberts announced on Monday that Hyun-Jin Ryu will open the regular season in the starting rotation, MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick reports.

Ryu, 30, missed the entire 2015 season and made only one start last season due to shoulder and elbow injuries. The lefty has looked solid in three spring appearances, however, yielding a lone run on five hits and a walk with eight strikeouts in nine innings.

With Scott Kazmir likely to begin the season on the disabled list, that leaves Alex Wood and Brandon McCarthy to battle it out for the fifth spot in the Dodgers’ rotation.

Jorge Soler diagnosed with strained oblique, Opening Day in doubt

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Royals outfielder Jorge Soler has been diagnosed with a strained oblique, making it likely that he begins the regular season on the disabled list, Rustin Dodd of The Kansas City Star reports.

The Royals acquired Soler from the Cubs in December in exchange for reliever Wade Davis. Over parts of three seasons with the Cubs, Soler hit .258/.328/.434 with 27 home runs and 98 RBI in 765 plate appearances.

When he’s healthy, Soler is expected to find himself in the Royals’ lineup as a right fielder and occasionally as a designated hitter.