San Jose responds to MLB’s motion to dismiss, hearing set for October 4

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The San Jose-Major League baseball lawsuit continues, with San Jose filing a response to Major League Baseball’s motion to dismiss. Major League Baseball will get a final reply and a hearing on the matter is set for October 4. The Mercury-News has a summary of it all.

Well, maybe not all. For while it does deal with the arguments the two sides have lobbed back and forth about whether Major League Baseball is entitled to maintain its antitrust exemption, nowhere in the story does it mention Major League Baseball’s better, stronger argument about how the city of San Jose doesn’t have legal standing to challenge it.  I’ve talked about that extensively.

I believe that, if for some reason the court decides that San Jose does have standing, the anti-trust exemption and Major League Baseball could be in serious legal trouble here. But that’s a huge, unlikely “if,” and I am having a really hard time seeing how San Jose gets over that threshold.

But boy howdy if they do, get the popcorn, because this will be a total blast.

Giants place Hunter Pence on 10-day disabled list with right thumb sprain

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The Giants placed outfielder Hunter Pence on the 10-day disabled list with a right thumb sprain, per an official announcement on Friday. Pence initially sustained the injury during the club’s home opener on April 3, when he dove to intercept a line drive double from Robinson Cano and jammed his thumb. Weeks of playing through the pain hasn’t worked, so he’ll take a breather while the Giants give outfielder Mac Williamson a chance to start in left after getting called up from Triple-A Fresno.

Pence, 35, wouldn’t pin his recent struggles on his injury, but it’s clear that he’s having difficulty finding his footing this year. He slashed a meager .172/.197/.190 through 61 plate appearances in 2018, collecting just one extra-base hit and two walks during the Giants’ dismal 7-11 stretch. While it’s far too early in the season to make any final judgments, it doesn’t look like the veteran outfielder will be replicating the .275+ average, 4.0+ fWAR totals of years past (at least, not anytime soon).

Williamson, meanwhile, has gotten off to a hot start in Triple-A. Prior to his call-up this weekend, the 27-year-old batted an incredible .487/.600/1.026 with six home runs and a 1.626 OPS through his first 50 PA. A hot Triple-A bat doesn’t always survive the transition to the majors, but the Giants will use all the help they can get — especially as they take on the AL West-leading Angels this weekend.