Morsels, nuggets and other snacks to chew on while celebrating Independence Day: After four-plus years of silence occasionally interrupted by unproductive trash talk, the fight for the A's has gone nuclear. It's not between San Jose and Oakland. It's between San Jose's invisible gas and Major League Baseball's fortified bazookas.
MLB announced Wednesday that in response to the federal lawsuit filed last month by the City of San Jose, it has retained John Keker -- of San Francisco's esteemed Keker & Van Nest LLP -- as its lead lawyer to work alongside the Proskauer firm of New York.
Joe Cotchett, representing San Jose, is himself quite formidable. Squaring off against Raiders minority partners a few years back, he legally affirmed Al Davis' standing as the lone voice atop the organization.
Oakland Coliseum complex photographed June 28, 2001. (Contra Costa Times/Karl Mondon)
But if there were a national draft of attorneys you'd want on your side, guilty or not, Keker would be a solid No. 1 overall pick.
Should this suit, which seeks to remove territorial rights currently held by the Giants and allow the A's to move to San Jose, ever reach the courtroom it'll be must-see TV -- more compelling theater than anything we might see on the field. Facing the possibility of felony charges after allegedly assaulting teammate Lamar Divens with a beer bottle, one person who might phone Keker is 49ers linebacker Ahmad Brooks. Sixteen months into a $44.5 million extension, with $17.5 mil guaranteed, Ahmad can afford any lawyer he wants. For those keeping score, and some surely are, a Brooks arrest would cut to one the deficit for the number of Raiders players arrested (nine) and 49ers arrested (seven) since Jan. 1, 2008, according to the database maintained by U-T San Diego. Nnamdi Asomugha says he has something to prove. A man has to be a special kind of ambitious to feel that way after marrying spectacular actress Kerry Washington. Because folks keep asking: David Lee's offense is fine. The primary reasons for his availability would be a contract that exceeds his actual value to the Warriors and his tendency to look the other way as opponents waltz by on a clear path to the hoop. The whining of some Giants fans lately reminds us why general manager Brian Sabean once referred to the irrationally vocal few as the "lunatic fringe." Can we please dry the tears and remember that July standings are meant to entertain, not educate? Meanwhile, let's enjoy the summer ritual of wondering if the Giants will become mashers, even though they won't. They stopped being that long before a certain bigheaded slugger left town. With JaMarcus Russell getting another $3 million from the Raiders, we can fairly judge his dedication. Does he keep working to rebuild his body? Does he hop a flight to Vegas (plenty of parties and buffets), or dive headlong into some deep-fried southern Alabama fast food? The offer sheet Sacramento's Tyreke Evans received from New Orleans (at least $44 million, over four years) is about the 2,223rd example of why we shouldn't listen to any owner who blames players for the NBA salary structure. Point: Portly Pablo Sandoval's horrific slump proves he must lose some of the excess weight. Counterpoint: Burly Bartolo Colon's Pitcher of the Month award for June is proof that blaming a ballplayer's excess weight ... 1) is pointless, 2) can be clueless and 3) is the last excuse of a desperate fan. Even as the A's continue to be one of baseball's best stories, team division, it seems remarkable that the player most likely to grace the cover of a national magazine is Colon, and for numerous reasons. Danny Ainge is wise to realize there is no better time to lure a college coach into the NBA than while rebuilding, and the Celtics boss found a good one in swiping Brad Stevens away from Butler University. Any sport that fails to place its most exciting young player under a natural and huge spotlight should just stay with 8-track tape. That's why MLB must make room for Dodgers phenom Yasiel Puig, who can't ever be this good again. Come on down, Philadelphia's Jonathan Papelbon, you have just won a brand new 8-track tape player! Then again, any sport that won't do all it can to discourage pitchers from throwing at the heads of batters -- out of tradition, of course -- predates 8-track-tape thinking and seeks to keep us in the dark old days when cars were without seat belts and knee injuries meant immediate retirement.
Contact Monte Poole at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/1montepoole.