The former operator of the Cangrejeros de Santurce baseball team has filed an antitrust lawsuit against the Puerto Rican winter league, alleging it colluded with Puerto Rico Mayor Miguel Romero to remove him from the franchise.
Cangrejeros investor/operator Tom Axon was suspended for two years and fined $5,000 by the league in March after he criticized Romero for poor conditions at the team’s Hiram Bithorn Stadium and threatened to move the club to Humacao.
Axon’s lawsuit, filed in federal district court in Puerto Rico on Monday, demands that control of the franchise be returned to Axon’s companies along with triple damages from Liga de Beisbol Profesional de Puerto Rico Inc., operators of the league’s other teams and Impulse Sports Entertainment Corporation, which assumed control of the Cangrejeros after Axon was removed.
”I am bringing this litigation because of my passion for Puerto Rican baseball and my desire to restore the Cangrejeros franchise and all of Puerto Rican baseball to its former glory, for the benefit of players, fans and the entire community,” Axon said in a statement. ”No sports business is above the law.”
Axon claims he offered to invest $2 million in repairs for Hiram Bithorn Stadium but said his efforts were opposed by the league and Romero.
Romero said at a news conference this month introducing Impulse Sports and Puerto Rican rapper Daddy Yankee as the Cangrejeros’ operators that the team would remain at Hiram Bithorn Stadium and that upgrades were being made at the facility.
The Cangrejeros have employed some of the best players in baseball history, including Hall of Famers Roberto Clemente, Willie Mays, Orlando Cepeda, Frank Robinson, Reggie Jackson, Robin Yount and Satchel Paige.
The league did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
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