There was a ruckus in the stands at a White Sox game at U.S. Cellular Field back in 2004. A woman, among others, was arrested and charged with battery. The charges were eventually dismissed. The woman then turned around and sued the White Sox for violating her civil rights in removing her from the ballpark.
That lawsuit, as lawsuits tend to do, has lingered for several years. It was dismissed on summary judgment. The dismissal was upheld on appeal just the other day. I don’t really care about the suit itself. But I do care about the judicial activism displayed in the first paragraph of the court’s decision:
Fricano asserts that the Cleveland Indians are “the arch rival” of the Chicago White Sox. While the two teams maintain a healthy rivalry, this court notes that it is generally accepted, at least among informed baseball followers, that the title of arch rival belongs to the reviled Minnesota Twins, to be shared, during inter-league play, with the Chicago Cubs.
I’m hoping that another court decides this question differently and the matter is presented to the Supreme Court. I could probably make some money as a hired gun consultant or something.
(thanks to Dan Feinstein for the heads up)
Earlier this year Disney agreed to purchase the majority stake in BAMTech, the digital media company spun off from MLB Advanced Media. We know it as the source of the technology for MLB.tv and MLB.com, but it’s far more wide-ranging than that now. At present it powers streaming for MLB, HBO, NHL, WWE, and, eventually, will power Disney’s and ESPN’s upcoming streaming services.
The company was started by an investment from baseball’s 30 owners, so they’re getting a big payout as a result of the acquisition. Earlier this morning Jim Bowden dropped this regarding how much of that payout is in the offing in the short term:
That’s probably on the low end, actually. Some people I’ve spoken to who are familiar with the acquisition say the figure is more like $68 million in Q1 of 2018.
Good for the owners! It was a savvy, forward-thinking investment that, in the past, baseball owners might not have made. Bud Selig, Bob Bowman and others deserve credit for convincing the Jeff Lorias and Jerry Reinsdorfs of the world to think big and long term. It’s money out of the sky, raining down upon the owner of your baseball team for, basically, doing nothing.
Money which should be remembered when your buddy complains about a relief pitcher getting $6 million for only pitching 65 innings. Money which should be remembered when your team’s GM says that he has to cut back on payroll in the coming year.