Craig Calcaterra

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Inside the 2014 World Series Homeland Security Panty Raid

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You may recall that just before the 2014 World Series Department of Homeland Security agents raided a small clothing store in Kansas City because it was committing the heinous crime of . . . selling panties with an unauthorized Royals logo on them. Like, an actual raid by law enforcement with confiscations and the whole deal.

At the time we noted how crazy it was that government agents were out there enforcing private copyrights like it was a criminal matter. We noted that, for most of our history, copyrights were enforced through the civil justice system, not by a unit of government agents dedicated to fighting “intellectual property crime.” A unit that was created at the behest of entertainment companies, not because there was any sort of public outcry or criminal scourge imperiling the general peace and welfare, but because the government is, apparently, supposed to proactively protect corporate profits, not just impose penalties for the violation of a law after the fact. Protect those profits, by the way, via use of the same governmental department which is tasked with leading the fight against terrorism.

That whole episode was quickly forgotten by most. But it wasn’t forgotten by Aaron Gordon of Vice Sports. He sent out Freedom of Information Act requests about the incident. FOIA requests, it should be noted, that the government sat on forever because that’s just how the government treats FOIA requests specifically and transparency of operations in general these days. He finally got his documents, however, and he presents his findings today.

Go read Gordon’s story, where the documents are produced. Know, in the meantime, however, that a lot of taxpayer money and a lot of wrongheaded effort was expended to address what appears to be about $40 in phony Kansas City Royals panties. Then ask yourself, why on Earth this wasn’t a matter for the courts, following a copyright infringement suit, as opposed to a matter for armed law enforcement raiding businesses.

The Padres are dangling Matt Kemp

Matt Kemp
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This is not a shocker by any stretch of the imagination: the Padres are letting it be known that outfielder Matt Kemp can be had in a trade.

The hope going into the season from the Padres front office had to be that Kemp would start hot and look like an appealing offensive upgrade to a contender. On that count things are a mixed bag. Kemp’s power numbers are really nice — 10 homers and a .500 slugging percentage — but he’s only hitting .250 and has only walked four times in 39 games.

That could appeal to someone — power is always valuable — but given that he’s owed $21.5 million this year, next year and for two more years after that, it’s unlikely anyone will give up anything worth a thing unless the Padres eat a ton of that salary. And even then it may not be a lot.

Good luck, Padres. Maybe someone bites. But they’re not going to bite big.

What’s on Tap: Previewing Wednesday’s afternoon action

This undated image released by AMC shows Jon Hamm as Don Draper in a scene from Season 5 of "Mad Men."  AMC announced Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2013, that a two-hour premiere will kick off the acclaimed drama series' sixth season on April 7.  (AP Photo/AMC, Michael Yarish)
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Back in the day they used to call weekday day games “businessmen’s specials.” The idea being that some Don Draper-type might take the afternoon off from work and take in a ballgame. Or use the ballgame as an excuse, telling Betty Draper he’d be there while he was really at that Greenwich Village apartment with the beatnik greeting card artist woman who ended up being strung out on H or whatever happened later on. That was first season stuff, so I forget. You get the idea, though.

We don’t call them “businessmen’s specials” anymore because it’s 2016 and a lot has changed. Women being taken seriously as an important part of the workforce is the obvious one, but I think it’s also because the idea of a “businessman” is inherently ridiculous. Remember those “Kids in the Hall” sketches where literally the only joke was that things like “businessmen” exist? I couldn’t take that word seriously anymore after that, even if Skip Caray kept using the term well into the 1990s.

Anyway, we have a few day games today. They’re not businessmen specials. Let’s call them “work from home people’s distractions.” Yeah, that’s the ticket.

Miami Marlins (Tom Koehler) @ Philadelphia Phillies (Jeremy Hellickson), 1:05 PM EDT, Citizens Bank Park

Minnesota Twins (Ricky Nolasco) @ Detroit Tigers (Justin Verlander), 1:10 PM EDT, Comerica Park

Boston Red Sox (Steven Wright) @ Kansas City Royals (Ian Kennedy), 2:15 PM EDT, Kauffman Stadium

Texas Rangers (Martin Perez) @ Oakland Athletics (Rich Hill), 3:35 PM EDT, Oakland Coliseum

Hold my calls, Peggy.