Craig Calcaterra

The judge's gavel is seen in court room 422 of the New York Supreme Court at 60 Centre Street February 3, 2012. REUTERS/Chip East

Don’t run on to a baseball field, you guys

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The idea of running onto a baseball field during a game used to be mildly cute. At least if you weren’t violent or dumb or something. Morganna the Kissing Bandit was sort of fun in a “we didn’t think too hard about a lot of things in the 70s and early 80s” kind of way. Streakers were hilarious for about 15 minutes back in 1974. Since then? Some ne’er-do-wells occasionally run onto the field but they’re apprehended and quickly forgotten. Or apprehended and immortalized.

Do it now, though, and it’s serious business:

A 19-year-old Indiana man is getting one year of probation and has been ordered to perform 100 hours of community service for running onto the field during a Cincinnati Reds home game in July.

That seems kinda stiff for a misdemeanor trespassing beef. I suppose in this paranoid and authoritarian day and age he should be thankful he wasn’t indicted on some sort of terrorism-at-a-public-event charge, but it still seems like a lot for a 50-yard run through an outfield and out again.

Wanna buy shares in the Atlanta Braves?

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The Atlanta Braves baseball club tends to be treated by its owner like a line item in a large conglomerate. That’s because it is, quite literally, a line item in a large conglomerate, Liberty Media. Now the large conglomerate is going to treat it like even more of a corporate entity by selling off shares. From the AJC:

Liberty, a publicly traded company with a range of media and entertainment assets, said it will create a tracking stock that will allow investors to buy shares in the Braves separate from the rest of the conglomerate.

The stock – expected to trade on the Nasdaq exchange in the first half of next year – would make the Braves one of the few professional sports franchises with publicly listed shares allowing for direct investment.

You know what makes share prices go up? When a company cuts costs and turns a profit. Whether the company provides customers with a fun product they can love is a secondary consideration. Which, unfortunately for Braves fans, will mean not much will change with how the club has been run for the past several years.

TheStreet.com has a little history lesson of professional sports teams which have been publicly traded. It’s a . . . weird little corner of the investment world.

I’m not the brightest when it comes to investments, but if any of you who are can figure out a way we can use this to mount a hostile takeover of the team and put Ted Turner back in charge, give me a call.

Know your Cuban prospects

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It was easy a few years ago. Some Cuban player defected, everyone in the international scouting biz knew stuff about him and told us and we all watched the bidding. Now, as a result of those early big money defectors and the thawing of U.S-Cuban relations, there are more players than any of us non-experts can keep track of. Unlike a few years back, if our team is linked to a Cuban free agent, we have no idea if we should get excited!

Never fear, MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez is here. And he has a handy-dandy guide of which of the 100-some-odd Cuban players hanging around someplace between immigration limbo and bonafide free agency we should be watching.

Bookmark and refer back when your team is said to be in market for some international talent.