PANTY RAID! Homeland Security agents confiscate unlicensed Kansas City Royals underwear

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This used to be a great country. You used to be able to print up panties with the Kansas City Royals logo on the butt and the worst that could happen would be a cease and desist letter from Major League Baseball. Now? Print up panties with the Kansas City Royals logo on the butt and you get raided by Homeland Security:

The panties, with “Take the Crown” and “KC” across the bottom, were set to be sold in Honig’s Birdies Panties shop Tuesday. But Homeland Security agents visited the Crossroads store and confiscated the few dozen pairs of underwear, printed in Kansas City by Lindquist Press.

“They came in and there were two guys” Honig said. “I asked one of them what size he needed and he showed me a badge and took me outside. They told me they were from Homeland Security and we were violating copyright laws.”

It may be fun to laugh at the panty raid, but take a step back and realize how messed up it is that government agents are out there enforcing private copyrights like it was a criminal matter. 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, it appears, 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. And, of course, a unit that is run out of the same offices where fights against terrorists and stuff are waged.

I feel safe now, citizen. Don’t you?

In any event, Birdies Panties — the purveyor of the pirated panties — probably shouldn’t have made those things given that they didn’t have the right to do so. But you gotta feel bad that The Man came in and took all of their merch like that. So, in the interests of sticking it to The Man, please go buy a pair of underpants or three from them.

Fried, Braves go to salary arbitration for 2nd straight year

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Brett Davis/USA TODAY Sports
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Pitcher Max Fried went to salary arbitration with the Atlanta Braves for the second straight year, asking for $15 million instead of the team’s $13.5 million offer.

The 29-year-old left-hander went 14-7 for the second straight season and lowered his ERA to 2.48 from 3.04 in 2021. Fried was a first-time All-Star last season, was second to Miami’s Sandy Alcantara in Cy Young Award voting and was third in the National League in ERA behind Alcantara and Julio Urias with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Fried won a $6.85 million salary last year instead of the team’s $6.6 million proposal in arbitration. That was after he pitched six shutout innings in World Series Game 6 as the Braves won their first title since 1995.

Fried, who is eligible for free agency after the 2024 World Series, had his case heard Friday by a panel that’s expected to issue a decision Saturday.

Players have won two of three decisions so far: Pitcher Jesus Luzardo ($2.45 million) and AL batting champion Luis Arraez ($6.1 million) both beat the Miami Marlins. But Seattle defeated Diego Castillo ($2.95 million).

A decision is being held for Los Angeles Angels outfielder Hunter Renfroe, whose case was argued Monday. About 20 more cases are scheduled through Feb. 17.