How Government Devastated Minor League Baseball

And why stopping the subsidies can help bring it back.


It's family Sunday FunDay here at Coney Island's Maimonides Park, home of the Brooklyn Cyclones. For the low price of $18, enjoy the up-close views of future New York Mets stars and between-innings fan contests involving potato sacks. If the kids don't wilt in the mid-July swelter, they can run the bases on the field after the game. It's minor league baseball at its corny, affordable best.

Seven miles away as the seagull flies over the mouth of New York Harbor, the scene at Richmond County Bank Ballpark is considerably bleaker. Gawky weeds shoot up through the neglected infield dirt and mangy outfield grass where the Staten Island Yankees once roamed. Just over the chain-link fence in right field sits an overflowing dumpster. The sliver of real estate past left field was supposed to be a walkway to a billion-dollar Ferris wheel; now it's a shady homeless camp dotted with flattened cardboard. "Let's not eat here," a mom says to her picnic-impatient 6-year-old.

The divergent fate of New York City's two minor league ballparks, like too much of life in the five boroughs, is a cautionary tale about what happens when government and business promiscuously canoodle. The city spent $71 million on a picturesque stadium on the Staten Island waterfront (Maimonides cost $55 million) that after a two-decade run now stands empty, and it's reacting to that calamity by throwing a fresh new $8 million toward cleanup costs in the hopes of luring baseball back.

Not for the first or even hundredth time, people elected to be caretakers of taxpayer money are discovering the ironic lie behind the most famous line derived from the overly nostalgic baseball film Field of Dreams: "If you build it, they will come." In fact, when governments become landlords, sports businesses, no matter how deep their pockets, start acting like tenants: always eyeing the exits for a potentially better deal. If you build it, they will leave.

This particular fable, though, transcends Gotham and the eternal ribbon-cutting temptations of local politics. The Staten Island Yankees were one of 40 minor league clubs—25 percent of the nationwide total—that were cut off overnight from their major league affiliates in December 2020. Local governments were suddenly on the hook for a quarter-billion dollars' worth of investment in event spaces that no longer held events. Though the main culprit was a cost-cutting Major League Baseball (MLB), the federal government and the judiciary had their fingerprints all over the murder weapon.

Through a mix of obfuscating patriotism, congressional camera hogging, and legal reasoning more twisted than a kosher Cyclones pretzel, Washington over the past century-plus has granted latitude to MLB that no other professional sport enjoys. Baseball's preeminent global league has not only blocked all halfway serious competition to its legally protected North American monopoly; it can dictate the most fundamental of operational details—employee salaries, game rules, even existence—to the once-independently owned professional teams and leagues that groom talented young men in the vast expanses between school and The Show.

"It's about controlling the industry," a bitter Jeff Katofsky, owner of Utah's Orem Owlz, told ESPN after learning of MLB's proposal to cull his team. "It's all about money and power."

Those who hold legislative power are proposing to fill the bush-league void with still more money, via the bipartisan $550 million Minor League Baseball Relief Act introduced in June 2021. That would be one way to extend the cycle of federal codependency.

But two other developments this season herald a potential break in the pattern. Republican senators, outraged by MLB's hasty decision to relocate the annual All-Star game from Atlanta in protest over Georgia's new GOP-written election law, introduced legislation in April that would punitively remove some of baseball's legal carve-outs. More plausibly, a unanimous Supreme Court in June signaled a willingness to revisit the antitrust exemption that former 9th Circuit Court Judge Alex Kozinski once characterized as "one of federal law's most enduring anomalies."

Those are a couple of tentative paths out of this corporatist game of pickle. But there are lessons of broader application to be gleaned from retracing the policy missteps that squandered taxpayer billions while making the minor leagues unfree.

Playing the Senate Like a String Quartet

In early 2018, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred put the squeeze on the owners of the 160 minor league baseball teams: Go lobby Congress to pass the unsubtly named Save America's Pastime Act, or face potentially dire consequences.

"We were told very clearly if we didn't get that thing passed, we would be staring down the barrel of contraction," multi-franchise owner Dave Heller recalled to ESPN. "So we were all supremely motivated to help MLB pass that legislation." (Two of Heller's four franchises lost their MLB affiliations in the December 2020 downsizing.)

The press release from sponsor Rep. Brett Guthrie (R–Ky.) announcing the 2016 bill warned that if it wasn't passed, "the costs to support local teams would likely increase dramatically and usher in significant cuts across the league, threatening the primary pathway to the Majors and putting teams at risk."

The Save America's Pastime Act amended the 1938 Fair Labor Standards Act to carve out an exemption for minor league baseball players so that they would not be paid overtime during the season or any money at all during pre- and post-season team workouts. Instead of paying players the federal minimum wage, franchises could retain them for as low as $1,100 a month for three to five months.

This was sold to legislators by minor league owners as a way to keep community ties alive in non–major metro areas like Charleston, West Virginia, and Burlington, Vermont. But in fact it was a penny-squeezing power play by MLB owners in the country's largest markets. To understand why requires a brief historical explanation about the relationship between the major and minor leagues.

Baseball as we know it derives from ball-and-bat game variations developed in the mid–19th century in Philadelphia, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and especially New York City. There were clubs of varying degrees of formality, temporary travel teams, and eventually leagues. The eight-team National League was born in 1876 and quickly developed a reputation as the best in organized ball; an eight-team American League upstart came along in 1901; the two formed an organizational truce and held an annual World Series, and that (with a couple of brief detours) is pretty much what Major League Baseball looked like for a half-century.

But the "minor leagues" during that span changed so dramatically they are unrecognizable. "The minor leagues did not start out as what they are," author Bill James wrote in The New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract. "By a long series of actions and agreements, inducements and rewards, the minor leagues were reduced in tiny degrees from entirely independent sovereignties into vassal states, existing only to serve the needs of major league baseball."

Some early leagues and teams jealously held onto players that were every bit as good as an American League or National League all-star. Hall of Famer Lefty Grove, before becoming MLB's best starting pitcher in the late 1920s, dominated the International League through his age-24 season. Joe DiMaggio arrived at the New York Yankees fully formed as one of the sport's best players at age 21; he had already been playing at a high level for three years for the Pacific Coast League's San Francisco Seals.

James in his book keeps a decade-by-decade tally of how "free" and "unfree" the minors were vis-à-vis the big leagues. In the 1870s and 1880s they were 100 percent free, and in the 1900s the free/unfree tilt was still 90/10. But by the 1930s the minors were just 30 percent free, and it was all over by the 1970s, when they were "100 percent slaves to the majors." The "critical years" for the transformation, James observed, were "1915 to 1925."

What happened then? Competition, the snuffing out thereof, and the Supreme Court, in that order.

In a unanimous 1922 decision written by Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, the high court in Federal Base Ball Club of Baltimore, Inc. v. National League of Professional Base Ball Clubs, et al. held that Major League Baseball was exempt from the Sherman Antitrust Act of 1890—and therefore legally free to buy out half of the upstart 1914–15 Federal League, then shut the whole operation down—because the business of holding baseball contests between teams from different states somehow did not qualify as interstate commerce.

Set aside for now the theoretical case against antitrust and consider the practical effects of that handwritten exemption: Independent minor leagues, and even ambitious international efforts such as the Mexican League, which attempted after World War II to poach high-quality MLB talent, knew that any organizational behavior perceived to be threatening to the monopoly or even deviant from its desires could be met with severe consequences. (Players who jumped to the Mexican League, for example, were automatically banned from MLB for five years, a policy that brought forth still more litigation that strengthened the antitrust exemption.) Minor league players in professional sports that do not enjoy an antitrust exemption, such as the National Hockey League, are able to unionize, giving them much better salaries and working conditions.

For a half-century before the December 2020 minor league contraction, the basic organizational relationship between the minors and the majors was this: Each of the 30 MLB franchises was aligned with five or six minor league affiliates of various levels that would develop and manage the not-ready-for-prime-time players that the big clubs had acquired via trade, free agent signing, or amateur draft. Those affiliates, which operated on multiyear contracts, were usually owned independently. But the personnel decisions—and, relevant to the Save America's Pastime Act, the salaries—were determined and covered by the parent MLB club.

So when minor league team owners were giving sob stories on Capitol Hill about needing to constrain payroll costs lest their teams disappear, they were lobbying on behalf of MLB franchises who that year earned on average $330 million in revenue. Congress was being asked to intervene so that minor league salaries would remain within a band of $4,000 to $14,000 per year; meanwhile, the owners actually signing those checks were paying out minimum MLB salaries of a half-million dollars.

The federal legislative process being what it is, the Save America's Pastime Act, with zero fanfare, was tacked onto page 780 of an 891-page, $1.3 trillion omnibus spending bill that was passed by Congress and signed into law by President Donald Trump in March 2018.

America's pastime, alas, did not long stay saved. MLB, having frogmarched minor league owners under threat of contraction to warn legislators that minor league teams would die if salaries weren't capped, took all of seven months to begin leaking lists of teams it would soon kill off anyway. "In retrospect," Clinton (Iowa) LumberKings general manager Ted Tornow told ESPN in 2020, "MLB played the Senate like a string quartet."

Instruments do not always enjoy being exposed as tools. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D–N.Y.) had been critical in getting the Save America's Pastime Act inserted into the omnibus, only to watch the hatchet fall on multiple New York minor league teams two years later. "They can't just pick up and walk away," Schumer complained in late 2020. Au contraire, Chuck.

The Gorsuch Opening

"There are good arguments for getting rid of baseball's long-standing exemption from antitrust laws," wrote antitrust scholar Herbert Hovenkamp at Pro Market, a website run by the University of Chicago's Stigler Center, in May. "But the reason cited by Republican Senators angry at MLB's response to Georgia's new voting laws isn't one of them."

In early April, to protest the state of Georgia controversially changing its voting laws in the name of "election integrity," Major League Baseball announced that it was moving its long-planned mid-summer All-Star game out of Atlanta. Conservatives were irked by what they saw as a noxious combination of media hysteria, cancel culture, and the flexing of progressive muscle over big business. As he can be counted on to do in such situations, Sen. Ted Cruz (R–Texas), stepped up to the plate, or at least the microphone.

"Major League Baseball asks for your ID when you pick up tickets at will-call, but they have made it clear they oppose photo ID requirements to vote," Cruz said while introducing the Competition in Professional Baseball Act two weeks later. "If Major League Baseball is going to act dishonestly and spread lies about Georgia's voting rights bill to favor one party against the other, they shouldn't expect to continue to receive special benefits from Congress."

There is something both unseemly and unsurprising about a modern politician using legislation as a tool to punish the political behavior of a corporate entity. Nevertheless, the generally more serious Sen. Mike Lee (R–Utah), another co-sponsor of the bill, was on firmer footing when he asserted at the same press conference that MLB "has used its judicially fabricated antitrust immunity to suppress wages and divide up markets for decades—conduct that is plainly illegal, and sometimes criminal, in any other industry."

The case against using antitrust law on baseball is the general case against antitrust itself, which has been debated in the pages of this magazine for 52 years. Antitrust is too often determined politically, too often applied to non-monopolies, too often solicited and gamed by regulated entities to cement their market share. None of these critiques maps very well onto the past century of Major League Baseball; better to make the purely philosophical argument that the government has no business meddling in the affairs of monopolists.

The case for the MLB exemption from antitrust, on the other hand, is so flimsy that few bother making it. Even the Supreme Court has been distancing itself from the precedent.

Near the end of its 2020–21 term, SCOTUS ruled 9–0 that the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) could no longer prohibit universities from compensating their sometimes highly revenue-generating athletes. The NCAA had argued that its price fixing of student-athlete labor should be exempt from the Sherman Antitrust Act due to its "societally important non-commercial objective" of upholding "amateurism."

Justice Neil Gorsuch in his majority opinion made the nonroutine step of quoting from an amicus brief, one submitted by a nonprofit called Advocates for Minor Leaguers, which had urged the Supreme Court to think of the example of baseball while rejecting "a judge-made exemption from the antitrust laws for a group of thousands of workers based on an anachronistic understanding of their workplace."

"To be sure," Gorsuch wrote, "this Court once dallied with something that looks a bit like an antitrust exemption for professional baseball. In [the Federal Baseball case] the Court reasoned that 'exhibitions' of 'base ball' did not implicate the Sherman Act because they did not involve interstate trade or commerce—even though teams regularly crossed state lines (as they do today) to make money and enhance their commercial success….But this Court has refused to extend Federal Baseball's reasoning to other sports leagues—and has even acknowledged criticisms of the decision as 'unrealistic' and 'inconsistent' and 'aberration[al].'"

In addition to spotlighting the shakiness of the MLB precedent, Gorsuch suggested that it may soon be vulnerable to challenge: "Whether an antitrust violation exists necessarily depends on a careful analysis of market realities….If those market realities change, so may the legal analysis."

Harry Marino, executive director of Advocates for Minor Leaguers, responded jubilantly: "I think that today's opinion signals that the current composition of the Supreme Court has a significant skepticism about baseball's antitrust exemption. I read their segment of the opinion about the antitrust opinion as an invitation to litigants to raise the issue in front of the court."

Senne v. MLB, a 2014 class action lawsuit seeking back wages for minor league players, could yet provide a challenge to the exemption. In October 2020, it survived an MLB attempt to get the Supreme Court to decertify the litigating class.

Independence Day

In the meantime, some minor league team owners are beginning to take their first tentative steps toward independence from the MLB Borg. The first modern independent circuit in the minors, the Atlantic League, was founded in 1998 as a smaller-market repository for big-league washouts, injury comeback stories, and other misfits. Since the MLB's forced contraction process, the Atlantic League has doubled from four to eight teams by absorbing some abandoned franchises; an investment group on Staten Island is hoping to make Richmond County Bank Ballpark home of Team No. 9.

Following the Atlantic League's independent trail were the Pecos League (founded in 2011), the Pacific Association (2013), the Empire Professional Baseball League (2016), and the United Shore Professional Baseball League (2016). All have fattened on the stranded teams. Meanwhile, three other former minor league baseball groupings (the Pioneer League, the Frontier League, and the American Association) have gone independent, though they maintain a general partnership with MLB for things like experimental rule changes.

Will there be a market for small-city baseball, unaffiliated with MLB franchises, featuring a caliber of play higher than the NCAA but lower than Yankee Stadium? Who knows! One thing for certain is that government financial assistance is not going to speed the discovery process.

The Minor League Baseball Relief Act, like so much of government intervention into business, would mostly serve to benefit incumbents: Its $550 million would go to the 120 minor league teams still affiliated with deep-pocketed MLB franchises, as well as the 40 that were disaffiliated in December 2020. Longstanding independent teams and leagues would be at a comparative disadvantage.

The single most important thing lawmakers could do to promote baseball is to stop forcing non–baseball fans to subsidize the sport. The MLB commissioner stated explicitly while pulling the plug on minor league franchises that the now-smaller number of affiliation agreements will be reevaluated with an eye toward making sure that stadium facilities are maximally modern. By creating artificial scarcity, Manfred hopes to spur cities to compete with each other via taxpayer-financed stadium building and maintenance, thus preempting any need for MLB owners to pay their own freight. He should be invited to choke on a churro.

Study after study has shown that sports facility subsidies do not pay off through increased tax revenue. And as both the Los Angeles Rams football team and MLB's San Francisco Giants demonstrate, professional teams that pay for their own stadiums tend to have the most beautiful ones, along with a built-in incentive to stick around and improve the neighborhood.

So let us, if we are so disposed, cheer on the minor leagues as they tilt the scales back toward living or dying on their own terms. Maybe one or more of the independent leagues, freed from both the mandates of MLB and the meddling of Chuck Schumer, will become so competitively successful that they'll capture local or even national attention, creating an incentive for commercially successful owners to invest in their own damned stadiums. If they build it, they might just stay.

NEXT: It's Time To Kill the Mandatory Beef Tax That Underwrites "Beef, It's What's for Dinner"

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  1. That antitrust ruling seems really odd, given the tendency of the Supreme Court to rule everything else under the sun as “interstate commerce”, and the fact that it was *unanimously* ruled so. I wonder what the backstory there is.

    1. I always wondered why the Sherman act carves out baseball’s exemption since the exemption is originally grounded on Holmes’ decision that stated how baseball isn’t interstate commerce.

      Doesn’t compute.

      1. The same way firearms manufactured entirely in Montana, and labeled “not for sale outside Montana”, can be “interstate commerce”; because a federal judge says so.

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    2. That was *before* Wickard v Filburn, though. Nothing like 10 years of the same guy appointing justices plus threats of court-packing if they don’t start ruling your way to make the Supreme Court do whatever you want.

      1. Wickard would not have read on that case. It was just the recognition that if the owners of clubs didn’t collude, they couldn’t put on attractive contests.

    3. My understanding was that it was not about interstate commerce, but that since Congress when it passed the Sherman Act knew how pro baseball operated, and would’ve known the consequences had pro baseball been subjected to it — the subjection of every agreement the clubs came to via their leagues to antitrust litigation — and that there was no evidence Congress meant to do that, that Congress therefore could not have meant baseball for money to be a business subject to the Sherman Act. People mischaracterize this ruling as being that baseball was not a business (!), but the closest way to understand it is that Congress implicitly made “business” a technical term for purposes of that act, and that it did not include pro baseball.

      The idea was that baseball blatantly ran against the spirit of “agreements in restraint of trade” that were beling federally legislated against, but that to put on fair contests, baseball club owners had to combine in certain ways in restraint of trade, and that therefore they needed to be given a free hand in doing so, leaving it up to them as to whether it was for the good of the consumer.

  2. Seems like the MLB Commissioner decided to destroy all professional baseball (and perhaps amateur baseball as well) by repeating an outrageous lie (i.e. Georgia’s new voting law and and its GOP legislature is racist against blacks) that was manufactured by left wing Democrats and stated the previous day by Joe Biden.

    By falsely accusing Republicans (who fought the civil war to free the slaves) of being racists and moving the All Star Game to Denver (where far fewer blacks made money from the game than would have occurred in Atlanta, and where the CO voting law is more restrictive than in GA), the MLB Commissioner basically said Republicans (and their money) were no longer welcome at MLB games or as television viewers.

    So after 55 years of loving baseball and watching MLB games (including more than 100 Pittsburgh Pirate games every year since the 1970s), due to the MLB Commissioner’s false accusation that Republicans are racists, I haven’t watched even one inning of MLB this year.

    Unless/until the MLB Commissioner apologizes for his outrageous racist lie, or unless/until he is removed because of his actions, I will NEVER watch another MLB game in my life.

    1. I suspect that far fewer Republicans attended or watched MLB games this year (and in the future) just because the MLB Commissioner repeated the left wing Democrat’s outrageous lie about Republicans in Georgia and the new GA voting law.

      1. Awesome. Baseball sucks. Hopefully you’re honestly done with it forever.

        1. Why do you hope that?

          1. Just Jacob being an asshole.

            1. Is being an asshole about baseball Jacob’s field?

        2. You liberals seem obsessed with destroying things you don’t like. It is so odd.

        3. Nothing sucks like shitlord.

        4. “Baseball sucks.”

          Take that back! Right now, you dirty commie!

          1. Check that.
            Shitlord’s got serious competition in the suckiness event.

            1. When you walk past White Mike’s house it must sound like there’s a shop-vac running 24/7.

              1. Likely closely followed by the sound of conversations’ points zipping by over its head, since it’s just a bit slow.

                1. Dee’s a bird brain.

        5. You’re an idiot, but really trying to see the libertarian angle for wasting any taxpayer funding on sports unless it’s related to international commerce, so props.

      2. It depends on the team.

        The Padres are still so over the top patriotic, nobody hardly notices what the commissioner did. Here they are on military Sunday, when the team is in Marine camo colors, and they do a 4th inning stretch so the fans can serenade the hundreds of Marine recruits they bus in from Camp Pendleton with the Marine hymn.

        I’m sure there are other cities like that–and San Diego is in California! The commissioner isn’t the face of baseball necessarily. The local owner shows the face he wants the city to see, and in some places, that face is still enthusiastically patriotic.

        1. Did that cost the taxpayer? Displays of paid patriotism shouldn’t count.

          1. Where was taxpayer money involved?

        2. Where does California bus in that many people who will sing and clap along with the Marine Corps hymn?

          1. Used to live in North County for years, and it was very conservative (Darrell Issa was our representative, and I just checked and saw that he’s still in office) and absolutely pro-military, as is all of San Diego as far as I remember. So many active duty and retired people in the area due to the major bases. They’ve been bringing in those Marine recruits to the Padres games as long as I remember, and San Diego marathons used to end at their recruit depot in Point Loma.

            CA is hopelessly under control of the fucking Democrats, but if that has any chance of changing, it’ll start in San Diego.

            1. Exactly. California doesn’t do shit. The Padres do it, and plenty of San Diegans will appreciate it.

              San Diego has always been a military town. It is a LOT less so now than it was before the realignment 30 years ago, but there is still a huge contingent of military. There are half a dozen major and minor naval bases on San Diego bay, and the Marine Corps Recruit Depot next to the airport. All within a few miles of Petco Park. There’s also Pendleton 30 miles north, and Miramar 10 miles north, both major Marine Corps bases. A lot of industry used to be military focused too. After Qualcomm and the biotech growth it’s less dominant, but San Diego tech is still pretty strongly focused on military applications. The rule is Drones, Phones, and Hormones.

              Inviting recruits from MCRD is just good business. And it’s a treat for the recruits who are nearing the end of a grueling boot camp.

    2. It’s especially absurd when you consider that black Americans really don’t even like baseball. Black participation in baseball is at an all time low, and if you go to any game pretty much anywhere in America they’re going to make up at most about 2 or 3 percent of the crowd.

      1. This is because racist, white fans shout things like, “Dinger” at racially insensitive adjacent mascots named Dinger.

        1. A seven minute video featuring a Chris Rock appearance several years ago on HBO’s “Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel” where Rock explains why black Americans no longer like baseball:

          The abbreviated explanation: it’s too old, too slow, too white, and the stadiums don’t play enough shitty-ass ghetto music about bitches and hoes.

    3. Yes, that unnecessary Georgia voting law has set off all kinds of negative consequences.

      All because Georgia lawmakers thought that too many “coloreds” were voting.

      1. turd lies. It’s what turd does. turd is a pathological liar too stupid to recognize he lies and further, too stupid to understand everyone else knows it.
        If turd posts it, and it isn’t a lie, it was an accident.
        turd lies; it’s what he does.

      2. “Georgia lawmakers thought that too many “coloreds” were voting”

        Aaaaand Buttplug finally admitted he thinks Blacks are too stupid to hold a driver’s license. The stupid Nazi fuck.

        1. He uses the “Those people don’t have IDs so I didn’t know this particular victim was underage” defense.

      3. Admit you want to hit a dinger in the uppity deck.

      4. Man, I get busy with work and come in to see this gem. You’re trying hard to steal your “stupidest motherfucker to post here” title back. Good work.

  3. “The divergent fate of New York City’s two minor league ballparks, like too much of life in the five boroughs, is a cautionary tale about what happens when government and business promiscuously canoodle.”

    But at least the trains run on time, and the media present only proper content, right?

    1. “the trains run on time”

      I don’t believe you.

  4. Can Welch explain why the best two-way player in a hundred years (Ohtani) is on an American league team–when the best two teams in baseball are in the National League and currently battling it out to see who goes the World Series? Ohtani could put either one of them over the top, but noooOOOooo. What’s the point of having a two-way player like that on an American league team?

    I guess the Angeles need to give their fans some reason to buy tickets, even if it’s in the pursuit of wasted stats. The Angels need to attract fans, even if they are the fifth best team in California. Inn a free market, however, a talent like Ohtani would go to his highest and best use–which can only be on a National league team.

    1. If the NL adopts the DH, we know america is lost.

      1. I thought they were going to do it during the pandemic, too.

        I’m so glad they didn’t.

        1. The NL did have the DH for the 2020 season, then abandoned it this year.

            1. Stolen from the American League.

              1. A baseless accusation!

                  1. One could say he …. hit a home run!

                    1. But I touched all the bases…

              2. Right off the bat, I must cry foul.

          1. The NL did have the DH for the 2020 season, then abandoned it this year.
            They struck out with that.

      2. The designated hitter issue is like the Philly cheesesteak. There are two varieties and this diversity should be celebrated.
        The National League, aka the senior circuit, represents tradition due to its elder status and more so due to retaining the pitcher in the batting lineup. The Philly cheesesteak made traditionally is done so with provolone cheese.
        The American League, the younger of the two, represents the new way of doing things highlighted by the introduction and retention of the designated hitter. The newer way of crafting a Philly cheesesteak is by using American cheese. Easy to remember: American League = American cheese.
        Once a year, in October, when the leaves turn majestic colors and the evening breeze brings a crisp chill to the air Major League Baseball presents its Fall Classic: The World Series. During this annual extravaganza, fans experience the blending of both styles of baseball in a contest that rewards us with both a designated hitter and pitchers batting; the culmination results in crowning the champion for that season. The culinary equivalent to The World Series is a Philly cheesesteak prepared with both American and provolone cheeses. A delicacy so wonderful that each bite brings the joy of this cornucopic synergy but with a dash of sadness that the end is now a mouthful closer.
        Incidentally, nacho cheese on your Philly cheesesteak represents the steroid era. Accepted begrudgingly at best but not Hall of Fame worthy.

        1. I hope the point isn’t getting lost that Ohtani could go to any playoff contender in the National League and make them dominant with his hitting. If Ohtani is pitching against Max Scherzer twice in the NLCS, I’m taking Ohtani’s team both times because Scherzer can’t swing a bat for shit. If I’m in the American League, I might prefer Scherzer to Ohtani depending on the situation and the opponent. It’s a waste. Ohtani in the American League is like a smokin’ hot bikini model in a burka.

          1. He can be the game 1 starter for all away series in AL parks (a Philly cheesesteak made with Swiss).

          2. Baseball analysis on a Reason thread; point is definitely lost. I don’t think he can take the ball every fifth day (or 6th or 7th day) and play the field competently and keep himself healthy. He’s been injury-prone as is. He’s never played 1B in his professional career. And he’s never stayed healthy while carrying an OF role. This is the first season he’s been healthy and dominant – he played 1 game in the field anywhere other than the pitching mound. I mean, I get your point that his day in the rotation minimizes impact of DH in AL and maximizes impact on an NL lineup. But i think this 2-Way thing is working so well precisely because of the DH rule.

            Even assuming he can handle the field competently while remaining healthy and dominant, NL teams lost the bidding war.

            Also, I’m not so sure the Rays winning 100 in that AL East division isn’t more impressive than what the Giants and Dodgers did. And my $ will be on an AL World Series Champ if the Giants finish off the Dodgers.

        2. Nicely done! Bravo!

    2. The Angels signed him as a free agent – that is why.

    3. On second thought it was a globalist plot dreamt up at Davos by progressives in order to control white American youth via baseball.*

      * Ken likes nutty CT and was no doubt working on something similar.

      1. turd lies. It’s what turd does. turd is a pathological liar too stupid to recognize he lies and further, too stupid to understand everyone else knows it.
        If turd posts it, and it isn’t a lie, it was an accident.
        turd lies; it’s what he does.

        1. And the town bum shows up! Here is Sevo, holding his ‘The End is Near’ sign up. Spouting nonsense. Avoid eye contact. He will wander away soon.

          1. turd lies. It’s what turd does. turd is a pathological liar too stupid to recognize he lies and further, too stupid to understand everyone else knows it.
            If turd posts it, and it isn’t a lie, it was an accident.
            turd lies; it’s what he does.

            1. Sevo wears his war boner like a crown
              He calls his child Jesus
              Cause he likes The Grand Old Party
              And he lends him the biggest creep around

              Sevo, Sevo needs his money
              Doesn’t have a lot they say
              He spends his days begging
              Under a bridge down by the San Fran Bay.

              He was born a troll for The Donald on Christmas Day
              When the New York Times said your god is dead
              The culture war’s begun
              Stephen Bannon has a son today

              And he shall be Sevo
              And he shall be a small man
              In tradition with the Party plan
              And he shall be Sevo

              Sevo sells cartoon balloons in town
              The Party business thrives
              Sevo blows up balloons all day
              sitting under the bridge watching them fly.

              1. turd lies. It’s what turd does. turd is a pathological liar too stupid to recognize he lies and further, too stupid to understand everyone else knows it.
                If turd posts it, and it isn’t a lie, it was an accident.
                turd lies; it’s what he does.

              2. Let’s cover the lies here:
                1) Nobody here ever saw me pushing any war at all.
                2) Similarly, it’s no secret I have no religion.
                3) I could easily buy and sell lying lefty shits like turd, but prefer not to deal in fucked-up assholes.
                4) No, I don’t blow up balloons.
                And other than those lies, turd posts nothing but a word salad.
                So, four-for-four; turd lies, it’s what turd does. turd in a pathological liar, entirely too stupid to know he lies.
                turd lies; it’s what turd does.

              3. Imaginative song dedicated to a guy with a three word vocabulary “Die lefty scum.”

                1. Imagine a steaming pile of lefty shit stupid enough to post that.
                  Don’t have to; a steaming pile of lefty shit just did.

                2. Anyone else recall how sarcasmic spent all day yesterday crying saying I only talked about other people and not topics?

                  Is he the biggest hypocrite here?

                  1. He’s certainly one of the biggest shitposters.

                  2. And for someone who claims not to read my posts, it seems he relies on mind-reading to prove himself a lying piece of shit.

              4. Trick or treat,
                No mean tweets,
                Biden backers gulp his skeet.

          2. Spouting nonsense

            But he’s right.
            You do lie. It’s what you’re paid to do.
            If you post something, and it isn’t a lie, it was an accident.

            You know, everyone here hates you. When you’re not shitposting DNC and OSF propaganda, you’re trolling.
            It’s time for you to fuck off, Shrike. In fact, it’s long overdue.

            1. Further, other than being a *pathological liar*, why lie so obviously?
              Ever seen me claiming ‘the world’s gonna end’? Neither has anyone else. This is like the spastic asshole calling me a “pedo”; WHAT?!
              turd pulled that lie right of his ass and then claims to wonder why lying is his only rep!
              Easy: It’s what turd does. turd lies.

            2. Is true; if the dim bulb was an effective or entertaining troll, it would be a different matter. Given its habit of smugly regurgitating ignorant dishonest bs that only gets abuse in return, I wouldn’t call it rolling. Nor would I call it masochism, but it seems closer.

    4. Ohtani is a once in a lifetime case. He passed up untold millions by joining the American major leagues before he turned 25 (a dumb baseball rule to discriminate against foreign free agents). Instead of signing a long-term contract for 200+ million when leaving Japan, the max anyone could pay him was the major league minimum (555K per year), plus a total signing bonus of no more than 3.5 million (which has to be split between all foreign free agents that year). He signed for a 2.3 million signing bonus plus the minimum per year.

      And Ohtani chose the Angels himself, he wasn’t assigned. He insisted on being a pitcher and a hitter at the same time, which most teams were very skeptical of (it’s so hard to become a major league hitter or a major league pitcher that almost no one since Babe Ruth was elite enough to be both.) And playing in the American League (with the DH rule) made it easier to maximize his value, not harder. On non-pitching days he could play DH, and not replace a position player, and not expose himself to getting injured or fatigued by playing defense. On pitching days he could focus on pitching.

      At least that was the plan prior to this year. This year the Angels took off the training wheels and let him bat all the time, even when he was pitching. Who needs a DH spot when your pitcher is your best hitter? Turns out he’s a great baserunner too — 8th in the league in steals, in the 91st percentile for sprint speed, and the fastest player in the league from home to first (a combination of speed, batting left-handed, and hustle.)

      But have no fear for his bank account. He will make plenty on endorsements, and will be a free agent in 2 years.

      1. “And playing in the American League (with the DH rule) made it easier to maximize his value, not harder. On non-pitching days he could play DH, and not replace a position player, and not expose himself to getting injured or fatigued by playing defense. On pitching days he could focus on pitching.”

        If he were in the National League, Ohtani could be a pinch hitter whenever the pitcher (or any other weak batter against lefties) came up to bat in the late innings. And he can go play in the outfield in the National League, when he’s not pitching, just like he has been for the Angels, too. He bats left handed!

        1. Ken, how has his health been any year he’s had substantial OF duties in addition to his pitching and hitting? He’s ended up hurt. He’s never played 1B. You pitch him every 5 days and put him in the OF and he isn’t going to stay healthy and dominant. His value is, in theory, maximized in NL. But in the real world, it wouldn’t work, and the DH is a crucial part of the 2-way working.

  5. I always balk at the idea of using tax dollars for sports.

    1. You hit that one out of the park.

      1. Wish these sports franchises angling for public funds would just walk off.

        1. Angling for public funds? Is there a fishing subsidy too?

          1. Some pitchers throw a sinker. But if it isn’t fooling batters, the manager will give him the hook. And if he is all washed up, even if he used to be a catch, he will be released.

    2. Too bad taxpayers can’t go on strike

      1. Nope. They have to learn to play ball.

  6. “Suddenly, Paul Pelosi got a phone call from his broker. He was in luck,” Watters continued. “Paul was offered a prescreened invite to get in early on Visa’s $18 billion IPO. Did Nancy and her husband hesitate? No, they bought between $1 million and $5 million worth of Visa stock. But it gets better. While Pelosi was speaker, bills that would have hurt Visa’s stock price were blocked in the House. Visa shares going up over 200 percent during the time, making the Pelosis a fortune on paper.”

    “In January, the Pelosis got a million dollars worth of Tesla stock right before Joe Biden announced electric car incentives in June. The Pelosi family cashed in big time just before Congress was set to pounce on Big Tech. Mr. Pelosi exercised options on Google’s parent company, Alphabet, making an easy $5.3 million.”

    1. It’s easier to play the game when you get to change the rules as you go along.

      1. I bring it up because shrike and the other leftists here kept crying emollients and graft for 5 years but can’t be bothered to bitch if it is a Democrat.

    2. Pelosi also bought one million in stock in Tesla a day before Biden signed an EO demanding all government agencies buy electric.

      The level of blatant, unapologetic insider trading going on at capitol hill right now is astonishing. And even though Pelosi is a major culprit, the whole of DC is full of it.

      Remember too when the senators got their coronavirus briefings before the public and sold off millions of dollars in stocks before the crash last year, and faced no consequences and no regulation?

      Meanwhile the Dems went ape shit when Trump indirectly owned $400 worth of the drug company that makes Hydroxychloroquine, through a mutual fund. They claimed he was enriching himself.

      1. America has a nobility problem, and it means its leaders don’t pay for their failures or wrongdoings.

      2. Pelosi, Nancy. She who considers herself to be queen, and speaks only in risible soundbites and rhetoric. Member of DNC aristocracy. Not to be discussed by, much less gazed upon, except in adoration, by the little people.

  7. The gallery hosting Hunters refrigerator art received almost 500k in covid relief. Far more than any other gallery of comparable size in NY. Recieved 30% of it just this year.

    1. If artists are attention whores, then gallery owners are just plain whores. Or maybe pimps.

    2. “Yeah we’re publicly grifting. Who cares? Nobody is going to do anything about it anymore. Hunter’s untouchable and the media will cover it up, so fuck you.”

      1. It’s really gotten pretty much that blatant.

  8. Really hard to find a good guy in this mess.
    First, MLB is granted an exemption to a law which has no business existing at all, so we’ve got a cancellation: +1 , -1 = O.
    Then what? Someone’s running an entertainment business poorly? So what?
    Why should I or anyone who supports a libertarian view care beyond the obvious: Get the government out of it entirely! ?
    Anything else seems to be picking sides in a mud wrestling match.

    1. This is exactly the issue and set of questions. Why is this taking up so much print in a libertarian magazine? It’s a small news story about an topic (fraud, waste, abuse) that is repeated all too often, and often in areas that are actually important. Sports are entertainment, people don’t require entertainment to live. They do require food, housing, some sort of medical care, heat in the colder climes, clean water.

      1. And even those are adequately supplied by a market forces so long as the government gets out of the way.
        Didn’t even bother to look at the byline, but this has got to be Welsh; yep. A couple of thousand words of self-important navel-gazing, intended only to show his ability to ‘amuse and amaze’.
        Reason used to get some bucks from me; Welsh’s efforts means it’s $5/year now, so they know they are not forgotten.

        1. Hmmm. Maybe I will just donate a dollar, instead of nothing.

          1. It’s like leaving a 2 cent tip.

            1. I’ll leave a 5-spot, so they keep it as a reminder, rather than toss it on the floor.
              Pick that Lincoln out of your pocket to pay for something and remember where it came from; not many other places by now, other than a messenger.

  9. Budget reconciliation is the legislative equivalent to the infield fly rule.

  10. Government has already ruined the minor leagues in another way — by threatening to remove the antitrust exemption if they don’t pay their minor leaugers minimum wage or better. It may shock some people to realize how little minor leaguers are paid, especially at the lowest levels. Players put up with it because room and board are provided, and they dream of one day getting rich in the majors (which won’t happen for the great majority of them), and because they can get a better paying job in the other half of the year.

    Baseball Inc. sees the handwriting on the wall (or maybe just felt bad for exploiting players for so long) and reorganized the minor leagues this year, limiting every major league team to 4 minor league teams (AAA, AA, A+ and A). Richer teams used to have multiple teams at the low A and Rookie levels. Those teams will now be cut loose to go their own way.

    What was previously fourteen leagues spread out over five levels is now eleven leagues over four levels, massive re-alignments were implemented to accomodate this and sadly dozens of teams were kicked out of affiliated professional baseball. The new system allows the Major League teams and their Minor League affiliates to be significantly closer to each other than before, in most instances, as well as an increase in salaries to Minor League ballplayers. Though, again, this at the cost of many teams.

  11. You want sports monopoly scandal? Check out the NCAA which is slowly – not fast enough – on the way out, having fouled it’s own bed by treating players like chattel while letting coaches bid up their member schools so that $5 million is no longer a big thing, and even let them switch teams before the bowl game their suckers – I mean players – will appear in without them. ADs now make over a million a year. Players ability to profit off their own image is the death knell – how do you regulate recruiting if a wealthy fan can give $500 to all the players on the UM Hurricanes?

    1. At long last, SMU is back baby! They were banned for being one of the innovators in getting cash to exploited college athletes….

      Yeah, the intentions were noble here: cut the players in on the billions in value they’re creating for the universities and the coaches and the conferences and the TV networks.

      But the rules against paying the players weren’t just there so they could be pristine amateurs (the Olympics already gave up that dream), but to stop schools like Auburn or Clemson from paying high profile recruits under the table (bags o’ cash, or new cars, or maybe a house for Mom and Dad, or an assistant coaching job for your high school coach, or a cushy job with a wealthy booster’s company you don’t have to pay for.)

      Now players can make money for “Name, Image and Likeness” meaning video games, jersey sales, TV ads, etc. Some schools like Oregon are already getting creative with it. One player is selling his custom artwork on online. He’s talented no doubt, but what’s to stop a wealthy booster from bidding on it like he’s Banksy?

      In July, he announced a nonfungible token (NFT) deal with Nike founder Phil Knight and designer Tinker Hatfield involving a piece of artwork.

      A canvas version of that artwork was recently auctioned on eBay, fetching a $22,200 winning bid. The auction’s winner will also be issued some of Thibodeaux’s coin.

      “I didn’t even really realize how much it would go for. I had no idea,” Thibodeaux said. “We started it at $500. So for it to go up to 20,000 [dollars] was kind of crazy to me.”

      1. In my opinion, the crime here is the milking of this scene by everyone from NCAA officers to ADs to independent “Athletic Associations” and Universities cashing in on brand “licensing”, to the coaches and their agents. The only ones not milking – until now were players, who were not allowed – under monopoly constraints – to even transfer. I think the college sports will be diminished by the demise of amateur athletics – guys actually playing for school spirit – but this was not sustainable once the NCAA passed on controlling how much everyone but the players could make.

        1. Of course a steaming pile of lefty shit would support government sticking its nose in transactions between free agents!
          Is anyone surprised by such idiocy from such and idiot? Me, neither. Fuck off a die, Joe, and take your lefty shit with you.

          1. At least get has the values to actually admit he is a Democrat.

            1. I’m proud of it Jesse.

              Are you proud of being a libertarian, given that’s what the copraphiliac sevo calls himself?

              1. Yes. Just like I dont believe in intelligent design. And evolution. Loberty should be maximized to let the best ideas rise and let others adapt to those ideas.

                Democrats think they can manage top down, even after proving themselves wrong for 120 years. Some democrats used to believe in cities and states being laboratories of democracy, but not anymore. Just corrupt as shit.

                And you are the useful idiot who let’s it happen.

                1. Yeah Jesse, well if you and sevo howl at the moon loud enough maybe you won’t have to debate any actual issues from the real world. The amazing thing is that all the others here just let this deranged stuff go without comment. Is this normal for libertarian get togethers? No wonder there”s so few of you.

                  By the way, I’ll take the last 120 years in America and compare it to anything else you’ve got. Again, let’s keep it to the real world, that is if you are able to identify it.

                  1. “Yeah Jesse, well if you and sevo howl at the moon loud enough maybe you won’t have to debate any actual issues from the real world…”

                    Ned help wth that distraction, shit-for-brains? turd and sarc are more than happy, since they, like you, are incapable of doing anything other than offering unsupported piles of lefty shit.
                    Fuck off and die, asshole.

                  2. “…By the way, I’ll take the last 120 years in America and compare it to anything else you’ve got. Again, let’s keep it to the real world, that is if you are able to identify it…”

                    Sorry, asshole, missed this first time ’round.
                    As a steaming pile of lefty shit, exactly what evidence do you have to claim credit for the progress during that time period, as opposed to being seen as not quite finished demolishing an experiment which is libertarian to the core; the founding of the Republic?

                  3. “…By the way, I’ll take the last 120 years in America and compare it to anything else you’ve got. Again, let’s keep it to the real world, that is if you are able to identify it.”

                    The more I think about this pile of shit, the more it pisses me off.
                    Jack-off Joe lays claim to the progress from market economies for the last 120 years when the highest and best application of lefty shit during that time period has resulted in the deaths of more than 100,000,000 million innocent people.
                    Yeah, we’ve heard it before, shit-for-brains: “I don’t mean *that* far left!”. Of *course* you didn’t; you’re too fucking stupid to know that once you start handing out free shit, relieving people of their responsibility and distributing wealth, there’s no stopping point.
                    So, OK, what have you got? In the US, a welfare program eating the major part of the US (and states’) budgets, and approaching bankruptcy, supporting parasites like you, asshole. A country (Sweden) which was a *huge* profiteer of German (stolen Jewish) gold, finally admitting it can’t afford that idiocy any longer even after all that theft for a the benefit of a miniscule population. British (and Cnd) ‘medical care’, devoted to employing low-wage staff (the large earners having fled) and to hoping the patients die before they actually get care. An entire continent which relies on the (still, largely) market economy of the US to provide for their defense.
                    What have you got? You got failure, more failure, yet more failure and mass murder, you slimy pile of shit.
                    And you wonder why you’re a pariah?
                    Fuck off and die, asshole.

                  4. I dont have agency over sevo dumbass. That is tour authoritarian impulse thinking i do.

                    1. I don’t know Jesse, you don’t have any constraints about passing judgement on me, and I’m not the one embarrassing this board. That would be our feces obsessed friend.

                      By the way sevo, I’ve made payroll every week for 40+ years and write checks to the government. I don’t collect them.

              2. “…copraphiliac…”

                What’s that term?
                Oh, yeah: “Projection”!
                Stuff it up your ass, steaming pile of lefty shit; your head wants company.

    2. You want a steaming pile of lefty shit? Here’s Joe to fill the bill!

  12. Whether an antitrust violation exists necessarily depends on a careful analysis of market realities….If those market realities change, so may the legal analysis.”

    Interesting words by Gorsuch but every country on Earth EXCEPT the US understands the market realities of sports competition. All sports require some element of collusion in order to develop and enforce the rules of the game itself. There is no such thing as a baseball game if anyone can decide for themselves whether to run clockwise – and counterclockwise – and back and forth to second – and sit around at home plate deciding for themselves whether a run has scored. Nor can that game occur if only the NYY get to make up the rules for everyone else because they are the most powerful team. It is why sports have governing bodies. The two best examples in the US being the USGA and USTA – but those are individual sports not team sports.

    Likewise, leagues themselves require some sort of internal collusion to schedule games (and in the modern game, negotiate media rights to broadcast those games). But if the teams themselves get to own the league and use that ownership to control other leagues without restraint, then you have the result here in the US where a small group of team owners can cartelize the entire sport and eliminate competition – permanently.

    Every other country (and the US as well for individual sports) understands that the solution is to separate ownership of the governing body of the sport or league from ownership of either a club (meaning generally the facilities) or a team (meaning the players, contracts, etc). Germany and England are the best examples of how that works – for a team sport like soccer.

    1. Or just trust the market to work it out. Leagues and teams that do it wrong will fail on their own. No government intervention required.

      1. Exactly:
        We have what we have because the government stuck its nose where it does not belong.
        Any look at history makes it abundantly clear that ‘find-tuning’ a government nose probe will only make things worse.
        Get the government out of the matter entirely! This is an entertainment business, and it can succeed or fail just fine.

      2. Baseball is the perfect example of why the market will not work it out. Cartels CAN exist forever and destroy competition. In the case of baseball – that cartelization has destroyed the sport itself.

        And despite much of the horseshit in this article – the example of baseball is the ancap wet dream of the role of government. Turns out though that a government that has no role in res publica – becomes nothing more than a dancing monkey to the nearby organ grinders who play the tune.

        1. Here is a perfect example of why steaming piles of lefty shit should be ignored:

          “Baseball is the perfect example of why the market will not work it out. Cartels CAN exist forever and destroy competition. In the case of baseball – that cartelization has destroyed the sport itself.”

          Note that the lefty shit invents a problem (‘cartels can exist and destroy competition’) and then points out how that very process is self-correcting if left alone (‘destroys the (cartel)).
          Ignore the outright lie; no ‘sport’ was destroyed; the cartel was. Anyone and everyone can still pay baseball.
          Stuff it up your ass, JFree; your head’s asking for company.

        2. You don’t have a clue how free markets work. You are a socialist pretending that arbitrary allocations can somehow replicate the magic of prices and free markets.

          1. I know how ACTUAL markets work. And there is absolutely no reason whatsoever why actual markets in the real world comport with a theory/rationalization of free markets. It is a big reason why ‘Austrian school’ wing of libertarian thinking tends to get ignored by anyone in the real world, and why that school continually sputters that the entirety of reality is ‘socialists’.

            FFS. Seriously. You think an observation about baseball is socialism? Whadda fucken moron.

            1. Why did you call the MLB free market when they have an anti trust exemption? I don’t think you do understand.

            2. “I know how ACTUAL markets work. And there is absolutely no reason whatsoever why actual markets in the real world comport with a theory/rationalization of free markets…”

              To a lefty shit, this is a claim that free markets do not exist, and the lefty shit making the claim knows how crony/socialiast markets work.
              Which is exactly the way *any* markets work, except that as a buyer or seller, you must discount the distortion caused be government intrusion to be successful.
              Until they collapse…
              Seriously, if you think any comment by the steaming pile of lefty shit JFree is worth anything more than derision, you are deluded.
              Stuff it up your butt with your PANIC flag, asshole.

              1. “Which is exactly the way *any* markets work, except that as a buyer or seller, you must discount the distortion caused be government intrusion to be successful.
                Until they collapse…”

                ‘Nother comment regarding ‘real markets. Not gonna scour the bookshelves right now, but a history documenting the collapse of the USSR points out, that in central Moscow courtyards, often protected by private security, food and clothing markets existed for at least 20 years prior to the collapse. They were simply ignored as the last several dictators knew that shutting them down would likely result in revolution; that’s where food came from.
                Two comments:
                See No. Korea
                ‘Markets can exist without commies, commies cannot exist without markets’.
                Stuff it up your ‘real’ ass, JFree.

                1. This last can be generalized: individualism can simulate socialism with contracts, but socialism can’t even tolerate individualism, let alone simulate it.

                  JFree is the living embodiment is what happens without markets. His brain is as thought-free as socialism is price-free.

                  1. “JFree is the living embodiment is what happens without markets. His brain is as thought-free as socialism is price-free.”

                    Been dumping on JFree since his ‘sky is falling’ panic, what, nearly two years ago. Like the climate change catostrophists, not a single one of his predictions has gotten anywhere close to being accurate.
                    But, still, given his inane arm-waving regarding tax structures and other issues, it seems there are ‘thoughts’ going on there, and given their lack of connection to reality, I’m guessing we’re dealing with a highly-credentialed idiot in some ‘studies’ or other.
                    A fucking idiot too stupid to know how stupid he is.

          2. Most statist shits claim to be non- or even anti-religious, but their beliefs are amazingly similar to those who profess ‘intelligent design’: A lack of ability to see that random selections can result in better outcomes over time.
            In both cases, all it takes is a reading of history (including ‘pre-history’) to correct the mistake, but evidence is never a friend of religion.
            In the case of statists, it should be obvious that markets existed since Ug traded a basket to Gu for a spear, each being better at making that particular good. Now they both could spear the food *and* carry it home at less cost than either doing what they did badly. Others took a look and did the same. Rinse and repeat.
            Or, take the case of Joe, above: As a steaming pile of lefty shit, he fantasizes that rights and freedoms are granted by governments, ignoring which government allowed Ug and Gu to trade and spear and carry that food. Takes some real religious fervor to get that stupid.
            Wanna see how the Allies won WWII and the Axis lost in two books?
            As it happens, I’m reading “Freedom’s Forge” (Arthur Herman), wherein he documents William Knudsen’s success in activating US industry to deliver the military hardware required to defeat the Nazis and the Japanese. In opposition to the active resistance from FDR and most of his minions who assumed it would take a tsar and an abolition of profits.
            Read that alongside “Wages of Destruction” (Adam Tooze), to see that first a socialist nation (regardless of turd’s lies and shitstain’s bullshit, Tooze shows that’s exactly Nazi Germany was) should never go to war with a market-based economy.
            Japan’s tiny WWII economy needs no documentation to any who have read any history of the time.

            1. JFree probably sneers at religious fundamentalists who deny spontaneously-ordered-from-the-bottom-up evolution in favor of intelligent design, while sneering at spontaneously-ordered-from-the-bottom-up markets in favor of central planning. The two compartments in his head don’t even recognize each other, let alone cooperate, which is the hallmark of individualists and markets everywhere.

        3. No, the government getting its dick involved, the players strike in the 90’s, the steroid issue, and retarded virtue signaling has destroyed the cartel.

          Baseball will live on if MLB dies the death it so richly deserves.

          1. Game length is a problem as is spin rate.

    2. Actually there’s another way, the opposite: the proprietary route, like the last iteration of the XFL. No franchises, no clubs, just a single business entity of teams playing each other. I’m not saying this is better, just a viable alternative.

      1. Not sure this is viable longterm. I agree that that model is the only way to try to force open some niche and compete away some weakness in the existing cartelized models. But for 100+ years, those have all gone bankrupt quickly.

        Even in a team sport that does have a ‘governing body’ here (US Soccer) and a wide-open opportunity for the sport, that model only works as long as Phil Anschutz and Lamar Hunt were willing to throw a ton of money down a hole and courts agreed that anti-trust laws are not allowed to protect players from collusiuon that harms them.

        US Soccer is actually an example of why a governing body should have a primary mission of governing/improving the sport itself – not merely how to select the ‘national’ teams for international competition with everything else as secondary. They do a great job at the youth level – not at all well at the adult/professional level.

        There is always gonna be a conflict of interest between the big money teams/leagues and others. A sports governing body that is independent of those separate entities can resolve that – just like the PGA v USGA, DFB v DFL, and FA v Premier League do.

        Absent an independent governing body, courts cannot do that because courts have to pick a winner – and that means the big money kills off the small fry. If courts just defer to legislatures, then that’s just greasing the way for mordida.

        1. “Not sure this is viable longterm…”

          Why would anyone other than your mommy care what you think, steaming pile of lefty shit?

        2. Governing bodies for sports (unless they’re government-imposed like state boxing and racing commissions) exist only at the pleasure of their members. The games they govern aren’t proprietary like Scrabble, anyone can play them without their permission. So they’re actually an example of voluntary cooperation.

  13. OT:

    Gavin Newsom signs woke law forcing stores to have ‘gender neutral’ sections where traditional blue and pink toys and toothbrushes are banned

    Large department stores must now display products like toys and toothbrushes in gender-neutral ways
    The law, which took three tries for Democrats to get passed, is a win for LGBT advocates who say the pink and blue hues pressure children to conform
    California Gov Gavin Newsom signed the law into effect on Saturday but it does not apply to clothes or stores with less than 500 employees
    It does not completely outlaw traditional boys and girls sections at stores. Instead it says large stores must also have a gender neutral section to display

    1. The gender neutral section is where you checkout. Prices are the same for men, women, trans, gay, lesbian, bisexual, queer and any other demographic.

      1. I wouldn’t know how to comply. Alternate? Mix and match? Ban blue or pink? If you were the person mapping out how products are displayed, what would you do?

        1. I would ungendertrify the adult toys section where dildos of all colors would mingle. Any regulator asserting that this was insufficient for the store’s compliance would receive a complimentary technicolor dildo with instructions on where it should be inserted for maximum effect.

          1. You already do that in the butt-plug and condom-mint sections.

            1. If we stay ahead, the regulations won’t be able to ketchup to us.

                1. Guess I cut the mustard.

                  1. I’ve been cutting the cheese all day.

                    1. Relish the thought

              1. Condiment jokes are a serious sign of dementia. Both of you, check yourselves in to the Mayo Clinic—STAT!

          2. I know. I shopped there last weekend.

        2. I’m guessing the law will be enforced through private lawsuit.

    2. Corporations are doing this anyway. After the remodel, the Walmart where I work did away with the gender signs

      It’s sorted by brand, not toy type. There’s one section, Kid Connection, that has giant sharks and helicopters right next to dolls

      1. ‘After consultation with the legal department, we have no choice: Please do NOT direct a customer to ‘girl’s toys’ tell ’em to look somewhere in that direction.
        Thank you’

  14. I’m just wondering why the Can-Am League didn’t get mention as among the modern independent leagues.

    1. One suspects a few possibilities: would take from what tedious narrative there was; would require research and knowledge.

  15. Despite a year of no outbreaks due to airplane travel, fauci hints at travel vaccine mandates.

    The usual cast of characters will support this while claiming they are against mandates.

    1. And all this while they KNOW FOR A FACT that jabs don’t stop transmission.

  16. Has Reason done any coverage of the “Facebook” “Whistleblower”?

    Asking for a friend.

    1. Who is Stossel? Just some nobody.

    2. I think they’re ignoring it as hard as they can, because the narrative.

      When they do pay attention it’s only to point out that the measures the whistleblower recommends are also anti-free market and regulation friendly. Nothing about the wrongdoing itself or alternative solutions.

    3. Pretty sure that, J.S. being a contributor, Reason would be in the same mess CNN was allowing the other Cuomo to comment on the Gov.
      Reason’s due a lot of stick, but not here.

      1. I’ve been thinking that as well.

        Much like the woodchipper incident.

    4. So I guess Stossel did a bit. I’ll have to go check it out.

        1. No wonder your understanding of libertarianism is so juvenile.

  17. More Covid smoke and mirrors.

    Yes, we’ve heard all about Joe Biden’s alleged vaccine mandate for private companies employing 100 or more people. It was all over the news even before he announced it on September 9. His announcement has jeopardized the employment of millions of Americans and increased worker shortages in critical domains such as health care.
    There’s only one problem. It’s all a mirage. Biden’s so-called vaccine mandate doesn’t exist — at least, not yet. So far, all we have is his press conference and other such made-for-media huff-puffing. No such rule even claiming to be legally binding has been issued yet.
    That’s why nearly two dozen Republican attorneys general who have publicly voiced their opposition to the clearly unconstitutional and illegal mandate haven’t yet filed suit against it, the Office of the Indiana Attorney General confirmed for me. There is no mandate to haul into court. And that may be part of the plan.

    Lawyers for big business were blunt about their love for this mandate mirage: “Everybody loves this cover,” Minneapolis employment lawyer Kate Bischoff told Bloomberg Law in September. “Many were already looking down the road at doing this, but the fact that they get to blame Biden is like manna from heaven.”
    The mandate’s nonexistence shields the Biden administration from legal challenges that may ultimately restrict the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s authority. Yet the mandate is still effective at compelling industries and companies into compliance, as it leaves room for any eventual issuance to target noncompliant entities. This implied cudgel is particularly effective on industries and companies that are dependent on federal spending or the goodwill of federal regulators. The nonexistent mandate also allows so-inclined state and local governments and companies to issue their own mandates, seemingly in lockstep with Washington.
    The Biden White House has been well-served by presenting a nonexistent mandate as a done deal.

    1. This is the exact same horseshit that they pull with social media.
      Make all kinds of threats that they’re going to do something, so that everyone jumps the gun and starts censoring, but never actually follow through so they don’t have to defend it in court or at election time…
      And of course 21st century corporations are lemmings, so you only need a few to start before it cascades everywhere.

      It’s a great way to dance around the constitution without ending up in the dock.

      1. Many indoor dining and distancing Covid mandates were dismissed in courts at the request of states that withdrew their mandates, rather than have it ruled illegal. Sneaky.

    2. Maybe rolling it out is like the withdrawal from Afghanistan. Wait a few months for an epic botch.

      1. State departments of labor, dry rats and quislings.

  18. Dang that’s one long article! Extra innings?

    1. Let’s go Brandon!

  19. It’s funny you mention the LA Rams, because its owner basically got rich by marrying a Walmart heir, then buying land and selling it to Walmart for a big profit. He also runs shady TIF schemes, getting tax breaks for developments, then abandoning them in favor of new ones.

    He then took all the money he (and the Rams) made in the Midwest and then moved the Rams to LA. Yes, he built his own stadium, but he basically looted the governments of the Midwest to fund it.

    It also illustrates that someone who basically made his money, and is from the Midwest (he’s literally named after two baseball Cardinals greats), will happily abandon it for greener pastures. So who is going to be doing all this development outside of LA and other already rich places?

  20. This is a long mostly stupid article based on one critical anti-libertarian misconception – that the baseball exemption from *federal* antitrust law is a mistake to be corrected.

    The leftist hive that wrote this forgot to take out the part in the middle whining about the Save America’s Pastime Act, which was clearly meant for some explicitly left wing outfit and not Reason (which is presently being coy about it instead of explicit).

    Here are some of the more galling issues from the article, numbered for your convenience:

    1) the Act “amended the 1938 Fair Labor Standards Act to carve out an exemption for minor league baseball players so that they would not be paid overtime during the season or any money at all during pre- and post-season team workouts. Instead of paying players the federal minimum wage, franchises could retain them for as low as $1,100 a month for three to five months.”

    It’s framed as a bad thing because the writer is, again, a leftist twit. But it’s terrific from a libertarian perspective. The only problem was this law only exempted minor league ballplayers from FLSA. The rest of us are still waiting for our liberation.

    2) “In a unanimous 1922 decision written by Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, the high court in Federal Base Ball Club of Baltimore, Inc. v. National League of Professional Base Ball Clubs, et al. held that Major League Baseball was exempt from the Sherman Antitrust Act of 1890—and therefore legally free to buy out half of the upstart 1914–15 Federal League, then shut the whole operation down—because the business of holding baseball contests between teams from different states somehow did not qualify as interstate commerce.”

    The Commerce Clause wasn’t broken until the 1930s, culminating in the complete destruction of any limits on federal power in Wickard v. Filburn (1942). Before that, the Supreme Court actually inquired whether an application of federal authority was “regulat[ing] interstate commerce” instead of letting Congress do literally whatever it wanted. The Court didn’t let the incidental travel of goods or people across state lines trigger completely unfettered federal gun in your face. From the opinion, which this purportedly libertarian website just balked at for limiting federal power:

    “The business is giving exhibitions of baseball, which are purely state affairs. It is true that, in order to attain for these exhibitions the great popularity that they have achieved, competitions must be arranged between clubs from different cities and states. But the fact that, in order to give the exhibitions, the Leagues must induce free persons to cross state lines and must arrange and pay for their doing so is not enough to change the character of the business. According to the distinction insisted upon in Hooper v. California, 155 U. S. 648, 155 U. S. 655, the transport is a mere incident, not the essential thing. That to which it is incident, the exhibition, although made for money, would not be called trade of commerce in the commonly accepted use of those words. As it is put by defendant, personal effort not related to production is not a subject of commerce. That which in its consummation is not commerce does not become commerce among the states because the transportation that we have mentioned takes place. To repeat the illustrations given by the court below, a firm of lawyers sending out a member to argue a case, or the Chautauqua lecture bureau sending out lecturers, does not engage in such commerce because the lawyer or lecturer goes to another state.”

    The Supreme Court made a fine distinction here, well worth resurrecting. Sporting leagues, like many, many other things, are not the sort of “interstate commerce” conceived of by the founders when they wrote the Commerce Clause. Therefore, should the feds want to regulate them, they’ll need an enumerated basis or a constitutional amendment to provide such a basis.

    The impulse that many no doubt have here: that (the facts of that case) those corrupt league owners who bought up a monopoly and shut down competition should get their comeuppance, isn’t a bad impulse. But you are exactly the problem when you assert, like this article did, that the Constitutional guardrails should have been taken down to indulge that impulse. Keeping the commerce clause within its original meaning would have prevented the ruinous expansion of federal authority we have experienced in the past century. Because twits like this author turned their feelings into eviscerated constitutional protections.

    And they didn’t even have to, to solve problems like this. A hundred years ago they could have started a different league! Sued them under a state-level antitrust statute!

    The world is your oyster. Just keep your filthy hands off my Constitution.

    3) “Set aside for now the theoretical case against antitrust and consider the practical effects of that handwritten exemption [(snip: what a great way to ignore the constitution and whine about the outcome)]. Minor league players in professional sports that do not enjoy an antitrust exemption, such as the National Hockey League, are able to unionize, giving them much better salaries and working conditions.”

    Does Bernie Sanders give you a bread line ticket every time you plug unions? Unionized employees enjoy the “benefits” of gangsters skimming off the top of their paychecks to line their own pockets and parasitizing whatever employer they’re at, until, of course, the host dies.

    4) “America’s pastime, alas, did not long stay saved. MLB, having frogmarched minor league owners under threat of contraction to warn legislators that minor league teams would die if salaries weren’t capped, took all of seven months to begin leaking lists of teams it would soon kill off anyway. “In retrospect,” Clinton (Iowa) LumberKings general manager Ted Tornow told ESPN in 2020, “MLB played the Senate like a string quartet.””

    Now we move on to the next subject leftists don’t understand at all: economics. If you haven’t noticed, MLB is not in great shape. Baseball has lost an enormous proportion of its cultural power in this country after successive generations of kids not playing it and adults not watching it.

    The author here is whining that lobbyists’ bullshit bill naming didn’t save “all” of the minor league teams, which undergird a troubled major league. Consider that without enough money to pay minor league prospects that MORE clubs would have had to close, and the few (funded) clubs that remained would quickly destroy what competition existed among themselves because they would be buying talent in their own right, instead of developing it for the major league.

    Admittedly, I’m not a baseball fan and that may have already come to pass, but the salary cap here isn’t what caused it, and blocking it sure wouldn’t have prevented it.

    The real answer for how sports leagues would work if we undid the leftist twits’ damage to the Constitution is: however they want. They would impose salary caps, uniform restrictions, whatever they wanted, subject only to actual (constitutionally limited) laws which governed them. Which, yes, could include state-level antitrust laws.

    And the remedy for rejecting those restrictions? It would be not participating in that private league.

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