The introductory section of Flood v. Kuhn entitled
"The Game" earned Justice Blackmun a smirk retort from Justice Douglas
in a dissenting opinion. Even Justice White who joined in the
judgment of the Court noted his disapproval of the rant. Even still,
based on the legal doctrine of stare decisis (let the decision stand)
the Court allowed a poorly-reasoned precedent stand to protect the
once-beloved baseball from antitrust regulation. But the courts
have now redacted the special treatment previously given to baseball
partially because its profit-oriented nature has become apparent.
Sports journalists and commentators point to the Adonis-like
attitudes of athletes, inflated salaries and endorsements, and general
misconduct as reasons for decreased fan interest. Some sight that the
games have lost their purity in this age of free agency, where players
bounce around, mercenaries for hire to whichever team pays the most.
These are all
… Read the rest
Baseball has enjoyed a
special place in the hearts of American sports fans. It is touted as
America’s pastime. As Americans, judges are not immune to either the
love of the game or the special status it holds in American culture.
While other sports faced antitrust regulation with respect to the
reserve clause, baseball was exempted by the courts.  The reserve clause restricts the right of the player to contract with a team other than the one he is currently signed with. Justice Blackmun, in his famous opinion in Flood v. Kuhn, pays homage to the baseball gods with a nearly seven-page-long introductory section entitled “The Game.” This storied past of baseball (MLB) no longer holds sway as recent rulings evidence. Specifically, in the CBC v. MLB Advanced Media,
a federal district court recently held that MLB did not have … Read the rest