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AP Covers MLB Shutting Down Fan Sites Including AstrosDaily.com

Discussion in 'Other Sports' started by Jeff, Sep 1, 2002.

  1. Jeff

    Jeff Clutch Crew

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    <i>Baseball Cracks Down on Web Sites
    Sun Sep 1, 1:26 PM ET

    By LARRY McSHANE, Associated Press Writer

    NEW YORK (AP) - Back in 1996, 14-year-old Bryan Hoch launched a Web site devoted to his beloved New York Mets. Four years later, New York Yankees fan Jim Frasch did the same for the Bronx Bombers.

    This summer, with baseball seemingly consumed by the just-resolved labor dispute, the two superfans were stunned when Major League Baseball tried to bench their sites and those of at least two other fans.

    Bob Andelman, creator of a Tampa Bay Devil Rays site, responded to the cease and desist letter he received with a disclaimer:

    "As you might guess, this Web site is not endorsed, enlightened or encouraged by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, its owners, management, players, or even Mac, the dancing groundskeeper."

    Hoch, on the other hand, became the Patrick Henry of cyberspace fan sites, opting for the death of his site rather than surrender his perceived liberty of content.

    It's business, not personal, baseball officials said. They moved against the four Web sites over the alleged use of team logos or trademarks to draw site traffic or turn a profit.

    "We encourage fans to speak about baseball and to produce Web sites," said Ethan Orlinsky, senior vice president and general counsel for Major League Baseball Properties. "We're simply asking they do it within the confines of the law."

    The recipients of the letters sent in July and August take a different view: It was like Roger Clemens firing fastballs at kids from the Harlem Little League.

    Ray Kerby of http://www.Astrosdaily.com said Major League Baseball Properties was upset by a display of vintage Astros logos he had in a history section on the site. He was going to fold his site, but a flood of supportive phone calls changed his mind.

    "At a time when major league baseball needs to be reaching out to their fans, they don't even know what their attorneys are doing to undermine that," Kerby said.

    Andelman was admonished because his Devil Rays site, http://www.emailtherays.com, did not fulfill its tongue-in-cheek promise to forward fans' e-mails to the team.

    Major League Baseball Properties says it's simply protecting itself from exploitation, but some fans think it went too far.

    Frasch sells advertising on his site, http://www.bronx-bombers.com, but said it's not even enough to cover costs. And Hoch said he sold all of $16 worth of merchandise at his site — including $12 spent by his girlfriend.

    Both miss the point, Orlinsky said.

    "The defense of `our site did not turn a profit' does not address the issue of commercialization," he said. "We're not sending letters out willy-nilly."

    The NFL takes a less aggressive approach.

    "To the extent that it's purely a noncommercial site devoted to commentary about the team, we're supportive and happy that fans are excited about our sport," says Paula Guibault, NFL senior counsel. "It's not an issue for us." </i>
     
  2. Htownhero

    Htownhero Member

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    Two points

    1 How much proof is required before we can all agree that MLB sucks ass?

    2. Your sig is kick ass
     
  3. Puedlfor

    Puedlfor Contributing Member

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    Baseball does such a poor job at promoting itself, you have to wonder how much better off financially they'd be if they actually reached out to their fanbase.
     
  4. drapg

    drapg Member

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    didn't astrosconnection.com get a "cease & desist" letter as well?
     
  5. Jeff

    Jeff Clutch Crew

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    Yes, they did. However, Scott and Kevin were already planning on shutting it down after this season anyway. This just confirmed their decision was the right one. :(
     
  6. rockHEAD

    rockHEAD Contributing Member

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    any organization that tells fans they can't do free promotion and advertising for them is STUPID!!
     
  7. SmeggySmeg

    SmeggySmeg Contributing Member

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    forget about shutting down the sites, anyone who is publicly supporting the Tampa Bay Devil Rays should be in an institution!!!!!
     
  8. RocksMillenium

    RocksMillenium Contributing Member

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    Lets see, attendance is down across the board, baseball has a crappy image, it's losing future fans and ticking off older ones, and they have zero competitive balance, only about 5 or 6 out of about 30 teams have a chance to win a championship or even make the playoffs. Hey, why not kill off the hardcore fans and shut down their sites, and kill off our free advertisement and destroy our goodwill! That'll help the game! I love baseball, but it deserves to die a slow, torturous death just because of the idiots running it.
     
  9. TheReasonSF3

    TheReasonSF3 Member

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    What a bunch of idiots. It's free advertising! MLB should love popular fan sites! Most companies would piss their pants if they could be advertised on a site that has over 1 million hits for free!
     
  10. rockHEAD

    rockHEAD Contributing Member

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    I have just removed any and all (2) baseball links on my site.
    F**k them... if they don't want to let fans have sites, I sure as hell won't even link to them!
    SCREW MLB!!! :mad:
     
  11. Cohen

    Cohen Contributing Member

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    With prevailing sentiments, could you imagine it MLB had gone on strike? It would have been R.I.P.
     

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