Friday, March 07, 2008

MLB messing with CCBL

This is news that hits close to home for me. Major League Baseball is forcing six Cape Cod Baseball League teams to change their names due to copyright infringement.

As a Cape resident and Chatham A's fan, this is troubling news. CCBL was some of the first baseball I watched as a kid and going to games was a social event during high school. I wrote for the Cape Codder last summer, writing weekly league wrap-ups and going to various games. This was the first time I was paid to write - and it was about sports.

I don't understand MLB's logic here. It's not likely they are losing sales from an all-volunteer run summer baseball league. People aren't mistakenly buying YD Red Sox hats instead of Boston Red Sox hats. I would understand if some of the logos were infringing, many of them bear a very similar resemblance to major league clubs. But changing the team names? This is like the Arizona Wildcats going to every high school basketball team in America and making them change their names.

I hope the astounding number of former Cape League stars (Youkilis, Zito, Teixera, Frank Thomas, Varitek, Berkman and the one in seven big leaguers who played on the Cape) stand up for the league where they got their start.

The CCBL is an beacon of pure baseball in a time where the majors are rife with controversy. There are no tickets to games, almost everyone who works for the teams are volunteers, the players have to work minimum wage jobs (Zito worked at Stop and Shop during his stint), residents house players out of kindness during the summer and a majority of the teams have a hardcore following. The league has been around since 1885 and it would be a crime if it went under due to MLB's greed.

Watching the Chatham Lighthouses or the Orleans Sandbars just wouldn't seem right.

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