Dear Commissioner: It was reported today in the Cape Cod Times that Major League Baseball continues to negotiate with the Cape Cod Baseball League for a license and revenue deal for the merchandise of six Cape league teams bearing the names of Major league teams -- the Mariners, A's, Cardinals, Braves, Red Sox and Mets.
With all due respect, Commissioner Selig, you've made a mistake with respect to Cape Cod Baseball. You can still avoid the sin of making this amateur baseball league that produces your stars of the future pay anything more than $6 per year to Major League Baseball.
I am not a lawyer (I'm just an opinionated fan), but I do understand MLB's need to license its names and logos. In intellectual property law, as I understand it, he who fails to protect his property loses his property. So I get the need for the CCBL to enter into a license agreement for merchandise. But what I don't understand is why MLB would want to take profits from amateur baseball. Why not license the team names and logos for $1 per year?
Why make headlines that reinforce the image of greed in an era of steroids and rampant player contracts (not to mention a nearly $200 per game average cost for a family of 4)?
Rather than allowing it to come to this, you should have deepened MLB's relationship and support for the six teams bearing MLB logos. The pride that fans, sponsors, players and parents feel for these Cape League teams is really the heart and soul of your sport.
Why not call the Cape League commissioner today and say, "sorry, let's get the lawyers out of this. Here's the deal, you give us $6 per year to use our team names and logos. And because we all love baseball and recognize the vital role of the Cape league, let us know how we can help to support you more."
The MLB has shown recently that it is capable of helping amateur baseball in meaningful ways. The Major League Basebal Urban Youth Academy in Compton, Calif., brought UCLA and USC baseball together with Historically Black College baseball (Bethune-Cookman and Southern) to provide more exposure to great college baseball for low-income and minority kids. Perhaps the MLB could help more HBC players get a shot on the Cape.
Mr. Commissioner, you serve in a unique position -- the top job in the world's best sport. Cape Cod Baseball is the best showcase and proving ground for your future. I encourage you to reject dollars from amateur baseball and instead unleash the creativity of your staff on a more positive course -- how to support Cape League baseball.