Saturday, March 08, 2008

Major League Baseball vs Bloggers: A Librarian's Perspective

I posted this photo of Nolan Ryan pitching to Ryan Sandburg on this blog once before. The reaction to it was "Wow, two hall-of-famers! I wish I had been at the game." That is a natural fan reaction, and my posting the photo is free marketing for Major League Baseball. What could be wrong with that?

In his column in the Chicago Tribune on Wednesday, March 5, Internet critic Steve Johnson reported that Major League Baseball is ready to clamp down on bloggers, who they think are stealing from them when they blog about the games that they attend. According to Johnson, they are following the misguided lead of the National Football League. MLB seems most concerned about photos. Johnson reports from sports industry sources that the league will restrict bloggers to posting seven game related photos from a game AND they must be taken down within 72 hours.

Who would ever want to take a photo down? The fact that MLB is letting any posting at all must mean there is debate within the ranks of the executives. Someone there must see how fans naturally want to share their excitement. The bloggers are their friends, if they would only realize it, but greed has blinded their eyes.

This makes me think about library conferences. Association executives could take the viewpoint that bloggers should be repressed. "Why let someone who did not pay for the conference know what was said?" Fortunately, librarians love to share and are concerned with the education and development of the whole profession, including those who can not afford to attend conferences. Reports from conferences do make some want to attend subsequent events.

Librarians should count their blessings that they do not have to contend with the millionaires and billionaires of Major League Baseball. They're no fun anymore.

Members of my family will be in Arizona soon and are attending a Cubs spring training game. I am not getting to go this time, but I look forward to seeing fan photos on Flickr. There are lots of fan photos on Flickr. Don't tell MLB.


Anonymous said...

You can't see me, but I am sticking my tongue out at MLB. They suck. And it hurts me to say that--I love baseball. But MLB sucks, Bud Selig sucked, the fact that they're all on steroids sucks, and the fact that they're big babies about bloggers talking about the game they love REALY sucks. I can't believe they have any fans left.

Can you imagine if librarians got out there and tried to shut down literary bloggers because they're taking our job? In case you didn't get the gist before: MLB sucks.

Anonymous said...

I mean REALLY. Sorry about the typo.

Unknown said...

Sounds like MLB is trying to kill fans' interest in baseball. If they continue to go this route, what are they going to do? Start patrolling the web and ask people to remove their pictures if they don't comply? That would give a great incentive for many people to not go to games and find other ways to spend their free time. If MLB does this, then they are sounding their own death knell.