MLB Reminds You That It Owns The Rights To Richie Sexson's Batting Average

Now that Bud Selig has this steroids problem completely under control, he's turning his lawyers loose on the real enemy: Unlicensed fantasy baseball leagues. We eagerly await the first major enforcement incident. We see police shouting instructions into a house through a bullhorn, followed by a paunchy bald guy exiting through the front door with his hands up, kicking a clipboard containing Guillermo Mota's pitching statistics in front of him.

Attorneys representing Major League Baseball argued Thursday that online fantasy baseball companies cannot operate without paying license fees to MLB to compensate players for the use of their names. A panel of three judges at the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals seemed skeptical that MLB could take financial control of a game that uses publicly available statistics and widely known names of players. "MLB is like a public religion. Everyone knows (the players') names and what they look like," said U.S. Judge Morris Arnold. "This is just part of being an American, isn't it?"

Major League Baseball is appealing a lower court judgment last year that ruled St. Louis-based CBC Distribution and Marketing does not have to pay licensing fees for MLB players' names and statistics for their online fantasy league games. If MLB wins the appeal, hundreds of online fantasy leagues would go out of business. Unless ...

"With the first pick of the draft, I take Alex Hodrigues, shortstop for the New York Spankees."

You're welcome, online fantasy league owners.

MLB Argues Against Unlicensed Fantasy Leagues [USA Today]