We Need Youth Baseball Teams To Reenact MLB Highlights For Us Because MLB Hates Its Fans (And Probably Children, Too)

We've been playing a fun game with the MLB video team for the past few weeks. It goes something like this: We post a highlight video from a game; they promptly email us with an informal cease-and-desist note; we take down the video and complain about it.

The first time this happened, I emailed Matthew Gould, VP of corporate communications for the league, to see if we could do a story about the crew that's responsible for monitoring and removing unsanctioned MLB videos on the internet. It seemed like a good compromise. They're notoriously vigilant and effective at their job, which is to make MLB.com the only venue in the world that can host MLB videos, which makes every baseball blogger and internet-savvy baseball fan hate the league — and I thought we might be able to humanize them a bit by spending a day in their evil dungeon lair in Manhattan's Chelsea Market. Alas, Gould told me that the "current company policy doesn't permit those folks to be interviewed," so he'd have to "pass on the opportunity at this time."

Fine. We next heard from Gould last Friday, after we intentionally posted a Joba Chamberlain highlight. It was, admittedly, bait:

From: Gould, Matthew
To: Emma Carmichael
Date: Fri, Apr 15, 2011 at 5:04 PM
Subject: RE: Deadspin story

Hi Emma – There was another video highlight from a game broadcast posted today (Joba). Let me know if you have any questions. Thanks.

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MLB.com: Where Baseball is Always On

I mean, look at that tag. I wanted to see if there was a pulse on the other end. I played dumb in my response:

From: Emma Carmichael
To: Gould, Matthew
Date: Fri, Apr 15, 2011 at 5:18 PM

Hi Matt. Sorry about that. When exactly does this go into effect?

From: Gould, Matthew
To: Emma Carmichael
Date: Fri, Apr 15, 2011 at 5:39 PM

Thanks, Emma. It comes from a long-standing rights agreement that no video highlight clips from MLB game broadcasts are permitted online.

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MLB.com: Where Baseball is Always On

From: Emma Carmichael
To: Gould, Matthew
Date: Fri, Apr 15, 2011 at 5:45 PM

If you have time, can you say more about this "rights agreement"?

Here's where the "Thanks, Emma" started to feel a little strained:

From: Gould, Matthew
To: Emma Carmichael
Date: Fri, Apr 15, 2011 at 5:58 PM

Thanks, Emma. MLB Advanced Media is the exclusive licensee of the MLB Entities with respect to uses via the Internet and other interactive media of their game and exhibition telecasts and excerpts thereof (collectively, "MLB Telecasts").

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MLB.com: Where Baseball is Always On

I tried to bargain:

From: Emma Carmichael
To: Gould, Matthew
Date: Fri, Apr 15, 2011 at 6:21 PM

What about this Jon Jay highlight? It's not quite as exciting as Joba's play. I'll swap.

http://mlb.mlb.com/video/play.jsp?content_id=13798665&topic_id=8879838&c_id=mlb

Gould gave his version of a compromise:

From: Gould, Matthew
To: Emma Carmichael
Date: Fri, Apr 15, 2011 at 6:31 PM

You can provide that link to the video on MLB.com as part of your post, yes.

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MLB.com: Where Baseball is Always On

There's a pulse, but it doesn't have a sense of humor, and it doesn't give a shit that its fan base wants to watch highlight clips on the internet without a 15-second ad to accompany them, and without anyone looking over its shoulder.

We believe it's our duty to continue to mock these guys, but we want to do it a little more creatively and proactively, and we're going to need your help: We're soliciting reenacted MLB highlights from the youth baseball teams of America. Inept T-ball teams would be ideal, but for the most part, we just want to make the point that baseball is a game that humans enjoy to play and to watch, and that it is both silly and maddening to attempt to police that pleasure. Unless, of course, they really hate children.

The basics, for this plea: We're looking for willing participants who might have a child or a nephew or a niece or a sibling in a youth baseball or softball league and who might also have access to a video camera (YouTube suggests that every parent in America does). Each week, we'll send a couple MLB highlights we'd like to see reenacted. We don't want anything professional, here — first takes are fine — and we're happy to take care of the editing because we love baseball and we tolerate kids.

In return, you'd get not only the honor of seeing your child on a popular website frequented by many lonely adults who stare at penises, but you'd get our money, too. That's right: We will sponsor your child's team. Hooray, Team Deadspin!

If you're interested in helping us deride MLB video on a weekly basis, then we ask that you contact us at tips@deadspin.com, with the subject "Team Deadspin." We hope you'll join us in this honorable pursuit.

UPDATE: Send us your highlights!