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Baseball does not like the shirt you came up with

Nov 1, 2010, 3:58 PM EDT

Not long ago, a couple of guys got together and started printing up shirts with stylized likenesses of Ron Washington on the front, and a Ron Washington quote — “that’s the way baseball go” — on the back.  Seems that Major League Baseball doesn’t take kindly to that sort of thing, and they’ve sent a cease and desist letter shutting it down.

This happens a lot. Happened with that Los Doyers thing not too long ago. Happened to Phillies blogger Zoo With Roy recently when he made up shirts with Roy Halladay’s quote about it only getting “funner” from now on. Every other year or so you hear about this sort of thing.  And I get it, because that’s the way the law go.

Still, I get a little sad every time some native enthusiasm gets squished by the IP lawyers. Maybe it’s impractical, but I wish the first impulse of baseball in these instances was to strike a deal with the creators of these kinds of products where baseball gets to protect its copyrights and stuff, the creator gets some nominal compensation for his inspiration and the fans get to buy a fun, quirky shirt or bumper sticker or whatever that captures the zeitgeist of the moment.

And really, these things are ephemeral. Ron Washington is going to be fired one day because all managers are fired. The whole “funner” thing with the Phillies probably died the moment Ryan Howard struck out looking.  Would anyone really have been harmed if, in the meantime, some people had some fun?


  1. skerney - Nov 1, 2010 at 4:10 PM

    Hey Bud, there is a guy selling FEAR THE BEARD shirts on the corner of Market and Montgomery right now this very instant! Seize him you fools!

  2. JBerardi - Nov 1, 2010 at 4:20 PM

    Stupid fans, showing enthusiasm for things in non-mlb sanctioned ways. Unleash the hounds!

  3. matt99stevens - Nov 1, 2010 at 4:35 PM

    Sadly, I guess that means the “Thome is my Homey” and “Punto plays Dirty” will soon also go the way of the dodo bird:

    Sad. I was this close to buying the Thome shirt.

    • bigharold - Nov 1, 2010 at 5:55 PM

      I wouldn’t lay it all at Selig’s feet. As I remember Dallas Braden had a fit when the A’s started selling shirts with his silhouette on it and the phase “Get Off MY Mound”. And, it’s probably in his contract that they can sell those shirts!

      It’s all about revenue streams and who’s getting paid. Just because some poor slob has a squad of MLB lawyers repelling from a helicopter on to his front lawn why should fans care? As long as we have our over priced tickets, (with the accompanying highway robbery parking fees and hot dogs and beer at lobster tail and champagne prices), our $5.00 tees with the appropriate $18.00 logo and trademark and our expensive cable packages we’re all good. I’m glad that MLB stopped this guy, … we can’t have just anybody taking us to the cleaners.

      But, I’m getting one of those Thome shirts before MLB sends their legal ninjas after that guy.

  4. Jonny 5 - Nov 1, 2010 at 4:37 PM

    Well Bud enjoys squashing the audatious infantiles who dare tread on his turf, from shirt makers to baseball card companies. He hath no mercy for these poor souls…..

    I’m with Craig. leave ’em be. Who does it hurt if you just let it happen? I dislike Bud Selig a little more each day. But it’s always for good reasons, such as this.

  5. The Rabbit - Nov 1, 2010 at 6:41 PM

    In 2008, MLB sent a cease-and-desist order to Cape Cod League teams that use major-league nicknames. They insisted that the Chatham A’s, Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox, Harwich Mariners, Bourne Braves, Orleans Cardinals and Hyannis Mets change their names.
    If I remember correctly, the league sold some caps or shirts or something with the town name and team logo as a fundraiser. God forbid MLB doesn’t get the equivalent of the proceeds of a bake sale.
    I suppose MLB’s next “logical” step is to require licensing agreements from Babe Ruth leagues, American Legion Ball, little leagues, and T-Ball.

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