• This is a political forum that is non-biased/non-partisan and treats every persons position on topics equally. This debate forum is not aligned to any political party. In today's politics, many ideas are split between and even within all the political parties. Often we find ourselves agreeing on one platform but some topics break our mold. We are here to discuss them in a civil political debate. If this is your first visit to our political forums, be sure to check out the RULES. Registering for debate politics is necessary before posting. Register today to participate - it's free!
  • Welcome to our archives. No new posts are allowed here.

Congress, Baseball & Steroids

Contrarian

Active member
Joined
Dec 28, 2004
Messages
335
Reaction score
5
Location
The Constitution State - Connecticut
The Congress has convened a special sub-committee to investigate the use of steroids in major league baseball. Does it seem that Congress might have a better use of it's time and money than investigate the activities of spoiled entertainers? Is this a matter of national security? Economic policy? The war on Terrorism? Why don't they butt out and let the Commissioner of Baseball deal with it?
 

Batman

Active member
Joined
Feb 13, 2005
Messages
407
Reaction score
7
Location
Fulton, KY
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Conservative
Contrarian said:
The Congress has convened a special sub-committee to investigate the use of steroids in major league baseball. Does it seem that Congress might have a better use of it's time and money than investigate the activities of spoiled entertainers? Is this a matter of national security? Economic policy? The war on Terrorism? Why don't they butt out and let the Commissioner of Baseball deal with it?
Maybe there's some huge conspiracy behind it that goes back to JFK. :D
 

Contrarian

Active member
Joined
Dec 28, 2004
Messages
335
Reaction score
5
Location
The Constitution State - Connecticut
Today, the newspapers reported that Congress had issued 18 subpoenas... sounds like the McCarthy inquisition:

"A lawyer for baseball and the players union said they would challenge the subpoenas through Congress and into the federal courts, if necessary. An individual who fails to show up to a hearing can be found in contempt of Congress and can appeal that ruling to the House and the courts.

Representative Henry A. Waxman, Democrat of California and the committee's ranking minority member, said that baseball had failed to investigate itself, so Congress would do the job."


What if there was a steroid scandal at Wal Mart, would Congress hold hearings or would they let Company management and the local authorities handle it? Is this just another BIG GOVERNMENT play to intervene in everyones business, or a way for some COngressmen to look like they are working for a change?
 

Batman

Active member
Joined
Feb 13, 2005
Messages
407
Reaction score
7
Location
Fulton, KY
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Conservative
Contrarian said:
What if there was a steroid scandal at Wal Mart, would Congress hold hearings or would they let Company management and the local authorities handle it? Is this just another BIG GOVERNMENT play to intervene in everyones business, or a way for some COngressmen to look like they are working for a change?
I agree with you. This is getting ridiculous. Congress members on a power trip trying to justify their pay.
 

shuamort

Pundit-licious
DP Veteran
Joined
Feb 4, 2005
Messages
7,297
Reaction score
1,000
Location
Saint Paul, MN
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Independent
Normally Congress wouldn't get involved, HOWEVER, and this is a dumb but pertinent "however". The MLB has an antitrust exemption granted by congress and if MLB doesn't cooperate, congress can dismantle it. Fun.

In Federal Baseball Club of Baltimore v. National League of Baseball Clubs, the Supreme Court decided that baseball was not subject to the antitrust laws because professional baseball games were purely local exhibitions, not interstate commerce, and thus were not subject to federal regulation. The decision made little sense in 1922, when it was rendered, and it is absurd on its face as applied to the multi-billion dollar business that baseball has become. The Supreme Court has recognized that the decision is an anomaly, but has stated that it is now such a long-standing anomaly that it's up to Congress, not the courts, to correct it.

Here are the full details:
FEDERAL BASEBALL CLUB OF BALTIMORE, Inc.,
v.
NATIONAL LEAGUE OF PROFESSIONAL BASEBALL CLUBS et al.

Mr. Justice HOLMES delivered the opinion of the Court.

This is a suit for threefold damages brought by the plaintiff in error under the Anti-Trust Acts of July 2, 1890, c. 647, § 7, 26 Stat. 209, 210 (Comp. St. § 8829), and of October 15, 1914, c. 323, § 4, 38 Stat. 730, 731 (Comp. St. § 8835d). The defendants are the National League of Professional Base Ball Clubs and the American League of Professional Base Ball Clubs, unincorporated associations, composed respectively of groups of eight incorporated base ball clubs, joined as defendants; the presidents of the two Leagues and a third person, constituting what is known as the National Commission, having considerable powers in carrying out an agreement between the two Leagues; and three other persons having powers in the Federal League of Professional Base Ball Clubs, the relation of which to this case will be explained. It is alleged that these defendants conspired to monopolize the base ball business, the means adopted being set forth with a detail which, in the view that we take, it is unnecessary to repeat.
The plaintiff is a base ball club incorporated in Maryland, and with seven other corporations was a member of the Federal League of Professional Base Ball Players, a corporation under the laws of Indiana, that attempted to compete with the combined defendants. It alleges that the defendants destroyed the Federal League by buying up some of the constituent clubs and in one way or another inducing all those clubs except the plaintiff to leave their League, and that the three persons connected with the Federal League and named as defendants, one of them being the President of the League, took part in the conspiracy. Great damage to the plaintiff is alleged. The *208 plaintiff obtained a verdict for $80,000 in the Supreme Court and a judgment for treble the amount was entered, but the Court of Appeals, after an elaborate discussion, held that the defendants were not within the Sherman Act. The appellee, the plaintiff, elected to stand on the record in order to bring the case to this Court at once, and thereupon judgment was ordered for the defendants. National League of Professional Baseball Clubs v. Federal Baseball Club of Baltimore, 269 Fed. 681, 688, 50 App. D. C. 165. It is not argued that the plaintiff waived any rights by its course. Thomsen v. Cayser, 243 U. S. 66, 37 Sup. Ct. 353, 61 L. Ed. 597, Ann. Cas. 1917D, 322.

The decision of the Court of Appeals went to the root of the case and if correct makes it unnecessary to consider other serious difficulties in the way of the plaintiff's recovery. A summary statement of the nature of the business involved will be enough to present the point. The clubs composing the Leagues are in different cities and for the most part in different States. The end of the elaborate organizations and sub-organizations that are described in the pleadings and evidence is that these clubs shall play against one another in public exhibitions for money, one or the other club crossing a state line in order to make the meeting possible. When as the result of these contests one club has won the pennant of its League and another club has won the pennant of the other League, there is a final competition for the world's championship between these two. Of course the scheme requires coustantly repeated travelling on the part of the clubs, which is provided for, controlled and disciplined by the organizations, and this it is said means **466 commerce among the States. But we are of opinion that the Court of Appeals was right.

[1][2] The business is giving exhibitions of base ball, which are purely state affairs. It is true that in order to attain for these exhibitions the great popularity that they have achieved, competitions must be arranged between clubs from different cities and States. But the fact that in order *209 to give the exhibitions the Leagues must induce free persons to cross state lines and must arrange and pay for their doing so is not enough to change the character of the business. According to the distinction insisted upon in Hooper v. California, 155 U. S. 648, 655, 15 Sup. Ct. 207, 39 L. Ed. 297, the transport is a mere incident, not the essential thing. That to which it is incident, the exhibition, although made for money would not be called trade of commerce in the commonly accepted use of those words. As it is put by defendant, personal effort, not related to production, is not a subject of commerce. That which in its consummation is not commerce does not become commerce among the States because the transportation that we have mentioned takes place. To repeat the illustrations given by the Court below, a firm of lawyers sending out a member to argue a case, or the Chautauqua lecture bureau sending out lecturers, does not engage in such commerce because the lawyer or lecturer goes to another State.

If we are right the plaintiff's business is to be described in the same way and the restrictions by contract that prevented the plaintiff from getting players to break their bargains and the other conduct charged against the defendants were not an interference with commerce among the States.

Judgment affirmed.

To reiterate the main reasons:

1) The business of giving exhibitions of baseball, which are purely state affairs, does not become interstate because, in order to give the exhibitions, free persons must be induced to cross state lines, since the transport is a mere incident and not the essential thing.

2) A baseball exhibition, although made for money, is not trade or commerce in the commonly accepted use of those words, since personal effort not related to production is not a subject of commerce.
In other words, baseball, as it is neither essentially an interstate activity nor "commerce" as defined, does not fall within the scope of the Sherman Anti-trust Act which was created to regulate interstate commerce.
Agree or disagree with it all you want... but it's been that way for 80+ years (I disagree with it and call shenaningans and say that it should be removed. And also call "grandstanding" by all congress people involved.)
 

Batman

Active member
Joined
Feb 13, 2005
Messages
407
Reaction score
7
Location
Fulton, KY
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Conservative
I had no idea. I don't usually follow sports that much. Now that I know politics is involved, I might start. :)
 
Top Bottom