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Baseball Cracks Down on Fan Sites

timothy posted about 12 years ago | from the oddball-thought-patterns dept.

The Almighty Buck 307

serutan writes: "Looks like Major League Baseball has joined other players in the big-media content industry to crack down on fans who overstep their proper place as consumers. Anybody with a website dedicated to America's favorite pastime better read this story on Yahoo."

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this is it (-1)

Adolf Hitroll (562418) | about 12 years ago | (#4183154)

I think this story lacks a strong comment, like First Post !

Foot, gun, aim - shoot ! (2, Insightful)

MrFenty (579353) | about 12 years ago | (#4183157)

You really would think that baseball, of all sports, could do with some good publicity, what with all the strikes going on. Shooting yourself in the foot all the time will only drive away those casual fans, and hence revenue. Deary, deary me.

Re:Foot, gun, aim - shoot ! (2, Interesting)

technix4beos (471838) | about 12 years ago | (#4183184)

I'm so sick of these bloody corporations dictating what is proper to be posted for PUBLIC consumption.

What is stopping someone from simply making a website that lists statistics, player info, and so on, but changing the relevant information in such a way that there is no hint of MLB, or NFL, or any other sports logo anywhere?

What I'm getting at is this... a translator website that simply lists the information, as neutral as it can, without directly stating or "infringing" on their copyrights.

Not that it matters anyhow.. Why can't someone just put up a website on a non-US server?

What is wrong with posting information, plain information.. pure and simple???

Rant over. Flame away you slashturds.

Re:Foot, gun, aim - shoot ! (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4183189)

What is wrong with posting information, plain information.. pure and simple???

What's wrong with it? Well, first of all the corporations own that information.

Re:Foot, gun, aim - shoot ! (2, Insightful)

technix4beos (471838) | about 12 years ago | (#4183206)

Tell me how they own the information that comprises a game score?

Radio stations do not pay a fee to announce game scores as part of their news program, neither do TV.

However.. MLB pays THEM to advertise the game highlights, and other related information, when they need exposure.

Re:Foot, gun, aim - shoot ! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4183214)

If the results are broadcast in an analog form, they cannot be copied infinitely whereas statistics in digital form can. Now, if you could make a profit by selling statistics, wouldn't you want to prevent free access to the data concerning a game format you own?

Re:Foot, gun, aim - shoot ! (1)

technix4beos (471838) | about 12 years ago | (#4183229)

... in an analog form, they cannot be copied infinitely ...

Ever heard of a tape recorder?

Besides which, how useful are the statistics after the season is over? (Yes, I know about long term statistical analysis, thanx).

I should say, rather, "how relevant to the immediate timeframe" are the statistics, if posted in digital/analog form?

Big deal... It's no different than purchasing a book on baseball statistics, and then broadcasting/posting a stream/website about said material, and telling the public how good a particular team has been.

Big deal... When in a hundred years we look back at this silly topic, we will certainly laugh at all of our ineptitude.

Besides, can you reply with a nickname, or are you too scared to reveal yourself online?

Re:Foot, gun, aim - shoot ! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4183266)


Besides, how does nickname differ from posting as an AC? It's just as anonymous.

Re:Foot, gun, aim - shoot ! (1)

technix4beos (471838) | about 12 years ago | (#4183280)

Using a nickname is slightly more public, imho.

For instance, anyone can look up my nickname and note what affiliations I belong to, etc.

Want to know more? I moved to the netherlands from Canada 6 months ago, am an IT guy, am into BeOS, and love computers.

Re:Foot, gun, aim - shoot ! (1)

Spock the Baptist (455355) | about 12 years ago | (#4183240)

"Well, first of all the corporations own that information."

Son, son...

Nobody can own information.

If nature has made any one thing less susceptible than all others of exclusive property, it is the action of the thinking power called an idea, which an individual may exclusively possess as long as he keeps it to himself; but the moment it is divulged, it forces itself into the possession of every one, and the receiver cannot dispossess himself of it. .... and like the air in which we breathe, move, and have our physical being, incapable of confinement or exclusive appropriation. Inventions then cannot, in nature, be a subject of property. --Thomas Jefferson

Re:Foot, gun, aim - shoot ! (2, Insightful)

Lshmael (603746) | about 12 years ago | (#4183188)

As the article says, "It's business, not personal..." A lack of fan sites will push those casual fans to surf over to the league's official sites, thereby creating a massive infusion of advertising dollars, created by banner ads...oh, wait, it's September 2002...

There is something to be said about the sites using the team's official trademarks. If I set up a Mr Fenty fan site, can I use your official Mr Fenty logos? Please....

How ironic.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4183158)

The owners expect us, the fans, to believe the players are greedy bastards and then they pull a stunt like this. It's things like this which make me think the players union isn't that bad.

How I got it on with my sister, uncle, dad and mom (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4183164)

It started when I was sharing a room with my sister and in the middle of the night the closet light would turn on. A week later I was asking my dad for help on my homework in the living room and a picture fell down and then the blinds on the bedroom windows downstairs fell down. One night I was all alone taking a shower and I heard footsteps going upstairs, I opened the bathroom door and hurried out to see if anyone was home, but no one. My family has a little clock on the VCR on top of the TV with picture frames all around the clock. My sister was standing in front of the TV and all the sudden the clock hits her in the back of her head leaving everything in place on top.

Then one night it was just my uncle, dad, mom and me sitting in the living room talking and my uncle hears a sneeze upstairs and asks if anyone was up there and we answered no. Then the chills; upstairs only would it be really cold, we figured it was just the way the house was built, but it only happened in one room, where it would be just freezing or
downstairs in the kitchen near one spot right beside the laundry door leading into the garage area. My sister was on the computer near the kitchen and she got a chill all her hair was standing up on her arms. Then the voices at night, the sound of children going up the stairs. Then the choking. My sister came downstairs to my room crying and coughing. She told she was asleep and then she woke with somebody choking her and holding her down and all she could hear was the sound of two women whispering in the
background and laughing. She screamed Jesus and it stopped. Now she sleeps in her car or in my room. One night my older sister and her husband spent the night with their newborn son upstairs in our other sister's bedroom where the least happens. The blanket started moving away from her then she started to pray, but then she was being held down and choked all she could do was roll her eyes to her husband, then he prayed and the same happen to him. It felt like forever, but it was only 10 seconds and then they ran downstairs to the couch and now she tells us all she's a believer.
One night my mother got up and twisted her ankle and was rushed to the hospital because she felt pressure against her leg at home which was gone when they got there. The next morning, she was all by her self opening the closet door near the stairs. She put all her pressure on her good toe still holding on her crutches and reaching for something and a picture frame flew from the wall on the side of the staircase and hit her on the head and she fell then she was being what she felt lifted up and thrown to the floor and another picture flew and hit her.

We found out later in the city hall that a preacher lived there and was gone with in days leaving all his furniture. My sister came downstairs one night crying and holding a cross telling me that her door opened and she felt someone watching her reading her bible and she felt that now twentie were watching, she called her friend on the phone and started to pray, but it got worse, but she kept doing it and then on the other line her friend was praying the door opened and she stormed out of there into her car and felt that someone was watching her from the bedroom window laughing. People have been locked in our
bedrooms for no reason. The next day I left for California and my two sisters slept in my room since that is the only one that is safe. I called them telling about what was happening on my vacation and my mom told me they were going to bring a priest into the house to rub oil and bless. Now things have slowed down to where only the music comes on or my door opens or the volume button goes up to where the TV shakes. One time my new brother -in-law went upstairs and heard a little girl's voice talking and opened the bedroom door, but nothing was there.

Slashdot's favorite pastTime... (-1, Offtopic)

ComaVN (325750) | about 12 years ago | (#4183165)

is bitching about spelling.

oops (0, Offtopic)

ComaVN (325750) | about 12 years ago | (#4183171)

Sorry about that, I should cut back on caffeine

Caffeine is a drug (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4183204)

You do know that if drinks like coffee and tea were developed today, they'd be banned in the name of war on drugs?

you fib too much (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4183271)

The 'war' on drugs would no exist witout companies like ICI lobbying to get canabis banned when they got a patent on making paper from wood pulp (instead of hemp) all them years ago.

Hong-Kong was 'given' to the UK for 100 years in 189x for the sole perpouse of supplying the world with morphine.

The only reason there is still a 'war' is because the Anti-Drugs legislation was the first piece of international legislation of it's type (and you wouldn't want to loose that).

Meat contains drugs so does loads of fruit and vedge.

Baseball use to be about the fans (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4183169)

maybe after they go bankrupt they'll realize thier mistakes.

MLB = Money, Lawyers, Bitching (2, Funny)

Zork the Almighty (599344) | about 12 years ago | (#4183175)

These people make me want to shove a bat where the sun doesn't shine.

Re:MLB = Money, Lawyers, Bitching (2, Funny)

AngstMerchant (605472) | about 12 years ago | (#4183302)

Settle down!! It's not healthy to take your aggressions out on yourself. . .

Shock! (2, Funny)

LooneyScotsman (599742) | about 12 years ago | (#4183177)

I'm shocked that the industry would do something like this! Oh, wait, no i'm not... Its probably all done on the advice of lawyers trying to justify their own existence (and jobs) by making trouble. Dont you just hate people like that?

Sports fans won't care. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4183178)

I suspect sports fans are to a large degree, goosesteppers. The hive mind, the joy of being one with the crowd, the need to be rooting for a team.

Who cares? (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4183179)

Who cares about a game that's only being played on a serious level in America?

Now if this were about football (and I'm not talking about the kind of "foot"ball where you carry the ball) then I'd get upset.

dirtbag (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4183224)

Soccer fans are all filthy perverts who get sexually aroused by licking sofa cushions.

Does it get you hard, watching all the men in tight shorts kicking the white ball? DOES IT, FREAK?!?!?!?!!!!!!

Re:dirtbag (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4183244)

Does watching men in tights and ridiculous padding piling on top of each other every 15 seconds get you hard?

And it's football, MOTHERFUCKER, can you SAY IT?

Re:dirtbag (1)

Omar Enoryt (605345) | about 12 years ago | (#4183303)

What if he's Italian? Then I guess it would be calcio. Can you say "calcio," dullard. Don't cry.

Re:dirtbag (2)

radja (58949) | about 12 years ago | (#4183245)

good thing soccer only exists in the US then, the rest of the world plays football. Coincidence? I think not.. ;) //rdj

Re:dirtbag (2)

G-funk (22712) | about 12 years ago | (#4183312)

good thing soccer only exists in the US then, the rest of the world plays football. Coincidence? I think not.. ;) //rdj

No, no, no, no, no... you english have it all wrong... You guys call soccer football, and you call football Rugby! Sheesh! ;-)

Re:Who cares? (2, Funny)

FyRE666 (263011) | about 12 years ago | (#4183242)

Hmm, baseball? Baseball.... Ah yes, now I remember, it's that game where you hit a ball with a stick and run around in a circle. We have that over in the UK too - it's only played by girls though, and called "rounders".

So they actually pay people to do that over in the US? ;-)

Re:Who cares? (-1, Flamebait)

ObitMan (550793) | about 12 years ago | (#4183253)

Yes they do. And they get paid more than you will ever see in your pathetic socialist lifetime.

Re:Who cares? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4183264)

Ah yes... You capitalist pigdogs value monitary wealth above everything else, don't you.

Re:Who cares? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4183273)

Ah yes... You capitalist pigdogs value monitary wealth above everything else, don't you.

And it works too. Cause we got the bombs. Don't like the USA? Try something. We've got enough nukes to blow the entire world up several times over and an itchy trigger finger. You were saying?

Re:Who cares? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4183318)

OBL is still alive. How come ?

Re:Who cares? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4183325)

OBL is still alive because he is now a major league baseball player. No-one noticed or cared. So, for that matter is Elvis, Jimmy Hoffa and Lord Lucan......

Re:Who cares? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4183274)

Don't worry. These dirtbags will get their karma kicked hard when the rest of the US wakes up and gets down to some serious moderation.

Re:Who cares? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4183320)

Ah, the sports fans are talking! [] .

Re:Who cares? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4183306)

I'd like to the English girl that can hit a fastball thrown by a MLB pitcher.

Besides the game was good enough for the MEN who kicked your sorry asses out of our country, twice!

Re:Who cares? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4183310)

I'd like to the English girl

You'd like to what the English girl?! Bloody fukin' paedos...

Re:Who cares? (2)

yobbo (324595) | about 12 years ago | (#4183299)

I assume you have never been to Japan?

Re:Who cares? (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4183316)

I guess Japan is part of America then? And Canada, and Cuba, and Central America.

Not flamebait (5, Flamebait)

loraksus (171574) | about 12 years ago | (#4183180)

But seriously, who cares about baseball anymore. It's not like the strike of '95ish didn't kill attendance at games, and there are more exciting sports to watch (australian rules "football" for example). Most of the people I know think baseball is a pain in the ass in the tv schedule, with games running 9 or whatever-the-hell extra innings.

That said, this is a brilliant move on their part, nothing like pissing off hardcore fans to drum up hatred against the the MLB and lower their tv ratings to the level of donahue's new show.

Re:Not flamebait (2, Insightful)

zerocool^ (112121) | about 12 years ago | (#4183249)

Exactly. I have a real problem with a sport in which there is no time limit.

I was flipping over to espn to catch sports center yesterday, to see some college football scores and comments. You know what I got? 30 minutes of baseball, then I turned it off. It's so stupid - major league baseball gets so much airtime, and no one cares. If you watch highlights reels from the game, you notice that whenever someone hits a homerun, there's never anyone in the stands to catch it. I mean, these are premium seats, and the 3 people in the section are all scrambling over the chairs to get to the ball.

And they keep demanding more money. Tickets for baseball are *so* expensive, like $50. And these greedy fucks they call players want more. Well, I'll tell you how to get more. Make the game interesting, get more people into the stands. I was actually pissed off that you people didn't go on strike - Friday was a sad day. Strike = less TV converage.

Eventually we will abandon the all american past time in favor of someone else's past time that doesn't suck. I mean, think, baseball's only been here for ~100 years, mabey theres something about soccer that keeps it around for everyone else. Mabey we should check it out.


Re:Not flamebait (2)

zerocool^ (112121) | about 12 years ago | (#4183259)

And a couple more parting shots that I just thought of about how baseball sucks...

1.) Most of the people that you hear about anymore in the all-american past time aren't even American.

2.) These once-roll models for our community - according to people on the inside of the league, anywhere from 1/2 to 80% of them to steroids. And they still can't hit like Ruth.


Re:Not flamebait (2, Informative)

gowen (141411) | about 12 years ago | (#4183284)

And they still can't hit like Ruth.
Hmmm. Barry Bonds 2001 -- More home runs, more walks, better SLG%, better OBP%. Not necessarily better than Ruth, but certainly Ruthian.

Time limits? (2)

fruey (563914) | about 12 years ago | (#4183315)

Unless a draw is an acceptable outcome, you need a proper deciding endgame. Since baseball is all about hitting the ball as hard as you can away from fielders, it's difficult to get an endgame out of it except extra innings. Unless you go into statistics calculations.

Cricket has a draw system for long games, and one day games have limits in the number of balls bowled (that's pitched to the ignorant). Far superior technically too. American sports all suffer from one thing: "jock" culture. Whilst there are exceptions, most of it is about sponsorship, hitting hard, stopping frequently for commercials, and statistics. *yawn*

Soccer is by far the best sport in terms of accessibility, simplicity of rules, and yet eventual complexity of the game. Great footballers are always those with the best touch, not just some hard kicker, agressive player, etc. Plenty other sports are around which are superior to baseball anyway. None of us outside the US even care, we just laugh that a sport like baseball could have been so popular in the first place.

Re:Not flamebait (1)

gowen (141411) | about 12 years ago | (#4183329)

I mean, these are premium seats, and the 3 people in the section are all scrambling over the chairs to get to the ball.
If your dad bought you tickets out in the bleachers and told you they were premium seats, he was lying. Premium seats are on the lowest level, behind the batter and up the first and third baselines. Everywhere.

Re:Not flamebait (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4183261)

Like baseball, who cares about slashdot anymore. I can't wait until slashdot has gone missing. This would be a sort economic censorship involving slashdot and LNUX going TitsUp. Truly an effective way of the marketplace telling slahsdot that it sucks arse, and is run by wankers, and that even the most geekiest of geeks want no part of it's incompetency and irrelevance.

From MIT: legal history of copyright and fansites (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4183181)

Watching the new He-Man and the Masters of the Universe movie last night brought so many emotions to me: joy, for seeing my favorite characters brought to the small screen once again; skepticism, in trying to believe these are the same characters as their original counterparts; and a sense of being overwhelmed, by the sheer number of revelations and surprises Mattel and Mike Young Productions managed to pack into an hour and a half of television.

Truly this is an historic moment for He-Fans everywhere. No longer is our favorite childhood hero banished to a one-time existence in the mid-1980s. Now it has been revived in a refreshing and powerful new series and toyline. Now our He-Man will take his place among the ranks of G.I. Joe, Transformers, Star Wars, and other franchise creations that have permanent appeal over many generations. What the new cartoon proves more than anything is that the concept for Masters of the Universe is timeless.

"The Beginning," which will be split into three "Origin" parts for regular airing, aspires to do something never before attempted in the Masters of the Universe canon. The original cartoon (and toyline) begin during He-Man's heroic career, never explaining how he got the sword or how his rivalry with Skeletor developed. Instead, we were fed constant hints as to how these things happened (Sorceress was assigned the job of giving the swords to their destined owners in "Origin of the Sorceress"), but never truly told the straight story on how a cowardly prince became the champion of Eternia. Mattel and Mike Young Productions have chosen not only to finally tell He-Man's origin story, but Skeletor's as well, interlocking the two permanently.

Skeletor's origin story still leaves many questions to be answered. The writers have chosen to use the Keldor tale first popularized in the 1986 series Mattel mini-comic, "The Search for Keldor!," which insinuated that Skeletor was King Randor's long-lost brother. Whether or not they are siblings remains a question mark, but what we do know is that Skeletor was once known as a goatee-sporting villain named Keldor (and goatees are always a sure sign of evil, right?). By the way Randor warns the Elders in the Hall of Wisdom, we understand that Skeletor and his army are fast approaching, threatening and invading every corner of Eternia. It is apparent that Randor and the Defenders (the new title of the Heroic Warriors that shows they are constantly on the defense against Skeletor) are struggling to keep the planet safe. While Mattel has chosen to show how Skeletor got his skullface, they have left the story of how Skeletor became Eternia's chief enemy up to question. This leaves all sorts of room for Hordak, King Hiss, and any number of threads to weave into Skeletor's past. But at this point in his life, Skeletor seems to have asserted his rightful place as Eternia's resident master of destruction and created a loyal band of warriors to fight his cause. When Skeletor and his forces attack the Hall of Wisdom, a clash with Randor leaves Skeletor faceless. When Skeletor tosses a vial of poison at Randor, he deflects it with his shield, and the poison sprays all over Keldor's face. The animators try so hard to make this a "Big, Important Moment" that they use dreadfully sluggish slow motion to It is thrilling to finally see Skeletor clutching his head screaming, "My face! My face!," and it is even more satisfying to know that Randor caused the deformation. If there was not hatred between these two before, there definitely is now. Mattel has worked hard to incorporate Randor more tightly into the He-Man/Skeletor rivalry and give Skeletor real motivation to detest the king of Eternia.

Another longtime hole in Skeletor's story has been how Eternia fought him all those twenty years while waiting for Adam to grow up and assume the powers of Grayskull. There have been many theories as to how this might be explained, but Mike Young Productions has come up with the best one I've heard yet. The Council of Elders banished Skeletor and his gang to Snake Mountain (in the "Dark Hemisphere," perpetuating the idea that Eternia has a dark half and a light half). The Sorceress and Man-At-Arms generated a mystic wall to imprison the villains in their own sub-world. This is the cartoon's first symbolic union of science and magic, as Man-At-Arms thrusts a generator into the ground and the Sorceress ignites it with her magic power. This is the first time in either cartoon series that the Sorceress has really performed a jaw-dropping magic spell. The shots of the mystic wall are breath-taking, and we understand immediately that this Sorceress will be a force to reckon with.

Unfortunately, the Sorceress is a failure. Gone is the maternity and soft-spoken spirituality of a kind-hearted woman in bird costume. She has been replaced by a female Egyptian pharaoh that speaks cold declarations and looks with hard eyes. I always imagined the scene when the Sorceress bestows the sword upon Prince Adam to be a beautiful, loving scene where the Sorceress would gently explain Adam's destiny as he, overwhelmed but fully aware of the moment's importance, dutifully accepted his new role. All hopes for such a moment are dashed by the icy Sorceress and frightfully bratty Prince Adam seen in "The Beginning."

Mattel has decided to make Prince Adam a boy and He-Man a man, which is a decision I very much approve. Michael Halperin, who wrote the original He-Man series bible, wanted Adam to be a teenager given the power to fight like a man, but Filmation nixed the idea in order to make He-Man and Prince Adam the exact same size and build to ease the difficulties of animating them. The new Adam provides endless avenues for personal growth and development. I think the writers chose to make Adam so unlikable in this first episode so that he would have some place to go and room to grow as the series fleshes him out. He certainly has the most potential of any of the characters in a series where the villain is usually the star. Adam's new look is a breath of fresh air, finally freeing him from that gaudy pink vest and giving him a look that crosses somewhere between Robin Hood and a punk rocker. The new story is more a fairy tale about how a child assumes the power to defeat bigger and stronger enemies, following classic myth-making principles.

But while writer Dean Stefan's decision to make Adam bratty now so he can become manly later is probably a smart one, it makes Adam's performance particularly hard to swallow. He jokes, chides, and ridicules the most important moments of his life, making him appear flippant and disrespectful. As soon as he meets the Sorceress, he makes a crack about sending her a birthday invitation (the guardian's silent response is the only moment when her frosty coldness truly works). Adam possesses reverence for almost nothing--his warrior training, his duties as a prince, his destiny as revealed in the legendary Castle Grayskull. Whereas his attitude in the old show was purely an act, this Prince Adam really does behave like this. It will be most interesting to see if, as Adam grows and accepts his challenges over time, he will grow out of his childishness and learn to act foolish only as a disguise for his secret identity. As told in "The Beginning," He-Man is merely a muscular costume for Prince Adam. Our hero is developed only minimally and possesses no life of his own. I always enjoyed in the old show how you could never really separate He-Man from Adam and vice versa--because even though Adam's behavior was all an act, his inner self was completely formed from the principles and strength of He-Man. One could not exist without the other, but there are times when Adam tires of being He-Man ("Into the Abyss") or outright gives him up ("The Problem With Power"). The writers for the new series seem to be going with the idea that Adam is the whole person and He-Man exists as an incidental, alternative form. If the writers are smart, they'll begin blending the two as the heroics of He-Man begin to have a maturing effect on Prince Adam. The new series promises us huge character development stories for Prince Adam, allowing us to fully understand the growing pains of suddenly becoming your planet's crowned champion.

Writer Dean Stefan produces an unexpected twist in the revelation scene at Grayskull when Adam completely walks out of it, mid-ceremony. Man-At-Arms, having known Adam's destiny all along (he and the Sorceress share a lot of secrets, don't they?), takes Adam to Castle Grayskull when he realizes the time has come. Adam hardly takes any of this seriously, which is a real shame. While I understand what the writers are trying to do, Adam's behavior subtracts not only from our love for him but also from the mystique of Castle Grayskull. If a teenage brat will not shut up when he enters Grayskull just from the feeling of being overwhelmed, then, well, he's a real brat. Adam's nonchalant attitude explodes when he declares, "I'm no great warrior. I'm just a kid. Thanks for the magic show," flagrantly refusing the Sorceress' offer. He flies back to the Royal Palace, where Skeletor and his minions have already wrecked havoc. Suddenly realizing that his family is in danger, Adam understands why he was asked to become a hero at this point in time. Some of Adam's behavior can be explained by his sheltered childhood lived in the safety of the Royal Palace. As Adam asks in his first scene, "What forces of evil? . . . They're history." He has never known evil, so how could he not have a carefree attitude about all this? By making Adam leave Grayskull prematurely, the writers force Adam to choose his destiny rather than have it simply bestowed upon him. Seeing the Palace in ruin, watching Man-At-Arms, his protector, jet off to the Evergreen Forest to join the fighting, hearing the words of his distraught mother, Adam has no choice but to return to Castle Grayskull and accept his adulthood. This plot twist allows Adam the power of choice and strengthens his character, even if it eschews the respectful scene I had always imagined in my head.

The problem with Adam's flippant attitude is that it belittles Grayskull in its very first scene, when it should feel the most powerful and grandiose. The director has chosen low angle and surveillance shots to give us a wide perspective on Castle Grayskull, mostly to make Adam feel small and lost in its expansiveness. The newly redesigned Castle Grayskull is another major weak point in Mattel's re-imagining of the old series. Rather than being a castle obscured by a twisting and elaborate Evergreen Forest, the new Grayskull is a vertical tower stuck in the middle of a jungle. It makes more sense now why no one could find Grayskull before, but that does not make for its frighteningly vertical design. Trying to better Filmation's Grayskull was a fruitless task from the beginning, since Castle Grayskull stands as the original He-Man's only true work of art. The huge jaw mouth, the deep, penetrating eye sockets, the animal-like body of the castle, its leg-like bones supporting its weight over the bottomless abyss, the organic green interior--how could the animators of today even begin to top all this? They don't even try. The new Castle Grayskull looks like any other stone castle with a skullface slapped on front. Instead of a dark interior that shifts and seems somehow alive, we are given dusty brick walls and empty corridors. The castle feels lonely more than anything else. The gargoyles peering from the rafters bring echoes of "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" that I'd rather not acknowledge and, again, reduces Grayskull to a castle like any other. The designers give Grayskull no cohesive concept for its interiors. The entrance is a gothic stone corridor, the Sorceress's throne is an Egyptian pyramid, the labyrinth bears Roman coliseums, and the underground chamber is a haphazard mix between She-Ra's Crystal Castle and some vast region of outerspace (although the underground design certainly trumps all the rest of Grayskull). It's as if four different animators with completely different concepts for Grayskull decided they would each control a part of it. In the end, they succeed in making Grayskull into a confusing nothing. This is why the Sorceress's new Egyptian design does not fit in at all. If Grayskull were a pyramid, it would be appropriate, but not inside this castle. The Sorceress, the series's spiritual center, should be beautiful and simple, but the new design weighs her down with ornate designs and a heavy golden headdress. The new Castle Grayskull is this series' ultimate failure, unable to recapture almost any of the aura, suspense, or power of the original. Instead, it is an architectural mishmash.

The only attempt to capture the mystique of old comes when the Sorceress leads He-Man to the underground chamber. Her firefly light leads Adam through Grayskull's corridors, allowing for some of the best lighting and direction in the entire episode. As the Sorceress and Adam descend to the underground chamber, echoes of "Origin of the Sorceress" abound. Since that episode provides our only idea of what it is like to receive the powers of Grayskull, it becomes the benchmark by which this new scene must compare. And, unfortunately, it falls short. The underground chamber is the only Grayskull location that takes our breath away even for a second, as the crystalline expansiveness wows our eyes. The Sorceress sends a ray down into a black abyss, hinting that the abyss may be just as important in providing Grayskull's power as it was in the old series. An ornate chest rises out from the blackness, revealing Adam's sword. I do like that this entire sequence is free of dialogue, as if the Sorceress knew Adam's decision without asking him and he knew what to do without being told. But the scene lacks any pause, any breath, any learning. Adam picks up the sword with little or no hesitance, whips it above his head, and declares, "By the power of Grayskull!," without even the least bit of encouragement. Even Zoar had to have some coaching from Kodak Ungor before she could become the Sorceress again. In a few wild anime camera moves, Adam becomes He-Man in a shock of electric blue light. The transformation happens too rapidly without any of the reverence it deserves. This should have been a quiet, powerful moment as Adam accepts his destiny, but instead it barrels over Adam's "It's heavy" protest to reach the finished product, a sword-wielding muscle man named He-Man that almost seems foreign to the whole event.

He-Man himself appears oddly disconnected and undeveloped in his first outing. Having just been created, he lacks any real personality of his own. The writers have taken great pains to improve our hero from the one of old. He-Man's action sequences are a lot like his old ones (picking up a boulder, deflecting Skeletor's blasts, stopping a fall in mid-air by plunging his sword into the cliffside), but they are a lot harder for him to perform. Lifting a boulder appears to take all his strength, as he carefully cuts the rock with his sword, pulls it up from the ground, and takes his time rising from his knees to hold the boulder completely in the air. A huge problem in the original series was that He-Man appeared to do anything and everything almost effortlessly. When a hero is all-powerful, he becomes boring. The new series has taken great pains to show He-Man is strong, but his feats of strength are not necessarily easy. This allows room for He-Man to be weak, to fall, to make a mistake. Already the writers have cured one of the major ills of the old show. I particularly love it when He-Man catches Randor as they fall into the lava pits and Randor asks, "He-Man, you can fly?" in a stroke of comedic genius. He-Man, of course, can not fly, pointing out one of his weaknesses right from the start. He plunges his sword into the mountainside to stop, but fails, and he has to let go of Randor to make the second attempt work. This is far more dramatic than He-Man quickly and effortlessly saving the day. Unlike the original series, the action sequences of the new one will actually be interesting.

If there is any message the new series is trying to send us, it is this: THE ACTION SCENES WILL BE MUCH, MUCH BETTER. At least a third of "The Beginning" movie is spent on battles, pairing up different character so they can square off and demonstrate their weapons and abilities. Just like "Diamond Ray of Disappearance," Mattel is using this as a toy commercial to demonstrate all the "neat things" each character can do, enticing us to buy. But such commercialism can be excused because the animators go to great lengths to make these tiffs interesting and exciting. One of the major problems of the old series was the "one strike, you're out" formula, which dictated that any time a villain was struck, hit, or kicked, he was automatically defeated and completely out of commission. This is why battles on the old series happen so quickly and quietly: all it takes is one action for a hero to knock out the villain. The new series has much more faith in the resilience of its characters. When Man-E-Faces knocks Mer-Man down, he stands up again and whips out his sword (cleverly using his belt emblem to hide his sword). The villains are not defeated easily and the heroes are not perfect, making the action scenes far more intriguing. The heroes might actually lose against these ferocious enemies.

While I do not have space to talk about every character individually, I would like to write a few quick impressions about each one:

Man-At-Arms - a more quiet force than I first expected, he maintains his fatherly presence with a bit more strategic intelligence. His once useless battle mace can change shape and produce strategy plans, and he seems more like a middle-aged warrior than the aging engineer of old.

Man-E-Faces - one of the most useless characters of the original toyline, Mattel could have ditched him this time around. But instead, they are trying to finally integrate Man-E with the rest of the cast. He still has not found his place, but he is more active than I expected. The question still remains whether his shifting faces actually change his personality and his powers or if they do nothing to him at all.

Ram Man - does not really have much to do here, but maintains the clumsy, dumbfounded personality of old, and his beefier redesign fits his powers perfectly

Mekaneck - this new series works hard to give Mekaneck the purpose he never really attained in the original; the fact that his neck can bend and twist will aid that goal a lot.

Stratos - not much different from the Stratos of old, his main purpose is to be the Defender that can actually fly.

I was actually amazed at how much Mattel did NOT change from the original series. Most of the characters' redesigns are variations on the old ones, and they all possess the same powers and even the same weapons of the originals (and the cartoon has managed to integrate the weapons in ways that Filmation never bothered to).

Teela has a refreshing new anime look, given long ponytail hair and a ferocious, wide-eyed attitude. She does not seem nearly as reserved and harsh as the old Teela; in fact, she comes across as playful, youthful, and freed up. This allows her to have more of a bantering sibling relationship with Prince Adam than the almost parental relationship of old. The new show chooses familiar ground with which to introduce them--the traditional training sequence in the Royal Palace courtyard under the watchful view of Man-At-Arms. Returning to this place assures the audience that nothing has changed at all. Adam and Teela's spirited attacks on each other tell us right from the start that their attraction is more than just the kind of bond childhood friends share. Teela's backflips and snake staff action prove she will certainly have more than her fair share of great action scenes in the new series.

Orko remains surprisingly unchanged from the original series. His more wizardly outfit works well, but his high-pitched squealing and Freudian slips prove he will be comedic relief all over again. That will probably be okay, since the writers must know Orko was overused in the original show. The writers have done an excellent job of solving yet another mystery from the original series: how Orko found out Adam's secret (or why Adam would tell him it at all). Orko and Cringer follow Adam to Grayskull and witness his transformation, becoming the only two other than the Sorceress and Man-At-Arms to know the secret. I like that Cringer and Battle Cat are unable to speak in the new series. It allows Cringer to be frightened constantly without the whiny voice (he looks more like a real cat too). Battle Cat's new design is disappointing, however. The animators have scaled back his armor, but his head is way too small for his body. Orko, Cringer, and Battle Cat always bear the burden of being the funny sidekicks, and the jury is still out on exactly how they will function in this new series.

King Randor and Queen Marlena are remarkably muted in their twenty-first century redesigns. The gruffness of Randor's original voice is missing, and he almost sounds like he could be He-Man's age. The animators have chosen to dress Randor and Marlena in the same brown and orange colors, but this has a dulling effect. Whereas the original Queen Marlena, in her striking and simple green gown, provided a commanding presence even when she did not speak, the new Marlena seems quiet and unaware. She's a token mother figure without any of the intelligence and power of the original. I can hardly imagine this Queen Marlena being a headstrong astronaut from the planet Earth.

But while Mattel and Mike Young Productions have done a credible job with the heroes, their energies have obviously been better spent on the villains. Maintaining the looks and color schemes for the Evil Warriors, the animators have wisely sharpened the appearances and powers of Skeletor's ratpack. Here's my rundown:

Mer-Man - the Best Entrance award goes to Mer-Man, who pops out of a swampy pool in foreboding, grand style. The animators have taken away the bumbling oafishness of the original and made Mer-Man's fishy origins an asset. His razor-sharp teeth, piercing eyes, and throaty voice make him dangerous and full of malice. His scene with the giant floating blowfish goes on way too long, however, and having Man-At-Arms trapped in its belly is a little too "Jonah and the Whale" for my tastes.

Beast Man - the quintessential first henchman, Beast Man fails to return to his darker roots from the first episodes of the original series. Instead, the writers have opted to go with the bumbling, clueless Beast Man that became the norm. His chief allies appear to be the Griffins, which allow him to swoop in and rescue Skeletor whenever necessary. The scene where the two ride Griffins and the wind flies against them is one of the strongest sensory moments in the episode and proves that Beast Man is Skeletor's right hand man.

Trap Jaw - thankfully, Trap Jaw's foolishness has been reduced and his powers emphasized. His huge robotic arm supports almost any weapon, and he actually seems threatening now.

Clawful - the loneliest of Skeletor's first season band, Clawful was a villain who always had great potential with his echoing voice and devilish eyes. The new series kills that potential by giving him the idiot voice and brain that Trap Jaw abated. But, like all the other villains, his terrific redesign and blazing powers reveal a triumph of brawn over brain.

Whiplash - how did Whiplash get so big? He's huge now, and the better for it. His tail cracks down on Teela, and if that doesn't frighten a person, Whiplash sitting on you will.
Tri-Klops - the "odd man out" of Skeletor's original five cohorts (Beast Man, Trap Jaw, Evil-Lyn, Mer-Man, and Tri-Klops), Tri-Klops returns in this series with newfound purpose. His cyclops eye can shoot fire now (among other things, I'm sure), and his Doom Seeker robots attack when we least expect them to. The Doom Seeker have not been fully explained, but they add purpose to Tri-Klops. Expect a lot more from him in the future.

Of course the most improved villain is Evil-Lyn, who reaches her full potential in this new series. While the new design is a little too sticks-and-bones for me, the attitude and the power are all there. Whereas it was sometimes unclear her role in the original series, Evil-Lyn is undoubtedly second-in-command now. She stands alongside Keldor in his first scene, and takes over for Skeletor when he escapes with Randor. And just as Skeletor receives a tilting shot over his body upon entrance, so too does Evil-Lyn warrant a similar shot later on, proving that she is just as threatening. Her staff-length crystal ball is an improvement and her glowing purple eyes are a welcome addition to her sorceress ensemble. Whereas Evil-Lyn always seemed like Teela's evil counterpart in the original series, this Evil-Lyn positions herself far beyond Teela's level. As a longtime Evil-Lyn fan, it is a thrill to see her finally kicking butt. After Tri-Klops, Trap Jaw, and Beast Man each try to break the mystic wall, Evil-Lyn steps forward and declares, "Step aside, boys," and fires her magical best. While her attempt fails (allowing Skeletor to assume his rightful role as destroyer of the mystic wall), the sequence proves the hierarchy of the Evil Warriors and Evil-Lyn's place atop it. Perhaps no moment among the action scenes is more powerful than when Evil-Lyn sends a cosmic blast across the Evergreen Forest and turns it into a barren wasteland, turning the tables and making the Evil Warriors the team to beat. Never would the original He-Man series have produced a moment where it seemed so much like the villains would actually win. Skeletor's army is, on a hand to hand ratio, more powerful than He-Man's Defenders, allowing them to become the longtime threat legend has made them out to be. Now we understand why Eternia needs He-Man: these enemies are too strong for anyone but him.

Evil-Lyn's rise to power could not come without a hint of mutiny. Writer Dean Stefan chooses to end the episode with a tacked-on scene where Evil-Lyn questions Skeletor's authority. "Perhaps you think you could run things better than I," Skeletor coldly says to Evil-Lyn, eliciting the conciliatory reaction he wanted from her. The scene is rather useless in "The Beginning," but it does promise plenty of classic tension between these two power-starved villains. Evil-Lyn will be her own force in this new series.

But just like "Diamond Ray of Disappearance," the true star of this premiere episode is Skeletor. Retaining the wit of the original, this Skeletor is far more powerful and threatening than ever before. His voice leaves much to be designed, but Mattel has successfully re-imagined him as a warrior. The new Skeletor is far more physical, allowing him to fight He-Man almost equally. His flips and jumps into the air, his amazing sword slashing, and his dynamic mid-air moves all reveal the potent influence of anime on the new Masters of the Universe. Skeletor can do almost anything, and that makes him a stronger villain. Thankfully, the animators have brought back the Havoc Staff and added a royal cape, giving Skeletor a captive elegance and form he did not quite possess before. The director has overused the red eyes glowing, which are supposed to signal the moments when Skeletor gets most angry. The red eyes were used throughout original He-Man memorabilia, but Filmation chose to resist it. It was inevitable that the new cartoon would employ the red eyes, but the animators should be frugal with their usage. On the other hand, director Gary Hartle chooses brilliantly to obscure Skeletor's skullface until he finally reveals it to King Randor, the man he blames for his deformation. As Randor wisely responds, "You did it to yourself," cleverly pointing out that Skeletor's evil will poison himself and ultimately bring his downfall. Obscuring Skeletor's face, shrouding him in darkness, and granting him legendary fighting skills and magic powers have bolstered Skeletor to the level he was always meant to achieve--a serious, powerful supervillain almost incapable of defeat. Skeletor still delivers terrible dialogue about threatening He-Man and ruling Eternia, and he still surrounds himself with blundering idiots (he gets annoyed with Beast Man), but he's a much stronger villain than the one Alan Oppenheimer voiced (even if Oppenheimer's Skeletor laugh was much better). As always, Skeletor remains the star of He-Man's show.

Mattel and Mike Young Productions have done an amazing job of streamlining and retelling the often incongruous He-Man mythology. The Hall of Wisdom, which never appeared in the original series, finally establishes the Council of Elders as the center of wisdom and power in Eternia. When Keldor attacks the hall, the Elders vanish and declare Captain Randor king of Eternia (finally proving that Randor rules over all, not just part, of the planet, but vanquishing the King Miro mythology of the old series). The Elders' disappearance marks a powerful shift for all of Eternia. Randor, standing alone in the now empty hall, hears only the voice of the Sorceress in falcon form. She declares, "Peace will come only for a time. A hero shall emerge to protect Eternia." Director Gary Hartle takes care to obscure the Sorceress until Adam meets her, cleverly hiding her in shadowed shots of her wings. The Sorceress explains to Adam that the Elders joined their powers and gave their energy to the Sorceress to protect. While this would seem to answer the question "What is the secret of Grayskull?," it does not quite make sense. If the ultimate power of Grayskull is the the power and knowledge of the Elders, then what did Grayskull exist before they stored their power in it? Why was the Sorceress living there? When Skeletor grills King Randor for information, he asks, "Now that the Council of Elders is no more, who controls the power of Eternia now?" What is this power of Eternia? Does it allow one to control Eternia, or the entire universe? Is is simply the knowledge and power of the original Elders? And why did Grayskull exist before it became the storage place for that power? Since Skeletor is still looking for the Elders, he does not even realize that Grayskull exists, adding an interesting new twist to the mythology. Skeletor will not attack Grayskull until he learns that the Elders' power is stored with in it. I am hoping that Grayskull houses more than just the Elders' magic. The original Grayskull kept its secret mysterious, but always offered the power to control the universe. This new series does not quite say if Grayskull offers this kind of power anymore or if the "power" is just the concentrated wisdom of Eternia's oldest Elders.

Furthermore, is the Hall of Wisdom still standing? With all the energy put into creating the Hall of Wisdom at the beginning of this movie, we would expect its presence to continue. I wish the animators had put as much effort into Grayskull as they did the hall. The opening shots and music in "The Beginning" are unrivaled by the rest of the story. On the whole, the music is banal and disinterested, providing more coverage than truly adding excitement. Places where the music should have provided the most emotion (such as Adam receiving the Power Sword) is where it remains the most unmemorable. The direction is vastly improved, showing what twenty years can do to children's animation. The moving camera shots, low angles, and blazing action cuts show the new influence of anime and modern cinema on animation. Director Gary Hartle has done a supreme job of making the once stagnant He-Man characters practically jump off screen.

The new He-Man series brings almost hundreds of welcome improvements upon the original, including better action scenes, better continuity, and darker villains, but it fails miserably when it comes to voices. King Randor and Mekaneck and Man-At-Arms all sound like the same person. Skeletor's voice is hollow and posses none of the resonant vocals of Alan Oppenheimer. He-Man's voice sounds the way a boring muscle-man's should, lacking any of the maturity and moral depth of John Erwin's performance. Even Evil-Lyn, who has the best voice of all the new characters, sounds grainy and desperate when listened against the golden confidence of Linda Gary's witch. All the characters look fantastic, but when they open their mouths, I want to cry.

Still, my complaints are largely nitpicky. Mattel and Mike Young Productions have overcome the major hurdles by firming up the mythology, finally telling the origin story of He-Man, and re-envisioning the entire cast of characters without taking away the appearances, powers, and personalities that first made us love them. I am impressed by how much has not changed, and most of the changes are welcome improvements upon the original series. Executive producer Bill Schultz has succeeded in guiding this new series to its rightful place. On the whole, "The Beginning" is off to a great start.

Re:From MIT: legal history of copyright and fansit (-1)

technix4beos (471838) | about 12 years ago | (#4183198)

go away! ;-)

All your base are belong to us. (1)

Zork the Almighty (599344) | about 12 years ago | (#4183182)

It had to be said by someone sooner or later. All your base are belong to us. All your ball are belong to us. Cease and desist immediately. Thank you.

See both sides (3, Interesting)

kzadot (249737) | about 12 years ago | (#4183185)

I don't think MLB has a problem with fan sites per se, but of course they would have something against when those fan sites start stealing MLB intellectual property. Particularly when those sites are making a profit by selling merchandise and or advertising.

The hypocrisy of the /. crowd is interesting. When MIT bases a defense proposal on a comic character, its stealing, but when a commercial web site steals MLB logos etc, without permission, its fair use?

Hell, the fansites (the ones that make money) are worse, because, by displaying MLB logos on the site, the consumer is being decieved into thinking he may be purchursing official products.

I doubt MIT were trying to use the reputatation of some little known comic character to decieve the Department of Defense into anything...

Re:See both sides (2)

cdf12345 (412812) | about 12 years ago | (#4183202)

ok wait a sec, the MIT situation was misleading because there was no acknowledgement of the orignal source. Which almost amounts to plagerism.

Now, anyone who is smart enough to turn on a computer will be smart enough to realise that the websites have to do with professional baseball teams by the same name.

I don't see this as hypocritical at all. As long as sources are clearly identifiable then why not use logos and whatnot.

It's not likely that someone becides the Astros would come up with Astro logos...

Re:See both sides (1)

Spock the Baptist (455355) | about 12 years ago | (#4183246)

"but of course they would have something against when those fan sites start stealing MLB intellectual property. "

Ah, Grasshopper..

You have bought into the myth of intellectual property.

Can't teach an old dog-in-manger new tricks (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4183186)

See Aesop's [] take on this.

Commercial? Sure, kill 'em (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4183187)

If these sights are fundamentally FAN sites, then clearly this is more proof that MLB baseball is all business.

Did MLB try to contact these people nicely before sending them a C&D letter? Or do they have fast-action lawyers, ready to step on die-hard, good-intentioned fans?

It seems that MLB could be headed in the same direction as the recording industry - allienating fans, disrespecting customers, providing a low-quality product, attempting to sue the ass of it's biggest supporters, and attempting to milk it for all it's worth.

I don't go to games due to the attitudes of MLB (players AND management - I live about 1 mile from a park - I see these guys every day - trust me, you don't want ot know them.) I don't watch them on TV. Just like I don't listen to the crap music they sell today.

BMW has a "new Mini Cooper". Porsche has the Boxter. New, quality, cool products based on the style of the old. MLB and the recording industry has no concept of customer satisfaction.

Best of luck the their management - they'll be known like the British car industry was known in the 1970's... the inept destuctionists of a once-great thing. No doubt we'll be looking to Germany to bring them both back.

A theory on sports. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4183190)

Sports exist so stupid people have something to talk to each other about.

Re:A theory on sports. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4183200)

I thought that was shows like Ally McBeal. Great for watercooler businesses, not so great to your own company.

Re:A theory on sports. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4183241)

Television to some extent but television is a different beast. People get all kinds of creepy emotional attachments to TV shows. Like vines creeping up the side of a house, television creeps into people's skulls. All that stuff bouncing around in their subconcious all the time, stuff concocted by high dollar shrinks employed by the marketing firms. try to warn people about the stuff but ..*shrug* one listens.

Re:A theory on sports. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4183256)

Interestingly, I've been living now for about a year without a TV (moved abroad and never bothered getting a telly), but I don't feel any different.

Re:A theory on sports. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4183270)

A year abroad? Shit, how do you manage it?

Re:A theory on sports. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4183290)

I've not watched much in 5 years and if there is a difference, it would be my expectations in life are based on what I have seen in life itself. And I know there are a lot of people who model their lives after television because I have seen them, and they dress and act like people I've seen on TV. The girls who look like Courtney Cox replicas, the guys with the 90210 sideburns. If they're going through so much trouble to actively look like those people I shuder to think of all the other subtle aspects of their lives that have been done in similar emulation. And then shudder again to consider what's going on in their subconcious when the gears of their fiction-centered lives try to mesh with the gears of reality. And the expectations they have of their kids, based on television. Not good at all. Unhealthy.

Sports fan AI (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4183258)

10 CLS
20 PRINT "That was a great game!"
30 PRINT "He sure hit him hard that time!"
40 GOTO 20

Tardball (2)

Renderer of Evil (604742) | about 12 years ago | (#4183191)

I bet those fan sites are responsible for high ticket prices and overpriced hot dogs.

You see, MLB has to take that course of action, simply because those fan sites are not W3C standards compliant.

Hope that clears out the misunderstanding.

Another example: (2)

jukal (523582) | about 12 years ago | (#4183192)

for a couple of years, FIA put extensive pressure on the company running the site [] - there was many news pieces posted on the site about how FIA [] tried to make it impossible for them to run the site and requests for site visitors to give support for this unofficial site.

After years of fight The result [] :
" acquired by Formula One Group has been acquired by the Formula One Group who plan to turn it into the official website of the FIA Formula One World Championship.

What happened before? You can go back to 19 Oct 2000 [] for example to see:

" countersues Formula One Management In March Formula One Management tried to block from purchasing the domain name, a purchase the management at have been attempting to make for several years.

Formula One Management decided to take this dispute to the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) in Geneva, where the panelist appointed to decide the dispute, a prominent Cambridge QC, found that Formula One Management had failed completely to prove its case. "

Sport is serious business.

Guess I'll be watching the NFL then... (3)

cdf12345 (412812) | about 12 years ago | (#4183193)

The NFL takes a less aggressive approach.

"To the extent that it's purely a noncommercial site devoted to commentary about the team, we're supportive and happy that fans are excited about our sport," says Paula Guibault, NFL senior counsel. "It's not an issue for us."

Finally, someone who "gets it"

You know, I bet if the websites in question were trashing the baseball teams, baseball would leave them alone because they wouldn't want to deal with freedom of speech issues.

Why is it when free speech is mutually benificial, does the property holder go postal and shit a brick because they cannot have total control?

Customers soon to be extinct.........due to slowly being killed off due to corporations' stupidity!

penis penis penis (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4183194)

massive motherfucking penis

Re:penis penis penis (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4183220)

Hear! Hear!

I'll show you mine, if you'll show yours.

How to get my sister to sleep with me (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4183283)

You have one?

In that case, I'd like to ask you a related question. Now, don't get me wrong, I don't want to fuck my mother but I do dearly want to hide my salami in my hot 16-year old sister. The problem is that I am 24 and she's probably not too keen on an incestious relationship with her brother. We both still live with our parents, so that's another complication. How would you suggest I approach her and get her consent?


Re:How to get my sister to sleep with me (-1, Offtopic)

Omar Enoryt (605345) | about 12 years ago | (#4183322)

This has been forwarded to the FBI, idiot. Cry.

Re:How to get my sister to sleep with me (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4183331)

For your information, 14 is the legal age of consent around here and FBI has no jurisdiction in this country. Idiot.

What the Slashdot summary fails to mention... (2, Insightful)

blincoln (592401) | about 12 years ago | (#4183196) that the site owners who were hassled were trying to make money from their sites.
I don't think *any* corporation has a problem with fan sites that are put together as a resource or community for their subject matter. Most of them are even generous about letting them use their IP.
What becomes an issue is when the owners of those sites decide to try and use their position for their own gain - for example, selling unauthorized merchandise, as at least one of the people quoted in the article did.
This is simply the difference between running a Star Trek fan site and using your site to sell bootleg CDRs of the episodes. Even if you're just covering the cost of hosting, it's still a crime, and naive to think that any copyright holder will allow it.

Re:What the Slashdot summary fails to mention... (1)

technix4beos (471838) | about 12 years ago | (#4183221)

And this means what, exactly?

Did the sites in question go up to the MLB headquarters with a gun, demand money from the corporation, and walk away rich?


The sites were making a "profit" in order to continue the existance of the site that was for the fans of baseball.

People seem to forget that the overall goal of the sites was to provide information for the public.

Until the become the next ebay and start selling rare 1940's baseballs, I say they should be left alone. That is of course just my opinion...

Re:What the Slashdot summary fails to mention... (2, Insightful)

flamingmoose (592269) | about 12 years ago | (#4183319)

The sites were making money using MLB-related logos that were not theirs to use.
There are plenty of informative baseballsites that are not being taken down by MLB.
They took action against just four sites - don't you think there are more baseball sites than four?

This says it all (5, Insightful)

leviramsey (248057) | about 12 years ago | (#4183199)

The NFL is one of the few major businesses which has a modicum of sense. Consider this quote:

"To the extent that it's purely a noncommercial site devoted to commentary about the team, we're supportive and happy that fans are excited about our sport," says Paula Guibault, NFL senior counsel. "It's not an issue for us."

What the NFL realizes is that fan sites are good: they are free promotion (I know a few people who ran a Scottish Claymores [] fansite. When the club decided to do a new official site [] , they hired them to do it), and the people who run and read those sites are the hardcore fans, who either shell out hundreds of dollars a year for season tickets or who subscribe to the NFL Sunday Ticket.

Yet again baseball shoots itself in the foot, thanks to a management that has been slow to adapt to any change over the past 80 years. For instance, as late as 1930, none of the three New York teams allowed radio coverage of the games for fear that it would cut into the gate. It wasn't until the 70's that baseball teams began allowing televising of all games.

Mixing American Pastimes (5, Funny)

Inominate (412637) | about 12 years ago | (#4183210)

They're just mixing the great american pastimes of baseball and lawsuits.

Re:Mixing American Pastimes (1)

technix4beos (471838) | about 12 years ago | (#4183287)

hrm... both areas of "play" use wooden instruments to make their point.

Good God. (2)

Steve Cox (207680) | about 12 years ago | (#4183213)

Imagine if sites dedicated to rounders were removed in the UK.....

Re:Good God. (2)

Space cowboy (13680) | about 12 years ago | (#4183311)

Out of all the posts here, that one made me laugh out loud:-))


Major League Baseball Pushing (3, Informative)

OaITw (155633) | about 12 years ago | (#4183215)

Major League Baseball is aiming for to be a supper site that meets all baseball fan needs. I would guess that the director of the asked the legal division to rain in the none sites a little bit with the aim of increasing their own sites hits and revenue.

This is a pretty good strategy for baseball actually. First is provides uniformity to there product. If all fans start there baseball related news gathering by going to you get a central influence on news and hype. Second it produces general revenue. This is exactly what baseball needs right now. Of course no general revenue source can overcome the local revenue associated with ticket sales; but baseball needs to look for as much shared revenue as possible in order to reestablish parity. A fan site devoted to the Yankees is taking eyeballs from advertising that benifits all teams.

I have been converted. I think is the best professional sports web portal. I used to go the WGN to listen to Cubs baseball on the web but centralized web broadcasting of baseball games. I still can hear the Cubs with WGN broadcasters but I have the pay the $10 a season on For this $10 you get the ability to listen to every other team also. And I am guessing the revenue is shared.

Since I like the Cubs it is bad in a way that my dollars are shared but for all the fans of Yankees and Mets doing the same thing, it is good for me and the Cubs that some of their dollars are shared.

Re:Major League Baseball Pushing (1)

leviramsey (248057) | about 12 years ago | (#4183228)

I think is the best professional sports web portal.

The old (back in the days when Starwave still ran the site... before CBS Sportsline took it over) was pretty good. The new style, where it's more of a network of individual team sites and league run/affiliated sites (NFL Europe, NFL Players Association, etc.) with a consistent top-frame with links to the other sites just isn't the same, since each site is structured differently.

It's ironic, isn't it? The NFL, which has strong collectivist tendencies and a general herd instinct, leaves most of the web presence up to the teams, while MLB, which exercises minimal control over its teams, centralizes.

Re:Major League Baseball Pushing (1)

Renderer of Evil (604742) | about 12 years ago | (#4183236)

A fan site devoted to the Yankees is taking eyeballs from advertising that benifits all teams.

And we all know how MUCH money web advertising generates. *snickers*

"Hey! Look, I just bought a Ferrari with those link exchange banners I've been running on my page devoted to Yo Momma Jokes."

Re:Major League Baseball Pushing (1)

beowulfcluster (603942) | about 12 years ago | (#4183292)

I'm a football (soccer) fan, following the English Premier league and the Premiership 'supper site that meets all baseball fan needs' is something that we'll probably never get. The main reason is that all the official sites, both those run by the teams and the official premier league site [] all tow the party line and publish nice, safe news with the same old cliche quotes recycled over and over again. Then you have the big independent football news sites who also try to be the 'meets all needs' site, who in the time honored tradition of the british gutter press drum up exclusive after exlusive where 2+2 = 5, just to bring the punters in. Since neither no information nor misinformation meets my needs, I've chosen neither and use the small fan sites dedicated to each club instead. You get more interesting and correct information on the forums of the fan sites in one day than you get in a month on the big news sites. I only visit the big site(s) for match statistics and the like.

Things might of course be different in the MLB world, but I find it difficult to believe baseball fans are so different from football fans that the organization's view of what a fans needs are will ever match the fans own views of what their needs are.

oh well (2)

GoatPigSheep (525460) | about 12 years ago | (#4183216)

Fan sites are just what baseball needs, as it's popularity has been seriously declining over years, being sidelined by more trendy sports such as basketball (which in itself is a joke, as it's 8 foot tall black guys throwing a ball into a hoop a foot above them). The article mentioned that they had advertising on their sites (and thus could in theory make money, which the teams wouldn't want) but most sites these days need advertising just to cover bandwidth costs. It's baseball digging it's own grave.

But then again, who here really cares about sports anyway?

Ignorance (1)

AngstMerchant (605472) | about 12 years ago | (#4183289)

You obviously aren't a sports fan. I'm not either but I have two things to say: A) Basketball is a much more entertaining and high-energy sport than baseball and thusly has a much larger comtemporary following. Do some research and you'll find I'm correct. B) Your thinly-veiled racist comment about basketball players makes you look ignorant. . .and kind of like an a**hole.

Re:oh well (1)

Snoopy77 (229731) | about 12 years ago | (#4183304)

Just want to clarify a few things.

Most basketball players range from around 6ft 2in to about 7ft 2in. I think the tallest ever player was about 7ft 8in (and he wasn't even black). And the hoop is not 9ft high, it's 10ft I believe.

And yes, there are people here who do care about sports and even play them *gasp*. Why some people here might even be healthy, could possibly enjoy sunlight and may have a girlfriend whose name is not sexygirl445 who looks suspiciously like Pamela Anderson.

New business-model. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4183218)

1: Write free software.
2: ?
3: Crack down on baseball fan-sites.
4: Profit!

No news? (2)

Mr_Silver (213637) | about 12 years ago | (#4183235)

It's business, not personal, baseball officials said. They moved against the four Web sites over the alleged use of team logos or trademarks to draw site traffic or turn a profit.

So .. in short, you're more than welcome to run a baseball fan site just so long as you don't use the team logos without permission to bring people to the site or make some money.

This is hardly an infringement of civil rights. It's their logo, if you don't have permission to use it or you're trying to make a buck off it, then they have every right to close you down.

Good Ridance (1)

The Big Dude (598652) | about 12 years ago | (#4183257)

When I was growing up I never watched american soccer and baseball, I always watched NFL and NBA. I still watch NFL and NBA but I also watch soccer. Guess what, I still don't watch baseball. Nobody I know watches MLB, its too boring. They just read the scores in the paper while they're in the shitter. Hopefully the MLB goes out of business so America can get a new pastime. I think my favorite sport now is soccer.

take me out to the ballgame (2)

t0qer (230538) | about 12 years ago | (#4183269)

take me out to the crowds

where i'll pay 10 dollars for cracker jack
wont have enough money to drive my car back

Lets build the giants a stadium
let the panhandlers sleep on the street

cause it's 1 2 3 strikes your out ......

Fuck it, Its 4:30, cartoons are on.

Re:take me out to the ballgame (1)

gowen (141411) | about 12 years ago | (#4183288)

Lets build the giants a stadium
The only people who built the Giants a stadium were the Giants owners. Of all the major new ballparks, you picked the only one that was privately financed.

Re:take me out to the ballgame (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4183327)

"Fuck it, Its 4:30, cartoons are on."

'Cause by then you're good an stoned so they're much more fun to watch. :)

Business not Personal (1)

AngstMerchant (605472) | about 12 years ago | (#4183277)

"It's business, not personal, baseball officials said. " Thank God for the Industrial Revolution and the separation of personal and professional life. It allows us to be truly shitty and unreasonable to gobs of people and not feel a bit of guilt over the suffering it causes. This tactic is especially enjoyable if it results in cash or prizes.

What more excuse do you need? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4183279)

Why are baseball fans bothering to hang on? This is like the abusive relationship where the woman keeps thinking the beatings are over. Go to rehab, tell the baseball teams to go fuck themselves. They purposely played the fans like a fiddle during the strike in order to get their demands met ($250 million contract for one player? Fuck and I'm unemployed), now they're shutting down web sites by FANS.

Maybe they use the same PR firm as the RIAA.

Baseball is Dead (1)

j1mmy (43634) | about 12 years ago | (#4183282)

It's been dying for a long time, but this is just the nail in the coffin.

good (2)

Ender Ryan (79406) | about 12 years ago | (#4183300)

This is just more fuel for the fire in the backlash against MLB. MLB, players and execs, has turned into nothing but a big stupid corporate game, not a sport.

I hope the sport dies, then maybe it can be reborn as what it should be, an American pasttime.

Personally, I don't care for baseball, I think it's a boring sport. But, I know people who like it, and most of them have quit paying attention to it these days because they're sick of the BS, except for tuning in now and then for a good laugh at the players, etc. I really hope the sport will eventually be reborn for these fans who actually enjoy the sport.

I'm sure there will be a hundred more comments just like mine, but that will certainly say something about America's "pasttime"...

How to make baseball better for everyone (2, Insightful)

Dyslexic (112) | about 12 years ago | (#4183305)

The main reason you see low attendance at baseball games is because there is oh, I dunno 100 games per team in the regular season.

American football has maybe a fifth of that and its TV ratings are constantly on top. Not to mention it almost always packs 50,000-seat stadiums to capacity, even if tickets are $50 (or in many cases much more).

A shorter regular season would make everything worthwhile. No more 30 minutes of highlights on the 11 'oclock news. No more sparsely populated million dollar stadiums (which, urgh, my tax dollars paid for). It would make the game far more exciting, for every game counts tenfold. Teams wouldn't be able to say, "Too bad we lost...oh well we have another 80 games to make it up..."


Re:How to make baseball better for everyone (2)

Detritus (11846) | about 12 years ago | (#4183323)

If you want to watch football, watch football. Don't screw up baseball in a misguided attempt to make it attractive to people with short attention spans and no regard for tradition.

No more trademarks (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4183314)

The simple fact of the matter is that trademark/patent law has failed its original purpose: protect the little guy. In this case, devoted fans we not diluting the MLB trademarks but were actually helping to promote it. The next thing you know, people doing reviews of products will be targeted because they aren't "officially" endorsed. I urge people to ignore these phony cease & desist letters. You have a right to freedom of speech and expression, which clearly these people were exercising. In no way did their acts impede the rights of MLB. It's high time we legislate away frivilous trademark litagation, making illegal to sue private individuals for hosting a fan site. People just need to stand up and tell these A*#holes to F&*k off. The more people who do it, the less effective their tactics become. Eventually, this type of expression will make it to the Supreme Court where (hopefully) it will be upheld under the first amendment. All that's required is a few childeren getting on CNN or something similar to cause some outrage in America.

I wish... (1)

RebelTycoon (584591) | about 12 years ago | (#4183321)

1) There was a strike. For then the fans would have left and certainly some teams would have gone bankrupt.

2) That this crack-down nonsense would end. For it is these types of fans that baseball would need the next time it goes on strike.

3) That baseball would die. Sure its America's favorite past time, but its also starting to look like America's biggest problem! GREED!!!

Major League Baseball casts Americans in the worst light possible. Here is a sport where some of the top paid players can't speak a word of English, but worst still, these players seem less inteligent then other sports (next to boxing and football).

As with everything (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4183326)

We can relate this to an episode of the simpsons. Somehow. Yoink!
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