MLB's avarice raises its ugly head, yet again

added 7/5/2002 by Susan and Darrell Pittman
Susan and I would first like to express our shock and outrage over MLB Properties' threatened action against the Astros Daily.

We've all read the letter by now, and understand its sinister implications.

In retrospect, none of us should have been surprised. It is but the continuation of a pattern that last evidenced itself when MLB started charging for audio webcasts of its games that had previously been free, then strong-armed the radio stations that had been doing free webcasts to stop theirs.

Since the Astros Daily is non-commercial and non-profit, the site is obviously nothing less than free publicity for the Astros, and could in no way have harmed the club financially; in fact, it could only have been a benefit to the Astros. The only possible remaining motive is to force you and I to go to astros.com for online news about the Astros, where we would be spoon-fed the Company propaganda, and, needless to say, given ample opportunities to buy tickets and merchandise online.

This naked attempt at censorship galls us. It goes against all the American virtues that baseball is supposed to embody. God forbid that there should be a website where one can view independent news, analysis, and opinions on the Houston Astros.

Susan and I will not be renewing our season tickets in protest. The Astros have made their last dollar off us.

We encourage all of you to get the word out about this outrage. Write letters-to-the-editor (sptletters@chron.com), and give the Astros management a piece of your mind (fanfeedback@astros.mlb.com). Maybe if we make enough noise, we can get them to reverse this self-defeating policy.

Since this may well be our last Double Play column, Susan and I would like to thank you for your readership and encouragement. Most of all, we would like to thank Ray Kerby for putting this wonderful website together, and for all his time, effort, and expense. We would also like to thank all the other voluntary contributors to this site whose hard work and research has made the content here so rich.

Susan and Darrell Pittman

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