Attorneys representing Major League Baseball argued Thursday that online fantasy baseball companies cannot operate without paying license fees to MLB to compensate players for the use of their names.What if the fantasy players names all used the popular "schm" construct. So instead of drafting Barry Bonds and Mark McGuire, you draft Schmary Schmonds and Schmark Smcguire? Shouldn't you have to add the same to the statistics. Now batting schmreehundred?
A federal appeals panel of three judges seemed skeptical that MLB could take financial control of a game that uses publicly available statistics and widely known names of players.
"MLB is like a public religion. Everyone knows (the players') names and what they look like," said U.S. Judge Morris Arnold. "This is just part of being an American, isn't it?"
MLB's lawyer Virginia Seitz said online fantasy games exploit players by effectively turning them into game pieces and using their names to draw more customers.
"There's no way of escaping the fact that players' names are on the product," Seitz said.
Whoops: lawyers should never file clams either. They leave too much sand in the judge's in-box.