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How long before the MLB shuts down baseball blogs?

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The Cincinatti Enquirer has a piece on the battle between the MLB and the media. What's interesting is how much the MLB and the traditional media is fighting over this kind of stuff, when so much of it is slipping to independent bloggers. It's all about credentialing, and I'm not so much concerned with gettiing a media credential, but the ramifications are interesting.

The spat started when baseball issued its annual credential guidelines, which include tight restrictions on digital content such as photo galleries, audio and video on Web sites and blogs.

Uh oh... here's something else with my own emphasis.

"They didn't print newspapers and we did that, so we weren't competitors. Now, we have Web sites, they have Web sites and so they view us as competitors," said John Cherwa, chair of the legal affairs committee for the Associated Press Sports Editors.

"I think their long-term goal is they would like to see us all as rights-holders when it comes to the Internet," a situation that could conceivably force news organizations to pay fees to teams or leagues for the use of their content.

So this fight is between baseball and traditional media, but obviously, the next step looks like baseball taking on whoever else is out on the internets... Including your friendly, neighborhood Gaslamp Ball.

Personally, I think most people will eventually come to sites like this one when they want to discuss their favorite baseball teams and forgo some of the more "traditional" outlets. I'm positive that most people would never have Gaslamp Ball as their only source of information. Part of that is just that we aren't comprehensive by ourselves, but also because we actively encourage you to click the links out and see what else is on the internet for more viewpoints. Of course I'd love it if you came here first, because that would suggest that you enjoy being a Gaslamp Baller enough to possibly contribute and improve on what we already have, but to be honest, I've got nothing against you visiting Ducksnorts first, or the blog of your favorite baseball team or Deadspin even ESPN or whatever. Just as long as you visit here eventually. We try to link out whenever we can (or remember to), and it's without a second thought. In fact, be sure to visit the Enquirer article. Just make sure you come back here again and often.

I think this is where the MLB and many major companies don't understand how the internet works. They see their numbers (abstract and uncontainable as they are) as commodoties and they see everything on the internet as competition. Because they can't attach a hard dollar value to sites like Gaslamp Ball, they'll eventually see us as competition as well.

I'm not saying that Major League Baseball shouldn't be allowed to make money from what they do. I'm not even saying that they shouldn't be allowed to make most of the money that's out there. It's just discouraging when companies blatantly make it apparent that they only view their fans as consumers or competition. Come on, Major League Baseball. I thought our relationship was something more.