Archive - June 2015
- Column: Cardinals Hack AstrosJune 29, 2015
If it can happen to retailers like K-Mart, Target and Home Depot, and even the U.S. Government, perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised that it happened to the Houston Astros. But in this case, the perpetrators weren’t a criminal element in Eastern Europe or the Chinese government but apparently employees of another MLB team, the St. Louis Cardinals. In what is the first known case – security experts believe it has likely happened before - of computer espionage in professional sports, the FBI is investigating several Cardinals’ employees for allegedly hacking into the Astros’ computer system. The obvious questions are which employees are responsible and what was the purpose of the nefarious activity? Perhaps an answer to the first question will shed light on the second. What we know for now is that there is animosity tinged with jealousy between the two organizations.
- Column: Another Victory for TV ChoiceJune 15, 2015
Slowly but surely, fans are forcing sports teams and leagues to add to the limited viewing options they have historically offered us. In what can only be described as a huge victory for freedom of choice, the NHL and its broadcasters recently settled their portion of a class action lawsuit that has been lingering in the U.S. District Court for several years. MLB, also a defendant in the suit, is now left to singularly defend against allegations that they use blackouts to limit out-of-market games in order to protect local teams’ revenue.
- Column: MLB Fan Safety an Issue AgainJune 14, 2015
When the lead news story includes a photo of a female fan bleeding profusely from a gash on her head, it’s never good for business. That’s why MLB sprang into crisis mode immediately after a fan was struck by a shard from a broken bat during a game at Fenway Park on June 5, issuing a statement which said “Fan safety is our foremost goal.” But is it? Tonya Carpenter was sitting in the second row along the Red Sox’ third baseline with her son when a portion of Oakland A’s third baseman Brett Lawrie’s splintered maple bat went flying into the stands. Although Carpenter’s injuries were serious, she is currently on the mend. But who knows if the next victim will be as fortunate?
- Column: FIFA ScandalJune 8, 2015
The United States is one of the most backward countries in the world when it comes to playing, understanding and supporting the game of soccer, dubbed by the Portuguese as “The Beautiful Game.” But we sure know how to make an impact on the sport. Last week, the U.S. Department of Justice indicted nine officials of the International Federation of Association Football (FIFA), soccer’s world governing body, along with five corporate executives on corruption charges. The 166-page, 47-count indictment alleges that over a 24-year period the defendants engaged in the crimes of racketeering, wire fraud and money laundering. The charges detail $150 million in bribes and kickbacks that were used to rig the selection of international soccer tournaments and the award of media and broadcasting contracts.