I was going to write a serious post about what Topps' exclusive deal with major league baseball means for the baseball card industry, but then I came across this reaction from a blog of the Riverfront Times, St. Louis' alt-weekly:
File under ridiculous douchebag bull----: Major League Baseball and Topps have reached an agreement to make Topps the only licensed maker of baseball cards.
I'm not going to try and be balanced or fair about this. This is f---ing bullshit. Of all the shitty things MLB has done over the years - and they are legion - this one just may take the cake. Licensing only one company to make baseball cards? Really? In what alternate universe is this a good idea? [...]
And [Topps CEO Michael] Eisner, my mother always taught me it's wrong to wish ill on another human being. Thus, I shall refrain from saying I would pay good money to see you fall into a giant vat of government-created SuperAIDS.
Yes! Government-created SuperAIDS! That's totally what the head of a corporation attempting to make a profit deserves for cutting a deal with major league baseball.
My buddy RJ noted this line of his blog entry: "Baseball card collecting is one of the few somewhat pure pursuits left; it may not be the Norman Rockwell-esque endeavor the 1950s would have us believe, but it's close." It is most certainly not, even before MLB's deal with Topps. I mean, c'mon, baseball card collecting is one of those well-marketed pursuits that is clearly attempting to pretend to be pure; I thought even the people who bought into it knew this, deep down.
But, then again, at least this guy isn't falling for Eisner's BS. Every other paper just let him give his quote about how this business decision is just really "for the children" and about redirecting the market toward kids. Um, maybe, but I think what Topps is really interested in is making money, hence the exclusive deal attempting to force its competitors out of the market.
An NBC New York writer has an okay take on the situation, but for the best take on the whole deal, check out njpanick's comment from yesterday. Who knew exclusive deals cost more than nonexclusive ones?