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The economic view

Two quick notes for a Monday morning

Greg at the sports-law blog suggests that, since the NBA and the NFL don't invest in player training, they should be allowed to bar young players from the draft. While this keeps their costs down and stacks the NCAA with marketable talent at a near-zero price, it seems a rich reward to dole out to free riders. The NFL's appeal of the Clarett ruling seeks to negate the opportunity for Clarett and Mike Williams to enter this year's draft, citing "tragic consequences." Ahem. You draft Clarett, pay him a few million, and then put his tender talent at undue risk if he's not yet ready? Please court, help me from myself! Clarett aside, Mike Williams is definitely ready for prime time. He's a man among boys in college football.

On to baseball's steroid conflagration. In every contract negotiation since the Messersmith-McNally case, the owners have attempted to recover some of the rents lost from the demise of their treasured reserve clause. They gleefully watched as somehow, the lockouts and strikes that accompanied these negotiations were blamed on "greedy players." With just a smidgen of foresight, an enlightened baseball management might have come to the table saying, "boys, we don't want to take your money this time. We accept the status quo there. But we both have a problem. Lets join the rest of the world and push doping out of the game with a credible testing policy." Didn't happen. Here's hoping both sides ignore the nonsense coming from the mouths of Baker, Kent, and Sheffield, and listen to what John Smoltz has to say.