Major League Baseball enjoys a questionable legal position in these United States. Ahem. For a good idea of just how questionable, you could read what sounds like an excellent new book or you could just read a review of said book, via The New York Times:
Mr. Banner’s book, “The Baseball Trust,” does not dispute that baseball is intellectual kryptonite for lawyers. But it is a valuable corrective to the widely held view that the romance of baseball was the main reason that courts have treated it with special solicitude. Baseball’s status was, in fact, the product of happenstance of a sort surprisingly commonplace in the law.
“At each step, judges and legislators made decisions that were perfectly sensible when considered one at a time,” he explains, “but this series of decisions yielded an outcome that makes no sense at all.”
Mr. Banner, who teaches law at the University of California, Los Angeles, is himself a sure-footed historian and a legal writer of exceptional grace and clarity. His evident love of baseball does not seem to cloud his judgment.
This sort of thing has the potential to be a crashing bore ... but then that's true of anything, right? Yes, it's probably a bit harder to make the antitrust exemption interesting than, say, the 1975 World Series. But just about anything can be interesting, if written about well enough.
I don't know that I'll actually read The Baseball Trust, just because so many baseball books land on my desk every spring. But I'm sure I'll get it, and (according to my new baseball-reading strategy) will dip in for at least a chapter or two.