Monday, April 05, 2010

Philly news on April 4: what earthquake in Los Angeles?

Viewers of CBS KYW channel 3 in Philadelphia who thought they might hear of the LA quake at 11pm were treated to a great deal of discussion of Donovan McNabb going to the Redskins.

Beasley Reece sensed trading McNabb to a divisional rival made a statement about what the Eagles thought about McNabb, but kept saying, this is not baseball where you have no-trade clauses.
Somewhere in law school at UChicago, a prof made a distinction in the way contracts were handled in the NFL vs. MLB, arising from the 1920's era case holding that baseball was a sport, not a business.

In the McNabb case, blogger Jason Cole dug a little deeper into how this happened in a post titled McNabb strong-arms his way to D.C.:

McNabb, who is in the final year of his deal, made this happen by making it clear he wasn’t going anywhere else but Washington. When the Buffalo Bills expressed interest – and even were willing to give McNabb a contract extension – he passed on the offer. When the Oakland Raiders sniffed around and showed willingness to trade for the quarterback without an extension, McNabb indicated to the Eagles through his associates that he’d retire.

“He has plenty of money,” the source close to McNabb said. “He’s not doing anything he doesn’t want to do.”

Reece made the thing look like it was Andy Reid taking care of Donovan, but Cole's thoughts seem to be elsewhere:

This could be a tipping point in determining who really runs the Eagles. Coach Andy Reid called the shots on the roster, until most recently, when that power increasingly shifted to Banner, a clever contract negotiator who has become expert in locking up players to long-term deals and keeping the Eagles competitive.

As to KYW, by about 11:07pm, KYW mentioned there had been an earthquake near LA, and then they mentioned something about the Trenton rape case. But they went back to the Donovan story, with coverage that was more flash than substance.

As to patents, that's the way "60 Minutes" handled the Myriad case, in its lead story on April 4, 2010. CBS did leave the viewer with the impression that Myriad owned genes. One of the basic precepts of patent law is that a patent right is the right to exclude, not an ownership right or a monopoly right. "60 Minutes" could have dug deeper, but they didn't.

Of money issues in the patent story, one notes that one of the women profiled did have health insurance which did cover the test. The issue was that the insuror would only pay so much, which was less than the $3200. This happens all the time with proprietary drugs. The insuror will pay $x, but the drug is for sale at $y, and the individual pays $(y-x). Along this line, a lot of patent folks were predicting the demise of Lipitor after Zocor went generic. This didn't happen. People are still paying (y-x) for Lipitor even though simvastatin (generic Zocor) can be had for x. And some doctors are saying Crestor is better than Lipitor, but that's a different story. And some doctors recommend putting statins in the drinking water, so we can all have leg cramps and transient global amnesia.

**Of baseball

Policy Debate: Should the antitrust exemption for baseball be eliminated?

Baseball's Antitrust Exemption: Its History and Continuing Importance


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