The Red Sox winning the World Series wasn’t the only drama unfolding at Fenway Park this fall: Owner John Henry has been fighting to avoid testifying in a high-stakes class-action lawsuit against his fellow baseball owners.
The suit takes aim at Major League Baseball’s decades-old blackout policy, which requires fans living in cities without a team to buy a pricey MLB-owned game bundle to watch their home team play ball. But there may be something else at play, according to Roger Abrams, a onetime Major League Baseball salary arbitrator and now a Northeastern University Law professor. Abrams believes Henry may be targeted to testify in a deposition to reveal closely guarded financials to show the sport’s anti-trust exemption is bad for consumers.
“It might be a Trojan horse,” Abrams said. “Baseball’s management, or baseball central, or any of the 30 clubs like to keep their books private, and maybe that’s why they’re resisting [the subpoena]. The deposition might reveal the real profit and loss statements baseball doesn’t like to reveal.”