(Am I) Understanding the UD/Razor memo (?)

6 05 2009

I guess the big news for the hobby card drama enthuisist is Wax Heaven’s post of a memo from someone at MLBPA stating that “Richard McWilliam, the owner and the chief executive officer of The Upper Deck Company, has admitted… the he provided the cash the funded Razor and that he has de facto control over the company.”

First off, there’s no verification that this is true.  However, if it’s not true, there’s no specualtion, and where’s the fun in that, right?

What I find odd about the whole thing is that the memo also references clauses in players contracts with Razor that would void said contracts if this relationship came out.  Now, if this clause exists, why in the world would McWilliam shoot himself in the foot and admit to both financial ties and “de facto” control?

Havign said that, a lot of folks seems to believe that the relationship is there, and Steve from The Sports Card File leaves the first comment on Mario’s post announcing that he’s known it all along.  So there’s probably some merit to the idea that Upper Deck pays the bills at Razor.

The big question for me is this:  Does the fact that Upper Deck owns a company that releases unlicensed products somehow violate their MLBPA agreement as it is?  That would seem to be the biggest ramification for the hobby as a whole, right?

Everything I’ve heard and read suggests that Topps will be the sole provider once the new MLBPA contract is negotiated and signed.  If this is true, than this revelation will be another nail in an already sealed coffin rather than a deciding factor.

Of course, if the clause mentioned in the memo is true, and players can void their contracts with Razor if they are owned my Upper Deck, well, that impacts the whole Razor company, I guess.  They (and Upper Deck) stand to lose their grip on any market share they’d managed as a result of the exclusive contracts they’d signed.

I never collected Razor cards.  I have none in my collection.  They just aren’t my bag.   So my initial reaction was a big shoulder shrug and on to another baseball card blog.  I’ll admit, too, that I haven’t been exactly “tuned into” the hobby as a whole for the past month or so either.

My question, then, is this:  Am I missing something bigger here?  Is the collapse of Razor really going to be a huge loss to the hobby if all this is true?  Anyone?

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