The Times has an editorial on the Minky ball by Tulsa law professor Paul Finkelman.
His finding is that the ball belongs to neither of the warring parties but rather to either the Cardinals or MLB. He settles on MLB:
In the regular season, the answer is clear: the home team. Whether the home team owns the balls used in its park during a World Series game is a slightly more complicated question. But only slightly; if the home team does not own it, then Major League Baseball does.
Well, that's not much of a rationale. Who said the home team didn't own it anyway? Besides, MLB spokesman Carmine "Don't Call Me the Big Ragu" Tiso told the Globe that the ball is Mientkiewicz's. Therefore, doesn't Finkelman's line of reasoning actually support Minky's case?
My friend Murray makes a much more straightforward and convincing argument in an open letter he sent to the Times two full days before the editorial:
To the Editor:
Regarding the Boston Red Sox's insistence that they, and not their employee Doug Mientkiewicz, own the baseball Mientkiewicz caught to record the final out of the 2004 World Series (article, Jan. 8, 2005), I refer you to Rule 3.01(c) of the Official Rules of Major League Baseball: "Before the game begins the umpire shall...(c) Receive from the home club a supply of regulation baseballs....
The last game of the World Series occurred at Busch Stadium in St. Louis. Therefore, the party with the most legitimate claim of ownership to the baseball in question is the St. Louis Cardinals. I'm sure the Cards would be willing to part with this valuable Red Sox artifact--for the right price.
All right, I'm convinced. It's the Cardinals' ball. If they wish to liberate it from Mientkiewicz, that's fine. However, the Red Sox have no claim to it. "All the news that's fit to print", huh?