The world has changed dramatically over the past six months, especially now that the coronavirus pandemic has halted sports. When MLB and MiLB negotiators convene on a teleconference on Wednesday, multiple sources with knowledge of the negotiations say MiLB will indicate that it agrees to 120 affiliated teams in a new PBA. Read more here. In a joint MLB-MiLB statement, that parties said the following:
“The respective negotiating teams of Minor League Baseball and Major League Baseball held a constructive meeting on Wednesday. The parties are continuing their discussions, with the goal of concluding a mutually beneficial long-term agreement in the near future.”
For more than 40 cities across the country, there’s fear that this could be their last season with a minor league baseball team after Major League Baseball announced controversial plans to cut ties with more than three dozen teams. TODAY’s Harry Smith takes a closer look at how folks in Lowell (MA) are battling to save their team. Read more and watch report here.
Today, Representatives Lori Trahan (D-MA), David McKinley (R-WV), Max Rose (D-NY), and Mike Simpson (R-ID) – co-chairs of the Save Minor League Baseball Task Force — introduced a bipartisan resolution expressing the sense of Congress that Major League Baseball (MLB) should maintain the current minor league structure rather than proceed with its plan to eliminate 42 minor league clubs. Read press release and resolution here.
After spending more than 30 years learning the ins and outs of corporate America, Fernando Aguirre was ready to own a business and bought the Erie SeaWolves (Double-A, Eastern League) in 2015. Late last year, Aguirre learned that the SeaWolves are one of 42 teams that could be axed under a proposal by MLB. But, he is working to save the team and his investment. Meanwhile, UPMC Park is in the middle of a $16 million renovation with some parts finished, including a new field that was put in place before the 2019 season and a new scoreboard that was installed during the season. Read more here.
Joined by a large group of community leaders and local, state and federal officials on Thursday at the Centre County Visitors Center, the short-season single-A affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals launched the #SaveOurSpikes campaign to fight back against a Major League Baseball proposal that if enacted would eliminate affiliations for State College and 41 other minor league clubs. Read more here.
Major League Baseball said Saturday it is committed to protecting minor league teams, a day after U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal warned of possible congressional action if the organization followed through on minor league contraction plans. Read more and watch news report here.
Norwich (CT) Mayor Peter Nystrom says he plans to fight hard to preserve his town’s little piece of Americana — the soon-to-be-renamed Connecticut Tigers (we’re hoping for Narwhals) (Single-A, New York-Penn League). Mayor Norstrom stated:
I’m writing to every municipality affected by this. These are community centers. Dodd Stadium is a community center. To me, this is a stab in the back.
U.S. Rep. Joe Courtney, who represents Norwich, said he believes MLB has underestimated the clout these communities have. He co-authored a letter signed by over 100 colleagues to MLB officials outlining the negative implications of contraction and reminding them Congress has the power to reconsider the league’s antitrust exemption. MLB responded. Read more here.
In recent weeks, details of the plan have been slowly leaking out, the MLB spin being it’s designed to (1) upgrade all the minor league facilities and (2) improve “wellness” for the minor leaguers in terms of travel and living conditions. In truth, as always, it’s designed to save money, lots of money, and the proprietors of these minor league teams, many of whom have their life savings invested in them, be damned. Read more here. Read about the Erie SeaWolves and Connecticut Tigers here. Read concerns in Erie (PA) about the SeaWolves here. Read about the fight brewing in Daytona (FL) over the Tortugas here.