Radical Changes to Minor League System Being Contemplated

Discussion in 'Baseball' started by garnetpalmetto, Oct 18, 2019.

  1. Kane One Registered User

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    Overall, no. For my selfishness for loving the Brooklyn Cyclones going to Double A? Hell yes. I’ve wanted this move for like a decade now.
     
  2. BigMac1212 Sleep is for scrubs

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    Dang! I didn't know THAT MANY teams are up for the chopping block.
     
  3. garnetpalmetto Administrator

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    Not one little bit. I think if MLB had concentrated on a couple aspects of this - improving facilities or trying to realign leagues/markets - it might have been an easier pill to swallow. Some markets have absolutely crap facilities (Hagerstown, for instance) but the Leagues have been getting tougher on those markets - see what the Cal League did with Bakersfield, as an example. A Low-A league stretching from Georgia to New Jersey doesn't make much sense, so why not break it up into two leagues? But MLB is going after an ant with a sledgehammer here and it will blow up in their faces. It will suddenly become much harder for teams to try to get better parks or ballpark improvements in place because opponents can use this as ammunition. And for a team like Quad Cities or Chattanooga to be on the endangered list while a team like Gwinnett (who despite rebranding and a fairly successful team still can't draw) or Richmond (we've been waiting how long for a replacement for The Diamond now?) isn't is lunacy.
     
  4. Fenway Administrator

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    Major League Baseball Statement

    Major League Baseball issued the following statement today following a productive meeting between Commissioner Robert D. Manfred, Jr. and United States Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont:

    “MLB fully recognizes the importance of professional baseball to communities throughout the United States without a Major League team and, as our national pastime, appreciates the support of the tens of millions of fans in our country. MLB also understands that we have an obligation to local communities to ensure that public money spent on Minor League stadiums is done so prudently and for the benefit of all citizens.

    “MLB also must ensure that Minor League players have safe playing facilities suitable for the development of professional baseball players, are not subjected to unreasonable travel demands, are provided with compensation and working conditions appropriate for elite athletes, and have a realistic opportunity of making it to the Major Leagues.

    “MLB is committed to negotiating with Minor League Baseball to find solutions that balance the competing interests of local communities, MLB Clubs, Minor League owners, and the young players who pursue their dream of becoming professional baseball players. We repeatedly have stated both publicly and privately to the Minor Leagues that whatever the outcome of the negotiations, MLB will offer every community that currently hosts professional baseball options to preserve baseball in a viable, fan-friendly, compelling format with the full support of MLB. We remain confident that solutions can be reached that satisfy the interests of all stakeholders.”
     
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  5. Roman Fell #JYPNation

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  6. Preds Partisan Gunga galunga

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  7. SSF Registered User

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    Manfred is a clown haha
    What an empty threat.
     
  8. Centrum Hockey Registered User

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    Manfred works for the owners they are the ones pushing this Manfred is just the one that everyone is blaming.
     
  9. garnetpalmetto Administrator

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    I don't know, Centrum. From what I've read, there are some owners who aren't happy with how far this has gone off the rails. When you have Congress nosing around what should be a fairly routine issue, that's a sign that somewhere along the line you screwed up. If anything I think Manfred's making the situation worse by throwing bombs like this, especially when MiLB's messaging is coherent, on-point, and demonstrates that they're willing to make something work. Threatening to pull up stakes and put together some motley combination of Indy clubs and, I assume, MiLB clubs owned by their MLB parent, isn't going to work.
     
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  10. Centrum Hockey Registered User

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    I agree that this has resulted in a terrible pr battle.I have a hard time believing that milb is an innocent party in this though. I assume that there is a lot of push back from independent minor league owners who refuse to switch leagues in a possible realignment for valuation reasons regardless if contraction is on the table.
     
  11. CHRDANHUTCH Registered User

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    THE ONLY thing out of this I'd want to know is what is Detroit's plan going forward if Erie goes away..... we know what the Mets plan is by elevating Brooklyn to replace Binghamton
     
  12. Centrum Hockey Registered User

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    No realignment proposal's have leaked yet but. I would guess Dayton would take Rochester's spot in triple a and affiliate with Cincinnati. Nats affiliate with Louisville Rochester goes to the EL in Erie's spot.
     
  13. garnetpalmetto Administrator

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    I think the answer to that is that it depends. As an example, the former owner of the Carolina Mudcats, Steve Bryant, desperately wanted to get out of the Southern League because the League's geographic footprint had altered significantly from when he brought the team to Zebulon.

    When the Mudcats first started play in Zebulon after relocating from Columbus, GA the rest of the SL was Huntsville, AL; Birmingham, AL; Chattanooga, TN; Memphis, TN; Jacksonville, FL; Greenville, SC; Charlotte, NC; Orlando, FL; and Knoxville, TN. By the time he sold the team for relocation, Memphis had moved to Jackson, TN; Greenville had moved to Pearl, MS; Charlotte had moved to Mobile, AL; and Orlando had moved to Montgomery, AL. Beyond that you used to have a division with Greenville, Charlotte, Orlando, and Jacksonville to the closest team in your division being Knoxville. Combine that with MLB placing greater demands on MiLB affiliates with regards to travel and rest days, you can bet Bryant wanted out of the SL and when opportunity came knocking to sell the Mudcats to Pensacola and turn around and purchase the Carolina League Kinston Indians, you bet that's what he went for. Sure his valuation dropped, I'm sure, but it was offset by losing the headache of having to be in the same division as Chattanooga, Huntsville, Jackson, and Tennessee.

    Similarly, I'm sure some owners in the SAL were perfectly fine seeing Bowling Green and Lake County ceded to the Midwest League and wouldn't mind a new mid-Atlantic based low-A league cropping up to lop off having to go to Hagerstown, Delmarva, and Lakewood. Or some massive sea-change like some free-flowing of franchises between the Carolina League and the Sally League. It might be more difficult and require some redoing of PDCs, but wouldn't it make more sense to have the NC, SC, and GA low-A and high-A teams in one league? I doubt there'd be much movement there in franchise value, but again, wouldn't it be more sensible?
     
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  14. Centrum Hockey Registered User

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    Do you think it would be an issue at higher levels going to short season or rookie though.let’s just say for this discussion they keep most of the teams but there is heavy realignment. Would a team like Binghamton be ok with being told you can keep a Mets affiliation but Brooklyn is taking your spot in the EL and you are moving to the nypl and you now have less home dates.
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2019
  15. garnetpalmetto Administrator

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    I mean that's above my paygrade, but I'd think maybe, especially if you're in a place like Binghamton where you may have bad attendance in the early part of the season due to weather. Offhand I can think of a handful of recent(ish) instances where what you're describing happened - Vancouver moving from Triple-A to Short Season-A, Colorado Springs moving from Triple-A to Rookie, Portland moving from Triple-A to Short Season-A, Richmond moving from Triple-A to Double-A, Norwich moving from Double-A to Rookie, and Carolina moving from Double-A to Advanced-A. I can't speak to whether ownership stayed the same in those instances beyond Colorado Springs (it did), Richmond (it didn't), and Carolina (it did) but there's precedent for it.
     
  16. HajdukSplit Registered User

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    Maybe a mute point with the talks of downgrading MiLB but the Florida Fire Frogs still don't have a home for the 2020 season and they want to move back to Brevard County which I hope for as I recently moved to the area and the nearest minor league teams are both about an hour away (St. Lucie and Daytona, Daytona is on the chopping block as well despite good attendance)

    Co-Owner: Return Fire Frogs Franchise to Brevard County

    Ideally they would move to Viera (Space Coast Stadium), former home of the Nationals spring training facility and recently had a High-A ball team before moving to Kissimmee but the stadium and supporting fields has been bought by an organization called USSSA, they host a women's softball team in the summer months and for the rest of the year they basically hold youth tournaments and soft-pitch softball events. Not sure how much money these events are generating but they have a lease for like 20-30 years.

    The other option is Cocoa which was a spring training home in the 60-70s. I drive by the stadium everytime I drive to Orlando and it looks outdated, and while right off one of the exits on I-95 its in the middle of nowhere pretty much

     
  17. BigMac1212 Sleep is for scrubs

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    The fact that the Fire Frogs still haven't found a home this late in the hot stove season makes me want to do a Picard double facepalm.
     
  18. guinness swedish milkmaid

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    Does this all boil down to the owners being cheap, and not wanting to play MiLB players more money?
     
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  19. BigMac1212 Sleep is for scrubs

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    Here's what could be a dumb question:

    Could this ploy be a way to jumpstart MLB/MiLB expansion? (Because if the MLB grows to 32, MiLB has to expand, likewise.)
     
  20. Centrum Hockey Registered User

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    AAA and AA And High A expansion will happen regardless with MLB expansion if short season A still exists or not.
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2020
  21. Fenway Administrator

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    Lowell (SS-A) is in the crosshairs of elimination



    But Lowell's attendance has dropped badly since Drew Weber sold the team.

    upload_2020-1-8_5-46-5.png

    Drew and Joann Weber were good owners but Drew never recovered from his wife's untimely death from cancer.

     
  22. sabremike "And Solskjaer has won it!!!"

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    Only MLB would be stupid enough to risk the anti trust exemption that is among the biggest gifts the government has ever handed a business to save what is essentially a pittance. Penny wise and pound foolish doesn't even do it justice.
     
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  23. garnetpalmetto Administrator

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    You're confusing low A with Short Season A. Low A would expand as well as all teams have a Low A team.
     
  24. Centrum Hockey Registered User

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    It seems like milb is eyeing creating a northeast based single a league. I assume Hartford will no longer have a west coast team like the the Rockies as a affiliate so that must mean a AA or AAA team will drop down. The Lowell Spinners are likely to remain an MLB-affiliated team, but which club remains to be seen - The Boston Globe

    My Bad I thought the nypl and northwest league was called low short season a in some places.
     
  25. garnetpalmetto Administrator

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    Nope. Short Season and Low A are two distinct beasts. Low A would be the South Atlantic League and the Midwest League and Short Season would be, as you note, the New York-Penn League and the Northwest League.

    Honestly I think MLB just completely overreached here. Based on MLB's main concerns here's what I would propose and keep in mind this is spitballing, especially the Low-A/High-A realignment:

    • Realignment of Triple A, Advanced-A, and Low-A
      • Triple-A - Iowa, Memphis, and Nashville realign to the International League
      • Advanced-A and Low-A
        • California League and Florida State League stay intact
        • South Atlantic, Midwest, and Carolina Leagues realign as follows:
          • Delmarva, Frederick, Fredericksburg, Hagerstown, Lakewood, Lynchburg, Salem, and Wilmington to an 8-team Mid-Atlantic League (furthest city pair - Salem-Lakewood (439 miles). Average city pair distance - 202.62 miles)
          • Asheville, Augusta, Carolina, Charleston, Columbia, Down East, Fayetteville, Greensboro, Greenville, Hickory, Kannapolis, Myrtle Beach, Rome, and Winston-Salem to a 14-team Carolina League (furthest city pair - Down East-Rome (541 miles). Average city pair distance - 205.73 miles)
          • Bowling Green, Dayton, Fort Wayne, Great Lakes, Lake County, Lansing, Lexington, South Bend, West Michigan, and West Virginia to a 10-team Ohio Valley League (furthest city pair - Bowling Green-Great Lakes (557 miles). Average city pair distance - 283.51 miles)
          • Beloit, Burlington, Cedar Rapids, Clinton, Kane County, Peoria, Quad Cities, and Wisconsin to a 8-team Midwest League (furthest city pair - Burlington-Wisconsin (351 miles). Average city pair distance - 160.64 miles)
            • Option 1: Ohio Valley League is designated as a High-A League while the others are designated Low-A
            • Option 2: High-A/Low-A designation discarded again - teams can have two Class A affiliates but they must be in different Leagues.
    • Facilites
      • A jointly appointed MLB-MiLB panel will be formed that will be tasked with inspecting and evaluating the facilities of each MiLB team. The panel will be tasked with periodically inspecting, evaluating, and assessing the condition of each facility against a rubric developed by the panel. Facilities will be given report cards and be required to address any and all deficiencies found by the panel. Repeated failure to address those deficiencies may result in MiLB to take punitive action up to, and including, loss of franchise, early termination of PDC by the MLB affiliate, forfeiture of games, or other penalties as the panel sees fit.
     

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