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  • Minors are in crisis

    https://www.si.com/mlb/2020/05/19/mi...campaign=sinow
    This depresses me to no end. People are going to lose their jobs, and baseball interest in small markets will die, all because Manfred wants to save money and is taking advantage of this pandemic. Manfred is doing the impossible: making Bud Selig look like Kenesaw Mountain Landis. Well done.

  • #2
    Honestly, there are many times where I have to wonder "Does Rob Manfred even LIKE baseball?"

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    • #3
      Originally posted by whitesox5187 View Post
      Honestly, there are many times where I have to wonder "Does Rob Manfred even LIKE baseball?"
      He likes baseball. He just wants to reshape it in his way.

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      • #4
        In most towns, I would imagine the local minor league is one of the most popular entertainment venues during the summer. Stands seem to be usually full and merchandise is popular. How do they not make money? Who owns the teams? Is it the MLB franchise or is it a separate ownership group and there is a contract with a MLB team (hence the changes in affiliations)?

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        • #5
          On one hand, I would like an effort made to save as many minor league teams as possible. And I think minor league players ought to make a living wage, including during the offseason, as well as be provided other benefits like tuition-free education (and not just traditional academic subjects, either, but also the option to learn a trade at a community college).

          On the other hand, I don’t necessarily think the MLB should be compelled to maintain all their present affiliations.

          There was some talk in the last year that the Astros were considering reducing the number of minor league affiliates in their system, and instead running a year-round instructional camp at their spring training facility, believing that would be more beneficial and cost-effective to maximize the talent of their prospects.

          Other proposals for all of MLB have suggested that the draft be conducted later in the year, and that draftees report directly to “rookie camp” rather than an affiliate.

          I get that there are die hard fans of major league teams, who will travel to see their team’s prospects play in minor league parks. The Sox are particularly lucky to have affiliates with beautiful new stadiums in Charlotte, Birmingham, Winston-Salem, and (starting this year hopefully) Kannapolis. But for the most part, the main driver of minor league attendance for minor league teams is local fans, including families. I don’t think affiliation with a major league team is that terribly important when a parent makes a decision to take the kids to a minor league baseball game; they aren’t going to choose to go to a movie instead just because their home team is no longer affiliated with a distant major league club.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Dumpjerry View Post
            In most towns, I would imagine the local minor league is one of the most popular entertainment venues during the summer. Stands seem to be usually full and merchandise is popular. How do they not make money? Who owns the teams? Is it the MLB franchise or is it a separate ownership group and there is a contract with a MLB team (hence the changes in affiliations)?
            I think most minor league teams are owned by ownership groups that are similar to major league ownership groups, sometimes owners of minor league teams own a piece of a major league team as well (like Andrew Berlin in South Bend). The teams sign contracts with MLB teams in regards to affiliations, I think they last three years or so? I was in South Bend when they changed their affiliation from the Diamondbacks to the Cubs, which resulted in a lot more merchandise being sold and I think probably more tickets as well.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Frater Perdurabo View Post
              On one hand, I would like an effort made to save as many minor league teams as possible. And I think minor league players ought to make a living wage, including during the offseason, as well as be provided other benefits like tuition-free education (and not just traditional academic subjects, either, but also the option to learn a trade at a community college).

              On the other hand, I don’t necessarily think the MLB should be compelled to maintain all their present affiliations.

              There was some talk in the last year that the Astros were considering reducing the number of minor league affiliates in their system, and instead running a year-round instructional camp at their spring training facility, believing that would be more beneficial and cost-effective to maximize the talent of their prospects.

              Other proposals for all of MLB have suggested that the draft be conducted later in the year, and that draftees report directly to “rookie camp” rather than an affiliate.

              I get that there are die hard fans of major league teams, who will travel to see their team’s prospects play in minor league parks. The Sox are particularly lucky to have affiliates with beautiful new stadiums in Charlotte, Birmingham, Winston-Salem, and (starting this year hopefully) Kannapolis. But for the most part, the main driver of minor league attendance for minor league teams is local fans, including families. I don’t think affiliation with a major league team is that terribly important when a parent makes a decision to take the kids to a minor league baseball game; they aren’t going to choose to go to a movie instead just because their home team is no longer affiliated with a distant major league club.
              You're right. They'll take baseball even their team is independent. The problem is a lost season will result in financial losses many teams can't afford. They're going to close up shop, and Manfred doesn't appear to want to give them any money to make sure they'll survive this pandemic. A lot of teams could be going bye-bye very soon.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Frater Perdurabo View Post
                But for the most part, the main driver of minor league attendance for minor league teams is local fans, including families. I don’t think affiliation with a major league team is that terribly important when a parent makes a decision to take the kids to a minor league baseball game; they aren’t going to choose to go to a movie instead just because their home team is no longer affiliated with a distant major league club.
                There are exceptions, when the minor league team is geographically close to the parent club. Boston has long had affiliates in Pawtucket, RI (now replaced by Worcester, MA); Portland, ME; and Lowell, MA that are all in Red Sox territory. The Cubs do well in Iowa. The Braves have teams, I think, in Rome and Gwinnett County, GA. The Orioles have (or had) a team in Hagerstown, MD. These are just off the top of my head. Teams like that are natural partners, and the minor league franchises would not draw as well with different parents.

                It’s been a long time since the Sox had any teams nearby. I remember we once had an affiliate in the Midwest League (South Bend, Appleton, Burlington ) but I never saw those teams play. I’d love to hear stories from people who did.
                Last edited by A. Cavatica; 05-23-2020, 05:28 PM.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by A. Cavatica View Post

                  There are exceptions, when the minor league team is geographically close to the parent club. Boston has long had affiliates in Pawtucket, RI (now replaced by Worcester, MA); Portland, ME; and Lowell, MA that are all in Red Sox territory. The Cubs do well in Iowa. The Braves have teams, I think, in Rome and Gwinnett County, GA. The Orioles have (or had) a team in Hagerstown, MD. These are just off the top of my head. Teams like that are natural partners, and the minor league franchises would not draw as well with different parents.

                  It’s been a long time since the Sox had any teams nearby. I remember we once had an affiliate in the Midwest League (South Bend, Appleton, maybe Beloit??) but I never saw those teams play. I’d love to hear stories from people who did.
                  Yeah SF Giants have the SJ Giants which are the A ball affiliate I believe. And Cincinnati has the Dayton Dragons (also A-Ball I think). Those types of relationships can help build a local fan base.
                  Riding Shotgun on the Sox Bandwagon since before there was an Internet...



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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by thomas35forever View Post
                    A lot of teams could be going bye-bye very soon.
                    It was circulating a month ago that MiLB was going to agree to drop some 42 teams and add two currently independent clubs as affiliated clubs.

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                    • #11
                      The minor league season has been officially cancelled.

                      https://www.chicagotribune.com/sport...2ki-story.html
                      Riding Shotgun on the Sox Bandwagon since before there was an Internet...



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                      • #12
                        A few years ago, minor league baseball was part of an upward fashion trend in cultural appreciation. For fans, it was about the fun of the game. I like in a minor league city. Walt "No-Neck" Williams broke played his first professional games here almost half a century ago. Ernie Broglio may be remembered as the pitcher the Cubs got for Lou Brock, but a few years ago, but way back he broke in with the Stockton Ports and pitched here in the Central Valley. The Stockton airport displays a figurine that was given away at a Ports game a few years ago. The mascots for the Modesto Nuts, Al Almond and Wally Walnut, would show up at big community events as well as games. Minor league baseball is definitely more fun.

                        Without going into detail, I can see how I could have gone to work for a minor league baseball team. But I've known people in minor league baseball who have bounced around. A lot. I miss not having the Nuts around this summer. Even without game attendance, the sound of a distant Friday night fireworks display from John Thurman Field felt comforting.

                        Baseball is bigger than MLB. MLB works best when it is the pinnacle of baseball, not the definition of baseball. If you aren't growing up playing the game, if you don't have baseball all around you in the summer, if baseball is strangely a country club sport with NCAA competition and a game that poor people play on Caribbean islands it becomes a limited, acquired taste. Interest in baseball in my family will die with me, and my family curve isn't unique.

                        I believe, I hope the game is out there trying to be rediscovered. That may even be in the form of a new pure baseball league after MLB dies from lack of interest. Baseball in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine is treated with reverence, but MLB is long dead (The series can be streamed on Netflix.)

                        I also believe, for the first time in my life, (forgive me if I've already made his point, and understand I include the years when baseball had no commissioner) that I would make a better commissioner of baseball than the current commissioner of baseball.

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                        • #13
                          Regarding that upward trend in cultural appreciation, I recommend reading Stolen Season: A Journey Through America and Baseball's Minor Leagues by David Lamb. Sadly, this world no longer exists.

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