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 So.... MLB wants to reorganize MiLB. Wow! Still trying to reinvent the wheel!

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4 hours ago, UMP45 said:

 So.... MLB wants to reorganize MiLB. Wow! Still trying to reinvent the wheel!

And I thought you were going to become the new South Atlantic League president, which is a pretty good gig btw, and get a field named after you when you retire, but the article did not mention that. 

Seems like there was also a famous G.M. of a club that was in your area and became a League President somewhere else, until retiring recently, and having a school named after him. I thought maybe the new guy after him was booted, and again i thought maybe you got that job.

Oh well. Here is the info.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/18/sports/baseball/minor-league-changes.html

https://www.baseballamerica.com/stories/mlb-floats-proposal-that-would-eliminate-42-minor-league-teams/

https://sports.yahoo.com/mlb-radical-proposal-eliminate-40-minor-league-teams-211937863.html

https://redsminorleagues.com/2019/10/18/the-reduction-of-minor-league-teams-and-what-it-means-part-1/

https://metsmerizedonline.com/2019/10/major-league-baseball-proposal-would-eliminate-40-minor-league-teams.html/

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For the players... it’s a good thing. Quite possibly a good thing for amateur umpiring since there will be a fair amount of umpires coming out of pro ball back into the college game. Iron sharpens iron... 

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This might be a precursory move so as to package and present expansion – to the owners and the players union.

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Cost saving move

 

I detest Rob Manfred. He just wants to make big changes for the sake of the change.

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As if the value of buying a MLB Team has 'lost' how much value over the last 20-30 years.  No brainer investment to buy into, with all the strong arm tactics (always a guaranteed/frickinteed, win/win setup for them (risk/what risk) with all the write-offs.

Then holding cities hostage for bargains at pennies on the dollar to guarantee the owners never lose. Great sales tactics and advantageous/surreal/all world estimates of the gazillion/trillion dollars that will be brought into the area that will solve the whole world's problems, yet telling the tax assessors the value of the team isn't worth a plug nickel) at their disposal. 'If' you can buy into the team, what a legal steal/racket that is. Cry me river for those owners.

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18 hours ago, udbrky said:

Cost saving move

 

I detest Rob Manfred. He just wants to make big changes for the sake of the change.

I’m with you on Manfred. But more so on the rules side. That’s where he needs to leave the game alone. 
 

From what I can gather here, this is just like every other corporation’s attempt to lower costs. Here, the rational being every minor league system has dozens of players (organizational players) who will never get a call up. So, why are the ML teams footing the bill for theses guys. Creation of the dream league for these guys and possibly expansion of Indy leagues relieves MLB teams from these costs. Imo, similar to corporations outsourcing jobs.

 

edit to add.... certainty not saying I like this or agree , just a fact of American corporate procedure these days. 

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I will say one thing - I do like the idea of limiting the number of players they can have on their rosters. It would prevent teams like the Yankees (which were mentioned in the BA article) from stacking the minor leagues, giving them a better farm system from which to pull from.

Give each team 1 club in all the levels - maybe 2 in the single-A level - but make it the same across all teams.

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If this helps to increase the salaries of MiLB players then it's the right move.   

Right now the biggest incentive for PED use is the disparity between MiLB salaries (in some cases as low as $12k for the summer in AAA ball - let alone A and AA) and the prospect of even just making minimum wage at the MLB level - $550k....let alone the notion of getting into anything resembling a guaranteed contract.

Anything that moves the needle for MiLB is a good move - though I still think MLB needs to shift more of that $10 billion to the MiLB system.

 

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Well, one thing that’s for sure.  This will keep a lot of lawyers busy and wealthy for a long time. 

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Wow that it the worst newspaper I can remember seeing to get through the popups ads and other garbage....

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I couldn't get to it.  After closing the pop ups, it took be back to the main page...........  Does anyone have another version of the article?  Cut and paste maybe?

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For more than 100 years, Major League Baseball teams have relied on a network of minor league affiliates to develop young players and help them hone their skills to be able to compete at the highest level. 

Each summer, these farm clubs field teams of kids plucked from sandlots and college campuses, from big high schools in California to tryout camps in the Dominican Republic.  

These aspiring ballplayers are chasing their dreams, playing before modest crowds in small towns across North America, knowing that only a handful will ever make it. A study by Baseball America found that just 17 percent of players selected in the amateur draft will reach the majors, with roughly half of those getting just a brief taste of life in the big leagues. 

The system operates like a funnel, with teams pouring a lot of players (and millions of dollars) in one end, and hoping a handful of them trickle out the other. 

The development process has often been more art than science, but that's about to change in a big way.

Minor League Baseball: These MLB stars once played for the teams that might be cut loose

Under a proposal being floated and reported by the New York Times over the weekend, 42 of the current 160 minor league teams would lose their affiliations. Major League Baseball wants its prospects playing in better facilities while having more control over scheduling and league alignment. Under the new model, more attention would be placed on developing prospects with more modern training methods.

While they would be allowed to continue to be operated as independent teams, one league official said the move would be "a death sentence."

Speaking in Rochester on Monday morning, Sen. Charles Schumer said he plans to call MLB commissioner Rob Manfred and “make a strong push” on behalf of the minor league teams that would be affected by this proposal.

“America’s favorite pastime should not become part of Upstate New York’s past," he said in a statement to the USA TODAY Network New York.

"It’s no secret that New York’s minor league teams are institutions within their communities, which is why I implore MLB to reconsider any such plans and will be reaching out to them directly to advocate for our New York teams."

Here is more about the proposal and what it means to teams across the Northeast.

Which teams may have their MLB ties severed?

Rowdy, the Binghamton Rumble Ponies mascot, jokes with a child along the parade route of the annual Veterans Day Parade in downtown Binghamton on Monday, November 11, 2019.

Rowdy, the Binghamton Rumble Ponies mascot, jokes with a child along the parade route of the annual Veterans Day Parade in downtown Binghamton on Monday, November 11, 2019.  (Photo: Kate Collins / Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin)

 

Ten of the teams named in the proposal play in the Northeast: four teams in New York, three in Pennsylvania, and one each in Connecticut, Vermont and Massachusetts.

CONNECTICUT

(Norwich) Connecticut Tigers

MASSACHUSETTS

Lowell Spinners

NEW YORK

Staten Island Yankees

Binghamton Rumble Ponies

Auburn Doubledays

Batavia Muckdogs

PENNSYLVANIA

State College Spikes

Williamsport Crosscutters

Erie SeaWolves

VERMONT

(Burlington) Vermont Lake Monsters

Seven more play in the states of Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia.

MARYLAND

Frederick Keys

Hagerstown Suns

Orem Owlz

VIRGINIA

Bristol Pirates

Danville Braves

WEST VIRGINIA

(Charleston) West Virginia Power

Princeton Rays

Bluefield Blue Jays

Why is this happening? 

Canandaigua Academy graduate Adam Scott warms up before his start for the Akron RubberDucks against the Binghamton Rumble Ponies on July 5, 2019 at Binghamton's NYSEG Stadium.

Canandaigua Academy graduate Adam Scott warms up before his start for the Akron RubberDucks against the Binghamton Rumble Ponies on July 5, 2019 at Binghamton's NYSEG Stadium. (Photo: Andrew Legare/Elmira Star-Gazette)

 

The analytics revolution that started with Moneyball has now reached the minor leagues, and the science and technology that are being directed at the player development process are threatening to upend baseball's minor league system. 

Many teams have begun shifting their development efforts off the field, using video analysis and other high tech tools to help players improve their skills at their training facilities rather than by playing in regulation games. An increasing number of players have embraced these efforts on their own, turning to independent coaches and unaffiliated training facilities.

These improvements have prompted MLB to propose a radical re-alignment of the minor leagues, primarily a reduction of the number of teams and players.

MLB is also looking for changes under this restructuring that include:

  • Better hotel accommodations and transportation
  • More days off
  • Less travel time
  • Better facilities

How is minor league baseball responding?

 
 
Sun sets over Dwyer Stadium as fans take part in on-field  games between innings during a game against West Virginia.
 
 
 
11 Photos
Batavia Muckdogs enjoy resurgence
 
 
Next Slide

Jeff Lantz, senior director of communications for Minor League Baseball, told delmarvanow.com that the sides will meet in upcoming weeks to negotiate a plan that would "save as many teams" as possible. 

“From what we gathered from the MLB, they did a poll of which ballparks were better, which needed a lot of work and came up with a mass list,” he said.

Lantz said an estimated 1,200 players would also lose their jobs should the proposal be approved.

“A lot would be released and have their dreams of being big-league players crushed,” Lantz said. “We’ll see how things shake out. Both sides want to get a deal done that benefits baseball.”

However, the 2020 season is not in jeopardy and is scheduled to be played uninterrupted, he said.

“This is where people gather in the summertime, and it’d be very unfortunate to lose baseball in any of these communities,” Lantz said.

“Our communications team is looking to keep baseball in all 160 markets.”

From Binghamton to Brooklyn?

The Binghamton Rumble Ponies' home opener on April 11.

The Binghamton Rumble Ponies' home opener on April 11. (Photo: Maggie Gilroy / Staff photo)

 

Two New York Mets affiliates are expected to be affected by MLB’s reported plan. 

The Brooklyn Cyclones of the New York-Penn League — the Mets’ Class A short-season team — would replace Class AA Binghamton in the Eastern League, according to a report by Bill Madden of the New York Daily News.

There remains little clarity because negotiations are ongoing. Cyclones staffers have not been told of a possible move to the Eastern League.

There could be more information after baseball’s Winter Meetings, which take place Dec. 8-12 in San Diego. But as of now, nothing is set in stone. 

Brooklyn won a New York-Penn League championship in 2019. The Cyclones play at MCU Park on Coney Island, which perhaps provides more of a desirable destination than Binghamton.

What are fans saying

 
 

In Binghamton: “I think it’s awful for the fan experience,” said Delhi (N.Y.) resident P.J. Harmer, who attends about 20 Rumble Ponies games a season. “MLB keeps getting more and more expensive to go to, and people can still go to a baseball game, grab a hot dog, grab a beer and watch nine innings and see kids climbing through the ranks."

In Maryland: Harvey Morrell posted on Twitter: "If MLB is successful in its minor league proposal and kills off the Frederick Keys, I will never again watch a MLB game ..." 

Also, from Michael Schneider: "The Keys have led the (Carolina League) in attendance 7 out of the last 8 years. Many hard working people will lose their job. Having a minor league team is a big part of Frederick." 

In Virginia: “It’s kind of a community event,” Tom Goforth said of watching the Bristol Pirates. “I think it’s dangerous when we start losing community events. We need to add them instead of losing them.”

Elected officials weigh in 

Binghamton Mayor Richard David responded Monday, Feb. 18, 2019, during a news conference with mayors in Albany to reports that the Rumble Ponies might be cut by Major League Baseball. Joseph Spector, Albany Bureau Chief

Details of the plan, which would affect teams in 21 states, have drawn strong reactions from elected officials

Sen. James Seward, a central New York Republican, said, “Minor league baseball has a strong history throughout upstate New York and the game means a great deal to fans and the local economy alike.  If Auburn, or any other teams, were to cease operating, it would leave a significant hole in our baseball towns."

Seward said he hopes that MLB Commissioner Rob Mandred Jr., a Central New York native, "will reexamine the plans and invest in upstate facilities and teams rather than close the book on them.”  

Bristol (Va.) Mayor Neal Osborne said Monday that it would be disappointing to lose the team, citing the culture importance of baseball to the cities.

"You've got your people that go to every single game and they all know each other and it's a community," he said. "The location of the field, it's near a residential area, so the whole neighborhood around it, they're very attached to their team."

Binghamton Mayor Richard David said he has spoken with state and local leaders about the news reports and vowed "to fight tooth and nail" to keep the Rumble Ponies.

He said the city-owned stadium is well positioned to fight any efforts by MLB, saying state and local governments have recently invested more than $8 million to upgrade the facility and meet team requirements.

"We were very proactive several years ago where there were deficiencies to put us in a strong position" going forward, he said, adding, "It’s something we are concerned about. We are organizing and mobilizing very quickly."

But David warned that these stances often come up when there are contract negotiations coming.

"I would just reiterate that this is a proposal by Major League Baseball, and historically we have seen this every decade or so when contract negotiations come up between minor league baseball and Major League Baseball," David said in Albany as he attended a meeting of the New York Conference of Mayors.

"I don’t think that proposal will be adopted in that form."

Still early in the game

A look at an Erie SeaWolves' hat, which commemorates teammate Chace Numata.

A look at an Erie SeaWolves' hat, which commemorates teammate Chace Numata. (Photo: Jeff Seidel DFP)

 

The Erie SeaWolves play at UPMC Park in downtown Erie, which is undergoing a $12 million renovation. The SeaWolves are part of the Eastern League, a Class AA affiliate of the Detroit Tigers, and team president Greg Coleman said the team found out about the proposal on Nov. 4

“It’s just a preliminary proposal right now — that’s all it is," Coleman told the York Daily Record. "And we are far from the finish line.”

“To use a baseball saying — it’s very early in the first inning. And it’s been an exciting first inning, but it’s the first inning. We’ve got a long way to go before it’s the bottom of the ninth.”

Alex Abrami, Rob Centorani, Victoria E. Freile, Lucas Gonzalez, Patrick Hite, Claire Mitzel, Jeff Platsky, Richard Pollitt, Samantha Ruland, Joseph Spector and Justin Toscano of the USA TODAY Network contributed to this story.

Teams affected by state

The New York Times list included the following teams:

CALIFORNIA

Lancaster Jethawks

COLORADO

Rocky Mountain Vibes

Grand Junction Rockies

CONNECTICUT

(Norwich) Connecticut Tigers

FLORIDA

(Kissimmee) Florida Fire Frogs

Daytona Tortugas

IOWA

Quad Cities River Bandits

Burlington Bees

Clinton LumberKings

IDAHO

Idaho Falls Chukars

KENTUCKY

Lexington Legends

MASSACHUSETTS

Lowell Spinners

MARYLAND

Frederick Keys

Hagerstown Suns

MONTANA

Great Falls Voyagers

Missoula PaddleHeads

Billings Mustangs

NORTH CAROLINA

Burlington Royals

NEW YORK

Staten Island Yankees

Binghamton Rumble Ponies

Auburn Doubledays

Batavia Muckdogs

OHIO

Mahoning Valley Scrappers

OREGON

Salem-Keizer Volcanoes

PENNSYLVANIA

State College Spikes

Williamsport Crosscutters

Erie SeaWolves

TENNESSEE

Johnson City Cardinals

Kingsport Mets

Jackson Generals

Elizabethton Twins

Greeneville Reds

Chattanooga Lookouts

UTAH

Ogden Raptors

Orem Owlz

VIRGINIA

Bristol Pirates

Danville Braves

VERMONT

(Burlington) Vermont Lake Monsters

WASHINGTON

Tri-City Dust Devils

WEST VIRGINIA

(Charleston) West Virginia Power

Princeton Rays

Bluefield Blue Jays

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With that many fewer MiLB teams what does that mean for the number of umpires needed  and prospects for those attending umpire school now. 

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6 hours ago, Umpire in Chief said:

With that many fewer MiLB teams what does that mean for the number of umpires needed  and prospects for those attending umpire school now. 

Your statement is illogical and does not compute ...

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I think Umpire in Chief is trying to say that if the number of minor league baseball teams is reduced, fewer umpires might be needed. This would mean that either fewer people get hired out of umpire school, or more people currently in the minors will get released. 

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On 11/19/2019 at 10:06 AM, Aging_Arbiter said:

I couldn't get to it.  After closing the pop ups, it took be back to the main page...........  Does anyone have another version of the article?  Cut and paste maybe?

Shorter article version by League rather than State

https://www.foxsports.com/kansas-city/story/three-kansas-city-royals-affiliates-among-42-minor-league-teams-targeted-for-elimination-112019

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16 hours ago, ilyazhito said:

I think Umpire in Chief is trying to say that if the number of minor league baseball teams is reduced, fewer umpires might be needed. This would mean that either fewer people get hired out of umpire school, or more people currently in the minors will get released. 

Correct..

But, what is possibly the lower leagues went to a 3-man system which could almost balance everything out.

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3 hours ago, Umpire in Chief said:

Correct..

But, what is possibly the lower leagues went to a 3-man system which could almost balance everything out.

The biggest implication this would have would be the schools going to three man. Once College gets to three man across the board, you'd really be SOL for good two man training.

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On 11/19/2019 at 10:51 PM, The Man in Blue said:

Your statement is illogical and does not compute ...


That looks to have gone over several heads ...

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None of the teams were above AA-level. I don't know the numbers, but I'll bet there's enough turnover of umpires at the lower levels that no one is getting fired specifically because of the lower number of teams in the leagues.

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On 10/19/2019 at 11:34 PM, JSam21 said:

For the players... it’s a good thing. Quite possibly a good thing for amateur umpiring since there will be a fair amount of umpires coming out of pro ball back into the college game. Iron sharpens iron... 

How good for the players is it if there are fewer of them?

How many low-round picks made it - like Piazza and Mattingly for example? 

 

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2 hours ago, Rich Ives said:

How good for the players is it if there are fewer of them?

More chance of being seen. But it does make it just a bit harder to even get into the minors.

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