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On 4/4/2019 at 12:43 PM, B-Rich said:

Also, it's not looking good for a quick turnaround for baseball at the AA level.  There had been talk of moving a Southern League AA franchise to take the place of the Baby Cakes.  But in February, the president of the AA Southern League said New Orleans is outside of the league's "footprint",  (even though franchises currently exist in Jackson, Biloxi, Mobile, and Pensacola).  Members of the Louisiana Stadium and Exposition District said that the commission had spoken to NOLA Gold rugby and several soccer minor leagues about locating a team at Zephyr Field.

 

The "outside of the league's 'footprint'" claim doesn't pass the smell test.

* A Southern League team playing out of the Shrine on Airline would be 97.5-mile drive from the Biloxi Shuckers, a  182-mile drive from the Mississippi Braves, and a 210-mile drive from the Pensacola Blue Wahoos. Yes, the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp would be a 554-mile slog, but said team is on an island in the Southern League's South Division now.

* With the Mobile Bay Bears relocating to Madison, Alabama and becoming the Rocket City Trash Pandas in time for the Southern League's 2020 season, said franchise would more logically fit into the circuit's North Division. There, its divisional foes would be the Tennessee Smokies, Chattanooga Lookouts, Birmingham Barons, and Montgomery Biscuits.

* The Jackson Generals, currently in the Southern League's North Division, have historically been one of the worst draws in the league. Over the past 13 seasons, the Generals (originally, the West Tenn Diamond Jaxx) have finished no better than 8th out of 10 teams in Southern League attendance... and they did that just once, in 2014. From 2006 through 2008, the team finished dead last in Southern League attendance. From 2009 through 2013, then again from 2015 through last season, the Generals finished second-to-last in attendance.

So, given that Mobile is on the move to northern Alabama, why not simply relocate the moribund Jackson Generals franchise to Metairie, Louisiana. Have the teams swap divisions and voila! 

North Division
Birmingham Barons
Chattanooga Lookouts
Montgomery Biscuits
Rocket City Trash Pandas
Tennessee Smokies

South Division
Biloxi Shuckers
Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp
Mississippi Braves
New Orleans Crescents
Pensacola Blue Wahoos
  
Something's up. It could be that the owners of the Jackson Generals aren't interested in selling or relocating. It could be that the owners of the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp are grousing about being out on an "island". In point of fact, Jacksonville's geographic location speaks to the reality that the Jumbo Shrimp are the SL franchise that is "outside the league's 'footprint'".

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And yet the ex-Suns are too far removed to be a good fit for the Florida State League, the South Atlantic League, and the International League, which is probably a complicating factor.

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New Orleans Gumbo Shrimp😁

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If New Orleans cant get to the Southern League they could look at the Texas League as its also in the footprint of that league. If they went that route they could probably try to get the Midland Rockhounds. They have been at the bottom of Texas League attendance and have the oldest ballpark in that league.

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5 hours ago, Dilbert said:

If New Orleans cant get to the Southern League they could look at the Texas League as its also in the footprint of that league. If they went that route they could probably try to get the Midland Rockhounds. They have been at the bottom of Texas League attendance and have the oldest ballpark in that league.

 

Rather than a New Orleans-based team replacing Midland in the Texas League, I think the brass at MiLB headquarters would prefer to see Jackson swapped-out for New Orleans in the Southern League. After all, the Midland RockHounds have averaged 4,189 fans per game over the past 14 seasons. By comparison, the West Tenn Diamond Jaxx / Jackson Generals have averaged just 1,853 fans per game during the same period of time.

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The Fort Worth Cats could be returning:

 

https://ballparkdigest.com/2019/05/15/lagrave-field-agreement-could-pave-way-for-cats-return/

 

Quote

The effort to revive LaGrave Field and the Fort Worth Cats is moving forward, as a foundation will take over and repair the shuttered ballpark under a new lease.

As part of a plan designed to save LaGrave Field from the wrecking ball, Houston-based Panther Acquisition Partners has swapped the 8.1 acre site hosting the ballpark for a larger, 14.2-acre site that was controlled by the Tarrant Regional Water District. Water district board of directors, in turn, voted Tuesday to approve a lease agreement with the Save LaGrave Foundation, a non-profit led by Scott Berry, a former owner of multiple independent American Association teams.

The lease agreement approved Tuesday calls for Save LaGrave to invest at least $1.5 million in capital improvements over the next 18 months, followed by another $1.5 million in upgrades over the ensuing 18 months. In addition, the foundation will pay the water district a $1.75 million upfront, 10-year rent payment, while lease payments would go to $14,500 monthly in year 11. Lease conditions require that the foundation use the ballpark for a total of 120 events annually, with a professional baseball team to play a minimum of 45 home games.

 

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On 4/4/2019 at 3:34 PM, Wings said:

That's a very odd statement by the Southern League president about New Orleans being outside the league footprint. Something else must be going on that they just don't want to say or they just don't want to relocate an existing Southern League team. 

Maybe there's some contractual agreement where the Texas League is the one who claims Louisiana...

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Posting this here, since i dont think theres a better place.

 

Since the Florida Fire Frogs were bought out of their lease at Osceola County Stadium in Kissimmee, has anyone heard of any possible relocation sites?

 

https://ballparkdigest.com/2019/05/31/fire-frog-to-depart-osceola-county-stadium-at-end-of-season/

 

https://ballparkdigest.com/2019/10/10/osecola-county-stadium-to-host-pro-soccer-beginning-in-2020/ 

 

My first thought is that there really arent many viable options.  the ballpark at Disney World is pretty much a no, so that leaves Vero Beach (former Dodgertown), Brevard County (could be Space Coast Stadium where the Frogs relocated from 3  years ago, but hosts youth and travel ball tournaments mostly or Cocoa Expo I guess), UCF (I dont know if this is an option, but there arent many possibilities), and maybe Sanford.

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29 minutes ago, AstroBull21 said:

Posting this here, since i dont think theres a better place.

 

Since the Florida Fire Frogs were bought out of their lease at Osceola County Stadium in Kissimmee, has anyone heard of any possible relocation sites?

 

https://ballparkdigest.com/2019/05/31/fire-frog-to-depart-osceola-county-stadium-at-end-of-season/

 

https://ballparkdigest.com/2019/10/10/osecola-county-stadium-to-host-pro-soccer-beginning-in-2020/ 

 

My first thought is that there really arent many viable options.  the ballpark at Disney World is pretty much a no, so that leaves Vero Beach (former Dodgertown), Brevard County (could be Space Coast Stadium where the Frogs relocated from 3  years ago, but hosts youth and travel ball tournaments mostly or Cocoa Expo I guess), UCF (I dont know if this is an option, but there arent many possibilities), and maybe Sanford.

Seeing as how they are a Braves affiliate, the Braves have a nice new spring training site in North Port. That could be an option.

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Can Am and Frontier League to merge:

 

https://ballparkdigest.com/2019/10/16/can-am-league-frontier-league-merger-announced/

 

Quote

A major shakeup in the independent baseball landscape occurred Wednesday, as it was announced that five former Can-Am League teams will merge into the Frontier League

In a move that takes effect for the 2020 season, the two circuits are joining forces to form a 14-team league that will consist of two seven-club divisions. That will include the Frontier League’s nine members, along with the five clubs from the Can-Am League. Those five squads–the New Jersey Jackals, Quebec Capitales, Rockland Boulders, Sussex County Miners, and Trois-Rivieres Aigles–will play in the Can-Am Division, where they will be joined by the Washington Wild Things and Lake Erie Crushers. All remaining squads will compete in the Midwestern Division, which will feature the Evansville Otters, Florence Freedom, Gateway Grizzlies, Joliet Slammers, Schaumburg Boomers, Southern Illinois Miners, and the Windy City ThunderBolts.

The Frontier League is the oldest independent professional baseball league in the country. It began play in 1993. The League just completed its 27th consecutive season. In those 27 seasons, over 1000 players have been signed by MLB teams. 38 of those players have advanced to play in Major League Baseball.

The Can-Am League’s predecessor was the Northeast League that began play in 1995. Prior to the 2005 season, the Can-Am League name was officially adopted. During those years, more than 135 players have signed contracts with MLB clubs and 16 have advanced to play in Major League Baseball.

Frontier League Commissioner, Bill Lee, who has held that position since 1994, will continue in that role. “I am extremely excited and privileged to be able to make this announcement,” Lee said in a press statement. “These discussions have been ongoing for almost 2 years. The 2019 Frontier League/Can-Am League All-Star Game was the first major step in the Leagues working together. We believe this merger strengthens Independent Professional Baseball as a whole. I want to thank everyone from both Leagues that have worked so hard to make this happen.”

“It has been my honor to be a part of this groundbreaking deal and I can’t thank all parties involved enough for getting us to this historic moment,” Kevin Winn, Executive Director of the Can-Am League said a press statement. “I look forward to seeing where our newly formed alliance heads next and all the Independent Professional Baseball history that is yet to be written.”

Tuesday’s announcement noted that future expansion will be a priority, with the league planning to explore its options from the east coast to the Mississippi River in the United States and the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Quebec. Marketing, sponsorship and promotional efforts will also be areas of focus.

The 2020 camapign marks the 28th season for the Frontier League. All teams will play a 96-game schedule. Opening Day will be Thursday, May 14th. The regular season will conclude on Sunday, September 6th. The full 2020 Schedule will be released on Monday, October 21st.

 

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14 hours ago, Dilbert said:

Seeing as how they are a Braves affiliate, the Braves have a nice new spring training site in North Port. That could be an option.

I did have that in mind, but forgot to list it.  

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2 hours ago, Red-Knight said:

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

 

Big news out of Baseball America on MLB demands as we move toward new PBA with MILB

 

This is pretty interesting.  Especially this part:

 

Quote

MLB teams would be limited in the proposal to fielding five minor league clubs in the United States. That’s four full-season teams plus one complex-based Rookie affiliate. In addition to their 40-man roster players, each MLB team club would be limited to 150 players under minor league contracts on MiLB rosters. The proposal does not address roster limits for international players playing in the Dominican Summer League.

 

Under the proposal, some teams would have to shed more than 100 players from their current MiLB rosters. 

 

The elmination of affilliated ball from some cities, combined with the availability of players, add up to a tremendous opportunity for independent leagues.  (Even as the affilliated minors seek to poach two independent-league teams, St. Paul and Sugar Land.)

One paragraph made me chuckle.  It starts with:

 

Quote

MLB is not happy with the current structure. In the view of some MLB owners and front office officials, the current system, where MLB teams and MiLB clubs negotiate every two years to sign two-year Player Development Contracts, leaves MLB clubs in undesirable situations from facilities and geographical standpoints.

 

But, before I could even fully formulate the thought "So buy the damn teams!", the paragraph goes on to say:
 

Quote

In a number of cases over the past decade, MLB owners have ended up purchasing MiLB teams to avoid ending up in what are viewed as some of the worst stadiums around minor league baseball.

 

With no personnel decisions to make regarding either players or coaching staff, the job of "owning" a team in the affilliated minors consists mainly of getting the stadium situation squared away, in addition to getting local sponsors and arranging the broadcast deals.  If the "owners" of the affilliated clubs can't get this done, then what use are they?  It's obviously better for the Major League club to own its own minor league teams, so that, if the Major League club wants stadiums to be up to a certain standard, the club can pay what it takes to achieve that.
 

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So...what 42 clubs would you eliminate? This of course assumes this idea passes through without modifications.

 

I'm gonna post this again in the realignment thread, so answer the question there, not here.

Edited by buzzcut

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On 10/18/2019 at 4:01 PM, Ferdinand Cesarano said:

 

This is pretty interesting.  Especially this part:

 

 

The elmination of affilliated ball from some cities, combined with the availability of players, add up to a tremendous opportunity for independent leagues.  (Even as the affilliated minors seek to poach two independent-league teams, St. Paul and Sugar Land.)

One paragraph made me chuckle.  It starts with:

 

 

But, before I could even fully formulate the thought "So buy the damn teams!", the paragraph goes on to say:
 

 

With no personnel decisions to make regarding either players or coaching staff, the job of "owning" a team in the affilliated minors consists mainly of getting the stadium situation squared away, in addition to getting local sponsors and arranging the broadcast deals.  If the "owners" of the affilliated clubs can't get this done, then what use are they?  It's obviously better for the Major League club to own its own minor league teams, so that, if the Major League club wants stadiums to be up to a certain standard, the club can pay what it takes to achieve that.
 

Some MLB teams also complained about their AAA teams not being near airports that offer direct flights from the Pacific time zone to Eastern. I believe the Nationals started sending players to their AA for rehab assignments because it was easier to get them where they needed to go if the team was on the road.

 

I'm more worried for teams like San Antonio who need to upgrade to a new stadium to meet AAA requirements. An independent version of the Texas League could occur, but I don't think it would be embraced nearly as much as the current team is. The ones that may most likely suffer are the A and Rookie League teams. 

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On 10/18/2019 at 1:58 PM, Red-Knight said:

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

 

Big news out of Baseball America on MLB demands as we move toward new PBA with MILB

 

It's not enough to shakedown their home markets for new stadia, now they have to shakedown more than 100 midsize cities (or leave others holding the bag AFTER they shelled out for stadia.)

 

In a just world this would blow up in MLB's faces.

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I don't know, maybe eliminating some of these teams will improve the working conditions of MiLB, especially will all the concerns raised about minor league wages? Trim some of the fat and maybe have some more money for the other teams, but that assumes that the MLB owners will want to spend the money.

 

I know it'll be terrible for the towns and some players, but I think MiLB might need something like this with the issues surrounding wages. Do we really need to have all of Rookie Advanced, A Short Season, A and A Advanced?

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With the advances in player development, you could see this coming. Most MLB organizations don't really need to be supporting this many teams. At the same time, baseball is such a local sport, and the minor leagues are so ingrained, killing off these local baseball outposts seems very self-defeating. 

I know there's value in shorter seasons and players getting more time in team complexes doing work in the hitting and pitching labs refining their games that way. There just needs to be some way to internalize the value to the overall sport that having organized ball spread across the country has and make investing in it make sense.

 

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Ballpark Digest had a good article about the situation, and a few possibilities that could occur.

 

https://ballparkdigest.com/2019/10/18/radical-milb-realignment-proposed-by-mlb/

 

Quote

Reported this morning by Baseball America, the plan would eliminate most of Rookie and Short Season A ball in the new PBA between MiLB and MLB, which expires in 2020. However, it’s a little more nuanced than saying all the Short Season A and Rookie leagues would go away. The Northwest League would stay but would lose two teams. Two NY-Penn League teams would potentially move to the Double-A Eastern League and replacing existing teams there, while at least one other NY-Penn League team would be shifted up to the Carolina League and replace an existing team there. The Appalachian League would go away except for perhaps Pulaski and Johnson City, moving up to Single-A. Other teams in the Sally, Carolina, Midwest and California leagues would go away as well. In addition, there is talk of adding a third Low-A league in the mid-Atlantic region. And some of these markets could become part of a Dream League, a purely developmental effort co-owned by MLB and MiLB that’s basically a developmental league with undrafted players. (Yes, we know that the Appalachian League is totally owned by MLB teams, which is why a Dream League may not make the most sense.)

 

The changes are not expected to affect the International League and potentially only one team in the Pacific Coast League, which could be shifted to St. Paul, MN’s CHS Field.

 

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