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19 minutes ago, Ferdinand Cesarano said:
50 minutes ago, infrared41 said:

My guess is those out of work players won't result in more teams. The better players will land with other affiliated teams. The rest will likely cost a lot of independent league players their jobs. For example, if our Lake Erie Crushers have a choice between the SS who played a year of short season A ball or a SS who played three years of double A ball, they're going with the double A player. The short season A player better hope there is an independent team out there with a SS worse than he is or he's out of baseball. Long story short, I think the best the independent leagues could hope for out of several hundred out of work players is an across the board increase in the quality of independent league play. 

 

This is a very good point

 

Thanks. 

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Now that Astros management has been launched into the sun, can we stop considering their dumbass plans?

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3 hours ago, the admiral said:

Now that Astros management has been launched into the sun, can we stop considering their dumbass plans?

 

With pleasure. 

 

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On 1/13/2020 at 2:15 PM, the admiral said:

Now that Astros management has been launched into the sun, can we stop considering their dumbass plans?

I prefer to have them burned at the stake myself, but remember the Orioles, Brewers, and Rockies are still supporting the Disastros' idea.

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Since there have been some mentions of collegiate wood bat leagues in this thread, I think it's worth mentioning the likely precipice that sort of league is facing. Summer college ball has been thriving as late; the Northwoods League is now at 22 teams, many of them in markets once inhabited by the Midwest League or an indy circuit. It's a much more favorable business model, because all the on-field labor works for free. Can't pay the players and violate their precious NCAA amateur status, after all. But if the push to pay college athletes continues and succeeds, those athletes aren't going to want to spend their summers toiling away at a volunteer gig.

 

Also, I remember this story from when the Northern League went kablooey, Check out Joe Stefani, 28-year-old baseball team owner and sports finance mastermind, telling people in Joliet to wise up, that the only way forward for baseball in their town was if players worked for free. Anyway, the Joliet Slammers' 10th season in the Frontier League starts in May, and Stefani's Rockford Foresters were a travel team by 2013.

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COVID-19 maybe the brute force MLB needed to take over MiLB, and also kill off short-season ball.

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Never let a crisis go to waste, as one of America's worst political thought leaders once said.

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I say this as a new owner of a A ball team (that is not on the list of teams to be cut, or at least was not on the originally released list) and I know it would be a massive loss to the players, staff and the towns, but to some extent I can't fault the MLB on this.

 

Is it necessary for there to be that many MiLB teams in the first place?. I can't see MLB team needing to have any more than the five minor league teams the article says they would have (I would assume AAA, AA, two versions of A? and then Rookie).

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If anything, I guess it'll clear up the "what exactly is the difference here?" between short-season A and Rookie ball.

 

Still hate to see them go, though.

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The Sugar Land Skeeters of the Atlantic League announced last week their intention to host a 4-team independent league this summer.

 

https://www.sugarlandskeeters.com/news/skeeters-intend-to-host-four-team-pro-baseball-league-at-constellation-field

 

Quote

(June 10, 2020, SUGAR LAND, TEXAS). – The Sugar Land Skeeters today announced their intent to host a four-team professional baseball league at Constellation Field, beginning July 3 and running through Aug. 23. Each team is set to play 28 games for a total of 56 games during the season, with all games being played at Constellation Field.

 

Apparently the rest of the Atlantic League is still planning on having a 2020 season, sans Sugar Land. Who knows what'll actually happen. New Britain left after last season, leaving a 7-team league - a travel team called the "Road Warriors" was planned in 2020 to make an even 8 teams. We'll see if Sugar Land exiting will mean nixing the Road Warriors as well... if, of course, there's a 2020 season at all.

 

Of course, the rumors about Sugar Land defecting to affiliated ball next season only make that seem more likely now.

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16 minutes ago, sc49erfan15 said:

The Sugar Land Skeeters of the Atlantic League announced last week their intention to host a 4-team independent league this summer.

 

https://www.sugarlandskeeters.com/news/skeeters-intend-to-host-four-team-pro-baseball-league-at-constellation-field

 

 

Apparently the rest of the Atlantic League is still planning on having a 2020 season, sans Sugar Land. Who knows what'll actually happen. New Britain left after last season, leaving a 7-team league - a travel team called the "Road Warriors" was planned in 2020 to make an even 8 teams. We'll see if Sugar Land exiting will mean nixing the Road Warriors as well... if, of course, there's a 2020 season at all.

 

Of course, the rumors about Sugar Land defecting to affiliated ball next season only make that seem more likely now.

Sugar Land never seemed to fit in the Atlantic League. Their closest league-mate is in High Point, NC, and they aren't even in the same division. Their closest division-mate is in Southern Maryland. If they don't join MiLB next year, I'd think they should join the American Association (Home of the St Paul Saints, the other proposed "defector"). At least in the AA there is a pair of teams in the Dallas area.

 

As an aside, could this be the death knell of the Atlantic League? All the remaining teams outside of High Point are located in the footprint of the older and much larger Frontier League. I wouldn't be surprised if some/all of them jumped ship.

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Not that I know a lot about the American indy ball world, but for whatever reason I was under the impression that the Atlantic League was the premier independent league.

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1 hour ago, monkeypower said:

Not that I know a lot about the American indy ball world, but for whatever reason I was under the impression that the Atlantic League was the premier independent league.

 

It is, in terms of player quality and player salaries. However, financial backing is infinitely more important in indy ball - I can't speak for the owners' coffers in any of the indy leagues, but I get the feeling that it varies more team-by-team than league-by-league. The Atlantic and Frontier leagues are probably roughly equal, maybe with a slight edge to the Atlantic League. The American Association is likely a step below both of those, but there are well-funded and poorly-funded teams in all 3 of those leagues.

 

COVID alone throws a huge monkey wrench into any professional sport's plans, especially indy ball where you're almost completely dependent on revenue generated at the ballpark. We'll see which leagues and teams will be able to weather the storm if no season ends up being played in 2020. My guess is that we'll see which teams are poorly funded if/when that happens. Add in the possible/probable contraction of affiliated MiLB teams (and the excess of players looking for teams that will result) and you've got two huge variables that could result in a significant shift either way. Most of the MiLB contraction is likely to be at the lower levels (Rookie, Short-Season A) and the Atlantic and Frontier generally tend to be landing spots for players with, at the very least, AA-level experience - so I'm not sure exactly what will happen, just that it seems like something will happen.

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This is just one man's opinion, so take it with a grain of salt, but here is how I feel the Indy Leagues stand.

 

Personally, I've always thought of the American Association as the premier Indy League. Most of its teams are located in large markets, either with a Major League team (St Paul, Milwaukee, Chicago, KC), or without a Minor League one (Winnipeg, Fargo-Moorhead, Sioux Falls, Sioux City, Lincoln). Most of the teams in the AA have also been around for awhile. Sioux Falls, Sioux City, Winnipeg, Fargo-Moorhead, and St Paul are all from the 90s, and Chicago, Milwaukee and Cleburne are the only teams founded in the 2010s.

 

I would rank the Frontier League as a close second. It got a big boost when it merged with the Can-Am before this year. Most of their teams are located in the 'burbs. The only teams in large cities they have are Quebec City, Trois-Rivieres, and Evansville. They also have some established franchises. Quebec, New Jersey, Evansville, and Windy City were all founded in the 90s, while New York, Sussex County, Trois-Rivieres, Joliet and Schaumburg were all founded in the 2010s.

 

I would say the Atlantic League is a distant third among the "big three" of Indy ball. The only thing they have going in their favor is the agreement with MLB for some expirimental rules. Now that Sugar Land has left (and assuming they fold the traveling team as a result) they are down to 6 teams, roughly half of the other 2 leagues. Only one of their teams was founded in the 90s, Somerset, and 2 of them, High Point and York, are from the 2010s. Like the Frontier League, a lot of their teams play in suburbs. The closest things to major cities that they have are Lancaster, York, and High Point.

 

The remaing Indy Leagues are unnotable for the most part. They include the Empire League, with teams in rural New York, Concord, suburban Atlanta, and Puerto Rico, the Pacific Association, home to 4 teams in NorCal, the Pecos League, with teams in the Rural Southwest and California, and the United Shore League, with 4 teams playing in suburban Detroit.

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5 hours ago, sportsfan7 said:

Like the Frontier League, a lot of their teams play in suburbs. The closest things to major cities that they have are Lancaster, York, and High Point.

Long Island says hello.

 

Also I think Sugar Land leaving is only temporary for this season

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The American Association will operate as a six-team league out of two cities for 2020. Chicago, St. Paul, Milwaukee, Fargo-Moorhead, Sioux Falls, and Winnipeg are your active clubs. I would not be surprised if the other six never play another game.

 

The Frontier League, up to 14 teams after absorbing the Can-Am, is allegedly still weighing its options for 2020. I doubt it plays. Maybe some of its teams make it out of the wreckage and join the six AA franchises for some sort of survivors' league on the other side of this.

 

In affiliated news, Beloit has broken ground on their new stadium to replace the extremely outdated Pohlman Field, but it's a question as to if the Snappers will ever get to play in it.

 

There is going to be a lot less baseball in our lives in 2021 and 2022, and for who knows how long after that.

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3 hours ago, Dilbert said:

Long Island says hello.

 

Also I think Sugar Land leaving is only temporary for this season

I was intentionally leaving out teams that play in the suburbs. Sugar Land is expected to join affiliated ball next year along with the St Paul Saints of the American Association.

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Looking through the American Association is a real nostalgia trip for me.

 

Calgary had an independent team from 2005-2011, spending 05-07 in the Northern League with Fargo-Moorhead, Gary SouthShore, Winnipeg and Kansas City.

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I had the privilege of seeing the Calgary Vipers in person, as the last actual opponent of the Lake County Fielders in the North American League.

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