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1 hour ago, sportsfan7 said:

Lake County is a bit of a geographic stretch, but Bowling Green would be even worse.

 

For Lake County travel-wise, this would be like going back to the Sally league.  That said, Lake County (side note, I live just over a mile from the Captain's stadium) is the eastern-most team in the Midwest league, so if somebody has to move, they would definitely be a candidate.  Though personally, I hope they stay in the Midwest League.

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Here is my take on the news about Tennessee's MiLB clubs:

  1. I am curious as to why the Nashville Sounds are once again the Milwaukee Brewers' Class AAA team while the Pittsburgh Pirates, another former parent club of the Sounds, are sticking with the Indianapolis Indians as their top farm team.  Milwaukee is closer to Indianapolis than to Nashville, Indy is closer to Milwaukee than to Pittsburgh, and Milwaukee and Pittsburgh are almost equally far from Nashville by airplane.  Do the Pirates and the Indy Indians have that good of a relationship with each other?  Do the Brewers want nothing to do with the Indy Indians and/or vice versa?  Might this be a sign that the Sounds will be staying in the Pacific Coast League (naturally a more tolerable situation for a Milwaukee team than for a Pittsburgh team), whereas the Indianapolis club will remain in the International League (to the obvious delight of an MLB club in an eastern city like Pittsburgh)?
  2. As someone who remembers many of the earliest rumors regarding MiLB's contraction from several months ago, I find the Chattanooga Lookouts outlasting the Jackson Generals in Class AA to be something of an upset.  On paper, a larger population alone might give a Chattanooga team a more certain future than a Jackson, Tennessee-based team at the same level of any given sport.  However, the Lookouts' present home, AT&T Field, is not exactly the most pleasant place either to play a baseball game or to see one in person.  For starters, home plate at that ballpark faces toward the north-northwest, which causes the sun to be in the eyes of batters, catchers, home plate umpires, and spectators all throughout the stands during afternoon games and the early innings of night games.  It would not surprise me at all if such an ill-thought ballpark design was one of the reasons why the Los Angeles Dodgers (after the 2014 season) and the Minnesota Twins (after the 2018 season) dropped the Lookouts from their farm systems, leaving the Chattanooga club and a seemingly desperate Cincinnati Reds organization to settle for one another.

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2 hours ago, JF_NEOhio said:

 

For Lake County travel-wise, this would be like going back to the Sally league.  That said, Lake County (side note, I live just over a mile from the Captain's stadium) is the eastern-most team in the Midwest league, so if somebody has to move, they would definitely be a candidate.  Though personally, I hope they stay in the Midwest League.

 

It now looks like Lake County will stay in the MWL, while Bowling Green goes to the South Division of the Mid Atlantic League (from @jjcoop36 at Baseball America)

 

North

Aberdeen IronBirds

Brooklyn Cyclones

Hudson Valley Renegades

Jersey Shore Blue Claws

Wilmington Blue Rock

 

South

Asheville Tourists

Bowling Green Hot Rods

Greensboro Grasshoppers

Greenville Drive

Hickory Crawdads

Rome Braves

Winston Salem Dash

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Okay, so how does things look for the MiLB so far now with the MLB having their way?

I honestly hate it that the San Antonio Missions (who I listen to on TuneIn Radio) is back in AA, but I know why and at least they are still around. But the whole thing with the reorganization of the minor league teams is a mess to put it bluntly.

 

So, my question is, where the Independent and Summer Collegiate Leagues in all this? I have been following this as much as I can but I'm still lost on some of this.

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That Cooper article doesn't make sense. I thought Mid-Atlantic and Carolina were going to be two separate six-team leagues?

 

Matthew - The independent Atlantic League, American Association and Frontier League will now have the demoted Pioneer League also in the mix. Pioneer is expected to run after the draft for players that go undrafted. The Draft League (consisting of six former MiLB teams) and the demoted Appalachian League will be wood bat leagues for college players. Draft League will have draft-eligible players that aren't competing in the College World Series, while Appalachian League will be for top freshmen and sophomores not eligible for the draft. The other existing summer leagues (Cape Cod, etc.) will continue to exist as alternate options

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46 minutes ago, Matthew24 said:

Okay, so how does things look for the MiLB so far now with the MLB having their way?

I honestly hate it that the San Antonio Missions (who I listen to on TuneIn Radio) is back in AA, but I know why and at least they are still around. But the whole thing with the reorganization of the minor league teams is a mess to put it bluntly.

 

So, my question is, where the Independent and Summer Collegiate Leagues in all this? I have been following this as much as I can but I'm still lost on some of this.

 

The independent American Association, Atlantic League and Frontier League, along with the rookie Pioneer League are now independent MLB Partner Leagues which will, according to MLB, "collaborate with MLB on initiatives to provide organized baseball to communities throughout the United States and Canada".

The short season Appalachian League will now be "summer college wood-bat league specifically designed for rising freshman and sophomores, operated with the support of MLB and USA Baseball."

The new MLB Draft league, with four New York-Penn Lg. teams plus the Trenton Thunder & Frederick Keys, will also be a summer college wood-bat league, but "focused on top prospects who are eligible to be drafted by MLB Clubs."

All other independent and summer college leagues are on their own.

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5 hours ago, Matthew24 said:

Okay, so how does things look for the MiLB so far now with the MLB having their way?

I honestly hate it that the San Antonio Missions (who I listen to on TuneIn Radio) is back in AA, but I know why and at least they are still around. But the whole thing with the reorganization of the minor league teams is a mess to put it bluntly.

 

So, my question is, where the Independent and Summer Collegiate Leagues in all this? I have been following this as much as I can but I'm still lost on some of this.

As for San Antonio, while they were promoted to AAA recently, it was because of the possibility of a new ballpark which from my understanding hasn’t really made traction.

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If there's "low A" and "high A", why aren't there just four tiers (A-AAAA)?

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6 hours ago, BigEd76 said:

That Cooper article doesn't make sense. I thought Mid-Atlantic and Carolina were going to be two separate six-team leagues?

 

Matthew - The independent Atlantic League, American Association and Frontier League will now have the demoted Pioneer League also in the mix. Pioneer is expected to run after the draft for players that go undrafted. The Draft League (consisting of six former MiLB teams) and the demoted Appalachian League will be wood bat leagues for college players. Draft League will have draft-eligible players that aren't competing in the College World Series, while Appalachian League will be for top freshmen and sophomores not eligible for the draft. The other existing summer leagues (Cape Cod, etc.) will continue to exist as alternate options

 

I think that was the original goal. But his most recent reporting is suggesting the Carolina League will be scrapped and the Mid-Atlantic League teams and Carolina League teams will merge to form a larger Mid-Atlantic League with a North and South Division.

 

According to the most recent Baseball America podcast, the main factor in affiliation was "what the MLB teams wanted" and I guess not enough MLB teams wanted affiliates by the rest of the Mid-Atlantic League teams to form a plausible 6-team league.

 

So I guess if the Rays actually didn't care who their Hi-A affiliate was, they could have been paired with someone like Lowell Spinners and then separate leagues would have made a little more sense with BG being dropped. But looks like the Rays liked BG too much to let them go... And here we are with a the same travel problem that they started with.

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18 minutes ago, Magic Dynasty said:

The Rays should've brought back the Brevard County Manatees... I miss them. We always went to a game or two every year.

There's nowhere to play in Brevard.  The USSSA (United States Specialty Sports Association) has the lease with the county for the Space Coast complex and the tournaments and tourism that brings to the area is more lucrative to the county than 70 home games a year does.  I know there were possible plans to update the Cocoa Expo Stadium, but I assume those fell thru.

 

Also to note, the point of the Rays essentially disbanding the Charlotte Stone Crabs was (possibly indirectly) to save Daytona.  We all knew the FSL was going to likely be a 10 team league and the Fire Frogs were floaters without a home and as good as gone.  Daytona is one of the more successful teams in the league, and for them to have the chance to continue someone else had to take the fall.

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1 hour ago, BBTV said:

If there's "low A" and "high A", why aren't there just four tiers (A-AAAA)?

They should have called it "a" and "A" 

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Funny

28 minutes ago, TBGKon said:

Also to note, the point of the Rays essentially disbanding the Charlotte Stone Crabs was (possibly indirectly) to save Daytona.  We all knew the FSL was going to likely be a 10 team league and the Fire Frogs were floaters without a home and as good as gone.  Daytona is one of the more successful teams in the league, and for them to have the chance to continue someone else had to take the fall.

For sure. I think it would have been a bummer to lose Daytona, even if it came at the expense of the team in PC. I was texting a friend who lives down there, and she had plans to get season tickets. But Daytona and Clearwater have about 1000 attendance lead one everyone else.

Also fun thing, the two A level teams for the Reds are Dayton and Daytona.

This whole thing was stupid though.

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2 hours ago, TBGKon said:

As for San Antonio, while they were promoted to AAA recently, it was because of the possibility of a new ballpark which from my understanding hasn’t really made traction.

Correct. The previous mayor pretty much tore the deal apart to put in a trolley system, which is not happening now either. 

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When all is said and done, this seems like an awful lot of trouble to have gone to in order for Rob Manfred to flex some muscle, the Yankees to screw over a couple of long-term affiliates, and Twins and Astros scouts to be able to drive 13 and 22 miles - respectively - to catch AAA games.

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My friends and I plan to go to Frederick Keys games next season (barring COVID protocols) decked out in full generic MLB attire with signs that say “GO TEAM!” among other things.

 

What a joke. Minor league baseball is damn near dead in Western Maryland thanks to Hagerstown being shunned and Frederick being relegated to something significant smaller than their High-A status with Baltimore.

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21 hours ago, rams80 said:

After pulling out of Peoria to go there the Rickettses decided they didn't like Kane County after all and the ChiSox are happy with a North Carolina-centric system.

 

They're just mad because Jim "Milk Dud" Oberweis lost again.

 

  

5 hours ago, BBTV said:

If there's "low A" and "high A", why aren't there just four tiers (A-AAAA)?

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I had a thought and I don’t know how feasible it would be, but could it be possible to see some of these newly unaffiliated teams that fit in footprints of affiliated leagues create a few unaffiliated “free agent” squads?  I know that’s what a lot of the partner leagues are for (which I can see a few teams sliding into).

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Major League Baseball Deputy Commissioner Dan Halem has ensured the City of Fresno that MLB "will encourage all Major League Clubs to consider selecting the City as a future location of a Triple-A or Double-A affiliate to the extent such an opportunity arises",  has pledged that "[p]rior to the 2031 season, Major League Baseball will not allow any affiliated professional development league club to relocate from Fresno or any professional development league club located in Fresno to be eliminated", and has stated that MLB "will use its best efforts to have a professional development league club located in the City from the 2031 season through at least the 2036 season", so long as the California League or a successor circuit continues to exist and Chukchansi Park remains "in compliance with the required facility standards applicable to all clubs that are part of a player development license agreement with MLB Professional Development Leagues, LLC."

Whoop-de-friggin-do! Way to go out on a limb, MLB.

Given the pride-swallowing siege that many MiLB owners just went through in order to secure a player development license, what are the odds - short of calamity - that any of the current 30 Triple-A or 30 Double-A affiliates are going to do anything to put their respective PDLs in jeopardy? In other words, barring MLB expansion, whether the "opportunity arises" for Fresno to land a Triple-A or Double-A team is something of a long shot. With regard to Double-A, unless there's a significant reshaping of the MiLB structure that was just reset, Fresno isn't exactly a fit as an Eastern League, Southern League, or Texas League market. As for the suits at MLB following through on their promise to "encourage all Major League Clubs to consider" Fresno as the potential home for a team in Triple-A, what guarantee is there that other large markets won't have upgraded existing ballparks - or, built new ones - in an attempt to join the top tier of MiLB by the time expansion is set to take place?

As for MLB's "pledge" that an affiliated professional development league club will call Fresno home through at least the 2030 season and potentially the 2036 season... well, big deal. All indications were that MLB officials were looking to set the length of PDLs at 10 years as a part of this recent restructuring, so guaranteeing Fresno an affiliated professional development league club from 2021 through 2030 just falls in line with what was already expected. Meanwhile, some MiLB owner were lobbying for affiliation deals to last as long as 15 years. So, if Major League Baseball's "best efforts" (hardly an ironclad guarantee, by the way) to keep baseball in Fresno through 2036 were to work out, the length of the Grizzlies' PDL would exceed said 15-year term by a season.                 

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My guess is, if MLB were to expand into the west (namely Las Vegas and/or Portland), Fresno would probably be one of the new Triple-A teams.

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