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What else awaits Minor League Baseball now that MLB is calling all the shots? Well, check out these experimental rule changes...

Triple A - Larger Bases: In an effort to reduce player injuries and collisions, the size of first, second, and third base will be expanded from 15 by 15 inches to 18 by 18 inches. It is also thought that the slight decrease in distance between the larger bases could lead to a modest increase in stolen bases and infield hits.

Double A - Defensive Positioning: The defensive team will be required to have a minimum of four players positioned on the infield, each with both feet positioned within the outer boundary of the infield dirt. Based upon observations made during the first half of the season, a further rule may require two infielders to be positioned on each side of second base during the second half-season of Double A play.

High A - Step-Offs: Pitchers will be required to disengage the pitching rubber before throwing to any base, with a balk being called if they fail to comply.

Low A - Step-Offs/Pickoffs: Pitchers will be limited to a total of two step-offs or pickoffs per batter plate appearance while there is at least one runner on base. A third step-off or pickoff may be attempted in the same batter plate appearance; however, if the baserunner safely returns to the base he occupied, the result will be a balk. Based upon observations made during the first half of the season, a further modification of the rules could see a reduction to one step-off or pickoff per batter plate appearance with at least one runner on base during the second half of the season.

Low-A Southeast - Automatic Ball-Strike System (ABS): In addition to the aforementioned step-off/pickoff rules, testing of the Automatic Ball-Strike System will be implemented.

Low-A West - Game Length and Pace of Play: In addition to the aforementioned step-off/pickoff rules, on-field timers will be used to enforce time limits between delivery of pitches, pitching changes, and inning breaks.

One has to wonder, is Rob Manfred's goal to destroy Minor League Baseball, or do all that he can to take down the whole damn sport? 

     

  
 

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31 minutes ago, Brian in Boston said:

One has to wonder, is Rob Manfred's goal to destroy Minor League Baseball, or do all that he can to take down the whole damn sport?

 

Yes.

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Sheesh...I understand the idea of using a minor league to test rule changes.  I'm just very sure this is the most ill-advised, haphazard way this has been done in years.  So I'm assuming the pickoff rule wouldn't be in effect at the higher levels, the defensive positioning rule only in effect in AA, etc.  Given how often players are called up and sent down, I can see some degree of confusion reigning for most of this season.

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1 hour ago, Discrim said:

So I'm assuming the pickoff rule wouldn't be in effect at the higher levels, the defensive positioning rule only in effect in AA, etc.


Correct. Each level of affiliated minor league baseball playing with a different set of rules. In fact, at the Low-A level, all three leagues playing with a different set of rules. Hell, at Double-A and Low-A, the rules could be changed at mid-season.  

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1 hour ago, Brian in Boston said:


Correct. Each level of affiliated minor league baseball playing with a different set of rules. In fact, at the Low-A level, all three leagues playing with a different set of rules. Hell, at Double-A and Low-A, the rules could be changed at mid-season.  

This is... Insane. 

 

I don't mind if rules need to changed, but not mid-season. What the point. It going to annoy the heck out of fans. 

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"Fans" are no longer part of the equation in Minor League Baseball.

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Wait, what @Brian in Boston posted is real?

 

I genuinely thought that was a joke when I first read the post

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Eugene Emeralds seeking to leave PK Park, build new stadium by 2025    

Oh, yeah... they're "seeking" to do it.

The reality is that MLB's new minor league facility guidelines and the scheduling conflicts with University of Oregon baseball brought on by the Emeralds' forced jump to a full-season schedule have combined to make remaining at PK Park unworkable. MLB wants the Ems in a new home ballpark within the Eugene-Springfield, Oregon Metro Area by the 2025 High-A West season or the team risks being relocated.

Of course, that's only if Elmore Sports Group is amenable to relocating the team... otherwise, MLB can just terminate the Emeralds' player development license and award a new PDL to an ownership group in another market.

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The Maryland General Assembly has passed a bill authorizing the Maryland Stadium Authority to serve as the project manager for a new multipurpose sports facility in Hagerstown. Additionally, the legislation empowers the authority to issue up to $59.5 million in bonds to finance land acquisition, design and construction services, and related construction expenses. The bill now awaits the signature of Gov. Larry Hogan, who put $8.5 million toward the project in the state's most recent supplemental budget. That figure is on top of $1.5 million the General Assembly earmarked for the project in the recently passed Capital Budget. 

The multipurpose sports facility - proposed for a sight at the intersection of West Baltimore Street and Summit Avenue in downtown Hagerstown - is targeted to serve as the home of an Atlantic League of Professional Baseball franchise that was conditionally granted to Hagerstown in February of this year. That team's ownership group would be headed up by Howard "Blackie" Bowen, CEO of Hagerstown-based Ewing Oil Company.

Maryland General Assembly passes Hagerstown stadium bill 

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On 2/25/2021 at 1:58 PM, BigEd76 said:

The Vermont Lake Monsters were sold and will become the 8th team in the FCBL (Futures Collegiate Baseball League)

Five teams left in limbo:

Florida Fire Frogs
Jackson Generals
Lancaster JetHawks
Lowell Spinners
Norwich Sea Unicorns

Some updates here

Florida Fire Frogs are dead. Although not announced they were chopped with Charlotte Stone Crabs

Jackson Generals are hosting some high school and college games as well as concerts at the ballpark but the Generals appear to be without a league and no team

Lancaster JetHawks are dead. Team store and web links redirect to MiLB. Attempts to put a Pecos League team in Lancaster failed. Ballpark is still used for University of Antelope Valley.

Lowell Spinners appear to be dead. Twitter has been inactive and website redirects to MiLB

Norwich Sea Unicorns have joined the FCBL with Vermont.

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Jackson TN will be hosting baseball this season but its not the Jackson Generals. The Ballpark in Jackson will host the Winnipeg Goldeyes of the American Association to start the season due to border restrictions to Canada. Honestly, i see this as a good move. The ballpark was available and this could be a good gauge to see if Jackson would be a good fit for expansion to the AA. It may not be the Generals and it may not be affiliated MiLB but its baseball.

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7 hours ago, Dilbert said:

Jackson TN will be hosting baseball this season but its not the Jackson Generals. The Ballpark in Jackson will host the Winnipeg Goldeyes of the American Association to start the season due to border restrictions to Canada. Honestly, i see this as a good move. The ballpark was available and this could be a good gauge to see if Jackson would be a good fit for expansion to the AA. It may not be the Generals and it may not be affiliated MiLB but its baseball.

 

Hopefully my Wpg Goldeyes can show the fans in Jackson that AA baseball will be a good game to watch there, then we would be happy to welcome Jackson to the AA as well.. I also wonder why not have the Jackson Generals apply to join as an expansion team for the AA? Might be a good way to start for 2022 AA season?

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Jackson is an absolute 💩 show right now...

 

The Generals made the announcement saying the Goldeyes would be playing 53 games in Jackson, yet neither of the statements from the league or Winnipeg commit to a number of games, saying they will reassess once the border situation changes.

 

Meanwhile, the mayor of Jackson put out a statement saying the Generals are in breach of contract for not providing an affiliated team and were told on April 28 that they must vacate the Ballpark by May 28. However, the end of his release says the city is looking at all possible uses for the stadium, leaving open the possibility of letting the Goldeye play there temporarily.

 

To top it all off, the Generals' statement claims they will come back in April 2022 as a member of a "restructured" Southern League. "...the Generals and at least three other newly admitted franchises will resume play," which will be pretty hard to do without a stadium. No indication the new SL would be connected to MLB, and other than maybe Mobile, I have no clue what cities would even have usable ballparks for such an endeavor.

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On 5/7/2021 at 2:39 AM, YELDARBfield said:

Jackson is an absolute 💩 show right now...

 

The Generals made the announcement saying the Goldeyes would be playing 53 games in Jackson, yet neither of the statements from the league or Winnipeg commit to a number of games, saying they will reassess once the border situation changes.

 

Meanwhile, the mayor of Jackson put out a statement saying the Generals are in breach of contract for not providing an affiliated team and were told on April 28 that they must vacate the Ballpark by May 28. However, the end of his release says the city is looking at all possible uses for the stadium, leaving open the possibility of letting the Goldeye play there temporarily.

 

To top it all off, the Generals' statement claims they will come back in April 2022 as a member of a "restructured" Southern League. "...the Generals and at least three other newly admitted franchises will resume play," which will be pretty hard to do without a stadium. No indication the new SL would be connected to MLB, and other than maybe Mobile, I have no clue what cities would even have usable ballparks for such an endeavor.

Yeah I knew Jackson had the contract issue with the Generals. The contract basically states that affiliated AA or  higher baseball can play there but the Generals have basically said well we are still a team and have already announced that they would be hosting other games (high school, college and now the Goldeyes. The Generals are also hosting concerts this year at the Ballpark. The events are scheduled by the Generals not the city but the city is saying they are in breach of contract. The Generals are basically saying we are part of a AA Southern League but in reality the AA Southern League doesnt exist. The Generals are living in an alternate reality.

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8 hours ago, Dilbert said:

Yeah I knew Jackson had the contract issue with the Generals. The contract basically states that affiliated AA or  higher baseball can play there but the Generals have basically said well we are still a team and have already announced that they would be hosting other games (high school, college and now the Goldeyes. The Generals are also hosting concerts this year at the Ballpark. The events are scheduled by the Generals not the city but the city is saying they are in breach of contract. The Generals are basically saying we are part of a AA Southern League but in reality the AA Southern League doesnt exist. The Generals are living in an alternate reality.

From what I've seen, the only standing the Generals have right now is their claim that they've filed for some sort of arbitration with the City. However, the City/Mayor have yet to engage with said arbitration. A number of events, like tonight's wrestling thing and the first few Goldeye games, happen before the May 28th date set by the City for the Generals to vacate, so the Generals may as well get that gate while they legally/logistically can.

 

But yeah, I don't understand what this reconstituted Southern League is supposed to be, but it will not fulfill the contractual obligation regardless of when it launches. I don't see how this can end well for the Generals (which makes me very sad as a former employee and life-long fan).

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