SAN ANTONIO (KTSA News) — The San Antonio Missions are applauding the U.S. Congress for getting involved in a plan from Major League Baseball to get Minor League Baseball to trim as many as 42 professional baseball teams across the country.
The Save Minor League Baseball Task Force was created by Congress to prevent Major League Baseball from taking such an action, which would eliminate nearly a quarter of minor league teams across the country.
Major League Baseball’s plan would primarily target single-A teams and rookie leagues, sparing the San Antonio Missions from any changes.
Along with 42 teams being eliminated, some teams will move class levels. One example is the Binghamton Rumble Ponies, who are a AA team affiliated with the New York Mets in the Eastern League, would be replaced by the Brooklyn Cyclones, who play in the single-A New York-Penn League and is also affiliated with the New York Mets.
“We appreciate the support of Rep. Lori Trahan (D.-Massachusetts), David McKinley (R-W.Va.) and the members of the task force in standing up for Minor League Baseball and speaking out against MLB’s effort cast off thousands of jobs, reduce affordable, family-friendly entertainment and undermine grassroots support for our great game,” said Missions General Manager Dave Gasaway.
Among the concerns for politicians, aside from the obvious departure of a professional sports franchise, is the expense many cities and taxpayers had laid out on stadiums and other facilities for these teams.
For affected markets, Major League Baseball proposed starting what it called “Dream Leagues” — effectively amateur leagues supported by MLB, similar to summer collegiate leagues common in New England.
“Baseball is America’s pastime, and minor league teams have a major impact on small communities across our country,” said Congressman David McKinley (R-WV). “While we understand the MLB has concerns: the idea that doing away with 42 teams is the only solution is not reasonable. We look forward to working with MiLB and MLB to find a compromise that will preserve affiliated baseball in these cities.”
While Major League Baseball looks to eliminate teams, the plan would take two teams currently playing in independent leagues — one of them being the Sugar Land Skeeters of the Atlantic League — and bring them into AAA leagues.
Major League Baseball and Minor League Baseball are in the early stages of renegotiating their professional development agreement.
Minor league cities fighting back against contraction plan