The working agreement between Major League Baseball and Minor League Baseball expires after this season, and given the scope of the coronavirus pandemic it’s unknown if we will even have minor league games this season at all.
Rumors have persisted for months that roughly a quarter of minor league teams — 40-42 in all — will lose major league affiliation with the next agreement, in a restructuring of the system. Factor in that if any sort of professional games are to happen this year they would likely happen without fans, at least to start, and things look bleak for several minor league teams.
That budding crisis is reflected in a feature by Robert Sanchez at Sports Illustrated, in which he interviewed and surveyed minor league teams. The results are concerning:
Twenty-four teams (or 35% of respondents) said they were seriously concerned that lost revenue from this season would impact their ability to operate next season or in future years, ranking their level of worry at seven out of 10 or higher. Twelve of the clubs—including two of the 16 Triple A teams that replied and five of the 13 from Double A—said they were “extremely concerned” about their ability to continue operating in the future: a 10 out of 10.
Teams were even more bearish about their fellow organizations’ prospects: 48 teams (74% of respondents) thought lost revenue would significantly impact other clubs’ abilities to operate in the future, answering with a seven or higher. Of those teams, 26 put their concern at a 10.
- MLB.com is showing eight hours of classic baseball on Wednesday, beginning at 6 a.m. PT and restarting at 2 p.m. PT. There are 44 “half-innings” and every team involved. The Angels’ representative game is their no-hitter on Tyler Skaggs night from 2019.
- Bartolo Colon, who won a Cy Young Award with the Angels 15 years ago, wants to pitch again in the majors per Marly Rivera at ESPN, having last done so in 2018. Colon turns 47 on Sunday.
- The sniping between MLB and the players over a resumption of the 2020 season has gone public, with statements from both sides surrounding a March email, per Joel Sherman of the New York Post.