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Rethinking Minor League Baseball

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There are a million subtopics on this issue, but it seems crazy to me that the O's would agree to lose Frederick. I feel like another team, probably the Nats, would move in and take over that pretty large metropolitan area. Hate to say it, but Aberdeen is the one that should be cut. Norfolk, Salisbury, Bowie and Frederick are all sizable markets that the O's should try to keep their tentacles into, IMO.

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9 minutes ago, Satyr3206 said:

Manfred is at it again.

https://sports.yahoo.com/major-league-baseball-threatens-walk-132634096.html

I really don't like him, at all.

I've said it before, I don't think he's an actual fan of the game.  The guys that came before him, even if they worked for the owners, had a love of baseball which tempered their actions.

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1 minute ago, Can_of_corn said:

I've said it before, I don't think he's an actual fan of the game.  The guys that came before him, even if they worked for the owners, had a love of baseball which tempered their actions.

True. Makes me long for the days of Bowie Kuhn.

I read about 50 of the comments on that article and almost everyone sees this for what it is, a money grab. I don't see how Manfred or his minions could spin it any other way.

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"Major league baseball is doing great!"

A cry you hear from those who are proponents of shrinking the minor system, who ignore falling attendance, and decreasing ratings.  The fact is it is not, it needs to retract and increase the quality of product.  They recognize that and so we see the current issues with minor league baseball.

The problem, in many ways is that minor league baseball is just a vastly superior product in many ways.  Its players are more relatable.  In the small towns that are imperiled by the current proposals it is a place for jobs, it is a cheaper more accessible form of entertainment. The stadiums try harder and cost less.

If baseball really is going to decrease the minor league size then a concerted effort needs to be made to ensure the viability of these now independent league teams.  It shouldnt be hard, as I said, they are a superior product but they need the talent and major league baseball still controls that.

I would advocate for a shortening of the minor league season with more affiliate independent leagues.  Something akin to the cape cod league and arizona fall league.

That way these small imperiled teams in small towns could organize and still have 6 to 8 week leagues, maybe even with some superior talent.

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On 11/27/2019 at 9:53 AM, LookinUp said:

There are a million subtopics on this issue, but it seems crazy to me that the O's would agree to lose Frederick. I feel like another team, probably the Nats, would move in and take over that pretty large metropolitan area. Hate to say it, but Aberdeen is the one that should be cut. Norfolk, Salisbury, Bowie and Frederick are all sizable markets that the O's should try to keep their tentacles into, IMO.

It's all about stadiums and quality of the facilities. Harry Grove isn't up to snuff as much compared to Bowie or Norfolk. Also the reason why Hagerstown will go way of the dodo as well. It would cost a fortune that Frederick City or County would never pay to upgrade Harry Grove to meet the standard, or whoever has to pick up that tab in the lease agreement. That and Frederick doesn't make any $ because Ziedelis just tells Ken Young what he wants to hear and is a total kissass while the team loses $ every year. Same with Bowie but bowie has a better stadium in terms of being on par with MLB's requirements. The whole "PAY THE MINOR LEAGUERS" campaign was going to resolve in teams being cut because MLB profits would be effected in a big scale and how shrewd MLB is with costs and revenue historically. I called this a year ago in a baseball discord server and it sucks that I'm right. A "livable wage" (if one exists) would only be paid to minor leaguers if teams were cut in predominantly rust belt, more expensive or poorer areas with lacking facilities, and look where we are. Hopefully a resolution passes and hopefully MiLB and MLB will solve this and keep everyone happy, but I highly doubt that happens. As someone who grew up at Harry Grove as a kid, that's going to really suck seeing the keys fold or go to an independent league. Such is the nature of the beast I suppose. 

 

What'll be interesting I suppose is to see how Manfred looks and acts during this debate because apparently the players and owners might go in for extended talks come 2021 when the CBA expires. This is going to show the players how much they can push against this current Commisioner versus what they could push for with Selig. With that being said, it's looking like Manfred will be going in guns blazing and just wanting his way. The thought that lower minor league teams will have to scout and develop their own talent like they did almost 100 years ago proves how cyclical history is. 

 

For further reading, here's a baseball America article going into detail on what we could be seeing, how the agreement with MiLB works, etc. I have work in the morning and need sleep.  https://www.baseballamerica.com/stories/mlb-threat-pushes-negotiations-with-milb-to-another-level/

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9 hours ago, MDtransplant757 said:

It's all about stadiums and quality of the facilities. Harry Grove isn't up to snuff as much compared to Bowie or Norfolk. Also the reason why Hagerstown will go way of the dodo as well. It would cost a fortune that Frederick City or County would never pay to upgrade Harry Grove to meet the standard, or whoever has to pick up that tab in the lease agreement.

I understand the rationale. I just think it's penny wise and pound foolish. Frederick and it's surrounding areas is 1) pretty large 2) not getting smaller and 3) geographically proximate to DC and even Pittsburgh, to a lesser degree.

The O's need to think 5-20 years down the road. If I'm the O's, an investment in Frederick is an investment in the Orioles. 

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3 hours ago, LookinUp said:

I understand the rationale. I just think it's penny wise and pound foolish. Frederick and it's surrounding areas is 1) pretty large 2) not getting smaller and 3) geographically proximate to DC and even Pittsburgh, to a lesser degree.

The O's need to think 5-20 years down the road. If I'm the O's, an investment in Frederick is an investment in the Orioles. 

The big club can’t invest unless it’s in the lease, I think. That and Frederick is in the Baltimore area, and more people culturally identify more with Baltimore there. The O’s will always be the more popular team there. There’s no reason to have your players in an outdated facility and it doesn’t help that attendance at Harry grove is ok at best 

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14 minutes ago, MDtransplant757 said:

The big club can’t invest unless it’s in the lease, I think. That and Frederick is in the Baltimore area, and more people culturally identify more with Baltimore there. The O’s will always be the more popular team there. There’s no reason to have your players in an outdated facility and it doesn’t help that attendance at Harry grove is ok at best 

I just completely disagree with the bolded. I'd wager many more commuters go from Frederick to DC than Baltimore. That DC team is on a many-year run and is just gaining a foothold. The O's will need to compete for these people over time, and do so with lower revenues. Remove a minor league affiliate and I'd wager that will become harder.

If Keys ownership, Frederick or Harry Grove are a problem, the O's should be motivated to find a way to fix the problem, not just get up and leave. 

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15 minutes ago, LookinUp said:

I just completely disagree with the bolded. I'd wager many more commuters go from Frederick to DC than Baltimore. That DC team is on a many-year run and is just gaining a foothold. The O's will need to compete for these people over time, and do so with lower revenues. Remove a minor league affiliate and I'd wager that will become harder.

If Keys ownership, Frederick or Harry Grove are a problem, the O's should be motivated to find a way to fix the problem, not just get up and leave. 

If the premise is that major league teams are going to have at least one fewer affiliate, then which one to you cut?     

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43 minutes ago, Frobby said:

If the premise is that major league teams are going to have at least one fewer affiliate, then which one to you cut?     

If I could wave a magic wand and fix it all I would get rid of Norfolk so that all the teams would be closer to home.   I would also want a better team in Aberdeen (I think they want to get rid of the short season teams too?)

Move the Tides to Aberdeen, dissolve the Ironbirds.    Done and done.

But yeah I don't think that is happening anytime soon.

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27 minutes ago, Aglets said:

If I could wave a magic wand and fix it all I would get rid of Norfolk so that all the teams would be closer to home.   I would also want a better team in Aberdeen (I think they want to get rid of the short season teams too?)

Move the Tides to Aberdeen, dissolve the Ironbirds.    Done and done.

But yeah I don't that is happening anytime soon.

The Baysox stadium is significantly bigger than the Ironbirds stadium. Baysox listed capacity is 10,000 but they got over 14,000 for the 2010 AA All Star game. Ironbirds listed capacity is 6,300. Would make more sense to switch Aberdeen to AA and Bowie to AAA if you are going to dump Norfolk. That would put our AAA - A stadiums in the proper order from largest to smallest.

I agree that keeping the teams as local as possible makes the most sense and ceding Frederick to the Nats (especially with Hagerstown losing their team) would be a terrible decision.

Would be tough to lose Norfolk, but ceding the western Maryland minor league market to the Nats would be really bad long term for the Orioles in my opinion. I personally would rather give up Salisbury or even Aberdeen than Frederick to be honest.

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41 minutes ago, Frobby said:

If the premise is that major league teams are going to have at least one fewer affiliate, then which one to you cut?     

Aberdeen. 

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Just now, MurphDogg said:

The Baysox stadium is significantly bigger than the Ironbirds stadium. Baysox listed capacity is 10,000 but they got over 14,000 for the 2010 AA All Star game. Ironbirds listed capacity is 6,300. Would make more sense to switch Aberdeen to AA and Bowie to AAA if you are going to dump Norfolk. That would put our AAA - A stadiums in the proper order from largest to smallest.

I agree that keeping the teams as local as possible makes the most sense and ceding Frederick to the Nats (especially with Hagerstown losing their team) would be a terrible decision.

10,000 is the minimum allowed for a AAA stadium, so the only way to eliminate Norfolk would be to move AAA to Bowie.   Capacity at our affiliates (2019 average attendance in parentheses):

Norfolk 11,586 (5,304)

Bowie 10,000 (3,256)

Frederick 5,400 (4,392)

Delmarva 5,200 (3,264)

Aberdeen 6,300 (3,199)
 

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1 minute ago, Frobby said:

10,000 is the minimum allowed for a AAA stadium, so the only way to eliminate Norfolk would be to move AAA to Bowie.   Capacity at our affiliates (2019 average attendance in parentheses):

Norfolk 11,586 (5,304)

Bowie 10,000 (3,256)

Frederick 5,400 (4,392)

Delmarva 5,200 (3,264)

Aberdeen 6,300 (3,199)
 

I'm fine moving the Baysox,  Keys, or Shorebirds to Aberdeen.   :)

Seems like we are most eager to get out of Frederick.   Unfortunate for the O's fans in that area.

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