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Luke-OH

Frederick Keys on the chopping block

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13 minutes ago, spiritof66 said:

I'm not sure that would work. MLB might call their bluff and move most of the minor leagues to the Caribbean and South and Central America, plus Cape Cod and other college league sites where there are underused ballparks. It would be interesting if the "surviving" clubs took a stand, but it could get pretty ugly.

I think their short-term plan would be to just have complex type leagues in Florida.  Use the spring training sites.  Intersquad games, eventually set up schedules to play other teams.  And release all the random organizational guys.

MLB has all the leverage here because a large number of MiLB teams need MLB money to exist, and the majors don't really need the minors.  MLB would be largely unchanged if the minors disappeared tomorrow and was replaced by all the real prospects just hanging out in Florida and working out, playing scrimmages.

But... maybe way back in the MLB owners heads is the idea that if they totally dumped bigger minor league cities new, bigger, more powerful independent leagues could spring up.  Players who don't like their draft position or bonus could have an alternate place to go, at least for a while.  I don't know if a 3rd major (really 2nd since AL and NL are just one league) is even marginally viable, but a fully independent AAA-ish league could seriously annoy the majors.

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It's premature to say that the MLB draft is moving to August.  MLB wants to move it after the College World Series.  Some have speculated that August makes sense as a date in August would eliminate the need for short-season A teams.  

Logically, it makes no sense to mandate which minor league teams will be axed although "leaking" a list may encourage towns on the fence to up their facilities.  How up to date are the facilities in Frederick? It location is great. 

Organizations such as the Orioles/Astros that are big on machine learning, regression models, and neural networks are more likely to be on board with this plan while organizations such as the Cubs/Yankees that have the resources to have a more balanced approach may have  misgivings. During the past season the Cubs had 300 players under control.  This new plan would lessen that number by at least 100. 

Youngsters that are unable to make the jump from the DSL or HS to full-season ball may stay at their respective complexes and play unofficial games against other organizations throughout the summer as opposed to until the draft as in past years. 

One advantage is that it will be easier to evaluate prospects with fewer non-prospects in the mix, although you could argue that 20-year old prospects benefit from playing with 25-year old non-prospects who know the little things but have limited tools.

The great statistics put up by top prospects during their first ML seasons in recent years suggests that top prospects may be spending too much time in the minors.  More rapid promotion for a select few is likely with a thinner pool of players. 

It is also possible that AAA will be more like AA is today, i.e., the place for top prospects.   Independent leagues comprised of released players could fill the role that AAA has today - although this will depend on the details of the next ML agreement. 

I've also heard that some teams would prefer a shorter season so that their prospects could spend more time in their respective pitching/hitting labs. 

 

 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Satyr3206 said:

Sad. And pretty close to a fact.

In the 1920s the International League Orioles were probably among the top 10 professional teams in the world.  Jack Dunn refused to sign affiliation agreements.  He had all stars and Hall of Fame caliber players in their prime.  But eventually he was pressured by the rest of the league into caving.  The PCL made a little run in the 1950s at going independent and hinting a going major, but expansion and the Dodgers and Giants put an end to that.  Besides the relatively low-level indy leagues today there haven't been real minor league pennant races in my lifetime.

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5 hours ago, Luke-OH said:

The Orioles are on-board with this, the only way it's going to change is in the negotiations with the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues. 

If both Frederick and Hagerstown are shut down, who does that part of MD belong to, Nats or Os?

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1 hour ago, AnythingO's said:

If both Frederick and Hagerstown are shut down, who does that part of MD belong to, Nats or Os?

Umm, don’t know, but even the affiliates that are staying aren’t necessarily going to be with the same parent club. Norfolk could become a Nats affiliate for example.

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So baseball want in increase their fanbase and tweak the game, and keep current fans, bring back old fans, and attract new fans.

So you go and screw with everybody minor league system.

 

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15 hours ago, DrungoHazewood said:

I think their short-term plan would be to just have complex type leagues in Florida.  Use the spring training sites.  Intersquad games, eventually set up schedules to play other teams.  And release all the random organizational guys.

MLB has all the leverage here because a large number of MiLB teams need MLB money to exist, and the majors don't really need the minors.  MLB would be largely unchanged if the minors disappeared tomorrow and was replaced by all the real prospects just hanging out in Florida and working out, playing scrimmages.

But... maybe way back in the MLB owners heads is the idea that if they totally dumped bigger minor league cities new, bigger, more powerful independent leagues could spring up.  Players who don't like their draft position or bonus could have an alternate place to go, at least for a while.  I don't know if a 3rd major (really 2nd since AL and NL are just one league) is even marginally viable, but a fully independent AAA-ish league could seriously annoy the majors.

Major leagues definitely needs the minor leagues.  Players don't go from college straight to MLB.  Scrimmages are not going to make you major league ready.  It would cost them even more money to have games without fans. Plus how much would it cost to shuttle players back  and forth from Florida to say Detroit?   I think you are truly under estimating the value minor league baseball provides to MLB.

I think this is all about the lawsuit from minor league players saying they are being paid below minimum wage.  I guess a simpler solution is lower the amount of bonuses you pay drafted players and increase salaries.  That would make the pay more equitable.  And provide housing for the players.  And cater their food.   

 

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1 hour ago, atomic said:

Major leagues definitely needs the minor leagues.  Players don't go from college straight to MLB.  Scrimmages are not going to make you major league ready.  It would cost them even more money to have games without fans. Plus how much would it cost to shuttle players back  and forth from Florida to say Detroit?   I think you are truly under estimating the value minor league baseball provides to MLB.

I think this is all about the lawsuit from minor league players saying they are being paid below minimum wage.  I guess a simpler solution is lower the amount of bonuses you pay drafted players and increase salaries.  That would make the pay more equitable.  And provide housing for the players.  And cater their food.   

 

It would not surprise me if a goal--and a result--is to increase the number of students going to college.  Only expected stars would get drafted out of high school while MLB lets the colleges develop everyone else as is done in football and basketball.  It would be bad for college academics and for the prospects who aren't really interested in being students, but that's no skin off the owners.  About 80% of players  would enter the minors at age 21 and get at most 3 years to make the majors or become AAAA.  

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21 hours ago, AnythingO's said:

Do the Orioles get to appeal this? I would think they would want to keep Frederick, Bowie, Norfolk together to better support the fan base for Baltimore and sacrifice one of Aberdeen or Delmarva.

Why should Delmarva get sacrificed?  After all, they were the Minor League Team of the Year and has a modern stadium in Salisbury.  Screw convenience... it's nice to have professional baseball come through the Eastern Shore since 1996 and I don't see why that should be tampered with.  An increase in affiliation could lead to the team putting more seats down the left and right side of the diamond to encourage more revenue to accommodate their increased affiliation.

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9 minutes ago, Enjoy Terror said:

I'm don't think I'm making any large leaps assuming that Aberdeen is hands-off because of Cal Ripken.

Not trying to be smart, but I thought Cal had sold off his share of the Aberbeen, along with another of his minor league holders. Nobody said why, but, shortly later, his divorce became public, and people assume he was putting together her part of the holdings.

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50 minutes ago, orioles119 said:

Why should Delmarva get sacrificed?  After all, they were the Minor League Team of the Year and has a modern stadium in Salisbury.  Screw convenience... it's nice to have professional baseball come through the Eastern Shore since 1996 and I don't see why that should be tampered with.  An increase in affiliation could lead to the team putting more seats down the left and right side of the diamond to encourage more revenue to accommodate their increased affiliation.

I don't think either should be sacrificed. All of the Orioles affiliates have decent stadiums and have decent attendance, none are anywhere close to being among the 50 weakest minor league teams in terms of fan support, or stadium and facility conditions.

It seems clear that if this plan goes through, while the Orioles would have to cut one of their affiliates, it should be scooped up by another team (with the Nationals the obvious choice, replacing the Hagerstown Suns).

That said, Delmarva IS clearly the weakest of the Orioles affiliates by attendance, drawing 1,000 fewer fans per game than Frederick, although the Shorebirds are still in the middle of the pack in the South Atlantic League (8th of 14 teams).

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47 minutes ago, Redskins Rick said:

Not trying to be smart, but I thought Cal had sold off his share of the Aberbeen, along with another of his minor league holders. Nobody said why, but, shortly later, his divorce became public, and people assume he was putting together her part of the holdings.

The Ironbirds are owned by the Tufton group, and the Ripken brothers are majority shareholders.

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