Change Is About To Come To Minor League Baseball

Looks like MLB has decided it will run Minor League Baseball.

Has the President of Minor League Baseball waived the white flag in the battle with Major League Baseball in getting a new player development deal? Pat O’Connor decided to call it quits and will be done in his role by December 31st and that probably is the first signal that Major League Baseball will just take over control of Minor League Baseball in an effort to control research and development costs. Prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, there was a fight between Major League Baseball owners and Minor League Baseball operators about the future of the relationship MLB wanted to eliminate 42 minor league teams and that included shutting down short season rookie leagues that ran from around June 15th to September 1st. Last December, Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred said it was not MLB that wasn’t negotiating in good faith in trying to get a new player development agreement with Minor League Baseball. Manfred said it was the Minor League operators’ fault because they didn’t want to talk about upgrading facilities and other issues.

Manfred should have been more careful in talking about stadium upgrades because individual minor league team owners have to go to politicians’ hat in hand begging for money to upgrade stadiums to Major League Baseball standards. Whatever those standards are and funds for upgrades come from taxpayers’ pockets. Manfred found out many local and federal politicians were not happy with MLB’s stance including Iowa Senator Charles Grassley but it seems the politicians are not doing anything but providing empty talk as nothing has happened. In 2018, Congress did help MLB by passing legislation which capped minor league players’ salaries. Major League Baseball owners can save about $20 million annually by eliminating 42 minor league teams. It seems rather foolish that baseball owners would want to alienate fans by eliminating local entertainment but money talks.

(Steve Nesius/AP)