PDA

View Full Version : Is the Affiliation Dance about to begin?



Jim Crikket
07-21-2012, 10:57 PM
The Twins have renewed their Player Development Contract with the Class AA New Britain Rock Cats, but both Rochester (AAA) and Beloit (A) are up for renewal, as well.

The time is approaching when teams declare whether they wish to investigate new affiliations and there's no shortage of speculation concerning whether the Rochester and Beloit agreements will be renewed.

Here in Cedar Rapids, where the local Class A Kernels have been affiliated with the Angels for 20 years, there's growing sentiment for a change to a closer MLB franchise.

http://thegazette.com/2012/07/21/locals-express-their-opinions-on-what-kernels-should-do-with-pdc/

COtwin
07-21-2012, 11:15 PM
The twins should definitely look into this. Especially if Rochester could be nixed. Triple A close could create a larger fan base.
Having the sky sox (AAA) in Colorado springs creates creates a much deeper tie between fans a players for the Rockies org. It's amazing how many people in IA are cubs fans cause they follow the IA cubs.

Bark's Lounge
07-21-2012, 11:47 PM
The twins should definitely look into this. Especially if Rochester could be nixed. Triple A close could create a larger fan base.
Having the sky sox (AAA) in Colorado springs creates creates a much deeper tie between fans a players for the Rockies org. It's amazing how many people in IA are cubs fans cause they follow the IA cubs.

Your line of thinking is correct, but I am not too sure there is a venue very close to us that could house a AAA baseball affiliate. Sioux Falls and Fargo probably would not work. Although Madison, WI is Brewer's territory it probably would not work anyways - if it could why don't the Brew Crew have their AAA affiliate there? Winnipeg - Minor league baseball has been stripped from Canada, I cannot see a fit there. Omaha and Des Moines are taken with no chance of a change. Although I can see the Twins jettisoned from Rochester, NY - I do not see a AAA venue that can be close to home... it sucks, what do you do?

J-Dog Dungan
07-22-2012, 12:30 AM
While I could care less where Rochester ends up, I think that Beloit will stay with the Twins, as it is fairly close to the Twin Cities and has a strong Twins' fan base.

Highabove
07-22-2012, 12:40 AM
Pohlam Feild in Beloit is far below the standards of an Independent League Team.
The Twins Should not be putting their Class A Team in a Park and Rec. dump.
I hope they wise up on this one.

Jim Crikket
07-22-2012, 12:54 AM
The longer things go without news of a renewal of existing agreements, the more likely it is that there will be changes. From what I've read, organizations are free to negotiate extensions any time with existing partners, but teams can't begin talking to potential new affiliates until mid September. If the Twins so much as hint that they'd be interested in another specific community before then, they risk a tampering fine of up to $500K. Likewise, if a minor league organization says anything about being interested in aligning with another specific team before the allowed date, they can be fined up to $100,000. Are there backchannel communications? I would guess it does happen, but obviously officials on both ends have to be cautious.

Teams don't have a lot of time to come to agreements once mid September rolls around, however. Any teams that haven't come to agreements with an affiliate partner by the end of September will be assigned a partner by MLB and MiLB officials in the first week of October. All existing minor league teams in affiliate leagues are guaranteed to have an affiliation.

All of this means you probably won't be hearing anything at all from executives of the Twins, any of their existing affiliates or any prospective new affiliates before September unless it's another renewal announcement.

Post-Concussive Blues
07-22-2012, 01:20 AM
It would be pretty sweet if the Twins teamed up with the St. Paul Saints to have an affiliate share the new Midway Stadium. The Pohlads would probably save a bundle on airfare for all of the AAA journeymen pitchers the big league team will be cycling through the next few years if they can just take the 50 express across town.

Highabove
07-22-2012, 02:58 AM
It would be pretty sweet if the Twins teamed up with the St. Paul Saints to have an affiliate share the new Midway Stadium. The Pohlads would probably save a bundle on airfare for all of the AAA journeymen pitchers the big league team will be cycling through the next few years if they can just take the 50 express across town.

The two AAA Leagues would be the only ones which could put a Team here. St. Paul is to far north for the single A Midwest League.
The South and the East is where you find the AA TEAMS. AAA Teams Fly, which allows them to be located throughout the Country.
I doubt that the Twins would put a Team here. They would be competing against themselves.

Seth Stohs
07-22-2012, 06:15 AM
If you would have asked me two weeks ago to rank the likelihood of the Twins switching affiliate cities, I woudl have said that New Britain was most likely to move, followed by Beloit, then Rochester and then Ft. Myers. I was actually a bit surprised the Twins are staying in New Britain.

IdahoPilgrim
07-22-2012, 07:26 AM
So far all the discussion has been about the full-season leagues. Has there been any thought given to rearranging their short-season leagues? Right now we have two rookie-level teams - Elizabethton and GCL. Would it make sense to have a short-season A team, perhaps in the New York-Penn league?

kirbyelway
07-22-2012, 07:43 AM
How about Sioux Falls SD, could they support a AAA franchise?

mbents
07-22-2012, 08:05 AM
Sioux Falls and Fargo probably would not work.

Why not?

Jeremy Nygaard
07-22-2012, 08:09 AM
How about Sioux Falls SD, could they support a AAA franchise?

I don't know about that... but they have a pretty kick-ass waterpark. Their attendance yesterday was approximately what the Snappers pull in an entire year. Oh, and they sell beer too... so I'd guess a lot of those people would fit at a baseball game.

Shane Wahl
07-22-2012, 08:49 AM
It would be nice if the Twins could convince the Pirates to swap AAA affiliates (Rochester for Indianapolis). It's a 100 miles or so closer to Rochester for them. And Indy is what, 700 miles closer for the Twins? At least it makes for an interesting road trip next summer if A- is still in Beloit. Beloit for the snappers, Chicago for Twins vs. Sux and Indianapolis for (a team not likely to be called "Indians" anymore if the Twins got the team, for two very different reasons). And back.

Shane Wahl
07-22-2012, 08:51 AM
I don't see much changing. A lot of hopes out there would really require some league re-alignment and geographic shifts (an Appalachian league . . . really?) of those leagues. An upper midwest league would be nice . . .

Highabove
07-22-2012, 01:01 PM
How about Sioux Falls SD, could they support a AAA franchise?


Sioux Falls has the independent League Canaries. They draw under three thousand a game.

To small a market.

neli21
07-22-2012, 03:16 PM
Sioux Falls has the independent League Canaries. They draw under three thousand a game.

To small a market.

I tend to think that a minor league team with the same fan base as its major league affiliate has more potential to develop interest and draw in fans than an independent league team. This is especially true with the leagues like the Northwoods League that have a revolving door of players from colleges across the country gaining experience with the wood bats. There's just no connection there, which fans would have if they were watching a team with two or three prospects every year that have a legitimate chance of playing in the bigs with their favorite team.

Duluth has a huge Twins fan base (including thousands of UMD students from the Twin Cities), and the Huskies (Northwoods League) average around 1,000 fans per game - which is ~150 more than the Snappers. They play in a 100 year old stadium that is up for a renovation that would be guaranteed if they were to be granted a Twins affiliate.

I think a low A team could thrive there. It would expand the Midwest League a bit geographically, but I have been thinking for a while that the Twins should explore it. If an independent league team can survive there, and Duluth has had independent league teams surviving in Wade Stadium for decades, a Twins should do very well. Minor league teams do not necessarily have to be a sunk cost.

Brock Beauchamp
07-22-2012, 04:03 PM
I tend to think that a minor league team with the same fan base as its major league affiliate has more potential to develop interest and draw in fans than an independent league team. This is especially true with the leagues like the Northwoods League that have a revolving door of players from colleges across the country gaining experience with the wood bats. There's just no connection there, which fans would have if they were watching a team with two or three prospects every year that have a legitimate chance of playing in the bigs with their favorite team.

This. Sioux Falls is very much Twins country and I think that would help attendance quite a bit.

Rosterman
07-22-2012, 04:09 PM
You have to worry about climate, and other things that may compete for sales and funds. A teams are best is small towns. AA in midsized markets (think Rochester, Duluth, Mankato, Fargo locally). But you always have weather issues...everywhere. AAA teams are those that draw from a regional or state base...Las Vegas, Rochester (upstate NY), Des Moines (Iowa proper)...

SpiritofVodkaDave
07-22-2012, 04:35 PM
I have always been surprised that Lincoln,Nebraska doesn't have a team.

Omaha has always done pretty well, and the distance between Omaha and Lincoln is far enough where it shouldn't effect much.

DuluthFan
07-22-2012, 04:59 PM
Duluth has a huge Twins fan base (including thousands of UMD students from the Twin Cities), and the Huskies (Northwoods League) average around 1,000 fans per game - which is ~150 more than the Snappers. They play in a 100 year old stadium that is up for a renovation that would be guaranteed if they were to be granted a Twins affiliate.

I think a low A team could thrive there. It would expand the Midwest League a bit geographically, but I have been thinking for a while that the Twins should explore it. If an independent league team can survive there, and Duluth has had independent league teams surviving in Wade Stadium for decades, a Twins should do very well. Minor league teams do not necessarily have to be a sunk cost.

A low level affiliate in Duluth would be nice but I don't think the numbers would work. Yes, there is the UMD students to draw from, but classes are usually out during the summer. I have never attended a Huskies game, but I have to question the 1000 fans per game number. With those numbers you would see the nearby parking lots filled more often. During the Dukes most recent tenure here they had attendance problems which led the team to move to Indiana. I remember a playoff game with attendance under 400. While the Huskies have survived here for a few years, these are unpaid college eligible players, not paid players with a payroll needing to be supported by attendance. The 100 year old Wade Stadium is a nice vintage park but is in need of major upgrades to support a MLB affiliate. There has been talk since professional baseball returned in the 1990's to upgrade this park, but the local money is not there to fix it. While the field itself has always been maintained, the seating, concessions and restrooms are not what you would expect to find in a MLB affiliate stadium.
I would love to see a team here. But I just can't see it happening.

spideyo
07-22-2012, 05:02 PM
I would be surprised if Beloit left. It's fairly close, and it seems like there are always lots of Twins fans tripping out there. They also seem to be doing a decent job of player development.

Rochester on the other hand...

They've been around longer than the Twins have, and the last couple years have been BAD for them. I would expect that they would actually be more likely to nix the contract than the Twins would. They want to return to their winning ways, and if they don't think the Twins are going to make that happen, I wouldn't be surprised if they look elsewhere.

Are there any AAA teams any closer to us that might be open to switching affiliations? Far more likely we would switch to an existing team, and then try to move them in a few years, than that we would start a new team from scratch in a new market

IdahoPilgrim
07-22-2012, 05:05 PM
I would be surprised if Beloit left. It's fairly close, and it seems like there are always lots of Twins fans tripping out there. They also seem to be doing a decent job of player development.

Rochester on the other hand...

They've been around longer than the Twins have, and the last couple years have been BAD for them. I would expect that they would actually be more likely to nix the contract than the Twins would. They want to return to their winning ways, and if they don't think the Twins are going to make that happen, I wouldn't be surprised if they look elsewhere.

Are there any AAA teams any closer to us that might be open to switching affiliations? Far more likely we would switch to an existing team, and then try to move them in a few years, than that we would start a new team from scratch in a new market

You do know they are playing .500 ball this year and have an outside shot to make the playoffs, don't you? And based on New Britain's results this year Rochester can look forward to some better players in the pipeline.

Bark's Lounge
07-22-2012, 05:06 PM
I have always been surprised that Lincoln,Nebraska doesn't have a team.

Omaha has always done pretty well, and the distance between Omaha and Lincoln is far enough where it shouldn't effect much.

Not too sure about this. I think it is less than 60 miles from Omaha to Lincoln. That seems pretty close, especially for the mid-west market. Not to say it couldn't support it (I have never been there). Seems pretty tight in proximity though.

spideyo
07-22-2012, 05:18 PM
You do know they are playing .500 ball this year and have an outside shot to make the playoffs, don't you? And based on New Britain's results this year Rochester can look forward to some better players in the pipeline.

They are 5th in their division, and 6th in the wild card hunt. They have about the same chance of making the playoffs as the Royals do.

And yes there are better players in New Britain, but if you follow some people's suggestions and trade everyone, most of those guys will be needed in Minneapolis next year.


Really, it's more a question of is this the start of an upward trend, or just a slight improvement. Remember, 2010-2011 were the worst two years for Rochester in 107 years.

Shane Wahl
07-22-2012, 05:20 PM
And based on New Britain's results this year Rochester can look forward to some better players in the pipeline.

New Britain's performance last year was great too. But the Twins will more likely repeat players at New Britain next year or push them up to the MLB roster where they will be Tosoni-ed (2011) and Parmelee-d (2012).

Anyway, I don't see the MWL adding Duluth. Only a big re-alignment is really going to bring any minor league affiliate into Minnesota.

spideyo
07-22-2012, 06:21 PM
Anyway, I don't see the MWL adding Duluth. Only a big re-alignment is really going to bring any minor league affiliate into Minnesota.


Good point. Probably the best chance we'd get of having an affiliate in Minnesota would be if MLB brought the entire American Association league into the Minor League farm system and gave every team one more affiliate

Jim Crikket
07-22-2012, 07:20 PM
Minnesota missed out on an opportunity to get MWL teams a few years ago. Communities in Illinois, Michigan and Ohio started building new stadiums when smaller communities in Iowa and neighboring areas weren't willing to do so. Several teams moved east. If Rochester, Albert Lea, maybe La Crosse WI, had made a move together, the MWL wouldn't have shifted east. Now, it would be difficult to get MWL teams anywhere in MN.

diehardtwinsfan
07-22-2012, 07:42 PM
It would be nice if the Twins could convince the Pirates to swap AAA affiliates (Rochester for Indianapolis). It's a 100 miles or so closer to Rochester for them. And Indy is what, 700 miles closer for the Twins? At least it makes for an interesting road trip next summer if A- is still in Beloit. Beloit for the snappers, Chicago for Twins vs. Sux and Indianapolis for (a team not likely to be called "Indians" anymore if the Twins got the team, for two very different reasons). And back.

I live in Indy... this would be really nice.

greengoblinrulz
07-22-2012, 08:58 PM
Personally, I hope MN keeps its teams out east. The inflated #s of players out west makes it VERY difficult to judge players. At least the players out east play on a somewhat even ground with geography not a part of the stats.
Remember some of our numbers in Edmonton & Salt Lake??

SpiritofVodkaDave
07-22-2012, 09:14 PM
Not too sure about this. I think it is less than 60 miles from Omaha to Lincoln. That seems pretty close, especially for the mid-west market. Not to say it couldn't support it (I have never been there). Seems pretty tight in proximity though.

Yeah 60 miles sounds about right, I always remembered it being an hour+ when I was a kid and there being nothing in between, though I haven't been back in 15 years or so. Will people really travel 60 miles or so to see minor league baseball?

Lincoln does have a decent population 250k, so I think they could handle a minor league club, they support minor league hockey and of course College football quite a bit! The college baseball team draws pretty nicely as well.

Not saying they need a AAA team, just suprised there hasn't been a team pop up as I think the city would support them well.

neli21
07-22-2012, 09:31 PM
A low level affiliate in Duluth would be nice but I don't think the numbers would work. Yes, there is the UMD students to draw from, but classes are usually out during the summer. I have never attended a Huskies game, but I have to question the 1000 fans per game number. With those numbers you would see the nearby parking lots filled more often. During the Dukes most recent tenure here they had attendance problems which led the team to move to Indiana. I remember a playoff game with attendance under 400. While the Huskies have survived here for a few years, these are unpaid college eligible players, not paid players with a payroll needing to be supported by attendance. The 100 year old Wade Stadium is a nice vintage park but is in need of major upgrades to support a MLB affiliate. There has been talk since professional baseball returned in the 1990's to upgrade this park, but the local money is not there to fix it. While the field itself has always been maintained, the seating, concessions and restrooms are not what you would expect to find in a MLB affiliate stadium.
I would love to see a team here. But I just can't see it happening.

http://northwoods.bbstats.pointstreak.com/attendance.html?leagueid=120&seasonid=12218

I have been around UMD for 8 years - long enough to know that thousands of students take summer classes each year. They also work jobs on and off-campus. Its not enough to fill the stadium even if each one were to go to every game, but the point stands that there is a strong existing fan base there year-round. The weather argument that some people will make most comes into play in April and September, but the academic year runs through May and resumes again in time for the playoffs.

I am not well versed on the payroll situations for minor league players, but I had always assumed that they are all paid by the major league team. From what I've read, since the MLB has absorbed the minor leagues the affiliates haven't operated for the purposes of sustaining on their own. The MLB teams support them and the affiliates exist for the sole purpose of better developing prospects to benefit the major league cash cow. Bill James actually wrote an interesting article regarding MiLB reorganization on his website, and that article was published again in his book "Solid Fool's Gold". I thought he went way too far with his ideas, specifically on the rules he wanted to put in place to limit the oversight of MLB affiliates, but I trust his knowledge on the history of the minor leagues and their current purpose.

If that wasn't the case you wouldn't have teams like the Snappers drawing under 900 a game even the teams top prospect and another top 3-5 organizational prospect starting the year there. They would be long gone. I think we are all in agreement that it shouldn't have to be that way. I'm simply arguing that Duluth, among other places, would be a better option in that respect that Beloit. Barring major league realignment throughout the minor leagues, the Midwest League is also the only current realistic option (geographically speaking) if a Twins affiliate were to come to this state.

jtrinaldi
07-22-2012, 09:36 PM
Duluth's closest drive would be 6 hours....that is not happening. The Midwest league is perfectly set up, so no reason to change it (other than affiliate change)

70charger
07-22-2012, 09:42 PM
Bill James actually wrote an interesting article regarding MiLB reorganization on his website, and that article was published again in his book "Solid Fool's Gold". I thought he went way too far with his ideas, specifically on the rules he wanted to put in place to limit the oversight of MLB affiliates, but I trust his knowledge on the history of the minor leagues and their current purpose.

Googled; couldn't find. I'm not ready to buy the book. Do you happen to have a link to the article?

IdahoPilgrim
07-22-2012, 09:45 PM
http://northwoods.bbstats.pointstreak.com/attendance.html?leagueid=120&seasonid=12218


I am not well versed on the payroll situations for minor league players, but I had always assumed that they are all paid by the major league team. From what I've read, since the MLB has absorbed the minor leagues the affiliates haven't operated for the purposes of sustaining on their own. The MLB teams support them and the affiliates exist for the sole purpose of better developing prospects to benefit the major league cash cow.


That's not entirely true. Yes, the salaries of the players and coaching/training staff are all paid by the parent club, but the cost of putting on the games (ushers, support staff, concessions) are paid by the minor league club, who also keep the gate revenue and any media rights. Most minor league clubs are owned by those who seek to make money from them, just as the major league club owners seek to make money (at least most of them). That's why they spend so much time thinking up promotions and trying to improve the game-day experience, because they want repeat customers. When I was in central Illinois I attended a lunch at which the owner of the Peoria Chiefs (low-A affiliate of St. Louis at the time) gave a good description of how the relationship with the parent club worked. That's why minor league team owners get uneasy/annoyed when the players sent by the parent have several losing seasons in a row - that depresses attendance and cuts into the revenue/profits of the local club owner.

There has been a growing trend for major league clubs to buy/own their own affiliates (I think the Atlanta Braves own all of theirs) and that may one day become the norm, but it's not yet.

snepp
07-22-2012, 09:59 PM
Sioux Falls has the independent League Canaries.

They're the Pheasants now. :)

Bark's Lounge
07-22-2012, 10:12 PM
Yeah 60 miles sounds about right, I always remembered it being an hour+ when I was a kid and there being nothing in between, though I haven't been back in 15 years or so. Will people really travel 60 miles or so to see minor league baseball?

Lincoln does have a decent population 250k, so I think they could handle a minor league club, they support minor league hockey and of course College football quite a bit! The college baseball team draws pretty nicely as well.

Not saying they need a AAA team, just suprised there hasn't been a team pop up as I think the city would support them well.

I definitely agree they could probably support a minor league team. AAA might be a stretch and Omaha irritant, but I would imagine they could probably tote a AA club. I might not be correct, but region wise, doesn't Springfield, MO and Wichita, KS have AA clubs? They have roughly a 250-500K population. With Omaha being pretty baseball rich, you would think it has spread somewhat to Lincoln... they must like their baseball.

neli21
07-22-2012, 10:48 PM
Googled; couldn't find. I'm not ready to buy the book. Do you happen to have a link to the article?

Sorry, no link. The article was titled "The Minor League Pyramid", but all I've been able to find online is links referencing. It is essentially about how the major league teams have taken over minor league baseball and changed it in ways that benefits nobody. The title is derived from the pre-1950's model, a more ideal structure, where there are less teams in AAA than there are in AA, less teams in AA than there are in A ball, etc. There are more players that are realistically at a single A level than there are players at a AAA level, so why should each team have just one team at each level? It often causes teams to pigeon-hole certain players for certain levels based less on their abilities than on organizational depth. A pyramid model would allow the best players to naturally rise through the system.

It is hard for me to disagree with that, but his proposals for changes go overboard. He suggested to expand minor leagues to the point where each team has 2 affiliates at the highest level, 4 at the next, 6 at the next, and then 8 at the bottom. I think 1, 2, 3, 4 would be more realistic. Among other things, he also suggests that MLB teams relinquish control of a large chunk of the players on their affiliates' roster, giving the minor league teams room for personnel management, and requiring players to stay in the minor leagues for at least three seasons.

The book was worth the read and covered a lot of different topics, but too new to find for cheap on sites like AbeBooks.

70charger
07-23-2012, 12:14 AM
Thanks. I'm going to go check out the book again to see if it's worth the money. It could be, but my book queue is so long....

Jeremy Nygaard
08-05-2012, 03:04 PM
Something worth pointing out:

While checking out the Snappers Pro Shop last night, it was pointed out that some t-shirts were discounted (from $15 to $12).

Which t-shirts were they?

The ones that associated the Snappers with the "Minnesota Twins".

Jeremy Nygaard
08-09-2012, 04:06 PM
Thorough article about the (potential) affiliation shuffle...

Link (http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/minors/business-beat/2012/2613872.html)

YourHouseIsMyHouse
08-09-2012, 04:16 PM
Bad news in my view anyway. If there was any club that I'd want to move it would be New Britain. Rochester and Beloit are fine as is and I hope they are renewed.

Pius Jefferson
08-09-2012, 04:23 PM
Unless you're in close proximity why would anyone care?

minn55441
08-09-2012, 06:08 PM
The two cities from the article that caught my eye were Nashville and Memphis. Both would be a nice drive in the spring when nice summer baseball weather is a sure thing down there and we could still be shoveling snow. When I checked the distances though, it really isn't that much closer than Rochester. Nashville is 882 and Memphis is 830 miles. Althogh closer than Rochesters 1010 miles, it really isn't that much closer. Would many of us would really make the trip to either of these ciites, if we already view Rochester too far away? If you are going to fly, it really doesn't matter. If you are going to make a road trip of it and are looking for some warm weather in the spring or fall, then it may be enough of a change.

nowheresville
08-09-2012, 07:23 PM
Duluth has a huge Twins fan base (including thousands of UMD students from the Twin Cities), and the Huskies (Northwoods League) average around 1,000 fans per game - which is ~150 more than the Snappers. They play in a 100 year old stadium that is up for a renovation that would be guaranteed if they were to be granted a Twins affiliate.


Ignoring all the other issues that make "converting" Duluth to a MWL team (ie actually buying an existing milb franchise, being 300 miles away from the next closest mwl team and 900 miles from the farthest), you really can't compare Northwoods attendance to MWL.

Northwoods is a much shorter season, where all of the games are in the middle of summer. MWL has an extra two months of games, most of them are in lousy weather. Having weeknight games in April when the temperatures are in the 40, is a pretty serious drag on attendance for nearly all the MWL teams.

Its also pretty much a myth that you can rely on college students to boost attendance. Madison is the perfect example. The summertime Mallards are a huge success, drawing 5000 a night, but Madison's had a lousy record with full season minor league ball (played when school is in session). Madison got a MWL team the same year that the Snappers were created, but the concept didn't work. Madison lost 2 MWL teams, and an Independent league team (which is now in Lincoln, which is probably why they don't have a Minor League team there btw), before the Mallards were created.

Legend of the Arctic
08-09-2012, 07:35 PM
My dream is for the Twins to sign up a PCL team. The longer they wait to re-sign Rochester, the more my hopes grow.

I live in Sacramento, CA, where the AAA River Cats play, and if the Twins get a PCL team I'll be able to see them at least twice per year.

Mave
08-09-2012, 07:56 PM
I don't think anyone has brought up St. Cloud yet. I don't know if this would even be plausible-- just throwing it out there...

It's a good baseball community/surrounding area-- some very good high school baseball teams come out of that neck of the woods. St. Cloud has the MAC and supports the River Bats and the Granite City Greys. Would it end up splitting attendance, being less than 60 miles from the Twin Cities? Would the MAC be able to handle the load? Not sure.

Thrylos
08-09-2012, 08:16 PM
I don't think anyone has brought up St. Cloud yet. I don't know if this would even be plausible-- just throwing it out there...

It's a good baseball community/surrounding area-- some very good high school baseball teams come out of that neck of the woods. St. Cloud has the MAC and supports the River Bats and the Granite City Greys. Would it end up splitting attendance, being less than 60 miles from the Twin Cities? Would the MAC be able to handle the load? Not sure.

Here is this thing about new locations from St. Paul to Duluth to St. Cloud to Sioux City and everything in between...

It is not like throw a dart in a place and a team can chose an affiliate there and move their operations....

There are established leagues. The leagues have contracts with certain teams. And they can have so many teams (like the majors). So unless they expand (yeah good luck) or an existing team decides to move to another location, the present locations are where it is.

Of course, the Twins could buy the Las Vegas franchise, build a stadium in Rochester, MN or where ever and decide to move them there, but that is what it will take. And someone should be willing to sell. Matter of fact, this is what happened the first time the Twins' franchise got a minor league affiliate (minus the move) but that was about 80 years ago


Same with every level of play.

Jim Crikket
08-09-2012, 11:17 PM
Thorough article about the (potential) affiliation shuffle...

Link (http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/minors/business-beat/2012/2613872.html)

Thanks for the link, Jeremy. Pretty much confirms that the Twins had better hope for a Rochester renewal if they don't want to end up in the PCL.

And Thrylos is right, any ideas about an affiliate in a city that doesn't already have a MiLB team in an affiliated league isn't likely to happen short of the Twins buying a team and moving it where they want it. Not impossible in the future, but not likely any time soon.

Reginald Maudling's Shin
08-11-2012, 02:41 PM
It sounds like only way to get a minor league club closer to Minnesota would be to purchase and start up a AAA team in the PCL, but there are no markets nearby large enough to sustain a AAA franchise.

The two teams with the closest minor league affiliates (outside of the east coast) that I can recall off hand are the Giants and the Mariners. San Francisco has a High A team in San Jose (50 miles away, but really next door) and Seattle has had a AAA team in Tacoma (30 miles away).

St. Paul is much closer to Minneapolis than these two examples, although I think all 3 have the minor league team in the same TV/attendance market. I think the MSP market is probably bigger than (or at least comparable to) Seattle so it would not be completely unprecedented. But, the Twins may not like the competition from having a team 10 miles away so that's probably the deal breaker. Also I assume Midway isn't close to an acceptable facility for a AAA team. There might be a fairly significant start up cost for an area that just paid for an MLB stadium, NNCAA football stadium, and NFL stadium.

JB_Iowa
08-11-2012, 03:37 PM
Thanks for all of the clarifications starting with the article that JeremyNygaard cited plus the follow-ups from Thrylos and JC.

If the Twins end up with a team in the PCL, another possible city mentioned was Oklahoma City. I know nothing about the ballpark or ownership but the article indicates that it is one of the best in the PCL. It also says that the ownership group likes to make a "splash" so that may leave out the Twins but the distance (788 miles straight down I-35) plus the possibility of combining it in a road trip with a stop in Kansas City or even on to Arlington, makes it interesting.

greengoblinrulz
08-11-2012, 04:06 PM
great article.....do not want back in the PCL. Numbers are so distorted that you have no idea what a player is....remember Michael Ryans 30 HRs in Edmonton??? Tho Id be interested in a Las Vegas trip to see the boys....wife would stay by the pool....sounds like they are last choice of everyone.
You'd think that with Arcia/Hicks/Hermann/Hermsen/Gibson etc all heading to AAA next yr.....ROC would be excited with that & knowing that Buxton/Sano/Rosario/Berrios/Walker/Keplar are all a yr or 2 behind them would entice them.

Thrylos
08-11-2012, 04:41 PM
great article.....do not want back in the PCL. Numbers are so distorted that you have no idea what a player is....remember Michael Ryans 30 HRs in Edmonton??? Tho Id be interested in a Las Vegas trip to see the boys....wife would stay by the pool....sounds like they are last choice of everyone.
You'd think that with Arcia/Hicks/Hermann/Hermsen/Gibson etc all heading to AAA next yr.....ROC would be excited with that & knowing that Buxton/Sano/Rosario/Berrios/Walker/Keplar are all a yr or 2 behind them would entice them.

Vegas is the last choice of everyone because the ballpark is hideously old and decrepit, the ballpark is actually not in a decent area of Vegas (if that existed, but like half-way to lake Mead; way North and East of where people are) and the ballgame time temperatures are a toasty 120 degrees some summer days. This does not make for a very good experience.

Reginald Maudling's Shin
08-11-2012, 05:01 PM
Vegas is the last choice of everyone because the ballpark is hideously old and decrepit, the ballpark is actually not in a decent area of Vegas (if that existed, but like half-way to lake Mead; way North and East of where people are) and the ballgame time temperatures are a toasty 120 degrees some summer days. This does not make for a very good experience.

I concur with all of this. I lived in Vegas for 6 years, went to one game in late April, it was upper 90's and still miserable. Felt like it was about 6 blocks from the sun. They have the metal bleachers that are designed to melt your pants to your rear end.

Vegas really screwed up here. They messed around trying to lure an NBA team with a plans to build a shiny new 20,000 seat arena when they should have taken care of their only existing professional franchise.

greengoblinrulz
08-11-2012, 05:14 PM
Why does the PCL keep a team in Vegas if the facilities are so bad......are any casinos allowed to pay/help out the club???
Those that have been there......what would you do for them to improve it???

Thrylos
08-11-2012, 05:42 PM
Why does the PCL keep a team in Vegas if the facilities are so bad......are any casinos allowed to pay/help out the club???
Those that have been there......what would you do for them to improve it???

Ha
I bet the used car salesman wants baseball associated with Casinos and gambling about as much as he wants a heavy dose of Syphilis

Improve that ballpark? Nuke it and build an indoor facility, which is way too expensive for AAA (or buy the franchise and move it some place temperate). Baseball just is not meant to be played in the low desert in the spring and summer months.

Reginald Maudling's Shin
08-11-2012, 05:52 PM
Why does the PCL keep a team in Vegas if the facilities are so bad......are any casinos allowed to pay/help out the club???
Those that have been there......what would you do for them to improve it???
Quite frankly I think the PCL has no other options right now and that's the only reason the Vegas team still exists.

Casinos pay for everything else so sure, they could help out. As far as I know Steve Wynn could buy them tomorrow if he wanted to. I think the smartest thing for them to do is have their leadership stop dreaming about an NBA team and try and get private money into a nice AAA facility. They don't need any taxpayer money, the economy is lousy (based entirely on the housing market outside of the casinos) anyway so that wouldn't fly. If the folks there want to eventually get a major league sports franchise they should invest in the AAA team, put a new stadium next to the strip (you know, where the people are with the money to spend) then show that will work. It will, because they draw fairly well at Cashman which is in an area so bad taxis won't go there.

greengoblinrulz
08-11-2012, 05:55 PM
Why does the PCL keep a team in Vegas if the facilities are so bad......are any casinos allowed to pay/help out the club???
Those that have been there......what would you do for them to improve it???

Ha
I bet the used car salesman wants baseball associated with Casinos and gambling about as much as he wants a heavy dose of Syphilis

Improve that ballpark? Nuke it and build an indoor facility, which is way too expensive for AAA (or buy the franchise and move it some place temperate). Baseball just is not meant to be played in the low desert in the spring and summer months.
Would Bud have say over a privately owned minor league team??? Article said they are locked into the PCL, so if a local business wants to make a donation, could he block it??? If not, he shouldnt have ever let it into the league.

greengoblinrulz
08-11-2012, 05:58 PM
Why does the PCL keep a team in Vegas if the facilities are so bad......are any casinos allowed to pay/help out the club???
Those that have been there......what would you do for them to improve it???
Quite frankly I think the PCL has no other options right now and that's the only reason the Vegas team still exists.

Casinos pay for everything else so sure, they could help out. As far as I know Steve Wynn could buy them tomorrow if he wanted to. I think the smartest thing for them to do is have their leadership stop dreaming about an NBA team and try and get private money into a nice AAA facility. They don't need any taxpayer money, the economy is lousy (based entirely on the housing market outside of the casinos) anyway so that wouldn't fly. If the folks there want to eventually get a major league sports franchise they should invest in the AAA team, put a new stadium next to the strip (you know, where the people are with the money to spend) then show that will work. It will, because they draw fairly well at Cashman which is in an area so bad taxis won't go there.
There is a ton of land undeveloped just north of strip (old Stardust area)...so you could do it there & still be on the 'strip' couldnt ya?? Might have to relocate some homeless guys but.......

Jim Crikket
08-11-2012, 09:54 PM
Rule 54 requires notice to the Commissioner, MiLB President and League president whenever a team considers entering a "regulated transaction" (transfer of equity interest, loans, stadium leases, broadcast rights, concession rights beyond 1 year, naming rights, or any other contract of 5+ yrs). The same rule severely restricts ownership of MiLB teams by anyone with much of a tie to legalized gambling at all. That wouldn't necessarily preclude a casino owner from funding a stadium out of the goodness of his/her heart, but they probably couldn't even get naming rights to the ballpark. Not sure why a casino owner would want to put money in to a business that would potentially provide alternative entertainment options to locals and tourists, anyway. They want people in the casinos, not at the ballpark.

On the Class A front, Cedar Rapids' BOD has decided to enter the "pool" rather than sign an extension with the Angels at this time and will be notifying the Angels of that Sunday or Monday. They want to explore options with a midwest MLB team. The Cubs and Twins would be at the top of their list, but if the Cubs and Peoria divorce, the belief is that Ft Wayne would be the Cubs' preferred destination. There's a lot of support for partnering with Minnesota, though obviously no decisions would be made until the last half of September when teams looking for new affiliates would make presentations.

nowheresville
08-11-2012, 11:48 PM
It sounds to me like the Twins going to Cedar Rapids would be all but a formality at this point. As much as I want them to stay in Beloit, going to the Kernals just makes too much sense for both sides.

Although I am curious as to why the Cubs would see Fort Wayne as a preferred spot.

Jim Crikket
08-12-2012, 12:45 AM
I think Ft Wayne is one of the better MWL organizations and I would assume many teams would like to affiliate with them. They have a large, modern stadium that draws well and their proximity to Chicago would make them especially attractive to the Cubs, perhaps. Peoria has been losing attendance (and thus losing money) and that can obviously strain a relationship between affiliates.

Ipswichfan
08-12-2012, 06:59 AM
I've made a couple visits to Cedar Rapids in the last few years and love the ballpark. That would be a great place for the Twins to wind up.

Wichita is no longer a AA club; they're in the American Association with Lincoln and the Saints, among others.

I lived in Hibbing during Duluth's days in the Northern League and they didn't draw that hot. It's hard to imagine an affiliated team there. I agree with whoever said LaCrosse and similar cities in the area missed the boat several years back when the Midwest League expanded east.

I know Green Bay's a recent Northwoods League entry. What's their stadium situation? Certainly as a market, it would be better than Wausau or Duluth.

kab21
08-12-2012, 08:52 AM
Aside from the league/city contracts I cannot understand why anyone would want a full season ball club north of the Twin cities. The weather is awful in April SOUTH of the Twin Cities and it gets worse as you move north. Cedar Rapids seems like a nice improvement at low A though.

nowheresville
08-12-2012, 09:36 AM
With the Timber Rattlers just down the road in Appleton, Green Bay is an unlikely market for the MWL league. Realistically, the MWL is pretty stable right now so its pretty unlikely that any teams would be moving any time soon. Even the smallest markets of Beloit and Burlington are both run as community owned non-profits, so they're at least stable. Plus, I don't really see any Northwoods league cities making an effort to improve to MiLB. If any cities that currently have baseball made an effort to switch, I'd see it much more likely coming from somewhere in the (Independent) Frontier League, which are mostly IL/IN/MI cities that are closer to the MWL's current footprint.

Fort Wayne is one of the handful of MWL parks I haven't been to, and I didn't notice just how well they draw (2nd best in the league). If Peoria is struggling with the Cubs, I can't image how bad things would be there without them, considering that nearly every time a Cubs player goes on Rehab, it includes a stop in Peoria. Its also a nice park, and their staff members are among the best in the MWL, imho.

jtrinaldi
08-12-2012, 10:58 AM
I think Ft Wayne is one of the better MWL organizations and I would assume many teams would like to affiliate with them. They have a large, modern stadium that draws well and their proximity to Chicago would make them especially attractive to the Cubs, perhaps. Peoria has been losing attendance (and thus losing money) and that can obviously strain a relationship between affiliates.
The Padres put WAY too much money into that Stadium...but then again they are drawing more than AA ballparks. Fort Wayne is a lock to re up with San Diego.
Here is the latest
Cubs are likely headed to Kane county, Theo wants the Cubs fans (KC is a hour away from Chicago) to be a part of the rebuilding process, with Vogelbach and Almora in A ball next year, it seems like a perfect fin.
Quad Cities, Fort Wayne and Dayton are a lock to re up
Beloit is all but done with the Twins

Here is a list of which teams are up after this year

Beloit Snappers - Minnesota (signed through 2012)
Bowling Green Hot Rods - Tampa Bay (signed through 2012)
Burlington Bees - Oakland (signed through 2012)
Cedar Rapids Kernels - Anaheim (signed through 2012)
Clinton Lumber Kings - Seattle (signed through 2012)
Dayton Dragons - Cincinnati (signed through 2012)
Fort Wayne TinCaps - San Diego (signed through 2012)
Kane County Cougars - Kansas City (signed through 2012)
Peoria Chiefs - Chicago (NL) (signed through 2012)
Quad Cities River Bandits - St. Louis (signed through 2012)Asheville Tourists - Colorado (signed through 2012)
Augusta GreenJackets - San Francisco (signed through 2012)
Greensboro Grasshoppers - Miami (signed through 2012)
Hagerstown Suns - Washington (signed through 2012)
Hickory Crawdads - Texas (signed through 2012)
Lakewood Blue Claws - Philadelphia (signed through 2012)
Lexington Legends - Houston (signed through 2012)

jtrinaldi
08-12-2012, 11:00 AM
With the Timber Rattlers just down the road in Appleton, Green Bay is an unlikely market for the MWL league. Realistically, the MWL is pretty stable right now so its pretty unlikely that any teams would be moving any time soon. Even the smallest markets of Beloit and Burlington are both run as community owned non-profits, so they're at least stable. Plus, I don't really see any Northwoods league cities making an effort to improve to MiLB. If any cities that currently have baseball made an effort to switch, I'd see it much more likely coming from somewhere in the (Independent) Frontier League, which are mostly IL/IN/MI cities that are closer to the MWL's current footprint.

Fort Wayne is one of the handful of MWL parks I haven't been to, and I didn't notice just how well they draw (2nd best in the league). If Peoria is struggling with the Cubs, I can't image how bad things would be there without them, considering that nearly every time a Cubs player goes on Rehab, it includes a stop in Peoria. Its also a nice park, and their staff members are among the best in the MWL, imho.
If Beloit is moved in 2021, Madison is the likely destination, albeit they have a college wood bat team, so lots would have to be worked out by then.

Monkeypaws
08-12-2012, 11:33 AM
Thanks for all of the clarifications starting with the article that JeremyNygaard cited plus the follow-ups from Thrylos and JC.

If the Twins end up with a team in the PCL, another possible city mentioned was Oklahoma City. I know nothing about the ballpark or ownership but the article indicates that it is one of the best in the PCL. It also says that the ownership group likes to make a "splash" so that may leave out the Twins but the distance (788 miles straight down I-35) plus the possibility of combining it in a road trip with a stop in Kansas City or even on to Arlington, makes it interesting.

Bricktown ballpark is a great little field in the heart of OKC's Bricktown, a pretty decent warehouse district turned entertainment district. Similar setting to Target Field actually. I wouldn't be unhappy to see the Twins AAA club end up there.

Jim Crikket
08-12-2012, 11:40 AM
Interesting that you think the Cubs will go to Kane County. I know it's a fit geographically, but I was told last night (KC is playing in CR this weekend) that Kane County is really happy with their Royals affiliation and they're viewed as very likely to renew. Also surprised that the Padres would have put a bunch of money in to Ft Wayne's new (2009) stadium, since the MLB rules prohibit MLB and MiLB teams going beyond the terms of the PDC in terms of financial support. There's always a way around the rules, though, I suppose. Seems odd that they haven't renewed yet, though, if they're that closely tied.

Rantz said he envisioned 8-9 MWL teams changing affiliations this fall. With 11 MWL PDCs still not renewed (I think South Bend's PDC with AZ should be added to your list), he may be right. It should be an interesting September when everyone starts looking around for a partner.

nowheresville
08-12-2012, 12:18 PM
If Beloit is moved in 2021, Madison is the likely destination, albeit they have a college wood bat team, so lots would have to be worked out by then.

Unless the northwoods league somehow collapses, I see zero chance that Madison rejoins the MWL. While they've been far and away the most successful team in the Northwoods league, no one goes there to watch baseball, and there is no incentive for them to stop doing what is working so well. Especially when Madison has had such poor history with professional baseball. Even the Snapper players I've talked to who played in the Northwoods league prior to going pro hated playing there, despite getting to play in front of large crowds, because its simply a circus where people go to drink and watch the sideshows on warm summer days. If you polled the crowd at a Mallards game, 80-90% would think they are watching actual minor league baseball already.

I also don't see baseball leaving Beloit unless the league declares that Pohlman Field isn't acceptable anymore, and even that might be enough for the long talked about new ballpark to actually get moving. Its easy to forget, that the Snappers are still a team that breaks even, or turns a profit every year.

jtrinaldi
08-12-2012, 08:00 PM
Interesting that you think the Cubs will go to Kane County. I know it's a fit geographically, but I was told last night (KC is playing in CR this weekend) that Kane County is really happy with their Royals affiliation and they're viewed as very likely to renew. Also surprised that the Padres would have put a bunch of money in to Ft Wayne's new (2009) stadium, since the MLB rules prohibit MLB and MiLB teams going beyond the terms of the PDC in terms of financial support. There's always a way around the rules, though, I suppose. Seems odd that they haven't renewed yet, though, if they're that closely tied.

Rantz said he envisioned 8-9 MWL teams changing affiliations this fall. With 11 MWL PDCs still not renewed (I think South Bend's PDC with AZ should be added to your list), he may be right. It should be an interesting September when everyone starts looking around for a partner.
http://www.etruth.com/article/20120316/SPORT/703169908/-1/sport

I can see Kane County renewing with the Royals, it will be interesting to see which Sally teams end up moving to the MWL

Jim Crikket
08-12-2012, 08:31 PM
Interesting that you think the Cubs will go to Kane County. I know it's a fit geographically, but I was told last night (KC is playing in CR this weekend) that Kane County is really happy with their Royals affiliation and they're viewed as very likely to renew. Also surprised that the Padres would have put a bunch of money in to Ft Wayne's new (2009) stadium, since the MLB rules prohibit MLB and MiLB teams going beyond the terms of the PDC in terms of financial support. There's always a way around the rules, though, I suppose. Seems odd that they haven't renewed yet, though, if they're that closely tied.

Rantz said he envisioned 8-9 MWL teams changing affiliations this fall. With 11 MWL PDCs still not renewed (I think South Bend's PDC with AZ should be added to your list), he may be right. It should be an interesting September when everyone starts looking around for a partner.
http://www.etruth.com/article/20120316/SPORT/703169908/-1/sport

I can see Kane County renewing with the Royals, it will be interesting to see which Sally teams end up moving to the MWL

Thanks for the link. South Bend is still listed among the "expiring in 2012" MWL teams on the lists I've been checking in on so I wonder if they just haven't made the extension formal yet. Certainly appears South Bend intends to stay with the DBacks. You'd think the WhiteSox would be a candidate to move back to the MWL, but I've never heard anything about any interest on their part in doing so and I don't think their PDC expires for a couple more years anyway.

jtrinaldi
08-12-2012, 09:34 PM
Interesting that you think the Cubs will go to Kane County. I know it's a fit geographically, but I was told last night (KC is playing in CR this weekend) that Kane County is really happy with their Royals affiliation and they're viewed as very likely to renew. Also surprised that the Padres would have put a bunch of money in to Ft Wayne's new (2009) stadium, since the MLB rules prohibit MLB and MiLB teams going beyond the terms of the PDC in terms of financial support. There's always a way around the rules, though, I suppose. Seems odd that they haven't renewed yet, though, if they're that closely tied.

Rantz said he envisioned 8-9 MWL teams changing affiliations this fall. With 11 MWL PDCs still not renewed (I think South Bend's PDC with AZ should be added to your list), he may be right. It should be an interesting September when everyone starts looking around for a partner.
http://www.etruth.com/article/20120316/SPORT/703169908/-1/sport

I can see Kane County renewing with the Royals, it will be interesting to see which Sally teams end up moving to the MWL

Thanks for the link. South Bend is still listed among the "expiring in 2012" MWL teams on the lists I've been checking in on so I wonder if they just haven't made the extension formal yet. Certainly appears South Bend intends to stay with the DBacks. You'd think the WhiteSox would be a candidate to move back to the MWL, but I've never heard anything about any interest on their part in doing so and I don't think their PDC expires for a couple more years anyway.
Of Course people speculate that the White Sox want to come to Beloit or Kane County just because it is close for the CHI fans, the system is shot, and they expire in 2014. Depending on how many teams re up for another 2 more years, I think that the Sox could be a legitimate team to enter the MWL in 2014

diehardtwinsfan
08-13-2012, 02:09 PM
I think Ft Wayne is one of the better MWL organizations and I would assume many teams would like to affiliate with them. They have a large, modern stadium that draws well and their proximity to Chicago would make them especially attractive to the Cubs, perhaps. Peoria has been losing attendance (and thus losing money) and that can obviously strain a relationship between affiliates.

I just moved from Fort Wayne about 8 months ago. They have a brand new stadium down town that was rated one of the best minor league parks in the nation. The city has no professional base either, so like Rochester, there are a lot of fans of the Pot Heads... I mean the Tin Capps...

I wouldn't mind the Twins returning to Fort Wayne for an affiliation, though I wish they had done it when I lived there. I moved there for college in 96, a year or two after they went to Beloit.

TNTwinsFan
08-13-2012, 04:17 PM
The two cities from the article that caught my eye were Nashville and Memphis. Both would be a nice drive in the spring when nice summer baseball weather is a sure thing down there and we could still be shoveling snow. When I checked the distances though, it really isn't that much closer than Rochester. Nashville is 882 and Memphis is 830 miles. Althogh closer than Rochesters 1010 miles, it really isn't that much closer. Would many of us would really make the trip to either of these ciites, if we already view Rochester too far away? If you are going to fly, it really doesn't matter. If you are going to make a road trip of it and are looking for some warm weather in the spring or fall, then it may be enough of a change.

Nashville would certainly be worth every dime spent on a weekend trip! There is so much to do in and around Nashville from the Symphony, the Ryman Auditorium, Gaylord Opryland, River Cruises, and on and on...Not to mention the nightlife in downtown Nashville and the scintillating possibility of catching a glimpse of a Country Music Star like Carie Underwood, Brad Paisley, Toby Keith, etc...There's been (failed) talk for a few years about building a new stadium. I didn't follow all of the details, but I think with the appropriate support from the Major League franchise, a deal could get done and is really what this town needs! They already have the Titans and the Predators for professional-level representation. They also have an arena football team, plus its an SEC town with the Vanderbilt Commodores (perenial Top 25 in Men's Basketball, plus all the SEC football teams rolling in during the fall). They're currently affiliated with the Brewers and draw a decent crowd (don't know actual #s). Personally, like everyother homer on this thread, I would love to see a Twins affiliate (AAA) in Nashville! I would certainly be the first in line to be a Season Ticket holder!!!

nowheresville
08-13-2012, 05:43 PM
Of Course people speculate that the White Sox want to come to Beloit or Kane County just because it is close for the CHI fans, the system is shot, and they expire in 2014. Depending on how many teams re up for another 2 more years, I think that the Sox could be a legitimate team to enter the MWL in 2014

It seems like the Sox are pretty happy having all of their minor league teams located relatively close to each other, clustered in the Southeast, but if they ever decided to move back to the MWL, I'd expect South Bend to make a huge push for them. Its got geography of course, but more importantly, the Silver Hawks owner is already part owner of the White Sox. Despite being a DBacks affiliate right now, it looks like the the White Sox threw up all over, what is otherwise a pretty nice park. They've even got a Sox flag flying in the outfield as it is.

Realistically, if/when the Twins leave, Beloit probably isn't going to get another team from the midwest. Its more likely going to be someone from the coasts, like a Seattle, Oakland, or Anaheim. Perhaps the Angels would give Beloit a shot if they're kicked out of CR, since their farm director Scott Servais is originally from Wisconsin.

Riverbrian
08-13-2012, 10:03 PM
I would love to see AAA in Iowa... AA in Jacksonville... High A Ft.Myers... Low A... Cedar Rapids

righty8383
08-13-2012, 10:13 PM
I heard a little of the interview with Terry Ryan on the 1500 pregame show. When asked about Rochester, he said the relationship is good and he hopes they will stay partners. When asked about Beloit, he was a lot less confident. He said a lot of details such as facilities and what not have to be worked out.

John Bonnes
08-14-2012, 01:45 AM
I heard a little of the interview with Terry Ryan on the 1500 pregame show. When asked about Rochester, he said the relationship is good and he hopes they will stay partners. When asked about Beloit, he was a lot less confident. He said a lot of details such as facilities and what not have to be worked out.

I bumped into Doogie at Target Field right after he got that interview. He gave the same sentiment. That audio is apparently on the web site so I'm looking forward to listening to it. I asked Doogie if it sounded like the Twins are hesitating with Beloit while Rochester is hesitating with the Twins. He wasn't sure.

kab21
08-14-2012, 11:22 AM
Imo it sounds like you could do a lot better than Beloit but not much worse.

Compared to Rochester where you could do much, much worse. Player development in Las Vegas and several other western PCL cities is awful. It would be cool if you could get a team in the eastern PCL somewhere in the great plains (a franchise move would be required) but the international league is the best for player development.

Jim Crikket
08-14-2012, 01:25 PM
I heard a little of the interview with Terry Ryan on the 1500 pregame show. When asked about Rochester, he said the relationship is good and he hopes they will stay partners. When asked about Beloit, he was a lot less confident. He said a lot of details such as facilities and what not have to be worked out.

I bumped into Doogie at Target Field right after he got that interview. He gave the same sentiment. That audio is apparently on the web site so I'm looking forward to listening to it. I asked Doogie if it sounded like the Twins are hesitating with Beloit while Rochester is hesitating with the Twins. He wasn't sure.

I just listened to the interview (the affiliate question is at the very end) and I don't think there's any doubt that it's Rochester hesitating with the Twins and the Twins with Beloit. Ryan alluded a couple of times to having to wait for September for answers. But if both parties want to renew, there's no reason to wait. They can extend and announce it any time. The fact that he says it will be September before these situations are resolved tells us that, in each case, at least one party is planning on finding out what other options they may have. Logically, the parties interested in exploring possible options are Rochester at AAA and the Twins at A ball.

John Bonnes
08-14-2012, 01:42 PM
I heard a little of the interview with Terry Ryan on the 1500 pregame show. When asked about Rochester, he said the relationship is good and he hopes they will stay partners. When asked about Beloit, he was a lot less confident. He said a lot of details such as facilities and what not have to be worked out.

I bumped into Doogie at Target Field right after he got that interview. He gave the same sentiment. That audio is apparently on the web site so I'm looking forward to listening to it. I asked Doogie if it sounded like the Twins are hesitating with Beloit while Rochester is hesitating with the Twins. He wasn't sure.

I just listened to the interview (the affiliate question is at the very end) and I don't think there's any doubt that it's Rochester hesitating with the Twins and the Twins with Beloit. Ryan alluded a couple of times to having to wait for September for answers. But if both parties want to renew, there's no reason to wait. They can extend and announce it any time. The fact that he says it will be September before these situations are resolved tells us that, in each case, at least one party is planning on finding out what other options they may have. Logically, the parties interested in exploring possible options are Rochester at AAA and the Twins at A ball.

If that's the case with Rochester, I gotta think they're wondering about the Mets. If I was them, I would be.

I'd kind of like my annual trip to Las Vegas to include a visit to my AAA Twins team. I don't know that I'll be said if it works out that way.

jtrinaldi
08-14-2012, 03:08 PM
Imo it sounds like you could do a lot better than Beloit but not much worse.

Compared to Rochester where you could do much, much worse. Player development in Las Vegas and several other western PCL cities is awful. It would be cool if you could get a team in the eastern PCL somewhere in the great plains (a franchise move would be required) but the international league is the best for player development.
The only 2 sites that can be comparable to Beloit is Clinton and Burlington.

kab21
08-14-2012, 07:30 PM
I'd kind of like my annual trip to Las Vegas to include a visit to my AAA Twins team. I don't know that I'll be said if it works out that way.

I know that watching baseball in 105F heat in Vegas would be on my to-do list.

John Bonnes
08-14-2012, 08:48 PM
I'd kind of like my annual trip to Las Vegas to include a visit to my AAA Twins team. I don't know that I'll be said if it works out that way.

I know that watching baseball in 105F heat in Vegas would be on my to-do list.

I've been to a game there. I'll admit - its hot. But it's not a bad way to kill a weeknight in Vegas (or a weekend afternoon) without losing your shirt at a table. I'm a big fan of not being broke before 10:30 or so, so I like activities like that.

Funbucket
08-15-2012, 04:04 AM
I attended a game in Rochester in late July. What a dump! I would love to see our AAA guys get moved to just about anywhere else. The Mets can have Rochester any day of the week and twice on Sunday.

3up3down
08-15-2012, 09:09 AM
you want to see if pitchers can make adjustments, see if guys like hendricks has what it takes, send them to vegas....home of arena baseball....

Jim Crikket
08-17-2012, 09:35 AM
I see Jim Mandelaro, the Wings beat writer for the local Rochester paper, has Tweeted that the Twins and Red Wings will announce a 2 year extension this afternoon (Friday 8/17). I guess that puts an end to that issue and leaves only the Class A question to be resolved.

EDIT: Oops... I see Seth beat me to the punch on this and started a new "On the Farm" thread. Just can't stay ahead of Stohs! :)

jtrinaldi
08-17-2012, 03:09 PM
Giants re up with Augusta (Sally)

2003freak2003
08-17-2012, 04:24 PM
How about Sioux Falls SD, could they support a AAA franchise?


Sioux Falls has the independent League Canaries. They draw under three thousand a game.

To small a market.

Now known as the pheasants.

Jim Crikket
08-21-2012, 01:35 PM
Seems premature, given the date teams can begin negotiations is still weeks away, but SunTimes is reporting that the Cubs are in the process of working out a PDC with Kane County, ending their MWL relationship with Peoria. http://www.suntimes.com/sports/14636291-419/cubs-plan-to-move-class-a-peoria-chiefs-to-kane-county.html

If that's true, it significantly improves the odds that the Twins end up in Cedar Rapids next year. The CR Board has notified the Angels that they are going to look at other options and hope to find a closer geographic MLB affiliate. I've heard their top two choices were the Cubs, if they left Peoria, and the Twins. If indeed the Cubs are off the board, that assures that the Twins are at the top of CR's list.

Kane County has been affiliated with the Royals, so Kansas City would also meet the "geographic" requirement for Cedar Rapids (CR is about the same distance from MSP as it is KC), but the Royals are not seen as nearly the same local draw that the Twins are.

joeboo_22
08-21-2012, 07:34 PM
Sioux Falls could/would support a AAA team. South Dakota is a baseball state, and Sioux Falls is a baseball city. Its just years of no names and poor marketing and then a pretty bad ownership change which has changed again (somewhat) and then a bad name change has caused problems. I think the problem with them would be the requirements to get build it up to a AAA facility. The stadium though nice only holds in the 4K-5K range.

If it was to happen (hypothetically) I think it would require a direct ownership from the Twins, something where they bought the franchise, did the work to the facilities over the next 2 years and were ready to move there for the start of the 2015 year. (I can dream)

What about St. Paul though, either AAA or low A. They have the same ownership group as the Miracle, they are close, they have a really good following, they need a new stadium. I understand why teams wouldn't want their AAA team or any minor league team so close, but at the same time it would have some benefits.

I just hope the Twins are able to move a minor league affiliate closer to Minnesota/South Dakota

jtrinaldi
08-21-2012, 08:09 PM
Seems premature, given the date teams can begin negotiations is still weeks away, but SunTimes is reporting that the Cubs are in the process of working out a PDC with Kane County, ending their MWL relationship with Peoria. http://www.suntimes.com/sports/14636291-419/cubs-plan-to-move-class-a-peoria-chiefs-to-kane-county.html

If that's true, it significantly improves the odds that the Twins end up in Cedar Rapids next year. The CR Board has notified the Angels that they are going to look at other options and hope to find a closer geographic MLB affiliate. I've heard their top two choices were the Cubs, if they left Peoria, and the Twins. If indeed the Cubs are off the board, that assures that the Twins are at the top of CR's list.

Kane County has been affiliated with the Royals, so Kansas City would also meet the "geographic" requirement for Cedar Rapids (CR is about the same distance from MSP as it is KC), but the Royals are not seen as nearly the same local draw that the Twins are.

http://www.pjstar.com/free/x912153883/Report-Chiefs-losing-Cubs-affiliation-to-Kane-County
let the dance begin.

Darin Bratsch
08-21-2012, 09:34 PM
How much closer is Cedar Rapids than Beloit to MSP?

IdahoPilgrim
08-21-2012, 09:46 PM
How much closer is Cedar Rapids than Beloit to MSP?

About 40 miles.

nowheresville
08-21-2012, 10:06 PM
If anything, I'd think that the Cubs going to Kane County would slightly decrease the chance of the Twins moving to Cedar Rapids, simply because it would put the Royals in play - although I'd still think the Twins would have the edge in CR.

I really don't think Cedar Rapids ever had a shot at the Cubs. The Cubs are the most desirable team for more than half the MWL, and with so many options closer to Chicago, Cedar Rapids just seems like it would have been low on their priority list. I'd even think the Indiana options would be a bit unlikely, considering that the Cubs are hoping the state of Illinois will throw in some cash for Wrigley improvements and having a minor league team leave the state wouldn't help their cause. Then again, the Cubs were in Lansing Michigan before the last big affiliate swap in 06.

CR is about 40 miles closer to MSP than Beloit, but clearly has better facilities and there are probably more natural Twins fans than in Beloit, which is only an hour from Milwaukee and less than 2 from Chicago (although you'll see lots of Twins gear at a Snappers game). CR is the closest affiliate to the Twin Cities. Appleton is about the same distance as CR, but they're a Brewers affiliate and won't change any time soon. Next would be Beloit and Clinton, which are both about the same distance from MSP, but Beloit is much easier to get to since Clinton isn't near any major highway or airport.

nicksaviking
08-21-2012, 10:12 PM
Good lord, the Cubs and Cardinals have basically swapped this affiliate for the last three decades? What kind of turmoil does changing allegiances between bitter rivals cause the fan base? I think this reflects the situation with Rochester's ambivilant fanbase. Signing with an affiliate doesn't necessarily buy the loyalty of the locals.

IdahoPilgrim
08-21-2012, 10:24 PM
Good lord, the Cubs and Cardinals have basically swapped this affiliate for the last three decades? What kind of turmoil does changing allegiances between bitter rivals cause the fan base? I think this reflects the situation with Rochester's ambivilant fanbase. Signing with an affiliate doesn't necessarily buy the loyalty of the locals.

I was living near Peoria when they switched from the Cardinals to the Cubs. It didn't really change fan interest all that much. There were a few Cardinals fans who were mildly unhappy, and a few Cubs fans who were mildly pleased, but overall it didn't seem to matter.

Jim Crikket
08-22-2012, 09:05 AM
nowheresville: You're probably right about CR not having a good shot at landing the Cubs affiliation, considering there are so many other expiring PDCs in the MWL. That said, I think the Kernels BOD may have been thinking that Des Moines having the Cubs AAA team may have helped. Front office types are always looking for ways to make the most of their time and "clustering" affiliates geographically is one way some MLB teams are doing that. That said, I know there's at least one CR BOD member who really did NOT want the Cubs as an affiliate, but I think that member was in the minority.

sbknudson: I think you may be right about it not being a huge deal when a minor league team changes affiliations between two teams that each have a significant fan base in the area, such as the Cubs and Cardinals in Peoria. I do think it will make a difference if Peoria ends up affiliated with a MLB team that has little or no presence in the area, though. Just as I believe it will have a positive effect in CR if the Kernels can catch on with a midwestern MLB team. Even after a 20 year affiliation, you still see 10 times as much Twins, Cubs and Cardinals gear at a Kernels game than you do Angels attire (though one or two regulars are sporting new Mike Trout jerseys this season).

There's also another little wild card in play here and that's the Cardinals. I think the Quad Cities would like to keep them, but since no extension has been signed, we're left to assume that St Louis or QC is interested in exploring other options. Would they go back to Peoria if the Cubs vacated? Or would they look toward Cedar Rapids where there's some fanbase, but it could certainly stand to be increased? Just as I think it would make sense for the Twins to try to develop a stronger presence and perhaps increase media (TV/radio) market in Eastern Iowa, the same could be said for St Louis.

While Kansas City is about the same distance from CR as StL and MSP, I just don't see the same dynamic in play for the Royals. I haven't seen Royals gear around town since local boy John Wathan was suiting up for the Landed Gentry.

Thrylos
08-22-2012, 09:25 AM
Speaking of the MWL affiliation changes, I think it will be interesting to see the attendance numbers (which indicate at least fan loyalty to the local team) . Data from here (http://tenthinningstretch.blogspot.com/2012/08/minnesota-twins-minor-league-affiliates.html)and about a week old. (Average home game attendance for 2012 is listed)
Dayton Dragons
8,514

Fort Wayne TinCaps
5,662

Kane County Cougars
5,375

Lansing Lugnuts
5,035

West Michigan Whitecaps
4,940

Great Lakes Loons
3,520

Lake County Captains
3,517

Quad Cities River Bandits
3,485

Wisconsin Timber Rattlers
3,446

Bowling Green Hot Rods
3,359

Peoria Chiefs
2,767

South Bend Silver Hawks
2,663

Cedar Rapids Kernels
2,291

Clinton LumberKings
1,570

Beloit Snappers
981

Burlington Bees
862


I highlighted the team in play. There is huge variability in fan loyalty there... (and infrastructure as well) So there is a pecking (or picking) order.

jtrinaldi
08-22-2012, 09:53 AM
Speaking of the MWL affiliation changes, I think it will be interesting to see the attendance numbers (which indicate at least fan loyalty to the local team) . Data from here (http://tenthinningstretch.blogspot.com/2012/08/minnesota-twins-minor-league-affiliates.html)and about a week old. (Average home game attendance for 2012 is listed)
Dayton Dragons
8,514

Fort Wayne TinCaps
5,662

Kane County Cougars
5,375

Lansing Lugnuts
5,035

West Michigan Whitecaps
4,940

Great Lakes Loons
3,520

Lake County Captains
3,517

Quad Cities River Bandits
3,485

Wisconsin Timber Rattlers
3,446

Bowling Green Hot Rods
3,359

Peoria Chiefs
2,767

South Bend Silver Hawks
2,663

Cedar Rapids Kernels
2,291

Clinton LumberKings
1,570

Beloit Snappers
981

Burlington Bees
862


I highlighted the team in play. There is huge variability in fan loyalty there... (and infrastructure as well) So there is a pecking (or picking) order.
You are missing
Burlington
Clinton
Bowling Green
Fort Wayne

This is the accurate list
Beloit Snappers - Minnesota (signed through 2012)
Bowling Green Hot Rods - Tampa Bay (signed through 2012)
Burlington Bees - Oakland (signed through 2012)
Cedar Rapids Kernels - Anaheim (signed through 2012)
Clinton Lumber Kings - Seattle (signed through 2012)
Dayton Dragons - Cincinnati (signed through 2012)
Fort Wayne TinCaps - San Diego (signed through 2012)
Kane County Cougars - Kansas City (signed through 2012)
Peoria Chiefs - Chicago (NL) (signed through 2012)
Quad Cities River Bandits - St. Louis (signed through 2012)
Asheville Tourists - Colorado (signed through 2012)
Augusta GreenJackets - San Francisco (signed through 2012)
Greensboro Grasshoppers - Miami (signed through 2012)
Hagerstown Suns - Washington (signed through 2012)
Hickory Crawdads - Texas (signed through 2012)
Lakewood Blue Claws - Philadelphia (signed through 2012)
Lexington Legends - Houston (signed through 2012)

Jim Crikket
08-22-2012, 10:01 AM
The attendance figures are telling, but the underlying (and perhaps more important) fact behind the attendance is that the teams with higher attendance are in many cases also the teams with newer, larger stadiums... stadiums that also are more likely to have better clubhouse/training facilities for the players. I think that probably carries more weight with potential MLB affiliates than the attendance at games itself. It's not like ticket/concession revenue affects the revenues/expenses of the MLB affiliate.

Five of the top six MWL attendance figures are in the league's Eastern Division. Those communities are where the league have new teams with newer stadiums in relatively larger population areas (Michigan, Ohio, Ind) than where the MWL's center was (Iowa, Wisc, and western Ill) 15 years ago. I don't think the Twins or Cardinals would weigh attendance heavily enough to make them inclined to move their MWL affiliate out of the Western Division.

I have heard, however, that players like playing at Dayton because it's not unusual to be playing before a crowd of 10,000 or more and that's a lot more people than most of these kids have played in front of up to this point in their lives, unless they happened to play college ball at one of the NCAA baseball-factory programs.

Jim Crikket
08-22-2012, 10:18 AM
FWIW, I think Augusta recently extended with the Giants, so that's one less team in the pool this year.

At one time, I thought the Twins might look at Bowling Green as a possible new MWL location, if BG didn't extend with the Rays. I figured BG was just a quick drive down the highway from the Twins Appy League affiliate in Elizabethtown.

Then I realized the Twins Appy League affiliate isn't IN Elizabethtown KY... it's in Elizabethton TN... and that's a few hundred miles of what I assume might be Appalachian driving from Bowling Green KY. That would mean it's probably just as well to have their MWL team in any city with an airport with decent connections through Chicago or other major hubs.

Looking at the list, I remain convinced the Twins will end up in Cedar Rapids or back in Beloit. Clinton might be possible, I guess, or they could hook back up with the Quad Cities (I haven't heard whether that relationship ended amicably when they broke up last decade), but I just don't see a lot of other logical landing spots for the Twins.

diehardtwinsfan
08-22-2012, 10:25 AM
The attendance figures are telling, but the underlying (and perhaps more important) fact behind the attendance is that the teams with higher attendance are in many cases also the teams with newer, larger stadiums... stadiums that also are more likely to have better clubhouse/training facilities for the players. I think that probably carries more weight with potential MLB affiliates than the attendance at games itself. It's not like ticket/concession revenue affects the revenues/expenses of the MLB affiliate.

Five of the top six MWL attendance figures are in the league's Eastern Division. Those communities are where the league have new teams with newer stadiums in relatively larger population areas (Michigan, Ohio, Ind) than where the MWL's center was (Iowa, Wisc, and western Ill) 15 years ago. I don't think the Twins or Cardinals would weigh attendance heavily enough to make them inclined to move their MWL affiliate out of the Western Division.

I have heard, however, that players like playing at Dayton because it's not unusual to be playing before a crowd of 10,000 or more and that's a lot more people than most of these kids have played in front of up to this point in their lives, unless they happened to play college ball at one of the NCAA baseball-factory programs.

Having lived in Fort Wayne for most of the last 6 years, I can tell you for a fact that the new stadium is part of it. They just built a beautiful park downtown that is considered one of the best MILB parks nationwide. It helps that San Diego has also had some nice propsects going through there which gave them one MWL championship to go with it. Fort Wayne also has 0 major league teams and a strong city identity, so there are a lot of people who will be diehard tincaps fans, that you won't see in a place like Beloit.

Jim Crikket
08-22-2012, 12:31 PM
There's also another little wild card in play here and that's the Cardinals. I think the Quad Cities would like to keep them, but since no extension has been signed, we're left to assume that St Louis or QC is interested in exploring other options. Would they go back to Peoria if the Cubs vacated? Or would they look toward Cedar Rapids where there's some fanbase, but it could certainly stand to be increased? Just as I think it would make sense for the Twins to try to develop a stronger presence and perhaps increase media (TV/radio) market in Eastern Iowa, the same could be said for St Louis.

Just a quick update... Found out Quad Cities actually has new ownership since the Twins last had their PDC with QC, so it would seem unlikely that there's any residual relationship issue that would preclude a reunion. However, there are also apparently reports that the Cardinals and Bandits are nearing a renewal agreement that would effectively remove QC as a potential partner for the Twins and eliminate the Cardinals from Peoria's list of possibilities.

nowheresville
08-22-2012, 01:02 PM
I highlighted the team in play. There is huge variability in fan loyalty there... (and infrastructure as well) So there is a pecking (or picking) order.

It'd say its a big stretch to compare attendance numbers and call that "fan loyalty." Just look at population bases alone. Beloit, Burlington, and Clinton are all cities of 25-35,000 people, that aren't even big enough to have their own tv stations to show highlights at night. Every other city in the league has more than 100,000. Places like Fort Wayne and Kane County literally have 10 times the population base to draw from compared to the small markets of the MWL. Now, certainly, the facilities also reflect those realities - as the small cities simply don't have the fan or tax bases to pay for a multi-million dollar new ballpark and facilities.

I'd also say that a big attendance is a bit of a double edged sword for player development. Miguel Sano is actually a really good example. He's been able to play, practice, and make mistakes in relative obscurity, rather than with the spotlight of 5-10,000 people watching him every night. In talking to those who are close to him, the MWL All-Star game was a bit of a shocker to Sano, because he was the star that everyone wanted to see, and he got far more attention than he does just going about his business on a day to day basis with the Snappers. Attention and the spotlight have some positives, but there's also a plus to letting him work without being lifted too high for all of his home runs, or jeered too much for all of his errors and strikeouts.

nowheresville
08-22-2012, 01:12 PM
Just a quick update... Found out Quad Cities actually has new ownership since the Twins last had their PDC with QC, so it would seem unlikely that there's any residual relationship issue that would preclude a reunion. However, there are also apparently reports that the Cardinals and Bandits are nearing a renewal agreement that would effectively remove QC as a potential partner for the Twins and eliminate the Cardinals from Peoria's list of possibilities.

My understanding is that the Twins weren't all that happy about how their time in the QC ended in 2006. From what I remember at the time, and/or from when the Twins had previously renewed in Beloit, Terry Ryan has talked about how the Swing/River Bandits basically kicked them out of town so that they could try to lure either the Cubs or Cardinals.

I didn't know about the new ownership, but from the sounds of things with their negotiations with the Cards, it won't matter much anyway.

jtrinaldi
08-22-2012, 07:28 PM
Just a quick update... Found out Quad Cities actually has new ownership since the Twins last had their PDC with QC, so it would seem unlikely that there's any residual relationship issue that would preclude a reunion. However, there are also apparently reports that the Cardinals and Bandits are nearing a renewal agreement that would effectively remove QC as a potential partner for the Twins and eliminate the Cardinals from Peoria's list of possibilities.

My understanding is that the Twins weren't all that happy about how their time in the QC ended in 2006. From what I remember at the time, and/or from when the Twins had previously renewed in Beloit, Terry Ryan has talked about how the Swing/River Bandits basically kicked them out of town so that they could try to lure either the Cubs or Cardinals.

I didn't know about the new ownership, but from the sounds of things with their negotiations with the Cards, it won't matter much anyway.
Yup
The Twins are trying to get rid of Beloit,while Beloit wants to re up with the Twins. The Twins told Beloit they want to see how every plays out and will come back to the Board if nothing is figured out with a new city at the end of september

greengoblinrulz
08-23-2012, 01:49 PM
St Paul mayor was on Patrick Reusses show & said they are 2wks away from announcing a new 27m ballpark for the independant Saints.
Reusse has pushed for Mn to move the club here for wks....says he has gotten confirmation that they could move it here. Coleman says they have gotten MLBs ok that the park specifics fits Class A requirements. Park will be 7k & be ready in 2 yrs
Hmmmmmm

James
08-23-2012, 02:38 PM
St Paul mayor was on Patrick Reusses show & said they are 2wks away from announcing a new 27m ballpark for the independant Saints.
Reusse has pushed for Mn to move the club here for wks....says he has gotten confirmation that they could move it here. Coleman says they have gotten MLBs ok that the park specifics fits Class A requirements. Park will be 7k & be ready in 2 yrs
Hmmmmmm
But if the Saints were affiliated with the Twins, I would be far less likely to get really drunk while tailgating and not wonder in to the game until the 5th inning. And where would the hot tubs go? And would they get rid of dollar beer night? So many questions.

This is actually really exciting news. It would be really cool to see some young players in the system, possibly right after they are drafted.

greengoblinrulz
08-23-2012, 03:08 PM
coleman said the Saints would be separate from the Class A tm, if they got it, playin every day if needed as well as doubleheaders with both tms. Light rail will run from near the new park to Target Field & would schedule conflicting gms in different times so fans can see both if they wish.
Sounds like theyve thought this out more than just a passing fad

Jim Crikket
08-23-2012, 03:58 PM
coleman said the Saints would be separate from the Class A tm, if they got it, playin every day if needed as well as doubleheaders with both tms. Light rail will run from near the new park to Target Field & would schedule conflicting gms in different times so fans can see both if they wish.
Sounds like theyve thought this out more than just a passing fad

Interesting. If the Twins only sign a 2-year PDC with whichever MWL location they end up partnering with this fall, that might be telling. Most "new" partners want a four year agreement and then extend for subsequent 2 year extensions unless there's a really strong tie developed.

A separate Class A team beyond the Saints makes some sense for a couple of reasons. (1) because the only way StP could get a MWL team would be if an existing community sold their franchise. It wouldn't be beyond reason to see the Twins actually buy out a struggling community's franchise, like Beloit, and then move the team to StP. (2) I can't see the Twins approving invasion of their local market by a Class A team they did not control... that could result in an affiliate of another MLB team eventually being in StP. This situation would potentially exist if the Saints current ownership was allowed to own the "new" Class A team in StP.

On the other hand, I have trouble seeing how two minor league teams... one affiliated and one independent... could survive in one location (never mind using one stadium). Ballfields need time to recover during road trips to avoid becoming over-stressed (I've heard that's happening in Rochester this year where the Yankees AAA team is using Frontier Field for a lot of their "home" games while their stadium is being renovated).

Beyond logistics, however, the bottom line is that, all other things being equal, affiliated teams can charge far less for tickets and concessions than independent teams can. If the Saints have to pay their players/coaches out of their own revenues and a Class A team doesn't have that expense, there's a huge competitve advantage for the Class A team. How would the Saints survive? Would the local population really support BOTH teams well enough? Maybe... but it seems unlikely.

On the other hand, this is exactly the public stance St Paul would probably have to take. They can't say they have an agreement with the Twins, because that would place the Twins afoul of MLB Rule 56 and cost them a hefty little fine, not to mention screw up the team's negotiations with potential Class A affiliates next month.

greengoblinrulz
08-23-2012, 04:45 PM
Claiming to know nothing about runnin a Class A tm.....Saints play 72gms, i believe, during june-aug. Thats only 36 xtra gms which is better than the 72 Roc had to incur....no xtra in april/may either when weather is the worst.
Per Seth's article, Twins do seem to have a new philosophy to independent ball

MWLFan
08-23-2012, 04:57 PM
How would the travel from say Michigan to St. Paul effect this sceanrio for the league? Even the trek from Kane County will be substaintal. Scheduling could be tough without a team a little closer would it not? Would the Twins need to augment the road teams expenses in order for them to make it work? I can't believe MWL franchises would want to travel to the Twin Cities and incur the travel time and additional cost in lodging in the TC versus what they pay in the QC? But I could be way out there on that island. I still think CR makes the most sense.

Thrylos
08-23-2012, 05:01 PM
A separate Class A team beyond the Saints makes some sense for a couple of reasons. (1) because the only way StP could get a MWL team would be if an existing community sold their franchise. It wouldn't be beyond reason to see the Twins actually buy out a struggling community's franchise, like Beloit, and then move the team to StP. (2) I can't see the Twins approving invasion of their local market by a Class A team they did not control... that could result in an affiliate of another MLB team eventually being in StP. This situation would potentially exist if the Saints current ownership was allowed to own the "new" Class A team in StP.

Agreed. The other thing that comes in play with an A team in the Twin Cities is the distance from other ballparks that may necessitate flying. And I hope that if the Twins buy a MiLB club and move it to the Cities, it would be the AAA team and not the A team. Having a AAA team close makes a ton of difference. I can see them buying Vegas (or even the Tuscon club that is drawing a A level like 2,889) and moving it up there. The 2 year agreement with Rochester gives them that option.

Jim Crikket
08-23-2012, 05:14 PM
I agree that a AAA team would make a lot more sense, but if the new stadium is going to be a 7,000 seat stadium, that's relatively small for AAA, isn't it? (I think Tuscon got bought and is moving to El Paso, isn't it? Or am I thinking of another PCL team?)

MWLFan, travel would be an obstacle. As I think I've mentioned, by rule, they have to schedule an off day any time a minor league team has to travel more than 500 miles (unless they fly). Every team in the current Western Division of MWL would be under that distance (CR at 243 is the closest, Peoria at 422 is the furthest, with the rest running between 264 and 372). Every team but one in the Eastern Division would be OVER the 500 mile mark (South Bend at 493 is the closest, Bowling Green at 808 is the furthest, with the rest running between 560 and 761).

Could that hurdle be overcome by spacing out road trips? Maybe... Bowling Green is also way outside the footprint of the rest of the MWL... but a relocation would, I believe, require approval of other MWL teams and there is no doubt that moving an existing team to StPaul would increase everyone's travel costs (which are paid for almost entirely by the minor league affiliate). Not a lot of Western Division teams are operating in the black, so any increase in costs could be problematic. I've been told that there was an effort a few years ago to put a MWL team in Marion IL (near southern tip of IL) and it got nixed due to travel distance.

Thrylos
08-23-2012, 05:29 PM
I agree that a AAA team would make a lot more sense, but if the new stadium is going to be a 7,000 seat stadium, that's relatively small for AAA, isn't it?.

True. Most AAA ballparks are around 10000 people but the attendance is not. If they pack a 7000 seat stadium and have adequate standing room and glass seating, they will do ok. Most people these days unfortunately do not sit and watch baseball games.

Jim Crikket
08-23-2012, 07:28 PM
OK I went back and actually listened to the interview with Coleman and you have to really try hard to take what he says as any kind of indication that a potential Class A team is anything but a "maybe someday" possibility. It's all Reusse who pushes the Twins affiliation thing and he's never been accused of doing a thorough job of researching anything before spouting opinions.

nowheresville
08-23-2012, 09:29 PM
I for one don't put any sort of belief that there is any substantial effort at all to bring affiliated baseball to St. Paul. In fact the whole idea that you'd have an A-ball and an Indie League team sharing a stadium is just kind of silly, and puts it into a beyond a pipedream kind of talk.

Having said that, I don't think the logistics of being in St. Paul would be that out of line for the Midwest League. The league just expanded to Bowling Green and Lake County Ohio, and both of those teams are just as far from any eastern division teams as St. Paul would be from Appleton and Cedar Rapids. The bigger question would be what MWL team would really be on the market at this point. People tend to forget that Beloit and Burlington, despite their old parks and low attendance, are community run non-profits, and at least in Beloit's case, the Snappers actually have been consistantly in the black. Pretty much everyone else has a reasonably new ballpark, although if I'd guess any team is in danger of moving, it might be Peoria, especially if the Cubs leave.

AAA would be a bit more interesting, and St. Paul would seem to be a better fit in the PCL. The Tucson franchise is available, ironically because the Padres attempts to move their AAA team to into their own backyard fell through. San Diego planned to move the team to a SD suburb, but needed a home while the new AAA stadium was built. Money for the new stadium fell through, and so the team is stuck in Tucson and up for sale (El Paso is interested, but I don't think the sale is a done deal). As it is, Tucson was really only picked as a home for the team as a last resort, because Portland converted their ballpark to a Soccer stadium, and the old Dbacks/WSox spring training complex was available as a stop gap.

But again, plans for real minor league baseball in St. Paul don't seem like anything more than some wishful thinking, and to me its more amusing "what if" talk than anything else.

Jim Crikket
08-27-2012, 04:24 PM
Talked with some people with the Kernels this weekend and I can just say that they had heard about Coleman's comments and it will be an issue they'll be taking up with Twins officials as a part of any discussions held between CR and the Twins after 9/16. Cedar Rapids wants a long-term relationship and if they get a sense that they'd just be a stopgap while the Twins wait until St Paul is doable, I don't believe we'll see the Twins in Cedar Rapids next year.

joeboo_22
08-27-2012, 07:10 PM
I don't know about the financials but I think St. Paul would work. Am I wrong that they have the same ownership as Ft. Myers?

I think there is benefits to having a minor league affiliate close to the big club. I don't know if you would want it that close though. The twins send quite a few of there prospects to low-A. Mauer went there, Kubel went there, Sano is there now, as well as others. I think it would be good to have them close enough so some of the medical staff, coaching staff, and other front office guys.

At the same time I think it would be more beneficial if they had a close AAA team. Whether that is (new stadium would be needed in most cases) Sioux Falls, Rochester (MN), Sioux City, Fargo/Moorehead, St. Paul, Green Bay, Madison. Somewhere where if you need a guy quick they can get there, somewhere in driving distance to go scout. Somewhere were they can go on rehab starts, be evaluated by the parent club, and so on. I just think a somewhat closer AAA team would be beneficial.

Thrylos
08-27-2012, 08:21 PM
Talked with some people with the Kernels this weekend and I can just say that they had heard about Coleman's comments and it will be an issue they'll be taking up with Twins officials as a part of any discussions held between CR and the Twins after 9/16. Cedar Rapids wants a long-term relationship and if they get a sense that they'd just be a stopgap while the Twins wait until St Paul is doable, I don't believe we'll see the Twins in Cedar Rapids next year.

you need to put an "IF" there about those discussions and call them "potential" or "hypothetical" or something. Don't want to get anyone in trouble ;)

Jim Crikket
08-27-2012, 10:28 PM
Good point... let me clarify in case Bud Selig and his storm troopers are reading this. When I wrote "people with the Kernels," that should not be taken to mean anyone in an ownership or other decision-making role with the organization. Of course, when I say "any discussions" that would be any POSSIBLE discussions, which would only occur in the event that both the Twins and Kernels find themselves without a PDC in place on September 16 and if the Twins then contact the Kernels and request to make a presentation.

Hope that makes everything perfectly clear. :)

IdahoPilgrim
08-28-2012, 12:12 PM
Good point... let me clarify in case Bud Selig and his storm troopers are reading this. When I wrote "people with the Kernels," that should not be taken to mean anyone in an ownership or other decision-making role with the organization. Of course, when I say "any discussions" that would be any POSSIBLE discussions, which would only occur in the event that both the Twins and Kernels find themselves without a PDC in place on September 16 and if the Twins then contact the Kernels and request to make a presentation.

Hope that makes everything perfectly clear. :)

And Diamond really didn't mean to throw at Hamilton...:)

jtrinaldi
08-28-2012, 07:05 PM
Talked with some people with the Kernels this weekend and I can just say that they had heard about Coleman's comments and it will be an issue they'll be taking up with Twins officials as a part of any discussions held between CR and the Twins after 9/16. Cedar Rapids wants a long-term relationship and if they get a sense that they'd just be a stopgap while the Twins wait until St Paul is doable, I don't believe we'll see the Twins in Cedar Rapids next year.
So that means that means Burlington would likely be eliminated from the MWL. Had the lowest MWL attendance the last 20 years.

Jim Crikket
08-28-2012, 10:09 PM
I'm pretty sure Burlington is community owned, like Beloit and Cedar Raipds, and last I knew they were operating in the black. If that's the case, they're probably "safe". It's all but impossible to take away a franchise that's community owned as long as they meet financial obligations and maintain facilities at or above standards outlined in Rule 58. There are very few MWL franchises that you'd consider even possibly at risk. Beloit (facilities?) and Peoria (financial?) are the only two I've ever heard as even possibly having problems and I have no idea if even those two would really be possibilities.

jtrinaldi
09-03-2012, 09:49 PM
New Update: Cedar Rapids has decided not to pursue further affiliation with the Angels

East Coast Twin
09-04-2012, 06:54 AM
New Update: Cedar Rapids has decided not to pursue further affiliation with the Angels

http://www.kcrg.com/sports/local/Kernels-Lose-Finale-Look-For-New-MLB-Affliliate-168417356.html

joeboo_22
09-04-2012, 10:42 AM
If this has previously been discussed I apologize but what is the financial difference to the big club if they go with a team with A+ facilities compared to one like Beloit with the bare minimal? Is the contract more expensive? Is there other obligations? Or is the contract all the same?

Jim Crikket
09-04-2012, 10:12 PM
There doesn't seem to be a financial difference of any substance. The MLB affiliate covers cost of paying players, coaches & trainers (salaries and meal per diem on road trips). They also pay a portion of equipment like gameballs, etc (I've been told it's 2/3, with minor league club paying 1/3... inventory at the end of the season becomes property of the MLB club). Minor league organization pays travel expenses (up to 17 rooms per night).

But costs aside, it's worth something to the MLB organization to have their players at a facility with relatively modern clubhouse, training/workout facilities. But the financial obligations of the MLB team vs the MiLB organization are pretty much set by rule without much wiggle room. I guess that's to keep the teams from playing one potential affiliate against another in terms of what they can convince potential affiliates to kick in.financially.

jtrinaldi
09-05-2012, 02:21 PM
Have herd that Every Parent club in the Midwest League does not want to end up in Beloit for next year which means that someone will be jumping ship to the SALLY, I could see the Astros or Mets being stuck with Beloit.

Jim Crikket
09-05-2012, 02:58 PM
Can't say that's a huge surprise. It's pretty hard to imagine a MLB team saying, "hey, those facilities in Beloit would be great for our guys." It's really too bad they can't figure out some way to do something about a new ballpark. You just feel like it's going to be a game of musical chairs and the last MLB team to find another landing spot ends up in Beloit. That's unfortunate for both Beloit and the MLB affiliate that goes there, with both knowing it's a forced 2-year marriage.

I could see the Angels or A's going to the Sally, since geography isn't an issue for either one of them although they both seem to have been in the MWL for as long as I can remember.

joeboo_22
09-05-2012, 03:06 PM
First of all how did the Twins end up with Beloit as their affiliate? Is this Terry Ryan's ties to the area? Or did they piss off every other affiliate in the Midwest league? I guess if its just facilities I don't really understand why the Twins ended up their, and why they have stayed their. I understand the greater Beloit area from Janesville to Rockford has been hit pretty hard by the recession but at the same time the issues being brought out have been there long before we knew what a housing crisis or auto decline ever was.

I guess I look at Beloit, and wonder why do they continue to have a franchise? And how did the Twins end up there, and if they are so bad why have they stayed for what 6-8 years?

Jim Crikket
09-05-2012, 03:40 PM
The Twins were in the Quad Cities and I think they were fine with staying there, but the QC ownership at the time (it's since changed hands) had a shot at getting the Cardinals and took it. I believe the Twins were caught a bit offguard by that and I don't know what, if any, options the Twins had at the time, but it could have been limited. Also, they were talking about a new stadium in/near Beloit I think. In fact, they've been "talking" about it ever since the Brewers were in Beloit. I think you might say the Twins have been more than patient but the stadium outlook for Beloit is probably more bleak now than it has been in years.

Beloit continues to have a franchise because the MLB/MiLB agreement makes it almost impossible to take a franchise away. I do think they're walking a bit of a tightrope, though, if they don't do something soon.

Mr. Ed
09-05-2012, 04:19 PM
La Valle briefly noted something about the Nats and FM. I know this isn't the right thread,but can someone pass on what that's about?

joeboo_22
09-05-2012, 04:45 PM
La Valle briefly noted something about the Nats and FM. I know this isn't the right thread,but can someone pass on what that's about?

I'll take my shot at this. In the past 2-5 years Fort Myers or more noticeably Lee County has expressed interest to acquiring a 3rd Spring Training team. However since they have expressed their interest they have built the Red Sox a new $80 million stadium and are in the final plans to put $30 million into renovations for the Twins. It says that the Nationals have expressed interest of moving to Fort Myers but I'm sure they would only do it for a publically funded stadium and facilities. The only thing would be is if Lee County told the Twins the only way they would renovate the stadium is with the Nationals as co-tenants but I really don't know.

nowheresville
09-05-2012, 04:59 PM
From everything I've been able to gather the Snappers and Twins have had a very good working relationship, and if there was the prospect of a new park the Twins wouldn't leave Beloit. For the a few years in the Mid-00's, it did seem like there was some good progress towards a new ballpark, either in Beloit or Janesville, but between the crash of the economy and the death of a local billionaire who was planning to put up a good chunk of money for a park, those talks have gone completely quiet. The Snappers staff has told me they are working to make some improvements this off-season, in part to try to convince the Twins to stay, but seems pretty clearly a case of way too little too late.
.
In 04-05, Beloit would have been the only team in the MWL West that was available. Peoria and QC gobbled up the Cubs and Cards. Beloit was open after the Brewers moved to the Sally for 2 years. In the east, the only two cities that were open were Lansing and Battle Creek. Toronto moved to Lansing and is still there today. The Rays moved to Battle Creek, but the franchise itself moved and became Great Lakes 2 years later.

What is amazing is in 30 years, Beloit has only been affiliated with 2 franchises. The best I can tell, the only other MWL team that has been that stable is Cedar Rapids. Everyone else has seen at least 3 or 4 affiliation changes since then (some many more), or simply hasn't been a team that long.

joeboo_22
09-05-2012, 05:36 PM
Since I'm getting so many good answers, I'll keep asking questions.

What is the reason for the low attendance? I know Beloit itself is pretty small but if you add Janesville and Rockford it is fairly large (100,000+). I understand the economy isn't great in the area but still. They average less then 1,000/game, the Twins actually send prospects to Low-A. So is the reason they aren't drawing is because the facilities are bad, the local economy can't support or is it just not Twins territory?

jtrinaldi
09-05-2012, 07:53 PM
The Twins were in the Quad Cities and I think they were fine with staying there, but the QC ownership at the time (it's since changed hands) had a shot at getting the Cardinals and took it. I believe the Twins were caught a bit offguard by that and I don't know what, if any, options the Twins had at the time, but it could have been limited. Also, they were talking about a new stadium in/near Beloit I think. In fact, they've been "talking" about it ever since the Brewers were in Beloit. I think you might say the Twins have been more than patient but the stadium outlook for Beloit is probably more bleak now than it has been in years.

Beloit continues to have a franchise because the MLB/MiLB agreement makes it almost impossible to take a franchise away. I do think they're walking a bit of a tightrope, though, if they don't do something soon.
The thing about the stadium is that Beloit had a proposal for the stadium, but not where the Big Donors wanted it (they wanted it on the River), and the City of Beloit planned on it being right off of 43, about a mile down the road on farmland. The Big Donors didn't like it and insisted that it be on the river, City of Beloit said No, and I haven't herd anything since.

Thrylos
09-05-2012, 08:29 PM
La Valle briefly noted something about the Nats and FM. I know this isn't the right thread,but can someone pass on what that's about?

I'll take my shot at this. In the past 2-5 years Fort Myers or more noticeably Lee County has expressed interest to acquiring a 3rd Spring Training team. However since they have expressed their interest they have built the Red Sox a new $80 million stadium and are in the final plans to put $30 million into renovations for the Twins. It says that the Nationals have expressed interest of moving to Fort Myers but I'm sure they would only do it for a publically funded stadium and facilities. The only thing would be is if Lee County told the Twins the only way they would renovate the stadium is with the Nationals as co-tenants but I really don't know.

They have been talking with the Nationals about that even after the Red Sox facilities were up. They were talking up till the primary elections changed the make up of the commission.

And btw totally unrelated to Hammond Stadium. That would be exclusively Twins' territory in ST.

nowheresville
09-05-2012, 10:17 PM
Since I'm getting so many good answers, I'll keep asking questions.

What is the reason for the low attendance? I know Beloit itself is pretty small but if you add Janesville and Rockford it is fairly large (100,000+). I understand the economy isn't great in the area but still. They average less then 1,000/game, the Twins actually send prospects to Low-A. So is the reason they aren't drawing is because the facilities are bad, the local economy can't support or is it just not Twins territory?

First of all, the Snappers actually have consistantly been drawing just over 1,000 a game, and in some of their good years with the Twins, its been around 1,300.

One thing you really need to remember is that Rockford is basically an entirely different market. Rockford has its own baseball team (Independent, Frontier League) that competes against the Snappers for fans. In fact, the Rockford Riverhawk's new stadium, built about 5 years ago, is actually north of Rockford and is only about 15 miles from Pohlman Field.

Even Janesville is a bit of a tough sell, because there the Snappers essentially are competing with the Madison Mallards, simply because a lot of people there work in Madison, and/or never have a reason to go to Beloit.

The reality is Beloit is one of the smallest markets in the MWL and their attendance reflects it. Despite that, the team does still stay in the black.

I wouldn't say that the Twins affiliation has anything to do with attendance, as they were drawing as many fans with the Twins as they were with the Brewers. You really have to keep in mind that the average fan at a minor league game isn't going because of the team affiliation or what prospects are on the team. Sadly, many of the casual fans at a Snapper game don't even understand that the MWL is a much better product than what they'll find in Rockford or Madison, they're just looking for a good time. If anything, the Snappers have hurt themselves by making the experience about going and watching quality baseball, unlike how the other teams in the area to go great lengths to make their product a circus surrounding a baseball game. However, If you're a fan of good baseball, you can really appreciate the difference.

jtrinaldi
09-05-2012, 10:24 PM
Since I'm getting so many good answers, I'll keep asking questions.

What is the reason for the low attendance? I know Beloit itself is pretty small but if you add Janesville and Rockford it is fairly large (100,000+). I understand the economy isn't great in the area but still. They average less then 1,000/game, the Twins actually send prospects to Low-A. So is the reason they aren't drawing is because the facilities are bad, the local economy can't support or is it just not Twins territory?
Beloit is not a small city compared to other cities in the MidWest league (clinton/burlington). Beloit has roughly 34K Janesville has 64K. The reason that Beloit doesn't draw well at all is because of now marketing/fan interactions outside of the Stadium and in the offseason. If you follow along in the Offseason with other Midwest league teams you will see just how little Beloit does. The Timberratlers do everything possible to engage their fans regardless of how bad previous teams were, to get excited for next year. Beloit will have 1. Update for the Schedule, 1.Update for the new coaching staff. 1. Update for the Hot Stove banquet. In other words they don't do ****. You think they advertise in grocery stores or news papers? Not at all. The Timbberratlers have their mascot do interactive things with kids in school. Chris Mehring does a great job finding stuff to write about to cover the offseason making it enjoyable for the fans to get pumped about the season. Kane County also does a fantastic job updating their blog about the offseason, offering Trivia Tuesday's as well as various camps in the offseason where they fly in the coaching staff for a weekend in december to teach kids baseball and have stuff to do for the parents. Kane County and the Timberratlers exemplify how to engage fans and be excited about the next season. It is disappointing with so much of an audience that Beloit doesn't even advertise during the season (yeah, they have the Latino Bambino commercial but that is all).

joeboo_22
09-05-2012, 11:24 PM
You see, I'm over in South Dakota where we have independent baseball with a bunch of no names and if your lucky 1 or 2 has beens and maybe once a year a draft holdout makes his way to town, and Sioux Falls which is in the 130,000 pop range averages around 2,500 a game. So when I see affiliated baseball and what I like to call good affiliated baseball team(a program that sends top prospects) and see what I've seen right around a 1,000/game (maybe more maybe less) I just wonder what is going on there. But as I've learned they have competition a declining ballpark, a struggling economy, and so on. Thanks for the updates, I do love the nickname "Snappers" and would love for Beloit to be able to support the team but I just see the numbers and facilities and it makes me wonder.

Jim Crikket
09-06-2012, 09:37 AM
La Valle briefly noted something about the Nats and FM. I know this isn't the right thread,but can someone pass on what that's about?

I'll take my shot at this. In the past 2-5 years Fort Myers or more noticeably Lee County has expressed interest to acquiring a 3rd Spring Training team. However since they have expressed their interest they have built the Red Sox a new $80 million stadium and are in the final plans to put $30 million into renovations for the Twins. It says that the Nationals have expressed interest of moving to Fort Myers but I'm sure they would only do it for a publically funded stadium and facilities. The only thing would be is if Lee County told the Twins the only way they would renovate the stadium is with the Nationals as co-tenants but I really don't know.

They have been talking with the Nationals about that even after the Red Sox facilities were up. They were talking up till the primary elections changed the make up of the commission.

And btw totally unrelated to Hammond Stadium. That would be exclusively Twins' territory in ST.

Lee County is still talking to the Nationals, but money is the issue.

Lee County is looking for a team to move in to the Red Sox old ST facility in Ft. Myers proper. The catch, not surprisingly, is that the Nationals want the same kind of improvements that the Red Sox had wanted before the deal was struck to build their new facility. City of Palms Park (which the city turned over to Lee County several years ago) isn't a bad place for a ballgame, but there's only one practice field adjacent to it. The rest of the fields and facilities for minor leaguers are about a mile away.

So the Nats want out of Viera and can use an escape clause in their lease in a year or two, I believe, but Lee County's available tourism dollars are pretty much sunk between the Red Sox new facility and the improvements the Twins want at their place. Add to that the current anti-baseball political climate and it sounds to me like the two sides aren't really close to getting anything done.

Jim Crikket
09-06-2012, 09:47 AM
Beloit is in a tough spot with regard to marketing, I think. They say it takes money to make money, but you also need funding in the first place to generate that growth. Beloit is community owned and needs to at least break even financially. It's got to be tough in that market to be able to afford people who can do the kind of off-season marketing that other teams do. Cedar Rapids, for example, probably has at least twice the number of full-time year-round staff that Beloit does. In the off-season, the entire CR staff become salespeople and they are immediately going out and marketing their product for the next season. They also run the concessions for the city's JHL hockey team that plays next door to the ballpark, so there are some revenue streams Beloit probably can't match. The result is more sales, which means they can afford more staff, which makes for a better fan experience during the season.

I know it's a bit of a chicken and egg situation, but I suspect Beloit would love to do more during the off-season. They can only spend what they take in, however.

jtrinaldi
09-06-2012, 11:28 AM
Beloit is in a tough spot with regard to marketing, I think. They say it takes money to make money, but you also need funding in the first place to generate that growth. Beloit is community owned and needs to at least break even financially. It's got to be tough in that market to be able to afford people who can do the kind of off-season marketing that other teams do. Cedar Rapids, for example, probably has at least twice the number of full-time year-round staff that Beloit does. In the off-season, the entire CR staff become salespeople and they are immediately going out and marketing their product for the next season. They also run the concessions for the city's JHL hockey team that plays next door to the ballpark, so there are some revenue streams Beloit probably can't match. The result is more sales, which means they can afford more staff, which makes for a better fan experience during the season.

I know it's a bit of a chicken and egg situation, but I suspect Beloit would love to do more during the off-season. They can only spend what they take in, however.
The Biggest thing is that they don't update anything in the offseason such as the T-Rats or the Cougars which might be hurting them the most.

Jim Crikket
09-06-2012, 03:05 PM
Not much new happening on this front, but after a bit of an email exchange with a pretty good source, I'm no longer concerned much about a possible St. Paul situation. So many cards stacked against that happening and I guess I've become convinced that the rest of the MWL would sign off on that deal even if one of the existing franchises became available.

The Cardinals are no longer seen as near-locks to extend with the Quad Cities, however, and assuming the Cubs do leave Peoria for Kane County (which I think everyone sees as a certainty, at this point), it will be interesting to see if Peoria and the Cardinals can put past issues aside and get back together. If not, I could certainly see Cedar Rapids having some interest in the Cardinals. Personally, I'm hoping though that the contingent of Cub fans on CR's Board would favor the Twins over their beloved Cubbies' fiercest rival.

The Twins/Cedar Rapids thing still just makes almost too much sense for it NOT to happen, however. I'm told the Twins have discussed Ft Wayne at least internally, but I can't see that as making much sense for anything except as an option if CR falls through. In that scenario, the Twins could be scrambling for another non-Beloit option and Ft. Wayne certainly has great facilities. It's just not geographically where the Twins would seemingly prefer to be.

At this point, I think every organization is putting together a plan A, plan B and plan C. It would be fun to be listening in when those plans start getting openly discussed on the phone lines and in the meetings rooms around the midwest.

jtrinaldi
09-11-2012, 05:40 PM
Burlington's beat writer on Twitter about the Athletics
Susan Denk ‏@SusanDenk (https://twitter.com/SusanDenk)
@DoorsFan91 (https://twitter.com/DoorsFan91) @Athletics (https://twitter.com/Athletics) I would be very shocked if they're back.

http://www.oursportscentral.com/sports/?t_id=353

IdahoPilgrim
09-11-2012, 06:40 PM
You see, I'm over in South Dakota where we have independent baseball with a bunch of no names and if your lucky 1 or 2 has beens and maybe once a year a draft holdout makes his way to town, and Sioux Falls which is in the 130,000 pop range averages around 2,500 a game. So when I see affiliated baseball and what I like to call good affiliated baseball team(a program that sends top prospects) and see what I've seen right around a 1,000/game (maybe more maybe less) I just wonder what is going on there. But as I've learned they have competition a declining ballpark, a struggling economy, and so on. Thanks for the updates, I do love the nickname "Snappers" and would love for Beloit to be able to support the team but I just see the numbers and facilities and it makes me wonder.

Keep in mind that Sioux Falls probably has a better team than Beloit - the quality of play in the AmAssn is somewhere between A+ and AA.

Jim Crikket
09-11-2012, 06:53 PM
I hadn't really heard anything about the A's, but like the other California teams, it probably doesn't matter much to them whether they're in the MWL or Sally from a geographic fit perspective.

The Peoria JournalStar put out thumbnail sketches of the 15 MLB teams that still don't have a low-A affiliate lined up for 2013. Ten are currently in the MWL and five in SAL.

http://www.pjstar.com/sports/x1903462898/Chiefs-are-searching-for-a-parent

jtrinaldi
09-11-2012, 08:26 PM
I hadn't really heard anything about the A's, but like the other California teams, it probably doesn't matter much to them whether they're in the MWL or Sally from a geographic fit perspective.

The Peoria JournalStar put out thumbnail sketches of the 15 MLB teams that still don't have a low-A affiliate lined up for 2013. Ten are currently in the MWL and five in SAL.

http://www.pjstar.com/sports/x1903462898/Chiefs-are-searching-for-a-parent
https://twitter.com/AndrewTBerlin/status/180393505938608128
South Bend Re upped in March, Rockies and the Marlins just re upped

Jim Crikket
09-11-2012, 09:30 PM
Yeah, I thought that seemed like too many Sally teams and I see that the guy at minorleaguesource.com got caught up on the South Bend news, too.

Here's the list of remaining MWL/SAL locations that I haven't seen or heard about renewals. Looks like an even dozen remaining possible landing spots for the Twins Class A affiliate. Some obviously more/less likely than others.

Beloit WI – Beloit Snappers
Harry C. Pohlman Field
Built: 1982
Cap: 3500
Twins expired 2012 (Twins reported looking to move)

Burlington IA – Burlington Bees
Community Field
Built 1947 (destroyed by fire), Rebuilt 1973
Cap: 3200
A's expired 2012 (A's reported unlikely to return)

Cedar Rapids IA- Cedar Rapids Kernels
Perfect Game Field at Veterans Memorial Stadium
Built: 2002
Cap: 5300
Angels expired 2012 (CR notified Angels they would look for midwest affiliate)

Clinton IA – Clinton Lumber Kings
Ashford University Field
Built: 1937, remodel 2006
Cap: 4000
Mariners expired 2012

Davenport IA – Quad Cities River Bandits
Modern Woodmen Park
Built: 1931, Rebuilt 2004
Cap: 4024
Cardinals expired 2012 (QC wants to renew, Cards have not committed)

Dayton OH – Dayton Dragons
Fifth Third Field
Built: 2000
Cap: 7230
Reds expired 2012 (renewal seems highly likely)

Fort Wayne IN – Fort Wayne Tincaps
Parkview Field
Built: 2009
Cap: 8100
Padres expired 2012

Geneva IL – Kane County Cougars
Fifth Third Bank Ballpark
Built: 1991, Renovated 2009
Cap: 7400
Royals expired 2012 (reportedly will sign with Cubs)

Peoria IL – Peoria Chiefs
O'Brien Field
Built: 2002
Cap: 7500
Cubs expired 2012 (Reportedly will need new MLB affiliate)

SALLY

Hagersown MD - Hagerstown Suns
Municipal Stadium
Built: 1930, Renovations 2010-11
Cap: 4600
Nationals expired 2012 (geographic fit, would seem likely to renew)

Lexington KY – Lexington Legends
Whitaker Bank Park
Built: 2001
Cap: 6994
Astros expired 2012

Savannah GA – Savannah Sand Gnats
Grayson Stadium
Built: 1926
Cap: 4000, Remodeled 2007
Mets expired 2012

jtrinaldi
09-11-2012, 10:44 PM
Yeah, I thought that seemed like too many Sally teams and I see that the guy at minorleaguesource.com got caught up on the South Bend news, too.

Here's the list of remaining MWL/SAL locations that I haven't seen or heard about renewals. Looks like an even dozen remaining possible landing spots for the Twins Class A affiliate. Some obviously more/less likely than others.

Beloit WI – Beloit Snappers
Harry C. Pohlman Field
Built: 1982
Cap: 3500
Twins expired 2012 (Twins reported looking to move)

Burlington IA – Burlington Bees
Community Field
Built 1947 (destroyed by fire), Rebuilt 1973
Cap: 3200
A's expired 2012 (A's reported unlikely to return)

Cedar Rapids IA- Cedar Rapids Kernels
Perfect Game Field at Veterans Memorial Stadium
Built: 2002
Cap: 5300
Angels expired 2012 (CR notified Angels they would look for midwest affiliate)

Clinton IA – Clinton Lumber Kings
Ashford University Field
Built: 1937, remodel 2006
Cap: 4000
Mariners expired 2012

Davenport IA – Quad Cities River Bandits
Modern Woodmen Park
Built: 1931, Rebuilt 2004
Cap: 4024
Cardinals expired 2012 (QC wants to renew, Cards have not committed)

Dayton OH – Dayton Dragons
Fifth Third Field
Built: 2000
Cap: 7230
Reds expired 2012 (renewal seems highly likely)

Fort Wayne IN – Fort Wayne Tincaps
Parkview Field
Built: 2009
Cap: 8100
Padres expired 2012

Geneva IL – Kane County Cougars
Fifth Third Bank Ballpark
Built: 1991, Renovated 2009
Cap: 7400
Royals expired 2012 (reportedly will sign with Cubs)

Peoria IL – Peoria Chiefs
O'Brien Field
Built: 2002
Cap: 7500
Cubs expired 2012 (Reportedly will need new MLB affiliate)

SALLY

Hagersown MD - Hagerstown Suns
Municipal Stadium
Built: 1930, Renovations 2010-11
Cap: 4600
Nationals expired 2012 (geographic fit, would seem likely to renew)

Lexington KY – Lexington Legends
Whitaker Bank Park
Built: 2001
Cap: 6994
Astros expired 2012

Savannah GA – Savannah Sand Gnats
Grayson Stadium
Built: 1926
Cap: 4000, Remodeled 2007
Mets expired 2012
Tuesday through Thursday should be very interesting.
The Mets and Astros are both likely to come to the MWL, Mets really want Fort Wayne, but Fort Wayne is pretty happy with the Padres so I really don't see a change there.
Apparently Savannah is comparable to Clinton in terms of ballpark, so I can see why the Mets want out.
The Nats do not want to come back to Haggerstown because of the quality of the field , and low attendance.
Royals could be a fit for one of the SALLY openings.
I think the Cardinals are likely targeting Peoria which is why there is a hold up.
Just wonder what is going on with Clinton.
Ill guess that it looks like this for next year, should be very interesting to see how many I get correct.

Beloit Snappers - Houston Astros
Burlington Bees - Washington Nationals
Cedar Rapids Kernels - Minnesota Twins
Clinton Lumber Kings - Los Angeles Angels
Dayton Dragons - Cincinnati
Fort Wayne TinCaps - San Diego Padres
Kane County Cougars - Chicago Cubs
Peoria Chiefs - St.Louis Cardinals
Quad Cities River Bandits - New York Mets
Hagerstown Suns - Seattle Mariners
Lexington Legends - Kansas City Royals
Savannah Sand Gnats - Oakland Athletics

Jim Crikket
09-11-2012, 11:51 PM
Tuesday through Thursday should be very interesting.
The Mets and Astros are both likely to come to the MWL, Mets really want Fort Wayne, but Fort Wayne is pretty happy with the Padres so I really don't see a change there.
Apparently Savannah is comparable to Clinton in terms of ballpark, so I can see why the Mets want out.
The Nats do not want to come back to Haggerstown because of the quality of the field , and low attendance.
Royals could be a fit for one of the SALLY openings.
I think the Cardinals are likely targeting Peoria which is why there is a hold up.
Just wonder what is going on with Clinton.
Ill guess that it looks like this for next year, should be very interesting to see how many I get correct.

Beloit Snappers - Houston Astros
Burlington Bees - Washington Nationals
Cedar Rapids Kernels - Minnesota Twins
Clinton Lumber Kings - Los Angeles Angels
Dayton Dragons - Cincinnati
Fort Wayne TinCaps - San Diego Padres
Kane County Cougars - Chicago Cubs
Peoria Chiefs - St.Louis Cardinals
Quad Cities River Bandits - New York Mets
Hagerstown Suns - Seattle Mariners
Lexington Legends - Kansas City Royals
Savannah Sand Gnats - Oakland Athletics

I'll play along:

Beloit Snappers - Astros
Burlington Bees - Royals (I think they'll stay in the midwest)
Cedar Rapids Kernels - Twins
Clinton Lumber Kings - Mariners renew
Dayton Dragons - Reds
Fort Wayne TinCaps - Padres
Kane County Cougars - Cubs
Peoria Chiefs - Cardinals
Quad Cities River Bandits - Angels (they've had two tours in QC before)
Hagerstown Suns - Nationals (stay nearby)
Lexington Legends - Mets
Savannah Sand Gnats - Athletics

This is tough, though, because I do think there's a really good chance that St Louis stays in the QC and if that happens, my predictions change quite a bit. I think the Royals would end up in Peoria and the Angels in Lexington. I guess that would leave Burlington for the Mets.

nowheresville
09-12-2012, 09:25 AM
I'll take a guess.

Beloit - Royals
Burlington - Astros
Cedar Rapids - Twins
Clinton - Mariners
Dayton - Reds
Fort Wayne - Padres
Kane Co - Cubs
Peoria - Angels
Quad Cities - Cardinals
Hagerstown - Mets
Lexington - As
Savannah - Nationals

jtrinaldi
09-12-2012, 10:13 AM
It just seems to make perfect sense for the Cardinals in Peoria, only a 3 hour drive for fans (which they would be able to do busses to go up for weekend series). Lexington is a desirable city, which is why I am confused why they have not re-upped with Houston yet. You have any news about Clinton's relationship with the M's? I wouldn't mind the Royals in Beloit, Zimmer and Bubba would start here next year.
Jim, I'll be seeing you in Cedar Rapids with my Twin brother, April 5,6,7 as Beloit will be starting their season in CR.

jtrinaldi
09-12-2012, 10:30 AM
and now we have this
https://twitter.com/Dispatch_Argus/status/245899347198357504

jtrinaldi
09-12-2012, 10:34 AM
Latest update : Fort Wayne to look for new affiliation.

jtrinaldi
09-12-2012, 02:07 PM
Going to busy over the next week trying to figure out who ends up where......


A source says that he believes we should see a Houston to Quad Cities and High Desert announcement soon. Why ? The Astros want out of Lancaster and are willing to go to High Desert. A team that is owned by the same two men who own the Quad Cities franchise as the company Main Street Baseball. The current Astros GM Luhnow helped broker the deal for the Cardinals when they first went to Quad Cities when he was the Cardinals GM.

Jim Crikket
09-12-2012, 04:51 PM
It just seems to make perfect sense for the Cardinals in Peoria, only a 3 hour drive for fans (which they would be able to do busses to go up for weekend series). Lexington is a desirable city, which is why I am confused why they have not re-upped with Houston yet. You have any news about Clinton's relationship with the M's? I wouldn't mind the Royals in Beloit, Zimmer and Bubba would start here next year.
Jim, I'll be seeing you in Cedar Rapids with my Twin brother, April 5,6,7 as Beloit will be starting their season in CR.

I haven't heard anything at all about the M's and Clinton. Seems like they've fielded competitive teams, so while maybe they'd prefer a midwestern MLB affiliation, just like CR does, I thought Clinton would like to keep things going as is. They had a nice renovation to their home clubhouse and workout facilities not long ago, so I'm not sure the M's could really do a lot better. I guess maybe one of the parties just saw 8-9 affiliations not renewing and decided it wouldn't hurt to see what options became available.

I think the Angels' priority is (a) decent facilities at least, and (b) relatively accessible airport nearby. QC and CR have good connections to LA and I assume Lexington probably does too. Burlington, Clinton, Beloit, not so much I assume.

I did see that the Kernels open up the season in April by hosting Beloit. If it's not snowing, I'll probably be out there. We'll have to find one another and have a beer or a spiked hot chocolate, whichever seems appropriate at the time.

Jim Crikket
09-12-2012, 06:11 PM
Savannah extended with the Mets, so cross that one off our lists.

http://savannah.sandgnats.milb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20120912&content_id=38307900&vkey=pr_t543&fext=.jsp&sid=t543

Seth Stohs
09-12-2012, 07:05 PM
Jeff Flickenger of the Beloit Daily News talked to Matt Bosen, the GM of the Snappers, Jim Rantz and others on the Beloit situation. Definitely worth a read: http://www.beloitdailynews.com/news/snappers-unsure-of-team/article_6c7cc61c-fcea-11e1-a984-0019bb2963f4.html

Jim Crikket
09-12-2012, 07:54 PM
Thanks for the link, Seth. Too bad about the Snappers losing their head groundskeeper. I thought he had the field looking pretty decent when I was up there.

The GM comments about July being a tough month for attendance rings familiar. CR had a down season attendance-wise, as well, and it's pretty easy to point at the ridiculously hot July-August stretch that hurt the most. Nobody was going to the ballpark when it was 100 degrees out there.

Not sure when the interview was conducted, but as we've figured out, there have been a number of Class A renewals since people talked about 16 total Class A contracts being up. Looks like we're now down to 11. 9 in MWL and 2 in SAL.

Jim Crikket
09-12-2012, 08:42 PM
If the Nationals were considering leaving Hagerstown due to the field and attendance, they may rethink things. Looks like an anonymous citizen has agreed with the city to cover half of the $30 million cost of a new stadium, that would open in 2015.

http://sunsfanclub.blogspot.com/2012/09/city-council-announces-private.html

jtrinaldi
09-12-2012, 10:52 PM
I think the biggest surprise this offseason in the MWL is Fort Wayne telling the Padres that they will not renew, and Quad Cities leaving, albeit we already know they will be in Peoria. There is still no team that is the front runner for Beloit, we will know between next Tuesday and Thursday. Beloit really has no leverage. Fort Wayne holds all the keys, because any team wants to get into Fort Wayne and they get to chose the lucky team.

nowheresville
09-13-2012, 12:49 PM
I talked to Matt Bosen a couple weeks ago about the Twins leaving, and he mentioned some of the improvements he hinted at in the article. He didn't get into many specifics, but said they were hoping to add new batting cages and make some improvements to the field itself.

Do we know that St. Louis is heading to Peoria, as in have their been any solid rumors, or is that just the assumption because it makes sense as a location? I have to think that St. Louis would be the pick of the litter for most all of the MWL openings, and someone like Fort Wayne could make a pretty good offer.

Jim Crikket
09-13-2012, 05:46 PM
Do we know that St. Louis is heading to Peoria, as in have their been any solid rumors, or is that just the assumption because it makes sense as a location? I have to think that St. Louis would be the pick of the litter for most all of the MWL openings, and someone like Fort Wayne could make a pretty good offer.

I think it's all supposition, at this point. It's logical, just as Twins to CR is logical. But the Cardinals' GM was their farm director in 2004 when Peoria ditched the Cards in favor of the Cubs. Geography certainly is one factor MLB teams consider, but it's not the only factor.

I'm not quite as certain that St. Louis would be the favorite pick from among MWL open cities. I've heard their front office is notorious for lack of communication with their minor league affiliate offices and the way they left the Quad Cities office twisting in the wind until the last minute would seem to be a pretty good example of that. Is that a huge deal to a minor league organization? I dunno... but I do know that the new Angels administration made little effort this summer to keep communication lines open and that factored in to CR's decision to look at other options after a 20 year relationship with the Halos.

JB_Iowa
09-13-2012, 06:01 PM
Just wanted to tell you all how much I enjoy reading this thread (almost daily now).

Have nothing to add about who will end up where but it's fun anticipating the shuffling.

joeboo_22
09-13-2012, 07:34 PM
What is the overlying issue that is causing so many teams (on both sides) to test the waters. Is it just a game of musical chairs, where since 1 or 2 are open everyone is open or is it more then that? Seems like there are a handful of MWL teams that have the upper hand, and a handful that will end up with whatever is left (Beloit is one). But it seems like there are a handful in the middle that are open as well. Just seems like I've heard way more this year then any other year when it comes to affiliate shuffling

Jim Crikket
09-13-2012, 08:57 PM
Clinton extends with the Mariners. This one doesn't surprise me at all. Not much assurance that either organization would do better.

http://seattle.mariners.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20120913&content_id=38374152&vkey=pr_sea&c_id=sea

joeboo, I'm not really sure why there are so many moves happening this year other than there were just a ton of PDCs in the MWL expiring in the same year. Honestly, since Cedar Rapids has just pretty much automatically renewed with the Angels for the past 20 years, I haven't paid much attention before. I haven't even paid very much attention to where the Twins are affiliating until the past 2-3 years. I blame Seth Stohs for increasing my interest levels in that regard.

It does look like 2014 could be just about as interesting. Already there are 14 PDCs in low A that are set to expire in 2014 (8 in SAL and 6 in MWL). You can probably assume that a number of the remaining 10 PDCs still to be resolved in this Class will be for just a two years, so that 14 is likely to grow.

Seth Stohs
09-13-2012, 09:16 PM
I blame Seth Stohs for increasing my interest levels in that regard.

I apologize!

Jim Crikket
09-13-2012, 09:21 PM
I blame Seth Stohs for increasing my interest levels in that regard.

I apologize!

No you don't. You aren't sorry at all!

Then again, neither am I. In fact, if the Twins don't get better pretty damn soon, I'll probably be more interested in their minor leaguers than I will the Big Leaguers for quite a while.

nowheresville
09-13-2012, 09:47 PM
What is the overlying issue that is causing so many teams (on both sides) to test the waters. Is it just a game of musical chairs, where since 1 or 2 are open everyone is open or is it more then that?

It seems to me there is minor league equivalent of a 7-year itch - its just 8- years since milb agreements only come up on even number years.

If you go and look at the past 20-30 years of mwl history, most teams tend to switch affiliation about every 8 years. There are some situations that are exceptions, where Geography (Dayton, West Michigan, Lake County) or simple good relationships (Cedar Rapids) have created longer relationships.

The Twins spent 8 years in Beloit, 6 years in Quad Cities, 6 years in Fort Wayne, and 8 years in Kenosha (the Kenosha franchise moved to Fort Wayne).

And it goes the other way too, if you look at the histories of QC, Peoria, Kane County, etc, they've all typically swapped affiliates every 6-8 years.

I can't tell you exactly why, although I'd guess that as with anything, sometimes people are just ready for something new. Also after 6 years or so, you're typically dealing with a different group of people on at least one side of the equation, be it new ownership for the minor league team, or a new front office for the major league team.

righty8383
09-13-2012, 10:30 PM
I blame Seth Stohs for increasing my interest levels in that regard.

I apologize!

No you don't. You aren't sorry at all!

Then again, neither am I. In fact, if the Twins don't get better pretty damn soon, I'll probably be more interested in their minor leaguers than I will the Big Leaguers for quite a while.

Thats one of the by products of having a really bad ML team, more and more people start following the minors.

Thrylos
09-13-2012, 10:44 PM
An interesting thought: The original Fort Wayne franchise (early 90s) was a Twins' affiliate (Wizards). Wonder whether there is any interest there. And I think that based on the E-town team success and the Beloit success, the Twins might have the upper hand in putting a good product on an A ball field.

Jim Crikket
09-13-2012, 11:04 PM
I've heard the Twins have had internal discussions about possibly returning to Ft. Wayne, but the sense has been that it's a consideration in the event discussions with Cedar Rapids don't go well.

Yes, the Twins were affiliated with Ft. Wayne at one time, but it was entirely due to circumstances. They were affiliated with Kenosha when that franchise was moved to Ft. Wayne. Outside of that circumstance, the Twins have always been affiliated with a team in what's now the Western Division of the MWL: Wisconsin Rapids, Kenosha, Davenport and Beloit.

I'm still not as convinced CR/Twins is as much of a "done deal" as pretty much everyone else I talk to around here thinks it is, but I do believe it's highly likely. If, for whatever reason, they don't end up in CR, I do agree that Ft. Wayne is quite possibly the next most likely landing spot. I don't see them returning to Davenport after getting kicked out of there before and Burlington arguably wouldn't be much of a step up from Beloit in terms of facilities (and familiarity with the Beloit organization would more than make up for any slight upgrade). Ft. Wayne would clearly offer the best available facilities.

jtrinaldi
09-14-2012, 02:27 PM
I have also herd similar rumors about Fort Wayne, they have been picking up a lot recently.
Fort Wayne pretty much has their choosing of which team they want. The Padres are the Wild Card team now. With Lunhow at helm, he will be putting the Astros, to QC so this is what it looks like.
Beloit
Kane County: Cubs
Peoria: St.Louis
Quad Cities: Houston
Cedar Rapids
Lexington
Burlington
Fort Wayne
Haggerstown

Jim Crikket
09-14-2012, 04:07 PM
Just was told the CR Board will be hosting meetings with potential teams early next week with team officials getting tours of the facilities and making presentations. These will occur over lunch hours or after work (the Board members are working stiffs, yanno).

I won't lie... I'm tempted to spend my lunch hours and post-work hours staking out the Kernels parking lot. Yes, I'm a sick, sick man.

I'm told a vote by the CR Board will take place possibly as early as Thursday. Should be done by Friday at the latest. There's obviously no time to screw around on this deal.

jtrinaldi
09-14-2012, 05:00 PM
Just was told the CR Board will be hosting meetings with potential teams early next week with team officials getting tours of the facilities and making presentations. These will occur over lunch hours or after work (the Board members are working stiffs, yanno).

I won't lie... I'm tempted to spend my lunch hours and post-work hours staking out the Kernels parking lot. Yes, I'm a sick, sick man.

I'm told a vote by the CR Board will take place possibly as early as Thursday. Should be done by Friday at the latest. There's obviously no time to screw around on this deal.
They have a 3 day window, Tuesday-Thursday to negotiate. I wonder what the Padres are going to do? Fort Wayne probably wants Buxton or Correa as a marketing chip, so they can get better attendance (Although they are doing great already)

jtrinaldi
09-14-2012, 09:06 PM
Talked to George Spelius in Appleton on Thursday, said that at 11:00 tomorrow morning he will receive a list of teams in the MWL that plan to seek new affiliation for next year. They have until 10:00 to figure out with their parent club if they will continue their relationship. Free Agency will begin Monday (if the world series is over Sunday) or Tuesday (if game 5 is needed)

Thrylos
09-14-2012, 09:34 PM
An interesting fact about Ft Wayne: that metro area has half a million people. Way more than a typical single A host city and much closer to lots of AA and AAA host cities. (matter of fact, as far as city sizes go, Ft Wayne has more people than Rochester, NY) That is why the attendance.

jtrinaldi
09-14-2012, 10:02 PM
Not to mention Fort Wayne's ballpark is one of the best in all the Minors

East Coast Twin
09-17-2012, 03:45 AM
Twins official are expected to visit Cedar Rapids today.

“We were not disappointed at all about anything with the Angels,” Kernels President Gary Keoppel said Sunday . . . "We determined as a club that this was a good time for us to try and get a Midwest affiliate.

http://thegazette.com/2012/09/16/kernels-say-no-ill-will-toward-angels-twins-brass-expected-in-town-monday/

Jim Crikket
09-17-2012, 09:07 AM
Twins official are expected to visit Cedar Rapids today.

“We were not disappointed at all about anything with the Angels,” Kernels President Gary Keoppel said Sunday . . . "We determined as a club that this was a good time for us to try and get a Midwest affiliate.

http://thegazette.com/2012/09/16/kernels-say-no-ill-will-toward-angels-twins-brass-expected-in-town-monday/

Yep. Smith, Rantz and Steil are expected. They'll tour the facilities this afternoon and meet with the Board tonight. If everyone on both sides like what they see and hear, this could move pretty quickly.

jtrinaldi
09-17-2012, 09:10 AM
Astros in Fort wayne today

Jim Crikket
09-17-2012, 09:14 AM
Astros in Fort wayne today

That would be a HUGE 'get' for the Astros if they can pull it off.

nowheresville
09-17-2012, 12:27 PM
The River Bandits apparently want some assurances that they'll get some MLB Rehab assignments from their next affiliate.

http://qctimes.com/sports/baseball/professional/minor/midwest-league/mlb-clubs-already-showing-interest-in-q-c/article_e3246052-005c-11e2-becc-001a4bcf887a.html

That would seem to make the Twins an unlikely fit, since they like to send everyone down to Fort Myers.The only players they ever seemed to send to Beloit were the guys who were already in the organizational dog house (ie JJ Hardy, Alexi Castilla). I'm sure much of that was facilities, but I don't know if they were any better at it during their previous time in QC.

Jim Crikket
09-17-2012, 01:10 PM
I'm not sure why the Twins send their players to Ft. Myers to rehab, but I think it's more than just the facilities in Beloit because I recall the folks in Rochester expressing dissatisfaction with the Twins for not sending enough guys out east to rehab, as well. I'm sure their staff and training facilities in Ft. Myers are better and most of the bus trips in the Florida State League are under 2 hours long. For us in Cedar Rapids, I just don't think that's a big deal probably because CR hasn't had a nearby affiliate in the 35 years I've been going to games. In fact, you mentioned Alexi Casilla getting a rehab stint with Beloit, but he actually requested that the Twins let him do his rehab with Beloit because they were playing in Cedar Rapids when he was scheduled to rehab and coming back here for a few games was actually a homecoming for him. He played for the Kernels when he was in the Angels organization. Casilla is the only MLB player I can recall ever watching play on a rehab assignment in CR.

Best of luck to the QC folks getting assurances on MLB rehab assignments. It's not going to happen for the River Bandits unless they sign on with another Midwestern team. If the Cubs go to Kane County and the Cardinals leave QC, that leaves the Twins and Royals. I can't see the Twins promising the QC any kind of rehab quota and the Royals have their AAA team right up the road in Omaha, so good luck getting Royals players showing up any more frequently than the Cardinals have.

I believe that if you're relying on your MLB affiliate to send you rehab players in order to prop up your attendance, you're not doing your job as a minor league front office. Those should be "frosting on the cake" when and if they happen. Maybe having a 1 hour direct flight between Minneapolis and Cedar Rapids will make a 1-2 game rehab thing more likely here, but I'm not counting on it.

nowheresville
09-17-2012, 01:40 PM
Interesting - I knew that all of Alexi's rehab games were played in Cedar Rapids, but I never knew that he'd requested them. A very classy touch on his part.

The Cubs and Brewers are probably the best at sending their prospects to the Midwest League. They both seem to send players down to the Midwest League for a game or two, and then up to their AAA clubs for a final tune up. I think the only rehab in Beloit this year was when Shawn Marcum pitched for the visiting TRats in late August. It seems like the Twins might have sent one or two other guys down during their first couple years in Beloit, although I can't remember who else at this point.

joeboo_22
09-17-2012, 01:47 PM
I don't know if a parent club needs to send rehab to the low A team. But I think it would be a good move to maybe send a rehab player or 2 to each of your affiliates if possible. I know some would not want to go to Low A but some might.

Jim Crikket
09-17-2012, 01:52 PM
Interesting - I knew that all of Alexi's rehab games were played in Cedar Rapids, but I never knew that he'd requested them. A very classy touch on his part.

He not only requested to be sent to CR for his rehab, but my understanding is that he spent the time staying at the home of the family that served as the "house parents" he lived with when he played for the Kernels.

jtrinaldi
09-17-2012, 02:16 PM
I'm not sure why the Twins send their players to Ft. Myers to rehab, but I think it's more than just the facilities in Beloit because I recall the folks in Rochester expressing dissatisfaction with the Twins for not sending enough guys out east to rehab, as well. I'm sure their staff and training facilities in Ft. Myers are better and most of the bus trips in the Florida State League are under 2 hours long. For us in Cedar Rapids, I just don't think that's a big deal probably because CR hasn't had a nearby affiliate in the 35 years I've been going to games. In fact, you mentioned Alexi Casilla getting a rehab stint with Beloit, but he actually requested that the Twins let him do his rehab with Beloit because they were playing in Cedar Rapids when he was scheduled to rehab and coming back here for a few games was actually a homecoming for him. He played for the Kernels when he was in the Angels organization. Casilla is the only MLB player I can recall ever watching play on a rehab assignment in CR.

Best of luck to the QC folks getting assurances on MLB rehab assignments. It's not going to happen for the River Bandits unless they sign on with another Midwestern team. If the Cubs go to Kane County and the Cardinals leave QC, that leaves the Twins and Royals. I can't see the Twins promising the QC any kind of rehab quota and the Royals have their AAA team right up the road in Omaha, so good luck getting Royals players showing up any more frequently than the Cardinals have.

I believe that if you're relying on your MLB affiliate to send you rehab players in order to prop up your attendance, you're not doing your job as a minor league front office. Those should be "frosting on the cake" when and if they happen. Maybe having a 1 hour direct flight between Minneapolis and Cedar Rapids will make a 1-2 game rehab thing more likely here, but I'm not counting on it.
Brewers send every rehabber through Appleton (always on a home stand) and Shaun Marcum made a start in Betroit.

Jim Crikket
09-17-2012, 02:27 PM
Brewers send every rehabber through Appleton (always on a home stand) and Shaun Marcum made a start in Betroit.

I can understand that being the case with the Brewers. Their AAA team is in Tennessee, AA in Alabama, High A in Florida. None of them use their Spring Training facility in AZ. But when you look at the nine MLB teams still without affiliations, I don't see any that you'd expect to see sending their rebab players to the Quad Cities. The Cardinals, Twins and Royals would seem to be the teams most likely to do so, yet none have a history of doing so.

MWLFan
09-17-2012, 03:03 PM
I saw Carlos Silva pitch for Beliot one year, but other then that and a JJ Hardy sighting. Not much else. Hardy played in Beliot also as a Minor Leaguer with the Brewers.

Jim Crikket
09-17-2012, 04:01 PM
More speculation. Going to be a fun week.

http://www.kgymradio.com/Sprinkling-The-Infield/10336305

Thrylos
09-17-2012, 06:40 PM
More speculation. Going to be a fun week.

http://www.kgymradio.com/Sprinkling-The-Infield/10336305


They got San Diego and LAA going from Fort Wayne to Beloit to Burlington. Talking about ups and downs :)

Jim Crikket
09-17-2012, 07:40 PM
Twins and CR have agreed to a deal. Press conference will be Wednesday.

I'm told KC is going to Lexington, Ft Wayne was hoping to land the Cardinals but St. Louis wouldn't even talk to them, so Ft Wayne is expected to stick with the Padres.

Seth Stohs
09-17-2012, 07:45 PM
Broken by the great Jim Crikket!!! Nice work!!

Jim Crikket
09-17-2012, 08:02 PM
My wife texted me and asked if I was doing the Happy Dance. I said yes, and it isn't pretty... good thing nobody can see!

snepp
09-17-2012, 08:03 PM
Excellent news.

minn55441
09-17-2012, 10:55 PM
Thanks for the info Jim. We appreciate all of the info you have provided in the last few weeks.

Jim Crikket
09-17-2012, 11:03 PM
Thanks for the info Jim. We appreciate all of the info you have provided in the last few weeks.

You're welcome. Then again, some in the local media apparently think I'm just makin' stuff up, so I guess you'll all just have to decide what you believe.

It's been an anxious, but enjoyable, period of time... one I hope I don't have to go through again for at least several years. I do know that I'm already looking forward to next season.

jtrinaldi
09-17-2012, 11:17 PM
Thanks for the info Jim. We appreciate all of the info you have provided in the last few weeks.

You're welcome. Then again, some in the local media apparently think I'm just makin' stuff up, so I guess you'll all just have to decide what you believe.

It's been an anxious, but enjoyable, period of time... one I hope I don't have to go through again for at least several years. I do know that I'm already looking forward to next season.
Lexington is nowhere near being done for the royals, After FW is done, Lexington becomes the top location.

nowheresville
09-18-2012, 07:15 AM
You're welcome. Then again, some in the local media apparently think I'm just makin' stuff up, so I guess you'll all just have to decide what you believe.


Yeah, but they also think you are a "Twin Cities Blogger" so they only care about the "facts" when its clear they're getting schooled.

Jim Crikket
09-18-2012, 08:51 AM
You're welcome. Then again, some in the local media apparently think I'm just makin' stuff up, so I guess you'll all just have to decide what you believe.


Yeah, but they also think you are a "Twin Cities Blogger" so they only care about the "facts" when its clear they're getting schooled.

In fairness, as a blogger I have an easier time of things than the traditional media. While I'm sure I don't have as many sources as they do, I do have sources both in Minnesota and in Cedar Rapids. In addition, while news media generally needs to get two sources on the record to run a story, I don't. In this case, I needed one source I had a high degree of confidence in, either in Minnesota or Cedar Rapids. That's why I don't consider this any more than it is... a very good bit of news for Twins fans in Iowa.

TwinsFanInPhilly
09-18-2012, 09:28 AM
Thanks for the info Jim. We appreciate all of the info you have provided in the last few weeks.

I agree witht his sentiment completely. And I am so looking forward to first hand reporting on the progress of Buxton, J. O. Kepler, Polanco, Harrison, Goodrum, Hicks, Walker, Duffey, et al. Should be a fun bunch to watch.

jtrinaldi
09-18-2012, 01:16 PM
Thanks for the info Jim. We appreciate all of the info you have provided in the last few weeks.

I agree witht his sentiment completely. And I am so looking forward to first hand reporting on the progress of Buxton, J. O. Kepler, Polanco, Harrison, Goodrum, Hicks, Walker, Duffey, et al. Should be a fun bunch to watch.
Harrison is not likely going to be in class A to start the season, he has lots of work to do with his glove. They also may hold Buxton in Ex.ST as well. The Twins are stingy with their HS'ers and young latin talent.

Jim Crikket
09-18-2012, 01:25 PM
One nice thing about the new CBA and the accelerated signing date is that a guy like Buxton got more PAs with a wood bat this summer than he might have in previous years if the signing process had been stretched out. It seems to me that whether he starts the season in A ball or stays down south a month or two might depend on what the Twins do with the outfielders that finished the year in Beloit.

Jim Crikket
09-18-2012, 02:26 PM
Ballparkdigest.com (http://ballparkdigest.com/201209185568/minor-league-baseball/features/fort-wayne-san-diego-extend-pdc)reporting a press release is expected soon confirming that Ft. Wayne is renewing with the Padres.

Jim Crikket
09-19-2012, 08:32 AM
Dominos continuing to fall. Peoria and the Cardinals have made it official. Four years. (Hat tip to MWLTraveler's tweet, which brought this to my attention).

http://www.milb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20120918&content_id=38612194&vkey=pr_t443&fext=.jsp&sid=t443

Mr. Ed
09-19-2012, 09:44 AM
One nice thing about the new CBA and the accelerated signing date is that a guy like Buxton got more PAs with a wood bat this summer than he might have in previous years if the signing process had been stretched out. It seems to me that whether he starts the season in A ball or stays down south a month or two might depend on what the Twins do with the outfielders that finished the year in Beloit.

I am really happy with the accelerated signing date. No doubt, without it, Buxton would have likely only been in the GCL. Got some Eliz experience.

As for the OF, there really isn't a reason Lin/Leachman should stay in Lo-A. JD Williams shouldn't either. He'll be 22. Time to advance a level and try to get better.

Roberts will be in FM, for at least part of the season. Rosario should be getting more reps at 2nd, less in the OF.

jtrinaldi
09-19-2012, 09:45 AM
Dominos continuing to fall. Peoria and the Cardinals have made it official. Four years. (Hat tip to MWLTraveler's tweet, which brought this to my attention).

http://www.milb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20120918&content_id=38612194&vkey=pr_t443&fext=.jsp&sid=t443

QC deciding between
Houston
Oakland
LAA

I would be shocked if they do not chose Houston. Here are the Scenarios that play out. I am expecting QC to have an announcement today regarding which team they will chose. The Royals are heading to Lexington, and that should get done today as well. The A's had an issue with Burlington at the end of the year so I see no chance that the renew. Beloit also has great surrounding area's (janesville). I have talked to guys and they have all echoed that they would rather be in Beloit than Burlington.

QC takes Oakland
Beloit takes Houston
Burlington takes LAA

QC takes Houston
Beloit takes Oakland
Burlington takes LAA

QC takes LAA
Beloit takes Oakland
Burlington takes Houston

nowheresville
09-19-2012, 01:56 PM
Considering that Beloit seems to be a tad higher than Burlington in the MWL pecking order, wouldn't the Snappers ultimately get the say of the two leftover after Quad Cities?

In other words, couldn't the As get stuck back in Burlington anyway if QC picks the Astros, and the Snappers decide they'd rather work with the Angels?

jtrinaldi
09-19-2012, 02:30 PM
Considering that Beloit seems to be a tad higher than Burlington in the MWL pecking order, wouldn't the Snappers ultimately get the say of the two leftover after Quad Cities?

In other words, couldn't the As get stuck back in Burlington anyway if QC picks the Astros, and the Snappers decide they'd rather work with the Angels?
The A's are doing everything they can to get out of Burlington, so if they sense that they are no longer an option for Quad Cities (keep in mind that 25 of the 53 years of Affiliation for QC was with Houston and LAA) then they will likely jump ship and come to Beloit. I the A's are determined not to be in Burlington again. They had numerous problems that I cannot mention because the people who told me asked to keep it quiet. I'll just say this, The problems are on and off the field in Burlington but I cannot specify.
People that I spoke to in the A's organization have hated Burlington and are the advocates to move the team anywhere else. Another thing to note is that Janesville (where the coaches normally rent) is a great city and the guys who live their love it. The players on Off Days in Beloit would go to Lake Geneva, Milwaukee or Chicago. Most of the Rovers for the Twins would stay in Milwaukee and then drive down to Beloit in for the game (1.5 hours). Burlington offers nothing like that. Beloit is definitely higher on the pecking level than Burlington.

nowheresville
09-19-2012, 04:50 PM
I understand why Oakland would want to be in Beloit. I've talked to a number of player parents over the years who love the fact that you can get from Pohlman Field to MKE in about an hour, and to OHare in under 2. I'm sure that would be a big plus for any AL West team. Although, I don't know that I've ever heard anyone who wasn't a politician say they love Janesville.

The bigger question for me is why Oakland might be a better choice for the Snappers than the Angels. I'd think Beloit would see the longstanding relationship between LAA and CR as a big positive, especially if the As are so desperate to leave Burlington after just 2 years. I guess if Oakland is really desperate they could offer the Snappers something extra? I'm just not sure what that might be.

IdahoPilgrim
09-19-2012, 05:10 PM
The bigger question for me is why Oakland might be a better choice for the Snappers than the Angels. I'd think Beloit would see the longstanding relationship between LAA and CR as a big positive, especially if the As are so desperate to leave Burlington after just 2 years. I guess if Oakland is really desperate they could offer the Snappers something extra? I'm just not sure what that might be.

If I understand correctly, that isn't allowed by MLB rules. They don't want bidding wars for minor league affiliates. I don't know how easy it is to "game" the system or not.

jtrinaldi
09-19-2012, 05:37 PM
I understand why Oakland would want to be in Beloit. I've talked to a number of player parents over the years who love the fact that you can get from Pohlman Field to MKE in about an hour, and to OHare in under 2. I'm sure that would be a big plus for any AL West team. Although, I don't know that I've ever heard anyone who wasn't a politician say they love Janesville.

The bigger question for me is why Oakland might be a better choice for the Snappers than the Angels. I'd think Beloit would see the longstanding relationship between LAA and CR as a big positive, especially if the As are so desperate to leave Burlington after just 2 years. I guess if Oakland is really desperate they could offer the Snappers something extra? I'm just not sure what that might be.
Beloit is meeting with Houston and Oakland, no LAA.
Most of the players and who don't live with host families live in Jansville. Also the 3 pieces of the coaching staff last year lived in Janesville.

nowheresville
09-19-2012, 06:10 PM
The Royals and Lexington deal is done, with official announcement coming tomorrow, according to a Lexington TV station.

http://www.lex18.com/news/lexington-legends-switching-major-league-affiliation/

Jim Crikket
09-20-2012, 01:47 PM
It's no shock, obviously, that the Cubs and Kane County have announced an affiliation (http://www.kccougars.com/20120919cubs.html).

But here's what I find at least a little interesting... they only signed on for two years. Given that these two organizations were so keen on hitching up together that they reportedly violated MLB Rule 56 by initiating those discussions well before that rule allows, I find it peculiar that they ended up less committed to one another than the Cardinals & Peoria and the Twins & Cedar Rapids, both of which not only contracted for the maximum four years, but in both cases all the parties went to great measures in saying they intended the relationships to go on well beyond four years.

When new affiliation relationships are the result of shotgun weddings where one or both parties find themselves in a "this is the best we could do but we're not thrilled with it" situation, a 2 year PDC is understandable and extensions of existing affiliations are very commonly just two years. But a new deal where both sides are anxious to hook up? Just seems odd to me.

It will also be interesting to see whether the Cubs and Cougars end up getting slapped with fines for their transgression, though I suppose that may never become widely public.

jtrinaldi
09-20-2012, 05:40 PM
The A's will be the team in Beloit, announcement is going to come early next week. I am very excited that the A's will be in Beloit. It is very exciting for me because the A's have gone young recently in the draft, and have ponied up to spend big $$$ on the Latino's. This year upcoming will not be the same with out the Twins in Beloit but I am ecstatic for the team. The Twins were not nearly as pro active in the community in their 8 years in Beloit, as they have shown in the last 2 days towards Cedar Rapids. I will miss the Twins players, but not much else about the Twins.

East Coast Twin
09-21-2012, 06:11 AM
An article in the Beloit newspaper about that city's situation. Members of the organization mention some concern about whether Beloit will still be a minor league affiliate when the Player Development Agrement expires in 2020.

“One thing where this could be beneficial is that maybe now some people will see that what the Snappers have been trying to do for the last eight years or so is something that we need to pay a little more attention to,” [Snappers Chairman Dennis Conerton] said. “But when you see an affiliate leave for facilities that are better, you do start to wonder when the Player Development Agreement is up in 2020 will the standards change at all, and if we were to continue with Minor League Baseball in the Beloit community.”


http://www.beloitdailynews.com/sports/snappers-must-replace-twins/article_d5f5f100-0329-11e2-8b27-001a4bcf887a.html

jtrinaldi
09-21-2012, 10:19 AM
An article in the Beloit newspaper about that city's situation. Members of the organization mention some concern about whether Beloit will still be a minor league affiliate when the Player Development Agrement expires in 2020.

“One thing where this could be beneficial is that maybe now some people will see that what the Snappers have been trying to do for the last eight years or so is something that we need to pay a little more attention to,” [Snappers Chairman Dennis Conerton] said. “But when you see an affiliate leave for facilities that are better, you do start to wonder when the Player Development Agreement is up in 2020 will the standards change at all, and if we were to continue with Minor League Baseball in the Beloit community.”


http://www.beloitdailynews.com/sports/snappers-must-replace-twins/article_d5f5f100-0329-11e2-8b27-001a4bcf887a.html
Beloit gets the Midwest League All Star game in 2020, and likely will have to sell the rights to the game because of the lack of stadium. 2020 is also the last year that Beloit will be around unless a new stadium is put up, or enough money has been collected to begin work on a stadium. 2020 is the first year that Beloit will be elligible to lose the team. If they lose the team, It will be all because they did not put the stadium on the river. When they had the plan to put it on the river, the head guy said no because the bugs would be terrible, and he wanted it right off the interstate. The big donors then removed all their money from the stadium that they had committed. If Beloit loses their team, I will not feel bad for the city, because they had a chance to put a stadium up, and ultimately did not. Also, just a personal note,this is likely one of my last years shooting in Beloit.

Jim Crikket
09-21-2012, 10:26 AM
An article in the Beloit newspaper about that city's situation. Members of the organization mention some concern about whether Beloit will still be a minor league affiliate when the Player Development Agrement expires in 2020.

“One thing where this could be beneficial is that maybe now some people will see that what the Snappers have been trying to do for the last eight years or so is something that we need to pay a little more attention to,” [Snappers Chairman Dennis Conerton] said. “But when you see an affiliate leave for facilities that are better, you do start to wonder when the Player Development Agreement is up in 2020 will the standards change at all, and if we were to continue with Minor League Baseball in the Beloit community.”


http://www.beloitdailynews.com/sports/snappers-must-replace-twins/article_d5f5f100-0329-11e2-8b27-001a4bcf887a.html

It will be interesting to see what happens when the time comes to extend the Professional Baseball Agreement between MLB and MiLB. It was last renewed during the 2010-11 offseason and that was actually a few years before it was set to expire, so I guess it's possible that could happen again before 2020. The last time, the only real change in the agreement was a bump in the amount of money minor league teams have to pay to MLB out of their ticket revenues, but historically previous renewals of the agreements had been a bit more problematic in areas such as facilities standards.

I hope we never get to the point where communities the size of Beloit and Burlington can't keep affiliated minor league baseball due to facilities issues, but at some point somebody is going to have to step up and make some pretty significant improvements.

Jim Crikket
09-24-2012, 02:34 PM
As I believe jtrinaldi projected, the Astros and Quad Cities have been reunited (http://qctimes.com/sports/baseball/professional/minor/midwest-league/river-bandits-astros-reunite/article_e87f29b2-067c-11e2-945e-0019bb2963f4.html).

jtrinaldi
09-24-2012, 02:46 PM
As I believe jtrinaldi projected, the Astros and Quad Cities have been reunited (http://qctimes.com/sports/baseball/professional/minor/midwest-league/river-bandits-astros-reunite/article_e87f29b2-067c-11e2-945e-0019bb2963f4.html).
Yup,a deal is expected between Burlington and LAA later tonight.
Really excited for Oakland to be in Beloit.