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Charley Walters: Twins-Saints partnership talks quietly ongoing

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#1 Sconnie

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Posted 11 July 2020 - 06:50 PM

Very interesting article in Pioneer Press from Charlie Walters.

https://www.twinciti...uietly-ongoing/

There’s been a few suggestions in the forums here on TD to this effect as well.

Would you attend more Saints games, were they AAA affiliate of the Twins?
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#2 Rosterman

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Posted 11 July 2020 - 07:02 PM

Interesting setup to have Triple-AAA ball that close, especially for rehab assignments. A-Ball in nearby Iowa. AA close to High A and training camp in Florida. Be a pretty good arrangement for Twins and players.

 

What is interesting with the cancelled minor leage season, and the supposed elimination of many minor league parks...teams have basically cut a good dozen players already from their system, and with the small draft class, even fewer prospects to deal with.

 

Not sure what major league's baseball intent will be for their proposed independent league for baseball castoffs and players on the cusp of maybe getting a minimum draft call, but not.

 

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#3 old nurse

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Posted 11 July 2020 - 08:51 PM

La Valle E Neal III scooped Walters on that a couple months ago

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#4 DocBauer

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Posted 11 July 2020 - 11:59 PM

Rochester has been pretty good to the Twins from everything I have ever seen and read, though I have read a few things here and there how the fan base hasn't exactly embraced the Twins organization due to geography. Swear I read somewhere how their store is filled with Yankee gear. (Ugh)! But I guess it makes sense.

From the Twins perspective, a good fan base and connecting flights sounds good. Any maybe it's just being in the Midwest and loving a Midwestern team all my life, as well as watching the great partnership between the Royals and their Omaha affiliate, but I've always wanted the Twins AAA team to be closer. In all my almkst 50yrs following the Twins, I think Toledo has been the closest AAA affiliate they've had.

The "conglomeration" of Ft Myers, Elizabethton, Pensacola and the GCL makes great sense for weather and proximity to one another and the Ft Myers facility. And the Kernels, despite distance, just seems like a perfect marriage you'd hate to breakup.

I never realized until I read a few things and actually looked online just how great the Saints facility was. That is a beautiful ballpark! And there are obvious changes being put in place to re-structure milb and the number of affiliates. (A different discussion, a different time, but one I'm NOT fully behind). But all of these changes WILL affect various cities/towns across the country including independent ball. So change is absolutely on the horizon.

With so much change in the air, and so many unknowns, it's very hard to speculate. But one thing that has to be asked: Do the Saints WANT to partner with the Twins and MLB? On one hand, they could reap huge benefits from an established fan base who would love to watch AAA baseball and current and future ML talent. On the other hand, would they see diminished returns because they lost a special niche no longer being "different" with a local fan base who will see those players with the Twins at some point down the road anyway?

If the Saints don't work out, for whatever reason...and it would be very cool if it happened...I offer up a second proposal. The Lincoln NE are part of the same independent affiliate. They have had great success. They play at Haymarket Park, home of the Husker baseball team, which is one of the TOP facilities in all of college baseball. It has been host to many regional and super-regional playoffs over the years. And there are obvious ties to Omaha and the CWS 45 miles down the road. And this is a state and fan base that loves amateur and semi pro sports without having a pro team of it's own.

If the Saints aren't interested, or don't trust being an affiliate just across the river from the ML team they would support, the Twins should look a little south to Lincoln and call the Salt Dogs their AAA home.
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#5 nclahammer

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Posted 12 July 2020 - 03:56 AM

I would definately attend more Saints games if they were a Twins affiliate.Would love to have our top prospects that close.

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#6 heresthething

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Posted 12 July 2020 - 07:13 AM

I would absolutely attend more Saints games.I suspect the level of attendance at the Saints games has a whole lot more to do with the price and the fun atmosphere.If they don't mess with either of those as a Twins fan I would love it.But definitely a hit to the players and coaches they draw from and the league they would be exiting.

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#7 Nine of twelve

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Posted 12 July 2020 - 07:49 AM

 

I would definitely attend more Saints games if they were a Twins affiliate.Would love to have our top prospects that close.

 

 

I would absolutely attend more Saints games.I suspect the level of attendance at the Saints games has a whole lot more to do with the price and the fun atmosphere.If they don't mess with either of those as a Twins fan I would love it.But definitely a hit to the players and coaches they draw from and the league they would be exiting.

I'm with both of these posts. There's no reason for the fun atmosphere to be compromised. The quality of baseball would be way better than we get with the has-beens, never-wases and never-will-bes that make up the current AAIPB. And we'd have a chance to see our top prospects in person instead of being relegated to reading third-hand information about them.

We've discussed this on a past thread but it's good news that this concept seems to have traction within the two organizations.

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#8 Shaitan

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Posted 12 July 2020 - 10:34 AM

My only complaint about Saints games at CHS right now is the price. I can see MLB for nearly the same cost and the quality is significantly better. 

 

Anyway, yes, I would be more interested in the Saints as an affiliate.

 

But I think losing their "independence" would hurt the Saints' brand significantly. I question if it would be a good deal for them. I imagine it would give them more league stability but take away some of the quirky decision making ability that makes that franchise so unique.

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#9 Doctor Gast

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Posted 12 July 2020 - 10:48 AM

I would love to see our top prospects play in St. Paul & would even be better if they still keep the same atmosphere. I hope they don`t continue in NY., like Doc said Lincoln,NB would better 2nd choice 

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#10 Nine of twelve

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Posted 12 July 2020 - 04:23 PM

 

If the Saints don't work out, for whatever reason...and it would be very cool if it happened...I offer up a second proposal. The Lincoln NE are part of the same independent affiliate. They have had great success. They play at Haymarket Park, home of the Husker baseball team, which is one of the TOP facilities in all of college baseball. It has been host to many regional and super-regional playoffs over the years. And there are obvious ties to Omaha and the CWS 45 miles down the road. And this is a state and fan base that loves amateur and semi pro sports without having a pro team of it's own.

If the Saints aren't interested, or don't trust being an affiliate just across the river from the ML team they would support, the Twins should look a little south to Lincoln and call the Salt Dogs their AAA home.

I can understand how a Twins fan in Omaha would love to have their AAA team in Lincoln. But realistically, I think the chance of a Twins AAA team succeeding there is infinitesimal. In business terms Lincoln is really part of the Omaha market and it's in the heart of Royals territory. I just can't see Twins executives giving the OK to go that way.

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#11 rdehring

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Posted 13 July 2020 - 07:16 AM

 

Rochester has been pretty good to the Twins from everything I have ever seen and read, though I have read a few things here and there how the fan base hasn't exactly embraced the Twins organization due to geography. Swear I read somewhere how their store is filled with Yankee gear. (Ugh)! But I guess it makes sense.

From the Twins perspective, a good fan base and connecting flights sounds good. Any maybe it's just being in the Midwest and loving a Midwestern team all my life, as well as watching the great partnership between the Royals and their Omaha affiliate, but I've always wanted the Twins AAA team to be closer. In all my almkst 50yrs following the Twins, I think Toledo has been the closest AAA affiliate they've had.

The "conglomeration" of Ft Myers, Elizabethton, Pensacola and the GCL makes great sense for weather and proximity to one another and the Ft Myers facility. And the Kernels, despite distance, just seems like a perfect marriage you'd hate to breakup.

I never realized until I read a few things and actually looked online just how great the Saints facility was. That is a beautiful ballpark! And there are obvious changes being put in place to re-structure milb and the number of affiliates. (A different discussion, a different time, but one I'm NOT fully behind). But all of these changes WILL affect various cities/towns across the country including independent ball. So change is absolutely on the horizon.

With so much change in the air, and so many unknowns, it's very hard to speculate. But one thing that has to be asked: Do the Saints WANT to partner with the Twins and MLB? On one hand, they could reap huge benefits from an established fan base who would love to watch AAA baseball and current and future ML talent. On the other hand, would they see diminished returns because they lost a special niche no longer being "different" with a local fan base who will see those players with the Twins at some point down the road anyway?

If the Saints don't work out, for whatever reason...and it would be very cool if it happened...I offer up a second proposal. The Lincoln NE are part of the same independent affiliate. They have had great success. They play at Haymarket Park, home of the Husker baseball team, which is one of the TOP facilities in all of college baseball. It has been host to many regional and super-regional playoffs over the years. And there are obvious ties to Omaha and the CWS 45 miles down the road. And this is a state and fan base that loves amateur and semi pro sports without having a pro team of it's own.

If the Saints aren't interested, or don't trust being an affiliate just across the river from the ML team they would support, the Twins should look a little south to Lincoln and call the Salt Dogs their AAA home.

Love Lincoln, with lots of fun memories.

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#12 DocBauer

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Posted 13 July 2020 - 12:50 PM

I can understand how a Twins fan in Omaha would love to have their AAA team in Lincoln. But realistically, I think the chance of a Twins AAA team succeeding there is infinitesimal. In business terms Lincoln is really part of the Omaha market and it's in the heart of Royals territory. I just can't see Twins executives giving the OK to go that way.


Generally agree with you. Might be weird having not only 2 AAA teams 45 miles apart, but also ALC affiliates. But the Salt Dogs seem to do OK for themselves. Clearly a second choice, but fits the profile for a closer proximity AAA team for the Twins with great facilities and good track record.

Of course, being that Twins fan in Omaha it wouldn't exactly stink either. Lol
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#13 bighat

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Posted 13 July 2020 - 06:42 PM

Should St. Paul become the Twins AAA team, I think it would be great in some ways and bad in others. Good for players - they don't have to move! They can go up and down, just take an Uber ride across town if they get called up. Super easy and strategic for the Twins, no more "he's on the plane from Rochester and maybe will make it to the ballpark by the 7th inning".

 

On the other hand, let's say you're struggling and get sent down. Instead of taking a flight and getting to clear your head, you're right next door. I know if my work demoted me, I'd probably prefer to take a flight to Rochester to work with teammates there rather than just go down the hall and see the same folks on the elevator each day.

 

Also, something about killing independent baseball in the cities seems wrong.

 

 

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#14 jud6312

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Posted 13 July 2020 - 09:54 PM

I would think a logical backup plan to St. Paul would be Sioux Falls over Lincoln. 

 

It's still relatively close, pretty strong Twins territory, it's a growing city, it's proven it can be a baseball city with the Canaries, and they already have an NBA G-League team.

 

I'm also not sure, but I thought at one time MLB had something in the rules about there needing to be a certain distance between the big league team and its affiliates. I could be mistaken, or maybe that rule is going away due to their cutting teams and push to keep things more in line in terms of geography.

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#15 Doctor Gast

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Posted 15 July 2020 - 07:52 AM

W/ MLB cutting minor league teams & draft drastically reduced, Independent teams will have to carry the slack. Higher caliber of players will flood the Independent leagues. Hopefully new Independent teams will spring up especially if the Saints transform into a affiliation of the Twins. & what will happen to Veek? 


#16 nicksaviking

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Posted 15 July 2020 - 10:12 AM

 

I would think a logical backup plan to St. Paul would be Sioux Falls over Lincoln. 

 

It's still relatively close, pretty strong Twins territory, it's a growing city, it's proven it can be a baseball city with the Canaries, and they already have an NBA G-League team.

 

I'm also not sure, but I thought at one time MLB had something in the rules about there needing to be a certain distance between the big league team and its affiliates. I could be mistaken, or maybe that rule is going away due to their cutting teams and push to keep things more in line in terms of geography.

 

While a Twins affiliate in Sioux Falls or Fargo would be fun for us fans in the western part of the Twins footprint, looking at the American Association attendance stats, I think a local AAA affiliate is St. Paul or bust.

 

https://ballparkdige...ance-by-league/

 

Sioux Falls averages 2.4K fans per game, Lincoln and Fargo average 3.4K and St. Paul draws 8K.

 

If these changes turn into a waterfall effect and the Twins look to keep the affiliates local down the road, A or AA clubs might be a great fit though.

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#17 jud6312

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Posted 15 July 2020 - 01:32 PM

 

While a Twins affiliate in Sioux Falls or Fargo would be fun for us fans in the western part of the Twins footprint, looking at the American Association attendance stats, I think a local AAA affiliate is St. Paul or bust.

 

https://ballparkdige...ance-by-league/

 

Sioux Falls averages 2.4K fans per game, Lincoln and Fargo average 3.4K and St. Paul draws 8K.

 

If these changes turn into a waterfall effect and the Twins look to keep the affiliates local down the road, A or AA clubs might be a great fit though.

 

The only reason I even thought about it was that I thought there was some sort of rule in place regarding proximity between the parent and farm clubs. If that's not a thing, then St. Paul would be the obvious choice.

 

I do like the idea of lower levels ending up there though. Although it's pretty slick with A and AA being close together down south.


#18 Nine of twelve

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Posted 15 July 2020 - 06:37 PM

Other than St. Paul the only metro areas in the upper Midwest that will work for a AAA franchise are Des Moines and Omaha. The populations of other locations are just too small and/or do not have enough Twins fans. Sioux Falls, SD, Lincoln, NE, Madison, WI, and Rochester, MN are all non-starters. Des Moines and Omaha are not going to flip from the Cubs and Royals unless the parent clubs decide to get out, and that is extremely unlikely.

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#19 Sconnie

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Posted 15 July 2020 - 07:24 PM

Other than St. Paul the only metro areas in the upper Midwest that will work for a AAA franchise are Des Moines and Omaha. The populations of other locations are just too small and/or do not have enough Twins fans. Sioux Falls, SD, Lincoln, NE, Madison, WI, and Rochester, MN are all non-starters. Des Moines and Omaha are not going to flip from the Cubs and Royals unless the parent clubs decide to get out, and that is extremely unlikely.

I bet St Cloud or Fargo could support a triple A team. Both support Northwoods League, which is much inferior ball (but still great fun). Both would need significant field improvements, however...
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#20 jkcarew

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Posted 15 July 2020 - 08:26 PM

More than likely would need to be in the PCL given travel scenarios. Don’t see it happening any time soon.

Also, I don’t see the AAA affiliate being in the region as much of an opportunity to see ‘top’ prospects. Look at the 2019 Red Wings leaders in games played/pitched, and look at the careers of the core players on the major league squad...not many games played at the AAA level (other than rehab). I’d call it more of an opportunity to see ‘emergency veteran depth’ and ‘stalled’ prospects. I’d much much rather have the A+ or AA affiliate.

Also, would hate to see independent ball lose the stage that the Saints are providing.
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