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Retirement of O'Conner just the beginning

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#1 biggentleben

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Posted 08 September 2020 - 02:59 PM

For those who missed the news today, Pat O'Conner, the President and CEO of Minor League Baseball, announced his retirement. He had been leading things with the minors for nearly three decades and done some amazing work in growing the minor league game.

 

Sadly, as the contract between minor league baseball and major league baseball is up this offseason, I think this is simply a sign that we're about to see a hostile takeover of the minors by Major League Baseball, essentially designating the minor leagues as another one of its entries on the ledger, rather than the humanity that it truly deserves.

 

Former Minnesota Twins GM Bill Smith has been working as O'Conner's second-in-command, but rumors abound that the St. Petersburg offices of MiLB will be shuttered, moving everything under the MLB umbrella in NYC and likely costing dozens of jobs.

 

It's really a sad day for the health of the game that will likely go very, very underreported.

 

------

 

(Figured with the impact to the entirety of baseball, this was the best fit rather than purely in minor leagues)

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#2 IndianaTwin

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Posted 08 September 2020 - 03:29 PM

Here's an article from the other day that suggested trouble: https://www.espn.com...now-end-sept-30

 

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#3 DocBauer

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Posted 08 September 2020 - 07:27 PM

Outrageous, in regard to the ESPN article I bad never seen before. Thank you for sharing Indiana.

Milb is part of communities that love and appreciate baseball. It is also the lifeblood of MLB. To have an agreement in place between the two organizations...no matter how unfair it may be in principal...and then to reneg on that agreement is reprehensible. And it not only hurts communities, but absolutely pushes people out of jobs and ownership. I thought this was America's Game?

Times change. And I can actually understand MLB looking at the current structure and feel it is a bit archaic in design and needs to be streamlined. But I don't see any excuse to make agreements and then walk away from those agreements.

I've always stated, in a fantasy perspective, that were I a MLB owner, I'd really like to own as many of the milb franchises as I could. It would allow me to, hopefully, better monitor everything that takes place and help build my name brand in towns/cities. It would also allow me to help control payroll and general benefits to a degree to stand above the crowd and make prospects to really WANT to play for one of my affiliates and be within my organization.

I don't want to generalize as I don't think that is fair. Not every ownership/team is the same. But this gives MLB ownership and mouthpiece Manfred a very black eye, IMO.
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#4 Shaitan

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Posted 09 September 2020 - 08:59 AM

Manfred is making Selig look great by comparison.

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#5 MMMordabito

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Posted 09 September 2020 - 12:39 PM

 

Here's an article from the other day that suggested trouble: https://www.espn.com...now-end-sept-30

 

"Tradition rarely survives the forces of efficiency."- From that article

 

"There is nothing permanent except change." - Heraclitus

 

I'm not a fan of how this is being handled, but I'm sure I'll adapt and find ways to watch lower level baseball.I wonder if Cedar Rapids is on the cut list.That would be a shame.Good memories there.

 

I would guess the Twins will trade Rochester for St. Paul, keep Pensacola and keep Ft. Meyers. 

 

Hopefully, Cedar Rapids completes the system.

 

 

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#6 IndianaTwin

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Posted 09 September 2020 - 06:42 PM

 

"Tradition rarely survives the forces of efficiency."- From that article

 

"There is nothing permanent except change." - Heraclitus

 

I'm not a fan of how this is being handled, but I'm sure I'll adapt and find ways to watch lower level baseball.I wonder if Cedar Rapids is on the cut list.That would be a shame.Good memories there.

 

I would guess the Twins will trade Rochester for St. Paul, keep Pensacola and keep Ft. Meyers. 

 

Hopefully, Cedar Rapids completes the system.

 

I grew up going to games in Cedar Rapids in the late 70s and early 80s, so it definitely brings good memories. In an earlier leaked list, Cedar Rapids made the cut, but not Burlington, Clinton, or the Quad Cities.

 

I made my first trips to Burlington and Clinton in the last several years, and it doesn’t surprise me that they would get axed. Clinton is old, and I’m guessing they’d need to put quite a bit of money into it to bring it up to par. Burlington is community owned, I believe, and it very much had the feeling of a city park combined with the fairground grandstands. I had a wonderful time at both, but it’s easy to see where MLB would go in saying they need improvements. 

 

Dropping Quad Cities was a surprise, but I have to wonder if their proximity to the river and the regular flooding they’ve experienced did them in. A concern in dropping QC is that makes Cedar Rapids several hours from the nearest Midwest League team, so it would end up being an easy excuse to drop them later when some team wants to use another city as leverage.

 

Cedar Rapids does have proximity to Minnesota, St. Louis, Milwaukee, and Chicago going for it, but if the Twins have St. Paul, they don’t really need Cedar Rapids for rehab. St. Louis has Springfield and the Cubs have South Bend. I don’t remember where Milwaukee and the other team in Chicago go for nearby rehab. 

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#7 MN_ExPat

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Posted 10 September 2020 - 06:54 AM

 

I grew up going to games in Cedar Rapids in the late 70s and early 80s, so it definitely brings good memories. In an earlier leaked list, Cedar Rapids made the cut, but not Burlington, Clinton, or the Quad Cities.

 

I made my first trips to Burlington and Clinton in the last several years, and it doesn’t surprise me that they would get axed. Clinton is old, and I’m guessing they’d need to put quite a bit of money into it to bring it up to par. Burlington is community owned, I believe, and it very much had the feeling of a city park combined with the fairground grandstands. I had a wonderful time at both, but it’s easy to see where MLB would go in saying they need improvements. 

 

Dropping Quad Cities was a surprise, but I have to wonder if their proximity to the river and the regular flooding they’ve experienced did them in. A concern in dropping QC is that makes Cedar Rapids several hours from the nearest Midwest League team, so it would end up being an easy excuse to drop them later when some team wants to use another city as leverage.

 

Cedar Rapids does have proximity to Minnesota, St. Louis, Milwaukee, and Chicago going for it, but if the Twins have St. Paul, they don’t really need Cedar Rapids for rehab. St. Louis has Springfield and the Cubs have South Bend. I don’t remember where Milwaukee and the other team in Chicago go for nearby rehab. 

Did something change with the Saints?Last I had heard was that they (the Saints) had declined the invite from MLB to join affiliated baseball.

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#8 Shaitan

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Posted 10 September 2020 - 07:47 AM

 

Did something change with the Saints?Last I had heard was that they (the Saints) had declined the invite from MLB to join affiliated baseball.

 

I've never seen any interest, just internet speculation.

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#9 AceWrigley

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Posted 10 September 2020 - 08:29 AM

I've always stated, in a fantasy perspective, that were I a MLB owner, I'd really like to own as many of the milb franchises as I could. It would allow me to, hopefully, better monitor everything that takes place and help build my name brand in towns/cities. It would also allow me to help control payroll and general benefits to a degree to stand above the crowd and make prospects to really WANT to play for one of my affiliates and be within my organization.

You could also argue that partnering with local ownership and being a good "boss" promotes good will and brand name. Vertical integration doesn't usually lead to a better working experience, just top-down control. I agree that a MLB team wants the control, it's just my independent nature that thinks it's rather fascist. I wonder if more independent teams/leagues will sprout as a result.

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#10 rdehring

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Posted 10 September 2020 - 08:31 AM

 

Did something change with the Saints?Last I had heard was that they (the Saints) had declined the invite from MLB to join affiliated baseball.

That's correct. But I suspect the negotiations have yet to begin. Makes too much sense for the Twins to not have their AAA team across the river, especially after they got familiar with CHS field and ease of player movement this summer. 

 

Should be an interesting negotiation, but I will be surprised if it doesn't happen. 

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#11 IndianaTwin

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Posted 10 September 2020 - 07:45 PM

 

Did something change with the Saints?Last I had heard was that they (the Saints) had declined the invite from MLB to join affiliated baseball.

 

 

I've never seen any interest, just internet speculation.

 

Yeah, I read it somewhere on the Interweb, so I assumed it was a done deal. :-) 

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#12 Dodecahedron

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Posted 21 September 2020 - 10:11 AM

The MLB is trying to starve minor league baseball. 

 

But let's unpack that. We know pretty much any player can make it to the bigs, given the right attitude and approach. MLB signs a player and shuffles him to the minors for 3-5+ years before ever seeing a return on the investment. Often the player comes up with approaches that are all wrong. Sometimes players get injured in the minors and are never the same.

 

Where is the rule that says MLB teams have to have a farm system? Could it be that the players would be better off being coached by the team? If a team has 10-15 players training with the team at all times, would they more likely to succeed than the 150 signed players in the minors? Would it take them as long to be productive?

 

It would suck for local economies to potentially lose minor league teams, but I'm not sure the MLB even needs them.