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Minor league alignments


IndianaTwin
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I don't subscribe to Baseball America, but here's a Cubs' bloggers summary of an article outlining the minor league alignments going forward: 

 

https://www.bleedcubbieblue.com/2020/12/11/22170088/mlb-realignment-minor-leagues-move-iowa-out-pacific-coast-league?fbclid=IwAR3GaRbkPENzYbZwOMtzVU1wJLcMza4UmDrKaMjB86T4lyFFKVTheJdfp74

 

The outline described makes sense. Has anyone seen things to the contrary?

 

It suggests a "Midwest" AAA division, including Columbus, Gwinnett, Indianapolis, Iowa, Louisville, Memphis, Nashville, Omaha, St. Paul, and Toledo. Gwinnett is the outlier, but the alternative is to have it and one of the others move to a group that's East/Northeast. And with Gwinnett so close to Atlanta in an airplane league, they make the most sense to be with the Midwesterns. I'm guessing most of those cities have direct flights to Atlanta.

 

If indeed a "Midwest" division holds, with 10 teams, playing two four-game series in a full-round robin would be 9 opponents x 16 games = 144 game season. It's been a 140-game schedule recently in AAA.

 

As a northern Indiana resident, I'd welcome two Saints trips each to Toledo and Indianapolis each season. Louisville and Columbus are within five hours. 

 

Elsewhere, in anticipated moves, Wichita would be in a 10-team "Texas" League. The Midwest League drops to 12 teams and the Florida State League drops to 10.

 

 

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Wichita in a Texas league? That's a long, long bus ride. 

 

That was my thought. Turns out Wichita's longest ride would be 10:56 to Corpus Christi, but Springfield, Mo., which is already in the league, creates the longest drive. It's 12:34 from Corpus Christi to Springfield. Springfield is also 10:28 from Midland.

 

Only three of Wichita's drives will be longer than 6:30. For context, Cedar Rapids has had a 9-hour drive to Lake County (Ohio), 8:37 to Bowling Green, and 7:42 to Dayton. 

 

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That was my thought. Turns out Wichita's longest ride would be 10:56 to Corpus Christi, but Springfield, Mo., which is already in the league, creates the longest drive. It's 12:34 from Corpus Christi. Springfield is also 10:28 from Midland.

 

Only three of Wichita's drives will be longer than 6:30. For context, Cedar Rapids has had a 9-hour drive to Lake County (Ohio), 8:37 to Bowling Green, and 7:42 to Dayton. 

 

To play the Sod Poodles, for example, you can take off right after the game and easily get to Amarillo by morning. Or go up from San Antone.

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The outline described makes sense. Has anyone seen things to the contrary?

 

Yes, this has been expected, and I've noted it a few times in other threads. The question really seems to be will it be 3 leagues, or will it be a 20 teams IL and a 10 team PCL. Sounds like a 20 Team IL is more likely, so there probably will be some interdivision games, where we could see, for example, St. Paul play Rochester. 

 

BTW, Gwinnett really isn't even really an outlier. It's only 4 hours by bus to Nashville. Easy to forget that Atlanta is actually West of Detroit

 

 

Elsewhere, in anticipated moves, Wichita would be in a 10-team "Texas" League. The Midwest League drops to 12 teams and the Florida State League drops to 10.

 

Wichita in the Texas League makes perfect sense - they were a Texas League city until their team moved to Northwest Arkansas a decade ago. I'm sure they'll be in a division with Springfield MO, NW Ark, and Little Rock, so there's no huge bus rides there. Obviously, getting to Corpus or Midland is a haul, but that's always been an issue in Texas. 

 

The team that looks like it is in store for some nightmare travel is Bowling Green. It looks like they're going to get booted from the Midwest League (where they were a bit of an outlier) and could get stuck in the new Mid-Atlantic League where their closest division rival will be in Maryland, more than 700 miles away!

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For the record—from a Blue Wahoos perspective—the realignment makes sense in a lot of ways. BUT we will miss the Twins. The entire organization is a class act—including my fellow online commenters.

I still want to see a game in Blue Wahoos Stadium someday even though my favorite team will no longer have an affiliate playing there.

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For the record—from a Blue Wahoos perspective—the realignment makes sense in a lot of ways. BUT we will miss the Twins. The entire organization is a class act—including my fellow online commenters.

We'll miss you too. Find an excuse to stop by.

 

Ditto what Ash said. Your insight and perspective on the life of a minor leaguer is great. Even if no longer a Twins affiliate, you still provide us with a good ‘inside look’ of things. Thanks,

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When did the Saints change colors? Last time I was at a game were around the years of Strawberry and remember them having black and white jerseys. I thought they were great and was looking for their merchandise and now see the white and blue color scheme. Reminds me too much of St Scholastica Saints jerseys and looks more amateurish. Please tell me they still have the black jerseys

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