3/26/2020: Season notes:

3/26/2020 Updates:

Well baseball fans, we would normally be two weeks away from the start of the Minor League Season, but the Coronavirus pandemic looks to keep us from enjoying time at the ballpark for the foreseeable future.  Let’s look at what we know about the 2020 season, how it relates to the contraction of the Minors, and what we can do in the meantime.

The 2020 Minor League Season: Start date TBD: It seems unlikely that the MLB season will start before June 1st, it also seems unlikely that we will see Minor League Baseball much before that date. There is a lot of speculation about when the season will start.

What will a shortened-MiLB schedule look like? While nothing official has made it ways from either MLB or MiLB about what the 2020 season will look like, there are some interesting theories being floated around. Baseball America’s J.J. Cooper has suggested three ways to maximize the amount of games played during the shortened season including the possibility of eliminating playoffs and using those two weeks to play regularly scheduled games. While the lack of a Championship Series would be disappointing to fans, several leagues in recent years had to cancel some or even the entire postseason in response to hurricanes and other weather-related events.

Will MLB delay the draft, and what impact will this have on Short-Season and Rookie Leagues?: Given that NCAA Baseball and many high schools across the country are not playing due to Coronavirus the question of scouting and drafting talent in 2020 has been up in the air. For short-season and rookie-level teams this is a major concern as many players selected in the draft will find a place on these rosters. While there are free agents, guys in complex leagues, and existing players on the farm who might be slated to start their seasons with these teams, the talent will not be the same.

How will this impact the PBA and the fate of the 42 Minor League teams slated for contraction?:

I am concerned about the teams facing contraction for several reasons, but most of which are financial.

  • Minor League Baseball, especially at the low minors, often operates on razor-thin margins. Like many small businesses during this time, there are a lot of questions about if teams will be able to weather this storm. In addition to any lost game day revenue from tickets, concessions, and other related sales, we should consider the following issues that impact teams:

    • Sunk costs: by this point in the winter many clubs have already placed orders for game day operation supplies (uniforms, balls, bats, ground crew supplies, ect), as well as paper products for items like pocket schedules (which may no longer be valid), ticket stock, print advertising, etc. All of this has tied up cash reserves, and some of these items might like the schedules might no longer have any use value.

    • Potential financial losses in season: Many of the sponsorship deals with local businesses are paid over the course of the season and built on a fixed number of home games. The more games lost to Coronavirus means that the sponsorship deal will likely be prorated to match the number of games the team expects to play.

    • Being able to advocate for themselves: Several clubs have already been very outspoken about the potential contraction. In conversations I’ve had with team executives I know that several clubs planned a season long campaign to save their team as part of their home games. Obviously, this disrupts these campaigns and impacts its ability to get its message out to fans at games.   

What will we be doing at SaveMiLB.org?

While we postponed the fan video campaign, my friend James Christopher at Let’s Get Two Podcast came up with a great idea that I hope you all can get behind. Opening Day originally scheduled to take place two weeks from today (April 9) I am asking everyone to take a photo of themselves in their favorite Minor League gear and tell us what you love about your team and post it to social media with the #SaveMiLB. I would also encourage everyone to use the #SaveMinorLeagueBaseball #TheFightFor42, as well as any other hashtags you know of being used by Minor League teams speaking out against contraction (#KeepTheVibeAlive #SaveMyTeam #SaveTheSpikes). If you know of any other hashtagged slogans teams are using please email me at savemymilb@gmail.com and I will be sure to update them.

In addition to this I will be writing more pieces about contraction on this site until more word comes out about MiLB in 2020. Once the baseball landscape comes back into shape, we will have plenty of activities and fun, baseball related ways to keep the fight for these 42 teams alive.

In the meantime, please feel free to shoot me a message at the above email or on social media if you want to talk about Minor League Baseball and this contraction nonsense.

Yours in Baseball,

Mike

Published by savemilb

A lifelong baseball fan that frequently spends many spring and summer evenings enjoying Minor League games across the country. #SaveMiLB

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: