Major outcry over minor deal
Thunder owner rumbles
Good morning, all! I hope your weekend was as nice as our weather in the northeast, where we had sun and temperatures in the 70s for the first full weekend of November.
Over the weekend, word broke about the New York Yankees ending their 18-year affiliation with the Trenton Thunder of the AA Eastern League. The Yankees announced they will be moving their AA affiliation to Somerset, NJ, formerly home to an independent league team. They will also relocate one of their A ball affiliates to Hudson Valley, NY.
Although these moves are not surprising, the announcement caught many off guard, simply because it came from one major league club. Many in cyberspace believed Major League Baseball, which has now taken over full control of affiliated minor league baseball, would make an all encompassing announcement. The piece meal approach, exhibited by the Yankees, created a firestorm. Can you imagine the outcry when the full revelation, which includes the elimination of 40 affiliated clubs, is revealed?
Meanwhile, Joseph Plumeri, owner of the Thunder, felt stabbed in the back, claiming in a written statement that the Yankees had assured him the affiliation would continue. He wasted no time lowering the boom in the first sentence of his statement:
“Last night, we learned through the media, that the New York Yankees management has made the calculated and ungracious maneuver to leave the urban setting of Trenton for the affluent confines of Bridgewater Township, leaving one of the finest facilities according to Major League Baseball without an affiliate.”
You can read the rest of the statement here.
I am not privy to what may or may not have been said between the Yankees and Trenton ownership. However, even before COVID-19 canceled the 2019 season, there was doubt about the future of the MLB, MiLB relationship. All throughout the 2018 season, people in the minor leagues were not making any commitments beyond 2020, when the agreement between MLB and the NAPBL expired. What may have been said behind closed doors is another matter, but on the surface, it should not come as a shock the Yankees severed ties with Trenton.
My hunch is MLB may now have to get out front of this story and announce this week what its intentions for minor league baseball are, now that it has become the governing body for the affiliated minor league clubs.
Golf in the dark
It was the final event of the truncated PGA Champion Tours season and it is not over yet. On Sunday, Kevin Sutherland blew a five-shot lead but rallied to tie Paul Broadhurst and send the Charles Schwab Cup Championship into sudden death. As the sun set, both golfers played one overtime hole after another. Six holes later, they were still playing. Sudden death will resume Monday at 10:00 am EST in Phoenix, Az.
The final hole on Sunday was played in near darkness. It was so bad, the on screen television picture was reminiscent of grainy, color film from the 1960s. The cameras had their lenses as wide open as possible to let in the light and it was still a challenge. It reminded me of my teenage days on the golf course, when my buddies and I would say “Let’s play one more hole,” long after the sun had set.
It really was fun to watch, proving you don’t need two big name golfers to put on a good golf match.
55 years ago the lights went out
Speaking of being in the dark, 55 years ago today, the northeast United States plunged into darkness. They were playing no games the night of Nov. 9, 1965.
Millions of people, including our family, were plunged into darkness. I could remember the rumors were rampant that the Russians had sabotaged our power grid. (Some things never change.)
Turns out, it wasn’t the Russians, but infrastructure failure. (Some things never change.) But this was long before smart phones. We were glued to our battery-operated, transistor radios to stay in contact with the outside world. I remember my mother waking me up the next morning. The lights were back on and the world survived.
Now the Masters
Yes, the weather in the northeast is more like June than November. And no, your calendar is not wrong. We have not jumped ahead to April. But that will be The Masters receiving all the golf coverage this week. Because of COVID-19, the first of golf’s four major tournaments was postponed from April to this week.
In case you are wondering, the tournament times will be earlier, because darkness falls earlier these days. Here is the schedule and TV coverage for this week:
Thursday, 1-5:30 pm, ESPN
Friday, 1-5:30 pm, ESPN
Saturday, 1-5:00 pm, CBS
Sunday, 10 am- 3pm, CBS
Enjoy. After this debacle called 2020, we could use a good escape and there is nothing like The Masters to provide it.
As always, thank you for your support and have a great week.
Hi Donald W. Thank you for your input. MLB is really on the hot seat with this one, taking a chance of alienating baseball fans. As a baseball fan of all levels, let’s hope it does not come to that.
This takeover of the Minor Leagues by MLB is really going to hurt the image of baseball in cities that have lost teams. Whether it is Trenton, Staten Island, Binghamton there will be no relationships with Professional Baseball in these cities. Many more to follow.