Minor league baseball teams are being hit particularly hard by the coronavirus shutdown, per Baseball America’s J.J. Cooper. With the shutdown coming so close to the start of the season, many minor league teams had already spent money in preparation for the season – money they aren’t likely to recoup. Some teams will consider small business loans to stay afloat, but there’s too much uncertainty to forecast too far into the future. The livelihoods of the many part-time workers that help keep minor league ballparks functioning is a primary concern, of course, but there’s definitely the possibility of losing a minor league team or two wholesale. Cooper says this of the issue, “The numbers vary, but without significant help from the government or others, estimates from people inside MiLB range from 10 to 40 MiLB clubs that may struggle to make it through the season.” Let’s head north of the border for some more updates…
- Bo Bichette has been keeping his arm loose, trying to keep a routine and stay prepared, but with the layoff stretching longer than initially expected, he’s considering taking some time off from the even most basic baseball activities, per TSN’s Scott Mitchell. There are obviously bigger issues at play here, which is why Bichette has no problem backburnering his career for the time being while focusing on social distancing. That said, in the distant background of Mitchell’s article, the question of ballplayer health arises. It will be an interesting one to track when/if the season does get underway.
- Speaking of complications from the current crisis, Ben Frederickson of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch hopes the current layoff pushes the league and players’ union to find some common ground when it comes to eventual collective bargaining. Frederickson provides a quote from Andrew Miller, who captured the sentiment of many when he said “The finances of the game, whether it’s from the player or the owner perspective, it’s in everybody’s best interest to get games going.”
- John Axford was mounting a comeback bid before COVID-19 rearranged everyone’s priorities, per the Canadian Press at Sportsnet.ca. Axford sustained a stress fracture in his right elbow during spring training last year, missing the entire season while recovering. The once-mustachioed Axford last appeared in the majors for the Blue Jays and Dodgers in 2018, sustaining some bad luck en route to a 5.27 ERA across 50 outings. A 3.98 FIP suggests the underlying output from Axford deserves a second look. Over his ten year career, Axford made 543 appearances for the Brewers, A’s, Rockies, Pirates, Cardinals, Dodgers, Indians and Blue Jays, though no stop was more noteworthy than his early days in Milwaukee, which included a 46-save season in 2011. In total, he notched 144 career saves with a 3.87 ERA/3.67 FIP. Whether Axford gets another chance at cracking an MLB roster remains to be seen, but he’s keeping his options open for now.
In other breaking news Rob Manfred resigns from his MLB post after years of bad decision making.
You do know that he has no power. Everything he has done has been approved by the owner of your favorite team .
just here for the comments
What a coincidence. I don’t like Manfred and don’t like my team’s owner. I think they are both bad for what they are in charge of.
Manfred is the worst thing that ever happened to baseball. Buster Posey rule, Chase Utley rule, too much instant replay, trying to go to pitch clock & robo umpires…he is a complete joke.
If minor league teams will struggle to stay solvent, why don’t the major league owners offer to buy them out (similar to what the NBA teams are doing with G league teams)?
Major League teams should be charged Pipeline fees so the MiLB clubs get $ for developing players. That would give the MiLB teams money to float.
Why? MLB teams already pay for and host GCL and DSL (most that is host a DSL team, some 2 including room and board). Was a time when some organizations owned FSL Class A teams, no idea if that is still true of any now tho.
No real benefit to organizations themselves to own MiLB franchises, except to a minority of the population always looking for an excuse to soak someone else whenever a problem comes up.. Like now..
Believe those should make an exodus to one of the so called utopias (they believe) have been created by the same abysmal policies that has been driving sane people to leave those same places the last couple of decades.
dynamite drop in monty
John will often leave you very confused with his jumbled up jibber jabber!
Trog- I was born in the UK. Our largest sport spends a lot of money to develop academy teams and young players to be fed into their Premier League teams. A young lad w promise is brought on board w the parent club as early as 7-8 yrs old where he’s developed into the scholarship phase before he’s able to sign a professional contract at 17 yrs old. These teenagers make on avg about $1000-1500 a week. Even more for budding young stars. Ex: After being promoted – after his 2nd premier league start 17yr old English lad Raheem Sterling negotiated a $45,000 a week contract. It’s a shame reading about MiLB players getting $1400 a mo, living w host families. I feel like MLB needs to take better care of their younger players.
In baseball you cannot sell players and the club exercises control for many years over a player therefore taking away any kind of necessary incentive of investing in wages for youth players.
MLB teams did once own the minor league affiliates, thou not the league itself, they sold the teams off after one of MLB’s many strikes/lockouts.
I think complicating the matters to “bail out” the minor league affiliates is that MLB’s PDC with MiLB comes up for renewal this year and MLB is trying to chop out like 20 teams or more.
Really!? I had no idea- I thought each MLB owned each phase of their minor league teams. No wonder MiLB players have to become DoorDash drivers while they learn their craft!
I think some MLB teams/owners have a piece of some of the lower affiliates but AA and above are almost all separately owned.
Not sure why they don’t own them already but I’m sorry the government can only help so many and milb doesn’t seem to be a priority to me
Bo looked good in Spring. Started slow (apparently a notorious slow starter), and was ramping things up just before gameplay stopped.
Sorry to JimmerTree. Bichette’s wrists are plenty strong with the oppo shots in spring. It may be spring, but the power display is real. If he’s exposed in any way, shape or form offensively it will be the long load and if he can turn on the inside pitches. He works hard, I think he will.
Now the question is defense at SS. We’ll wait, hope and see.
Always good to get a shout out.
I still don’t think Bichette’s body is going to hold up over the course of a long season. He’ll be a major leaguer, but not an all-star one.
Jimmer, at least I did it respectively. Can’t say the same for the rest of the sheep who claim to be Blue Jays fans when they can’t question or criticize a perennial mediocre franchise.
Lots of competition at SS for the all-star game. He might put up strong numbers and come up short (no pun intended) to the Bogaerts, Lindors and others.
Guests, I like reading your posts. They have truth to them – not false hope stuff. I don’t like the false hope posts just for the sake of it.
Thanks. Truth be told I enjoy watching people freak out with your #scoutseyes hashtag. They can’t get over it.
More truth, I love the Jays and want to be optimistic. History is our friend through good times and bad. It’s ok to mix optimism and skepticism. The franchise has a bit of both.
i dont see any basis for that assumption
I guess you know more than the team and advanced scouts. You should apply for a job with a big league team.
Yea Bo and Vladdy both started going on a bit of a tear the last few games, I really liked what I saw from Espinal as well, but Panik definitely locked down the utility role this spring. Big Nate looking like the future ace.
Big Nate should be in the rotation the moment the Jays can squeeze another year out of him. Whenever that is, since the season is in-limbo at the moment.
Liked Espinal too. He’s going to need regular at bats so Buffalo is where he will be. His D does need work IMO.
Nothing wrong with his defence. WTF are you talking about?
I guess you didn’t check the numbers in the minors or watched 2019 where there were obvious struggles at SS. This is NOT to say he can’t improve his D at short. Lots of good defensive shortstops had their troubles from their rookie year.
But if you think a .948 fielding percentage at shortstop is good, then I guess there is nothing wrong with his defense.
So what? I’m more concerned about people dying that a few millionaires losing money… Even if a minor league team shuts down, they will eventually re-open them… MLB teams won’t lose their prospects.
Meanwhile, there’s regular people not making enough money to pay their rent/bills/mortgage, etc…
Or people having to work exposed to this virus just so they can pay.
But MLB team owners could actually muster enough money to send to a lot of people during this situation, but I’m sure their sitting in their fancy-built music area enjoying a fancy drink with a fancy snack and plenty of toilet paper from the team’s supplies, while regular people have to go to Walmart and fight for these supplies.
So… Why should regular people worry about this? MLB team owners should take care of that.
^^ we found the angry Bernie Sanders voter.
Seriously, why dont you not visit this site and be a little less hypocritical. Walk your talk. We would all benefit from it.
I’m no Bernie-Bro (Amy was my choice) but I can share Capi’s sentiments. It’s irritating seeing millionaire players/ owners get all this positive coverage for contributing a miniscule portion of their earnings to food banks, etc. Somebody making 10M a year just contributed 35K; WOW! I put a higher portion of my income into the church basket on Sunday, and I ain’t lookin’ for nothin’.
Minor league teams have, over the years, been subsumed by large corporations, but there’s still a lot of “mom and pop” minor league teams that are going to be destroyed by this. Hopefully they can float some small business loans, if they know how to do the formology.
Arthur Blank donated 5.4 MM. That was the only donation I’ve seen that deserved some credit. A drop in the hat for Blank but 4-5x as much as any other billionaire owner has been dishing out.
All American Johnsonville Dogs
Players have been donating too.
Any donation is note worthy regardless of amount. They don’t have to donate.
Unless you want to be cynical, in which case any donations is a tax write off. That 5.4 mill is gonna be considered a charitable donation for tax purposes in 2021.
All American Johnsonville Dogs
I don’t get why people expect multi millionaires to donate when they themselves aren’t donating, aren’t trying to donate, and just sitting around complaining that others aren’t
Start a gofundme, start your own non profit to raise funds, donate your own money if you’re that concerned.
Calm down there, hoss. Any donation is going to be considered a tax write off for any of the donors. It’s funny to me—to see the media portray them as saints for the gesture.
I guess I shouldn’t worry about the sick then… That would make idiots bring up politics… Like people don’t think for themselves… It is my opinion and you can’t do anything about it.
And as a person currently quarantined, I am doing the talk and the walk, son.
Try thinking for yourself, try being empathetic, nothing wrong with that… I’m sure you have thousands of hand sanitizer and toilet paper so you can resell and make a huge profit… Then get offended when someone feels compassion for the sick and the poor and throw some idiotic politic comment… I might not even live in the US for all you know… Ignorant.
So yeah, I do have high standards, call it being hypocritical if you want… I help when I can and if I was a team owner, my minor league players wouldn’t be starving… If you don’t hold high standards then everything you do in life is subpar.
This has nothing to do with Bernie Sanders or his supporters beliefs. This is just a dumb argument. Everyone of those minor league players are regular people. Every one of those individuals who work at those parks are “ordinary”. Which was the whole point but somehow you got drunk on self righteousness and went wild on millionaires contributions.
Your issue is dumb for another reason. Why aren’t you complaining when there isnt a crisis? Conversely, if you are then why are you watching these sports? You help promote it every second you watch. You help pay the owners and the players every second you watch. So turn the tv off, get off the computer, go outside sit under a tree and read some Chomsky. Who clepto should be making the joke about.
Be part of the solution not the problem.
Layer: learn the ability to make a comparision, in this case, one situation to. another BEFORE you pop off, you idiot.
And your assumption on millionaire contributions? Dead wrong, clown.
While you are at it, learn some logical comprehension, because you completely missed my point.
What in gods name… The first sentence was directed to you lol. The rest was in response to Capi? Oh and the snarky Chomsky bit.
Second i never made any assumptions to millionaire contributions… Because i was replying to Capi…
Third you can read your own point and take your own advice because if you actually read my entire rant youd realize it would make no sense if I were talking to you.
And for God sake dont reply because I’ll never see it. I consider the matter closed.
Layercake… Where did I say anything about the minor league players? I was a minor league player myself at some point and consider myself a regular person just like they are… They should be receiving help… So why would I care about saving the minor league franchise when minor league players are starving and getting infected?
So… How can you call my argument dumb when my point clearly went over your head and you took it the wrong way.
The company that I work for just released 2 MM to pay about 400 employees for the next 4 to 6 weeks… You’re telling me MLB clubs can’t help out minor league players the same way?
you first, moron
side bar: Memoriam is going to need a bit more room.
Bichette is going to explode when baseball resumes. As long as he eats well and gets in some time at the gym he’ll be fine. It’s vlad that needs to be watched closely. A long break could land him in the 300 lbs range quickly.
Social distancing. Why does everything have to have a buzzword?
Descriptors, like habits, are just shortcuts. They make things easier. It’s so we don’t have to say “keeping your distance from other people to avoid getting or spreading the virus” every time. Social distancing. Simpler.
i cant imagine Minor League teams going under when they are important for their parent clubs. if they think they dont need those affiliates then why even use them to start with?
They were already discussing severing low level minor teams. This could be the final nail in the coffin of teams in that proposal. That’s a very real scenario. Obviously the higher level teams are pretty safe as far as sticking around. It may not be the same owners that own those affiliates because of the ramifications of this crisis.
All American Johnsonville Dogs
Mlb owners should do the right thing, jump in, fund the minor league teams and workers until the hiatus is over or for 6 months. Which ever comes first.
Roughly it’d probably cost owners anywhere between 40 mill to 50 mill each to do so-funding all minor league affiliates and workers-, if that, looking at 6 months. Could be a severe over estimate.