The New York Yankees are in trouble with Rob Manfred’s spat with minor league baseball. Let’s not mince words, this is Manfred’s beef and he can easily fix it. But he wants to contract minor league baseball, and his plans directly and negatively impact our boys in pinstripes.
We Lose Minor League Clubs
Manfred’s proposal to eliminate 42 teams directly implicates the Staten Island Yankees. The NY Penn league, a short season single-A league. Some teams will be spared, like the Brooklyn Cyclones (Mets) and Hudson Valley Renegades (Tampa), but Staten Island will be eliminated from minor league baseball. This will, in turn, shrink the total number of players we can have in the minor leagues from 160 to 150. This will also shrink the number of players who can be drafted overall.
It’s pretty significant considering that our top-rated outfielder (Estevan Florial) hasn’t even PLAYED for the Staten Island Yankees.
Manfred’s Mixed Messaging
Part of Manfred’s rationale for cutting the teams and reducing the number of players who can play in the minors is due to “Players making so little money, with no chance of making it to the majors”. Well, that’s fine and dandy, but baseball is worth $10+ billion. Why MLB can’t do more to help fund, say, renovations to minor league ballparks are just… lazy.
Manfred, also, reportedly testified before congress about why paying minor league ballplayers a salary above minimum wage. Why, on earth, would a guy “worried about how little minor league players make”, testify before Congress about why it’s bad to pay minor league players more than $7.25 an hour… not to mention overtime?
Not to mention that Manfred wants to force this decision down the throats of everyone involved in professional baseball but is “hesitant” to implement a pitch clock, which can mathematically be proven to be the reason why baseball games are long. Pitchers are taking longer to throw pitches.
If you want to try and build interest and attendance at MLB ballparks, the minors are the starting gate. It’s cheaper to go to a minor league game by almost $100. Same experience, better seats, and a more lively environment.
Don’t screw with minor league baseball. You’ll more than certainly cause another strike like 1994.