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Wednesday, March 11, 2020

House asks comptroller general to study minor leagues

Tonight, on The Edge Of Contraction:

WASHINGTON (AP) — The House of Representatives by voice vote approved legislation Tuesday to have the comptroller general of the U.S. study baseball’s minor leagues, which are trying to fend off a contraction proposal from major league clubs.

The bill calls on the comptroller general to “evaluate the social, economic, and historic contributions that minor league baseball has made to American life and culture.”

Major League Baseball and the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues, which governs the minors, are negotiating a Professional Baseball Agreement to replace the deal that expires after this season. MLB’s proposal would drop the big league affiliation of 42 minor league teams and eliminate short-season leagues not held at major league training complexes.

“Major League Baseball would gladly participate in a serious Government Accountability Office analysis of the many problems in minor league baseball that are impeding the development of players,” the commissioner’s office said in a statement that cited “the widespread inadequacy of facilities, playing conditions, nutrition programs and burdensome travel demands. ”

Well, this is quite a turn, isn’t it?

 

QLE Posted: March 11, 2020 at 12:40 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: comptroller general, congress, contraction, minor leagues

Thursday, March 05, 2020

What’s Next in Fight to Protect Minor League Baseball?

On Wednesday, members of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform are scheduled to consider H.R. 6020. If ultimately adopted, H.R. 6020 would require the Government Accountability Office to issue a “report on the social, economic, and historic contributions that Minor League Baseball has made to American life and culture.” Congresswoman Lori Trahan, who along with Congressman David McKinley lead a bipartisan Congressional effort to protect minor league teams, introduced H.R. 6020 last week.

A report by the GAO would likely become an influential document in negotiations between MLB and MiLB on a new professional agreement. Their current agreement is set to expire in September. MLB demands sizable changes to the economic relationship between the big leagues and the minor leagues. The most controversial of those changes would involve the severing of affiliations between MLB clubs and 42 minor league teams. While this severing wouldn’t force affected teams to fold, their expulsion from MLB-affiliated minor leagues, along with losses of financial support and MLB branding, would jeopardize their survival.

The economics of minor league clubs have a number of components, but player development contracts (PDCs) are a crucial ingredient. PDCs dictate the contractual affiliation between MLB teams and minor league affiliates. In general, PDCs call for MLB teams to pay the salaries of minor league players and staff. Meanwhile, owners of minor league teams typically cover expenditures for field upkeep, equipment, uniforms and other non-personnel operations. MLB officials are dissatisfied with this current arrangement. They have expressed a number of complaints, including that some minor league teams rely on dated facilities and are located far from their MLB parents. A number of targeted MiLB teams reject the relevance of those lines of critique.

Depending on its findings and recommendations, a GAO report could make it more difficult for MLB to justify sweeping changes. The report would be authoritative, objective and credible. This reflects the nature of the GAO, a unique entity in Washington D.C. The GAO is an independent, nonpartisan agency that provides evaluations and analyses for Congress. It is thus different from an executive agency, such as the Justice Department or the State Department, since it doesn’t report to the President. The nonpartisan quality of the GAO is also important. Neither the agency nor its leaders are beholden to the Speaker of the House, the Senate Majority Leader or the President. The fact that the GAO’s leader, the Comptroller General, serves a 15-year term illustrates that dynamic: he or she remains in office past the terms of multiple presidents and Congressional leaders.

A consideration of the latest step in the war over minor league contraction.

 

QLE Posted: March 05, 2020 at 12:57 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: congress, contraction, minor leagues

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

House resolution proposed against minor league contraction

WASHINGTON (AP) — Four members of the House of Representatives introduced a resolution Tuesday urging Major League Baseball not to follow through with its proposal to eliminate 42 current minor league teams.

MLB made the proposal last year to the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues, the governing body of the minors, during negotiations for a Professional Baseball Agreement to replace the deal that expires after the 2020 season.

MLB wants to cut short-season leagues and reduce the number of farm teams each big league club affiliates with. It has proposed replacing the eliminated minor league teams with a not yet defined Dream League, somewhat similar to collegiate summer leagues.

The resolution was introduced by Reps. Lori Trahan, D-Mass.; David McKinley, R-W. Va.; Max Rose, D-N.Y.; and Mike Simpson, R- Idaho.

For those curious, the full text is here:

https://trahan.house.gov/uploadedfiles/trahan_056_xml.pdf

 

QLE Posted: January 29, 2020 at 12:28 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: congress, contraction, minor leagues

Saturday, January 18, 2020

Congress to take up MLB sign-stealing scandal? Illinois Rep. Bobby Rush hopes so

MLB’s sign-stealing scandal could be headed for Congress.

U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush, D-Ill., on Friday sent a letter to senior members of the Committee on Energy & Commerce to request an oversight hearing into the cheating scandal that has enveloped MLB in recent days. The committee has oversight over major league sports, Rush’s letter states.

“I believe it is our ethical and moral imperative to investigate the Major League Baseball cheat scandal fully and to determine the extent to which this cancer has spread,” Rush writes. “I firmly believe that our investigation must also look at the actions taken by Major League Baseball, and the teams that comprise it, to reprimand the individuals who have been implicated.”

The letter goes on to say that, although MLB and teams have already taken action against guilty parties — such as Astros manager AJ Hinch and GM Jeff Luhnow — the committee must determine whether league officials acted quickly enough and took appropriate action. It also must determine whether there is a “systematic failure” within MLB that has allowed the illegal sign-stealing problem to fester, the letter states.

Trying to figure out what he gets out of it- his reelections seem safe, the odds are against him running for higher office, and I don’t think there are any minor-league teams being contracted anywhere near him so it doesn’t seem to be payback for that…..

 

QLE Posted: January 18, 2020 at 12:30 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: congress, dirty rotten cheaters, sign-stealing

 

 

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