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Wednesday, December 09, 2020

MLB Invites 119 Teams To Join Minor Leagues In 2021

There are 11 full season affiliated teams that did not receive invites.

Double-A: Jackson Generals (Southern), Trenton Thunder (Eastern)

High Class A: Charlotte Stone Crabs (Florida State), Florida Fire Frogs (Florida State), Frederick Keys (Carolina)

Low Class A: Burlington Bees (Midwest), Clinton LumberKings (Midwest), Hagerstown Suns (South Atlantic), Lexington Legends (South Atlantic), Kane County Cougars (Midwest), West Virginia Power (South Atlantic)

In addition the impasse over the fate of the Rockies affiliate in the California League appears to be unresolved. Major League Baseball has told Fresno that it will not be offered a Triple-A affiliation but that it is open to offering a low Class A California League club (which would be the Rockies affiliate). That issue remains unresolved, which means MLB sent out 119 invitations today, not 120. Lancaster and Fresno have not received invitations.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 09, 2020 at 12:28 PM | 60 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: minor leagues

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   1. DL from MN Posted: December 09, 2020 at 12:37 PM (#5993336)
Related - Frederick is joining the MLB draft league along with Trenton.

   2. DL from MN Posted: December 09, 2020 at 12:47 PM (#5993341)
MLB expansion to 32 teams seems inevitable. That will add 8 more teams back into minor league baseball. I wonder how many will come from the "draft leagues". Trenton and Kane County were good draws - 36th and 37th in attendance in 2019.

https://ballparkdigest.com/2019/09/09/2019-affiliated-attendance-by-average/

Axed team - Average Attendance - rank 2019
Trenton 5242 36
Kane County 5228 37
Frederick 4392 57
Lexington 4094 65
----------
Clinton 1838 129
Jackson 1756 130
WV Power 1742 131
Charlotte 1363 136
Burlington 1053 147
Hagerstown 918 151
Fire Frogs 327 159

   3. DL from MN Posted: December 09, 2020 at 12:53 PM (#5993345)
Fresno 5759 27
Lancaster 2342 112

I would think Fresno's only other option would be to join the Pacific Association.
   4. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 09, 2020 at 01:17 PM (#5993354)
The BA piece was non-paywalled for a bit, but now its paywalled, but you can see affiliations at MLB.com.
   5. DL from MN Posted: December 09, 2020 at 01:36 PM (#5993361)
Who are the Pirates, Giants and Rockies fighting over?
   6. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: December 09, 2020 at 01:37 PM (#5993362)
This really sucks for me because Somerset was my local team and now I have to root against them.
   7. DL from MN Posted: December 09, 2020 at 01:48 PM (#5993366)
I'm assuming the Pirates keep Indianapolis (AAA), Bradenton (A) and Greensboro (A+) and just need a AA affiliate

Giants will have Sacramento (AAA) and San Jose (A) but they need a new A+ because Augusta went to the Braves.

Colorado sticks with Albequerque (AAA), Asheville (A+) and gets Lancaster or Fresno for A.

Someone gets Richmond (AA), Hartford (AA), Altoona (AA) and it seems likely Altoona stays with Pittsburgh.
   8. flournoy Posted: December 09, 2020 at 01:51 PM (#5993368)
MLB draft league


How will it be determined which players are invited/accepted to participate?
   9. DL from MN Posted: December 09, 2020 at 01:54 PM (#5993370)
Houston is staying with Corpus Christi for AA and probably Fayetteville for A+. What are they doing for Single-A?
   10. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 09, 2020 at 01:55 PM (#5993371)

Who are the Pirates, Giants and Rockies fighting over?


Pirates: Indianapolis/Altoona/Greensboro/Bradenton
Gaints: Sacramento/Richmond/Eugene/San Jose
Rockies: Albuquerque/Hartford/Spokane/either Lancaster or Fresno


Houston is staying with Corpus Christi for AA and probably Fayetteville for A+. What are they doing for Single-A?


Fayetteville is Low-A now. Asheville is their High-A affiliate. There is talk they will create some sort of Mid-Atlantic league in Low-A ball to reduce travel because most of the other teams are either in CA or FL.
   11. DL from MN Posted: December 09, 2020 at 02:05 PM (#5993377)
There is talk they will create some sort of Mid-Atlantic league in Low-A ball


I thought that was the mishmash of Sally League and Carolina League teams.
   12. Der-K's emotional investment is way up Posted: December 09, 2020 at 02:12 PM (#5993378)
I imagine that Fresno takes the demotion but, if they don't, how long term of an answer is Lancaster? Nobody wants to play there, but building stadiums seems pretty unpopular in that state.
   13. bads85 Posted: December 09, 2020 at 02:17 PM (#5993380)
The new Mid Atlantic League is High A that includes Wilmington (Was) Jersey Shore (Phi), Aberdeen (Bal), Brooklyn (NYM), Hudson Valley (NYY), and TBA.

The final league configurations will not be done until late January or February.
   14. DL from MN Posted: December 09, 2020 at 02:25 PM (#5993382)
and TBA.


Gotta believe Salem is in that TBA.
   15. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 09, 2020 at 02:31 PM (#5993383)

The new Mid Atlantic League is High A that includes Wilmington (Was) Jersey Shore (Phi), Aberdeen (Bal), Brooklyn (NYM), Hudson Valley (NYY), and TBA.


That must also include Greenville, Rome, Asheville, and Greensboro. The other High-A leagues are the Midwest League and the Northwest League.

The Low-A teams are all either in CA/OR or FL, with some teams in the Carolina/Georgia area - Down East, Charleston, Carolina, Columbia, Fayetteville, Lynchburg, Myrtle Beach, Kannapolis, Augusta. I have to think they'll split them up from the Florida teams, Fayetteville is not trekking to Fort Myers.
   16. DL from MN Posted: December 09, 2020 at 02:34 PM (#5993387)
some teams in the Carolina/Georgia area - Down East, Charleston, Carolina, Columbia, Fayetteville, Lynchburg, Myrtle Beach, Kannapolis, Augusta. I have to think they'll split them up from the Florida teams


That's the new Sally League.
   17. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 09, 2020 at 02:49 PM (#5993390)
Gotcha. There is also talk that two PCL teams will move to the IL, I'm guessing Memphis and Nashville. There was talk of creating a third AAA Midwestern League but I guess that was shelved.
   18. DL from MN Posted: December 09, 2020 at 03:01 PM (#5993396)
Looks like 13 Midwest League teams remain. Someone must be moving east, either Lake County (Eastlake, OH) or Bowling Green, KY. My money's on Bowling Green since it isn't on I90/I80 like the other teams.

   19. DL from MN Posted: December 09, 2020 at 03:12 PM (#5993399)
Mid-Atlantic best guess
North
Wilmington, Jersey Shore, Aberdeen, Brooklyn, Hudson Valley, Salem
South
Bowling Green, Greenville, Rome, Asheville, Greensboro, Winston-Salem

12 more in the Midwest League which will likely split East and West. 6 for the Northwest League: Vancouver, Hillsboro, Eugene, Spokane, Tri-City, Everett
   20. Der-K's emotional investment is way up Posted: December 09, 2020 at 03:17 PM (#5993400)
Bowling Green's inclusion is a real downer for the team operators of other mid-atlantic teams (presuming that's their league) - may convert some bus rides into flights

oh, since i was blanking on it - jersey shore = lakewood.
   21. bads85 Posted: December 09, 2020 at 03:32 PM (#5993402)
Bowling Green's inclusion is a real downer for the team operators of other mid-atlantic teams (presuming that's their league) -


Bowling Green will almost certainly be in the High A Midwest League since they are slated to be the Rays' High A team.

EDIT: I suppose it could be part of the 6 team High A South League (TBA) of Rome, Greenville, Winston-Salem, Greensboro, and Hickory.
   22. bads85 Posted: December 09, 2020 at 03:36 PM (#5993403)
Salem is slated as a Low A team.
   23. Der-K's emotional investment is way up Posted: December 09, 2020 at 03:54 PM (#5993407)
midwest league would make more sense

i don't like these leagues being so tiny, for competitive balance purposes. (or, as a fan, i like more diversity of matchups)
   24. DL from MN Posted: December 09, 2020 at 03:54 PM (#5993408)
Salem is slated as a Low A team.


You are correct - that would replace Salem with Hickory which would definitely be in the division with Greensboro, Winston-Salem, Rome, Greenville and Asheville. They aren't moving Bowling Green to the north so maybe they do move Lake County instead.

Mid-Atlantic North
Wilmington, Jersey Shore, Aberdeen, Brooklyn, Hudson Valley, Lake County (Cleveland suburbs)
   25. bads85 Posted: December 09, 2020 at 04:04 PM (#5993413)
High A could shake out something like this:

6 team Northwest League.

12 team Mid Atlantic Configuration (two divisions or two leagues)

Rome, Greenville, Winston-Salem, Greensboro, Hickory, Asheville
Wilmington, Jersey Shore, Aberdeen, Brooklyn, Hudson Valley, TBA

12 team Midwest League
   26. Brian C Posted: December 09, 2020 at 07:42 PM (#5993452)
Looks like the Cubs kept their affiliates and just swapped high-A and low-A. Makes sense.

The promotion of the Midwest League to high-A and culling a couple teams seems like a real missed opportunity for the White Sox to make an affiliate out of the indy-league team in Gary. Seems like that would be a win-win for all involved, but somehow even after this realignment the Sox got stuck with a AAA team in Charlotte, so it's fair to wonder how much attention they're paying to these things.

I'll pour one out for the teams that got culled that I've visited personally: Kane County, Clinton, West Virginia, Lexington

Kane County sticks out since they are a genuinely good draw, but I guess there are issues there with ownership and facilities? The Cubs couldn't wait to get out of there a few years ago when they switched to South Bend. Also West Virginia was cool and it's sad to me that they're out.

   27. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 09, 2020 at 08:17 PM (#5993459)
Lexington seemed really well run and well supported with a fairly new stadium, I was surprised they were excluded.
   28. DL from MN Posted: December 09, 2020 at 08:18 PM (#5993461)
I am a little surprised we didn't see another A-ball team get the axe with Trenton moving to the Mid-Atlantic League North. Kannapolis is 145th on the list with average attendance of 1133 but just built a new ballpark. Beloit would have been an easy cut except they also just built a brand new stadium.

Also, what we have called the Mid-Atlantic South really could just keep the Carolina League nickname.
   29. ckash Posted: December 09, 2020 at 08:22 PM (#5993462)
I am livid that Lexington was excluded. I will not buy a thing licensed to MLB going forward.
   30. BDC Posted: December 09, 2020 at 08:36 PM (#5993465)
And the Texas AirHogs are no more.
   31. Voodoo Posted: December 09, 2020 at 08:52 PM (#5993470)
The Boise Hawks were one the surprise axes from affiliated ball - a surprise because they weren't on the original cut list, not a shock for those 'in the know' around Boise, familiar their stadium situation.

They will be joining the now-independent Pioneer League, which will include other affiliated-ball castoffs like the Idaho Falls Chukars and the Missoula Paddle Heads.

One of my favorite baseball things ever will always be that I happened to be in Boise while their minor league team was (pretty randomly, if you think about it) the Cubs short-season affiliate at the time. This happened right at the beginning of the Theo era, and I got to watch the guys that came up during those years ultimately win a WS for my franchise.

I went to almost every game in that 2012 season and that team was loaded with MLers - Willson Contreras, Albert Almora, Jeimer Candalario, Dan Vogelbach, Marco Hernandez plus Shawon Dunston, Jr and all-time-name-great Rock Shoulders (the latter two failed to make the show). Bill Buckner was their hitting coach that season. I used to sit behind the Hawks dugout and just watch Bill watch the game. Contreras learned how to catch that year in Boise, I later learned (he'd been an IF before)!

Anyway, as cool as minor-league baseball as a major league feeder has been to me, I think it would be a lot cooler if the new unaffiliated teams could get good enough talent (ex-major leaguers, fringe prospects looking for a salary bump over free meals and board) to have a fun regional baseball league, with no MLB oversight/control.
   32. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: December 09, 2020 at 09:15 PM (#5993476)
I'm surprised Frederick wanted to be in the "Draft League" instead of joining the Atlantic League and playing against York, Lancaster and Southern Maryland. Maybe the Atlantic League is not long for this world. It only has 6 teams including the one in Gastonia, N.C. that doesn't exist yet.

Might be interesting though. I'd rather watch the Draft League than a team made up entirely of Orioles prospects, not being an Orioles fan.
   33. Voodoo Posted: December 09, 2020 at 09:19 PM (#5993477)
I'm surprised Frederick wanted to be in the "Draft League"

I don't think 'wanted to' had much to do with it.
   34. Lassus Posted: December 10, 2020 at 11:12 AM (#5993519)
MLB expansion to 32 teams seems inevitable.

And horrible.


Multiple sources tell Baseball America that Major League Baseball has sent invitations to 119 of the 120 teams it is inviting to be part of its MLB-developed minor league system.
So you're saying Utica still has a chance.
   35. bads85 Posted: December 10, 2020 at 11:55 AM (#5993525)
So you're saying Utica still has a chance.


Not anymore. Fresno caved last night. It appears they received some relief for their stadium debt while reworking the lease with the team.
   36. Lassus Posted: December 10, 2020 at 12:05 PM (#5993529)
I would also choose Fresno over Utica.

Although, having been to Fresno, it would be close.
   37. bads85 Posted: December 10, 2020 at 12:07 PM (#5993530)
Lexington seemed really well run and well supported with a fairly new stadium, I was surprised they were excluded.


This was always one of the top surprises on the list. Location works well for travel, nice stadium, upgraded facilities. Speculation is they pissed off somebody.
   38. GregD Posted: December 10, 2020 at 01:07 PM (#5993544)
I would also choose Fresno over Utica.

Although, having been to Fresno, it would be close.


Ha!

But actually Fresno has its charms (and it appears from my brief stops some number of hipsters moving in from SoCal for the prices.)

And the underground gardens is truly one of the wonders of the world
   39. DL from MN Posted: December 10, 2020 at 01:21 PM (#5993547)
MLB expansion to 32 teams seems inevitable.

And horrible.


I'd be okay with expansion to 36 over the next 10 years. We're looking at 25 years between expansion as is.
   40. Walt Davis Posted: December 10, 2020 at 04:42 PM (#5993614)
We're looking at 25 years between expansion as is.

But with no markets really primed for ML-level attendance and revenues and a number already dependent on shared revenue. If there's an expansion market, they can have the Rays or Pirates. Expansion would drop talent levels a good bit as well.

Now obviously if even the skankiest MLB franchise is worth $1 B, MLB would get plenty of interest, expansion fees and the new expansion onwers would surely make a comfy profit when they sold off so no doubt somehow it makes perfectly good financial sense to have a team in Nashville or Charlotte or Montreal or wherever and it will happen in the not-too-distant future. But how many Royals does MLB really need?

(The real expansion markets are NY and LA but that ain't gonna happen ... and it might just be too late anyway.)
   41. DL from MN Posted: December 10, 2020 at 05:14 PM (#5993624)
If there's an expansion market, they can have the Rays or Pirates. Expansion would drop talent levels a good bit as well.


That would kill MLB TV ratings in Pittsburgh and Tampa. Expansion is all about expanding the TV footprint of MLB for advertisers. MLB is often the top rated show on television in local markets. That's the reason to NOT expand in a market already covered.

I think we might be at peak MLB talent historically, especially if you look at pitcher strikeouts.
   42. Starring Bradley Scotchman as RMc Posted: December 10, 2020 at 08:07 PM (#5993653)
MLB expansion to 32 teams seems inevitable.

Charlotte, Vancouver, Honolulu, Brooklyn.

You're welcome.
   43. Voodoo Posted: December 10, 2020 at 09:19 PM (#5993662)
Charlotte
Portland
Brooklyn
Montreal
Mexico City
Havana
   44. BrianBrianson Posted: December 11, 2020 at 01:01 AM (#5993680)
Montréal and a Mexican team (either Mexico City or Monterrey) are the obvious choices for two expansion teams, especially if that choice is dictated by expanding the TV market (as it should be). Charlotte and Portland probably aren't far behind.

A full six is harder. Obviously New York is a huge market, but a third team might be less and less useful as it's unclear more teams bring a lot of TV market value. Salt Lake City and ... yeah, New York is a tough question. Even 10% of the New York market looks good compared to an average MLB market. Trenton, or a Connecticut team, might or might not be better. Brooklyn, maybe?
   45. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: December 11, 2020 at 01:42 AM (#5993685)
Mexico City is higher elevation than Denver and would be a poor fit logistically. Honolulu would be even worse logistically. Havana, lmao, like the US government would allow that. Yankees and Mets would block any team from Brooklyn. Vancouver, maybe, but the Mariners wouldn’t like it. Portland is plausible, though a bit small of a market. Montreal maybe, but they were getting 10k fans on a good day the last time they had a team. Charlotte is a reasonable choice. NC is the most populous state without a team. The largest cities without MLB teams are San Antonio and Austin, which are pretty close to each other. Austin is the largest US city without a team in any of the four major leagues (MLB, NFL, NBA, NHL) despite being larger than some cities with all four (Boston, Detroit, Miami). And the South is generally underrepresented in terms of MLB teams per capita.
   46. BrianBrianson Posted: December 11, 2020 at 02:42 AM (#5993687)
Montréal was a mid-market team through the 70s and 80s, only once ownership was openly planning to move the team did attendance really tank.

But ... attendance isn't as importent as the TV market (and merchandise market is nice and not so local). Montréal's TV market is probably the lot of Francophone Canadians, so 8~10 million people probably being poorly reached now. Mexico City is difficult logistically, (altitude, distance), which is why Monterrey is a plausible alternative, but Mexico is an enormous TV market, even if people are individually poorer on average, there are just so many of them it's almost certainly the richest open market.
   47. Adam Starblind Posted: December 11, 2020 at 07:39 AM (#5993688)
Monterrey is a plausible alternative


Violent crime is very bad in Monterrey right now. I don't see it as realistic until that comes under a lot more control.
   48. Rally Posted: December 11, 2020 at 08:41 AM (#5993693)
Austin is the largest US city without a team in any of the four major leagues (MLB, NFL, NBA, NHL) despite being larger than some cities with all four (Boston, Detroit, Miami).


Maybe true if you are looking at city proper, but looking at the census metropolitan area I get:

Austin 1.7m
Boston 4.5m
Detroit 4.3m
Miami 5.6m

Austin is bigger than Milwaukee, but Portland, Sacramento, San Antonio, and Orlando all have larger metropolitan areas.
   49. DL from MN Posted: December 11, 2020 at 09:37 AM (#5993698)
It doesn't matter much which of Austin or San Antonio gets the team, TV will pick up both areas. For in-person attendance I think San Antonio is the better bet. You could say the same about a team in Charlotte - they'll get TV viewers across the Carolinas.

I agree with Montreal and Monterrey as terrific TV markets but I feel like the expansion to 32 teams is going to be domestic (Nashville, San Antonio, Portland, Charlotte competing). MLB will try to go international when the economy has picked up again. Among those 4 locations I see the teams going to the areas that foot the bill for a new ballpark.
   50. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: December 11, 2020 at 11:16 AM (#5993711)
Orlando couldn't even support an AA team, right? I would not consider Orlando.

New market needs to be a place that is growing and where baseball is popular. Nashville and San Antonio look obvious to me (San Antonio because it's farther away from the other Texas teams than Austin is), and I don't know where else. The population of the Montreal market is SO big, and keeps growing, that it might be my 3rd choice.

One thing I would worry about in some markets is getting outdrawn by the soccer team. That might be embarrassing.

MLS attendance 2019:
25,218 Portland
22,761 Orlando
19,514 Vancouver
16,171 Montreal

2018:
23,866 Orlando
21,946 Vancouver
21,114 Portland
18,569 Montreal

North Carolina has added NBA, NFL and NHL in the past 30 years but what may be more relevant is they still don't have any competition in the summer.
   51. DL from MN Posted: December 11, 2020 at 11:54 AM (#5993715)
don't have any competition in the summer


NASCAR and golf are competition. The Carolinas have a LOT of minor league baseball teams. The sports fans there like baseball and would probably have MLB already if they had one dominant metropolitan area.

Out of those four cities they need to find a billionaire who is bored and convince taxpayers to fund a stadium. The second half of that will be hardest sell in Portland. I don't see MLB putting both teams in the southeast so it will probably be Charlotte OR Nashville paired with San Antonio OR Portland. I don't think the latter is a fair fight - Texans are much more excited about building sports stadiums than people in Oregon. San Antonio does allow some marketing into Mexico which could be beneficial as well.
   52. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: December 11, 2020 at 12:21 PM (#5993719)
San Antonio OR Portland. I don't think the latter is a fair fight - Texans are much more excited about building sports stadiums than people in Oregon. San Antonio does allow some marketing into Mexico which could be beneficial as well.


Sure, San Antonio has demographic and marketing advantages, but Portland could call their team the Flannels and have Rob Neyer as their mascot.
   53. Lassus Posted: December 11, 2020 at 12:26 PM (#5993721)
We're looking at 25 years between expansion as is.

I guess I would say "so what?" to that.

I may be believing the hype, and I would be THRILLED with smaller major league venues supporting a sustainable fanbase, but before COVID attendance seemed to be complete crap at a few places, so somehow ADDING more places with completely crap attendance seems like a bad idea even if it were 35 years between expansion.

Again, I'm coming at this from a very common non-data perspective, so I'll grant being called names for this stance. Maybe I'm reading things wrongly and the low attendance I'm imagining doesn't exist, or doesn't matter if it does exist. But looking at the crowds at Marlins Stadium and a few others, how does it seem like MORE stadiums is a great idea?
   54. Astroenteritis Posted: December 11, 2020 at 01:10 PM (#5993725)
One thing I would worry about in some markets is getting outdrawn by the soccer team. That might be embarrassing.


That could happen in Austin. The MLS expansion team which starts play in 2021 sold out their season tickets quickly, and enthusiasm for the team is very high. Austin is a natural soccer market, but I don't see it as much of a baseball market. Baseball fans here would support a team in San Antonio, but I don't know if the numbers would be very significant.
   55. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 11, 2020 at 02:10 PM (#5993732)
BA has league organization now.

Triple-A will now have just 10 teams in the PCL (Albuquerque, El Paso, Las Vegas, OKC, Reno, Round Rock, Sacramento, Salt Lake, Sugar Land, Tacoma), with most of the midwestern teams joining the eastern teams in a new 20-team league.

Double-A looks largely the same, although with some new teams.

High-A will have the new Mid-Atlantic league with Aberdeen, Asheville, Bowling Green, Brooklyn, Greensboro, Greenville, Hickory, Hudson Valley, Jersey Shore, Rome, Wilmington, Winston-Salem. High-A will also have the Midwest League and the Northwest League.

Low-A will have the South Atlantic League, Florida League, and California League.
   56. DL from MN Posted: December 11, 2020 at 03:09 PM (#5993742)
Maybe I'm reading things wrongly and the low attendance I'm imagining doesn't exist


There's one easy way to fix low attendance. Lower prices. Teams don't do that because they're making just as much money with low attendance as they would with higher attendance and lower prices.
   57. DL from MN Posted: December 11, 2020 at 03:23 PM (#5993744)
Triple-A will now have just 10 teams in the PCL


They're all affiliated with the NL/AL West teams which is appropriate. The Astros and Rangers are the only two teams from the AL or NL West who don't have their low A affiliate in the California League.

   58. Der-K's emotional investment is way up Posted: December 11, 2020 at 04:50 PM (#5993754)
Lexington was excluded because the Royals were willing to move on and the city is too far from other league cities. Change either and they stay - that was a solid market and well run team.
Bowling Green would be in the same boat had Tampa not wanted to continue that relationship.
   59. Starring Bradley Scotchman as RMc Posted: December 12, 2020 at 11:17 AM (#5993795)
Mexico City is higher elevation than Denver and would be a poor fit logistically.

Closest MLB city to MXC is Houston, over 750 air miles away. (Kansas City, St. Louis and Atlanta are all closer to Houston than MXC is.)

Honolulu would be even worse logistically.

LA is closer to NYC than it is to Honolulu.
   60. bookbook Posted: December 12, 2020 at 03:56 PM (#5993817)
If Vancouver and Portland were added, it would solve a lot of Seattle’s travel problems. (Seattle routinely travels hundreds of thousands of miles more to play each year than any other team, and the effect can be seen on the players.)

I’m not sure what effect the secession of the entire middle of the country after the failed coup will have on travel and border issues. Blue vs Red at the all-star game may take on additional mean8ng, however.

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