U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer Wants MLB To Pause MiLB Contraction
U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said that he is asking MLB to "pause its plan to lop off 42 minor league teams and engage with the impacted teams and towns about the best way to move forward," according to Lindsay Kramer of the Syracuse POST-STANDARD. MLB and MiLB are "in talks for a new Professional Baseball Agreement to replace the current one that runs out" next year. The plan for "restructuring is spurred by a desire for reduced costs and upgraded facilities." Impacted teams "could pop up in a proposed grouping of independent teams, an alternative that Schumer didn't like." He said that he has "not yet discussed the matter with Commissioner Rob Manfred, but he has sent a letter to Manfred and MLB as a whole requesting a larger discussion of the topic" (Syracuse POST-STANDARD, 11/21). In New York, Howard Owens noted the proposal is "potentially an issue for members of Congress to take up" because MLB "enjoys an exemption from the Sherman Anti-Trust Act based on a ruling" by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1922. However, Congress "has the power to overturn that exemption." Schumer "declined to comment on how he might respond to any proposal to lift the exemption." He said, "As for the antitrust exemption, we all know it exists. Let's see what Major League Baseball has to say. Let's see how quickly and willingly and cooperatively they are willing to sit down with us before we comment on that particular proposal" (THEBATAVIAN.com, 11/20).