Congress Continues Push Against MiLB Contraction With Task Force
A new "Save Minor League Baseball Task Force" will be "introduced on Capitol Hill" next Tuesday when a group of U.S. Reps take their efforts to stop MLB's plan to contract 42 MiLB teams to a "new level," according to Michael Silverman of the BOSTON GLOBE. U.S. Reps Lori Trahan (D-Mass.) and David McKinley (R-W.Va.) will "cochair the bipartisan task force," and will be joined by two other co-Chairs, yet to be announced, as well as MiLB President Pat O'Conner and some MiLB owners. Trahan and McKinley last week "cowrote a letter, signed by 104 other representatives, urging" MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred to drop the proposal (BOSTON GLOBE, 11/27). U.S. Rep. Joe Courtney (D-Conn.) said that he "believes MLB has underestimated the clout these communities have." The AP's Pat Eaton-Robb noted Courtney also "co-authored a letter to MLB officials outlining the negative implications of contraction and reminding them Congress has the power to reconsider" MLB's antitrust exemption. Courtney: "All these towns have representatives in Congress. That antitrust protection is worth far in excess of whatever they feel is the expense of minor league baseball. Our hope is that they are really paying attention. Major League Baseball is really testing their congressional good will" (AP, 11/26).
MUST BE A BETTER WAY: In S.F., John Shea writes though MLB has suggested that "slashing teams would improve the remaining players' living conditions and allow for stadium upgrades and easier travel," all of that "can be done without wiping out dreams for so many players and eliminating affordable family entertainment for so many fans." Not to mention "narrowing the pool of players is a silly idea." MLB needs to "attract new fans and players, not put up a road block" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 11/27).