MiLB Congressional Task Force Utilizing Emotional Appeal
The newly formed congressional Save Minor League Baseball Task Force yesterday "leveraged its biggest advantage by going straight for the heartstrings," as representatives and minor league franchise owners took turns "extolling the virtues of minor league baseball -- its romance, affordability and sheer American-ness -- and decrying MLB's proposal" to drop 42 of its affiliated teams, according to Dave Sheinin of the WASHINGTON POST. U.S. Rep. Max Rose (D-N.Y.) said, "Profit ain't everything. We're talking about community here. We're talking about the very backbone of our neighborhoods." Rose and U.S. Rep. Mike Simpson (R-Idaho) yesterday became the "third and fourth co-chairs of the bipartisan task force, formed last week" by Reps. Lori Trahan (D-Mass.) and David McKinley (R-W.Va.). All of them represent districts with "teams on MLB's proposed chopping block." A hearing room was "set up for maximum photo-op potential, with caps of some of the 42 teams targeted by MLB's proposal spread out colorfully on a witness table and some of those teams' jerseys draped over the chairs typically occupied by committee members." MLB and MiLB are expected to "resume negotiations" on the Professional Baseball Agreement on Friday in San Diego, ahead of baseball's annual winter meetings next week. As part of MLB's proposal, the 42 teams potentially on the chopping block "could join a 'Dream League.'" However, MiLB President Pat O'Conner, who spoke to lawmakers yesterday, said that such a system "would be a 'death sentence' for the vast majority of the contracted teams" (WASHINGTON POST, 12/4).