Officials from two Nationals affiliates, the Triple-A Fresno Grizzlies and the low Single-A Hagerstown Suns, yesterday praised the creation of a task force organized by members of Congress to prevent Major League Baseball from eliminating 42 minor league franchises.
U.S. Reps. Lori Trahan (D-Mass.), David McKinley (R-W.Va.), Max Rose (D-N.Y.), and Mike Simpson (R-Idaho) this week announced the formation of the Save Minor League Baseball Task Force. The four co-chairs said they will closely monitor negotiations between MLB and the Minor League Baseball umbrella organization and discuss potential legislative action if such a solution becomes necessary.
In press releases, Grizzlies president Derek Franks and Suns president Tim McDulin each expressed appreciation for the legislators’ efforts “in standing up for Minor League Baseball and speaking out against MLB’s effort to cast off thousands of jobs, reduce affordable, family-friendly entertainment and undermine grassroots support for our great game.”
The Single-A Hagerstown Suns have been identified as one of the 42 franchises facing elimination under a recent MLB proposal.
“With this proposal, MLB is willing to break the hearts of dozens of communities across the country,” said McDulin. “We are going to resist this plan and are gratified that so many in Congress are willing to join with us.”
Major League Baseball announced the proposal on Nov. 17. In addition to the Suns, the plan includes the short-season Single-A Auburn Doubledays, another Nationals affiliate, among the teams to be eliminated after the 2020 season.