From a governmental standpoint, there is not much lawmakers at any level can do about a proposed plan to contract Major League Baseball’s minor league system – that doesn’t mean they’re not trying.
The 30 big league teams and 160 minor league organizations have an agreement that governs their structure and expires at the end of 2020. The new proposal would eliminate affiliations for four New York state teams in 2021.
However, Sen. Chuck Schumer has vowed to speak directly to MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred, an Upstater himself, about changing that plan. Republican Rep. John Katko co-signed a letter with a bi-partisan group of members of Congress to “highlight the importance of Minor League clubs.”
And Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul is appealing to MLB as well.
“We’re saying please don’t do this,” she said. “Take your considerations elsewhere but leave New York State, the home of baseball, alone.”
The LG noted baseball’s rich history in the state. It’s founder Abner Doubleday was born in New York and one of the teams in peril, the Auburn Doubledays, is named after him. Of course, the Baseball Hall of Fame is also in Cooperstown, NY.