Are the minor leagues necessary??

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    A thought provoking article from 538.

    I don’t know that they make a compelling argument to get rid of the affiliates, but perhaps reduction of teams and leagues when (if?) the salary structure changes might benefit the quality of the game. It would be a bit of a shame to lose teams in small places though.


    stlcard25, informative and compelling story. I wasn’t aware that HOU dropped two affiliates and I’ve never given a thought to the Cards doing the same. Thanks for passing this piece along.

    This I always believed to be true:

    minor league games will never be replicated despite whatever gains are made in technology.

    “You can’t really simulate facing a pitcher in front of thousands of people,” Haniger says, “and failing in front of a whole bunch of people.”

    This is a big factor in a players chances of progressing. Its mental. Minor leaguers have to conquer in their minds that they are playing in front of bigger and bigger crowds against better and better competition.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if other teams including the Cardinals follow suit in the near future.


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    Very interesting article. I think the minor leagues are definitely necessary. The number of players ready for MLB within a year of being drafted are minimal. But I also think there are too many teams. Well to clarify, MLB teams don’t need 9 affiliates for a feeder system because the vast majority of those players will never make it to MLB. Those teams are probably important to the local communities and to the local economy but that is almost a separate issue.

    I wouldn’t be surprised to see this issue pop up if/when there are more serious talks about minor league salaries. MLB teams might be willing to increase salaries but reduce the number of affiliates. I think Brian has already predicted something like this.

    Of course those minor league teams that are no longer affiliates don’t necessarily have to cease to exist. There are some independent leages out there they could play in, although I am sure that is more stressful financially without a MLB team for support.


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    I suspect that there will be a continuing reduction of minor league affiliates. Many players are selected and signed to fill rosters more than with expectations that they will make the major leagues.

    At the same time I would expect to see a rise in Independent leagues.

    Maybe the key question will the players fare better financially in the Indy Leagues?

    AvatarCardinal in France


    Of course (Sigh) it’s all about money. To hell with those folks out there who love minor league baseball. To hell with those mid-sized towns who love their local teams. I grew up with minor league ball, a long, long way from any major league team, back when the Cardinals were the “southern team” and there was no such thing as a Houston Colt 45 or a Texas Ranger. When I travel back to the States I still take in minor league games when I can. I’d rather see MLB give some thought to losing a couple or three big league teams rather than looking to expand again.

    Avatar1982 willie

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    I think that the minor leagues are very important. it takes a little longer for some to grasp all the ins and outs of the game so having the different tiers is very important. plus the minors give players a chance to hold onto that dream a little while longer and are a good for the communities they call home. just getting to A ball can be a big thing for some people, something they hold in their memories. its also one of the main reasons baseball became as big as it did. sore it may make monetary sense to scale back but not everything should be about money. baseball can keep trying to keep up with the joneses but im afraid in doing so, it may find itself even further behind.

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