If you live in a smaller city, one that doesn’t have a major league baseball franchise, then chances are good you’ve probably been a regular attendee for minor league baseball games.
They’re great for the family, especially on a budget, and give baseball fans a first look at up-and-coming prospects, while also periodically getting to see big name stars who need to work on their swing or get back into fighting shape after an injury.
But in a recent Sports Illustrated cover story by Robert Sanchez, minor league clubs are making it clear that the post-coronavirus future looks very grim indeed. In survey results from 68 participating clubs, it became evident that teams were concerned about their immediate future and the ability to survive even into next year.
The article, while dire, looks at the impact of teams on the towns where they are located, and the economic fallout of losing the clubs entirely. It’s not one to read if you’re in a good mood, because it’s fairly clear that not every team will survive these trying economical times.
- There’s no disputing Nolan Ryan is a legend, but David Schoenfield looks at what MADE him a legend.
- Is there more to the dispute between MLB and MLBPA about starting the season? Joel Sherman looks at a potential smoking gun email.
- ESPN looks at how MLB and its players are navigating the potential return to play.
- Tyler Saladino has returned from South Korea, and his KBO experience makes him uniquely aware of how MLB returning might look, reports James Fegan. (The Athletic subscription required.)
- Derrick Goold reports how the 2020 baseball season will need to be a lot less touchy-feely.
- On an even grosser note, Chandler Rome looks at how a no-spitting ban will impact some specific Astros players.
- Minor league announcers are missing the game as much as the players. Bill Shea touches base with several minor league announcers to see what’s keeping them occupied. (The Athletic subscription required.)
- Speaking of broadcasters, Will Sammon has a great profile on Brewers broadcaster Brian Anderson. (The Athletic subscription required.)
- We’re on a roll, so why not also share this great piece by Marc Topkin about what a range of local Tampa Bay broadcasters are doing to pass the time.
- Starling Marte shared the heartbreaking news of his wife Noelia’s passing.
- Chris Sale has one birthday wish: a brand new elbow that will take him back to being a successful starter. Story by Marly Rivera.
- Yesterday was Ji-Man Choi’s birthday and this Cut4 video gives me some charming Taylor Davis vibes, so enjoy.
Ji-Man Choi turns 29 today.— Cut4 (@Cut4) May 19, 2020
Let's celebrate this king. pic.twitter.com/BC91wXReY2
And tomorrow will be a better day than today, Buster. Make it so.