Minor League Baseball 2020 season cancelled

milb 2020 season cancelled
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Baseball America’s J.J. Cooper and Josh Norris report that the 2020 Minor League Baseball season is cancelled and will likely be announced today.

The news isn’t particularly surprising, given the pandemic and the league’s near-total reliance on gate revenues. It was simply not feasible for the minors to play games without admitting fans. In the interim between baseball starting and now, many minor league teams have gotten creative with creating revenue opportunities. As we noted last month, the Pensacola Blue Wahoos — the Twins’ Double-A affiliate — listed their stadium on AirBnB, offering fans the opportunity to spend the night at the ballpark. The Salem-Keizer Volcanoes (Giants short-season Single-A) have done the same. The Lehigh Valley IronPigs (Phillies Triple-A) allowed paying fans to play Topgolf at the stadium. As Cooper and Norris point out, other teams have done things like drive-in movies, farmers markets, and other food-related events. They’ll have to continue doing so in order to stay afloat.

2020 has been brutal for Minor League Baseball. Late last year, we learned of MLB’s intent to cut 42 teams from the minors. Even before the pandemic, players and the myriad other MiLB personnel went into the 2020 season with that dark cloud hanging over them. Then the pandemic devastated the United States and gave MLB the opportunity to follow through with its plan to shrink the minors. Meanwhile, the players, who make very little money in the minors, had to suddenly find income opportunities elsewhere, but still had to be ready to potentially start a season at some point. The lost year means those players lose a year of development time. For some journeymen, it zeroes out their chances of realizing their dream of making it to the majors. Those that do make it to the major leagues will be reaching free agency a year later, which will impact their earning potential.

Major League Baseball is utilizing 60-player “pools” for the 2020 season, but it will be pared down to 28 players on the 14th day of the season and 26 players on the 29th day. Teams will also utilize three-player “taxi squads” when traveling. In that regard, there are ever so slightly more opportunities for some minor leaguers this year, but that’s the brightest spot that can be found in this dark year.

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Update (5:01 PM ET): It’s official. The milb 2020 season is cancelled.

Biden praises Braves’ ‘unstoppable, joyful run’ to 2021 win

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
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WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden said the Atlanta Braves will be “forever known as the upset kings of October” for their improbable 2021 World Series win, as he welcomed the team to the White House for a victory celebration.

Biden called the Braves’ drive an “unstoppable, joyful run.” The team got its White House visit in with just over a week left before the 2022 regular season wraps up and the Major League Baseball playoffs begin again. The Braves trail the New York Mets by 1.5 games in the National League East but have clinched a wildcard spot for the MLB playoffs that begin Oct. 7. Chief Executive Officer Terry McGuirk said he hoped they’d be back to the White House again soon.

In August 2021, the Braves were a mess, playing barely at .500. But then they started winning. And they kept it up, taking the World Series in six games over the Houston Astros.

Biden called their performance of “history’s greatest turnarounds.”

“This team has literally been part of American history for over 150 years,” said Biden. “But none of it came easy … people counting you out. Heck, I know something about being counted out.”

Players lined up on risers behind Biden, grinning and waving to the crowd, but the player most discussed was one who hasn’t been on the team in nearly 50 years and who died last year: Hall of Famer Hank Aaron.

Hammerin’ Hank was the home run king for 33 years, dethroning Babe Ruth with a shot to left field on April 8, 1974. He was one of the most famous players for Atlanta and in baseball history, a clear-eyed chronicler of the hardships thrown his way – from the poverty and segregation of his Alabama youth to the racist threats he faced during his pursuit of one of America’s most hallowed records. He died in January at 86.

“This is team is defined by the courage of Hank Aaron,” Biden said.

McGuirk said Aaron, who held front office positions with the team and was one of Major League Baseball’s few Black executives, was watching over them.

“He’d have been there every step of the way with us if he was here,” McGuirk added.

The president often honors major league and some college sports champions with a White House ceremony, typically a nonpartisan affair in which the commander in chief pays tribute to the champs’ prowess, poses for photos and comes away with a team jersey.

Those visits were highly charged in the previous administration. Many athletes took issue with President Donald Trump’s policies and rhetoric on policing, immigration and more. Trump, for his part, didn’t take kindly to criticism from athletes or their on-field expressions of political opinions.

Under Biden, the tradition appears to be back. He’s hosted the NBA champion Milwaukee Bucks and Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers at the White House. On Monday he joked about first lady Jill Biden’s Philadelphia allegiances.

“Like every Philly fan, she’s convinced she knows more about everything in sports than anybody else,” he said. He added that he couldn’t be too nice to the Atlanta team because it had just beaten the Phillies the previous night in extra innings.

Press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre was later questioned about the team’s name, particularly as other professional sports teams have moved away from names – like the Cleveland Indians, now the Guardians, and the Washington Redskins, now the Commanders – following years of complaints from Native American groups over the images and symbols.

She said it was important for the country to have the conversation. “And Native American and Indigenous voices – they should be at the center of this conversation,” she said.

Biden supported MLB’s decision to pull the 2021 All-Star Game from Atlanta to protest Georgia’s sweeping new voting law, which critics contend is too restrictive.