milb 2020 season cancelled
Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images

Minor League Baseball 2020 season cancelled

6 Comments

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.

*

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

Joe Kelly’s suspension reduced to 5 games on appeal

Joe Kelly suspended eight
Getty Images
Leave a comment

LOS ANGELES — Los Angeles Dodgers reliever Joe Kelly had his suspension for throwing pitches near the heads of Houston hitters reduced to five games on appeal.

Kelly was originally penalized eight games by Major League Baseball on July 29, a day after throwing a 96 mph fastball near the head of Houston’s Alex Bregman and two curveballs that brushed back Carlos Correa.

The Dodgers on Wednesday confirmed the reduced penalty.

Kelly went on the 10-day injured list retroactive to last Sunday with right shoulder inflammation. He will serve his suspension when he returns.

After striking out Corea, Kelly curled his lip into a pouting expression and exchanged words with the shortstop.

Benches cleared after Kelly’s actions during the sixth inning of Los Angeles’ 5-2 win at Houston in the teams’ first meeting since it was revealed the Astros stole signs en route to a 2017 World Series title over the Dodgers.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts served his one-game suspension the same day the penalty was handed down. Astros manager Dusty Baker was fined an undisclosed amount.

Kelly denied that he purposely threw at the Astros. He has previously been suspended in his career for throwing at a batter.

The penalties were imposed by former pitcher Chris Young, MLB’s senior vice president of baseball operations, who issued his first ruling since taking over the job from Joe Torre.