MLB owners cutting off nose to spite face with minor league plan

Jun 26, 2021; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Baseball sits on the mound prior to the game between the Detroit Tigers and the Houston Astros at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 26, 2021; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Baseball sits on the mound prior to the game between the Detroit Tigers and the Houston Astros at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports /
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It is almost as though MLB owners and commissioner Rob Manfred are going out of their way to make worse offers every chance they get. Their most recent offer involved cutting minor league roster spots from 180 players down to 150 players, something that the Player’s Union is expected to reject outright.

While minor league players are not represented by the union, they are a possible bargaining chip. These players could eventually become members of the MLBPA should they reach the majors, adding to the ranks as players are brought up to the majors to fill in for injury or poor performance.

MLB owners fail to see big picture again

Amazingly, this proposal is not one that the teams seem overly enthused about. According to JJ Cooper of Baseball America, multiple teams expressed the difficulties they had regarding having enough players, especially on the pitching side, after 42 minor league teams were cut. Cutting the equivalent of another team from the minor league ranks would only make those problems even worse.

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Every professional sport is looking to expand its reach and grow the game. The only way to ensure long term growth and survival is to find a way to reach as many people as possible. This makes plenty of sense to everyone – excluding MLB owners and Manfred.

Instead, they are actively looking to cut down their league and the reach of the game. Not only do their inane blackout restrictions make it difficult to watch teams, but cutting the minor leagues restricts the ability of people to get to the ballpark.

And that is where memories are made and fandoms grow. The games are affordable and fan friendly. It is easier to have access to players. It is everything that the league would ask for to help grow the sport – aside from being profitable.

That is what matters. The shortsightedness of the owners and MLB as they chase every last dollar cannot be overstated. Team values may be higher than ever, but that does not matter if there is no one to play the game and no one to watch. That is something that the league is completely forgetting about.

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MLB owners want to cut the minor leagues once again. And once again, they are failing to see the big picture in the quest for every last dollar possible.