Recently MLB unfolded new plans to contract 42 minor league teams. The made-up reason by MLB is that many MiLB facilities do not live up to today’s standards. One of those teams is the Daytona Tortugas, the A-Advanced affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds. This is a plea why Daytona should NOT be contracted.
First of all, no minor league team should be contracted. True, there are several facilities that do not live up to today’s standards. The ballpark of the Beloit Snappers for example. But if that is the case, a solution would be to move the clubs to new towns. This happens all the time so nobody will raise his/her eyebrows for that.
If the state of facilities is the real reason for contracting 42 minor league clubs, perhaps it is time to shut down Fenway Park too. Even though it is a historic place and the fans love it, it doesn’t live up to today’s standards for the players. With this example, you can see what a lame excuse MLB is using for its plan.
No MiLB team should be contracted. They provide affordable family entertainment in places that are not even close to a Major League town. In the minor league ballparks, you are not ripped off with $9 beers and $15 hamburgers.
If there is one club that needs to stay, it is the Daytona Tortugas. The team plays at historic Jackie Robinson Stadium. The ballpark opened in 1940 and carries the name of Jackie Robinson for a reason. Robinson made his first strides in professional baseball in this ballpark during Spring Training in 1946. The place is something that should be cherished. We all know that if a minor league team leaves a town, there is a big chance the ballpark they played in will be demolished eventually. This ballpark’s historic value is too big to let that happen.
Perhaps, Jackie Robinson Stadium is a hotchpotch of seating areas but that is what makes it attractive. It is a nice quirky ballpark. IF the clubhouses are not living up to today’s standards, they can easily be upgraded. Problem solved.
If the remembrance of Jackie Robinson is really that important to MLB, the Daytona Tortugas should be left alone. If MLB persists in contracting the club, they prove they don’t give a damn about baseball’s history and perhaps they should abolish Jackie Robinson Day as well. Even though Jackie Robinson Day is a great initiative as it remembers the one player that had to deal with racism, physical and mental abuse, clubs earn a nice dime thanks to this day. And there we get to the point this whole damned plan is about. Money. The greed of the MLB owners exceeds the historic value of several MiLB facilities.