The word is out. Yesterday the Lexington Legends tweeted about big news that was to be announced today. Of course the baseball fan knew it was about the future of the team. Today, in another (noisy) tweet, the club announced the league it will join.
With an uncertain future after the Kansas City Royals left the club behind (the Legends had to learn through social media, they were not invited to become one of the four MiLB clubs of the Royals. Where has decency gone?)), the club had to look into other directions to stay alive.
For clubs in the Eastern part of the United States, there are plenty of options: Several independent leagues, several collegiate leagues. Teams on the West coast on the other hand don’t have that many options. The indy leagues over there are rather obscure and not as famed as the ones on the East coast.
Anyhow, the Legends will join the Atlantic League. You can only wonder how independent the Atlantic League still is after it has become a partner league of MLB.
“Joining the Atlantic League is the perfect next step for this franchise. We are beyond excited and thankful for the Atlantic League and Major League Baseball for assisting in making this happen. Fans can expect to see high caliber baseball, names they recognize, and players that are from Kentucky and the incredible college baseball programs in our state. We did extensive due diligence on what our next step should be. It was clear from the beginning that our fans, community and the game of baseball will continue in Lexington as a member of the premier MLB Partner League,” said Andy Shea, Lexington Legends President & CEO.
Also the Atlantic League expressed its feelings about the addition of the Legends in similar words. MLB however showed its hypocrite side once more: “We are thrilled to continue our relationship with the Lexington Legends as they join the Atlantic League in 2021,” said Morgan Sword, MLB’s Executive Vice President, Baseball Operations. “We have developed an excellent working relationship with the Legends and congratulate them on this next step for the franchise.” So if everything the working relationship was so excellent, why did MLB kick them out of organized ball?
When the 2020 Minor League Baseball season was cancelled due to the coronavirus, the Legends were one of very few teams across the country to welcome in fans to watch professional baseball with the creation of The Battle of the Bourbon Trail.