For the second day in a row, there is something to write about the disgusting way MLB and its clubs are treating minor league clubs and cities. In this case the Philadelphia Phillies are the wrongdoers.
In the new contract with the Phillies, the city of Reading has obliged to take care of ballpark improvements in order to keep the Reading Fightin’ Phils (AA affiliate of the Phillies) in the city. Perhaps not the smartest move by the city because the upgrades will cost up to $15 million. But since the ball club also provides a lot of (seasonal) work, the city has taken its responsibility.
Now MLB/the Phillies is/are threatening to move the Reading Fightin’ Phils if the city of Reading does not live up to the signed contract. So now the city is looking to the State of Pennsylvania for financial help. But Reading isn’t the only city in limbo. So is Erie (home of the Seawolves) and others. All with the same contracts, all with a knife put on their throat by MLB.
The dirty part of this is that the Philadelphia Phillies are 100% owner of the AA franchise but they refuse to spend one dime on the improvement of the ballpark, of which the construction was finished in 1951. According to city historian Richard M. Polityka, the ballpark and the Phillies AA team are institutions of baseball. But apparently, the Philadelphia Phillies don’t care about that. They refuse to spend a dime, like they are saying: “We might as well move elsewhere to get a new state-of-the-art ballpark.” It is normal that (the owner of) a minor league club pays its share when it comes to improvements to a ballpark, but not the Phillies.
This is how MLB works. Its reign in MiLB is based on fear; “Take it or leave it.” It shows once more what a disgusting and vile organization MLB is.