Minor League Baseball canceled
Courtesy FOX 5 News

Minor League Baseball Canceled



It’s official, Minor League Baseball will not be happening this year.


Send in the clowns, call it a day, the 2020 season was officially canceled last week via a statement that everybody expected, but couldn’t precisely predict when the call was going to be made. With all the news surrounding the MLB and its return, there was a slight wonder if MiLB would follow suit.

Unfortunately, no matter how much we prepared for it, the official announcement still stings. The absence of Minor League Baseball will leave a deep wound, symbolizing our need for local baseball. From the players, the fans, the sportswriters, the broadcasters, to the venders, the grounds crew, and countless others; Las Vegas Aviator Minor League Baseball brought all of us together as a family.


Here is the official statement regarding the cancellation of Minor League Baseball, released by the MiLB last week:


Minor League Baseball canceled
Courtesy: Casino.org

Major League Baseball {MLB} has informed Minor League Baseball {MiLB} that it will not be providing its affiliated Minor League teams with players for the 2020 season. As a result, there will not be a Minor League Baseball season in 2020.

“These are unprecedented times for our country and our organization as this is the first time in our history that we’ve had a summer without Minor League Baseball,” said Minor League Baseball President & CEO Pat O’Conner. “While this is a sad day for many, this announcement removes the uncertainty surrounding the 2020 season and allows our teams to begin planning for an exciting 2021 season of affordable family entertainment.”


Minor League Baseball, which began as the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues, was founded on Sept. 5, 1901

“Unprecedented times” has been used so much this year that I hope I never see it again after all this is said and done. This year has been tough for the whole world, and it doesn’t look like we can see the end of this tunnel just yet. It has been especially hard for minor leaguers to be locked in limbo, waiting for the fallout of COVID-19, and the constant hold-ups from the negotiations between the MLB and MLBPA. Both of these situations were entirely out of their hands, and all they could do is sit back and wait for the inevitable.

On Twitter, JJ Cooper of Baseball America recapped the press conference held by MiLB President Pat O’ Connor regarding the cancellation of the MiLB season:

MiLB’s Innovators’ Summit will move to a virtual event in September. No decision has been made about the December Winter Meetings.


On the state of Minor League Baseball:


Minor League Baseball canceled
Courtesy: Baseball America

“We are in dire straits, it wasn’t an acrimonious decision (between MLB and MiLB). I appreciate everyone feeling bad about today. This has been months in the coming. It was the right thing to do. From a practical sense, it was the only thing to do.  

It’s north of half (of MiLB teams) who could either have to sell ( or go insolvent without government or other help). This is the perfect storm. There are many teams that are not liquid, not solvent. I could see this (economic impact) lingering into 2022, 2023 easily. In some cases, probably a little longer.

One of the things I’m extremely proud of the amount of charity work, the amount of good work going on in the communities. We fed over a half-million meals as a result of the efforts of our ball clubs.

Leverage is a relative term. I don’t think it helps in any way to be dark. MLB is hurting probably not as bad because they have media revenue and other sources. Right now that’s a push to be determined. Discussions (With MLB) are at all but a standstill. It’s been probably six weeks since there is anything material. They have a pretty meaty issue on their plate and I understand that. Our negotiating team is not forcing the issue.

In the Last 10 days, it came into focus for me that from our standpoint we could see the real hotbeds that had cooled off had started to reverse. Right here in Florida, we went to 5,000, 6,000, 10,000 new cases. It became clear we could not overcome the justified governmental protocols let alone the protocols to get players into and out of stadiums, onto buses. Up until recently, we had a couple of projects we had prepared for MLB to see if they would be feasible and applicable.”

All of this sums up the biggest fears going forward with COVID-19, as Pat O’ Connor said, “We could see the real hotbeds that had cooled off had started to reverse.” Here in Las Vegas, we were viewed as a potential hub city for sports, but with the current trends and rising spikes, Vegas is in jeopardy of becoming one of those hotbeds.

Even if Minor League Baseball were scheduled to return, The chances of Aviators’ players playing here in Vegas would have been a considerable stretch. Which leads to the question, what happens to the players now?

All 30 organizations have agreed to pay the minor leaguers until the end of July. Then with the MLB restarting, each team will bring up to 60-players to camps held in two different locations around their home cities; these players of major and minor leaguers combined will be available throughout the 60-game season. That opens some spots for veteran players as well as top prospects to be added eventually to the MLB roster.


Minor League Baseball canceled
Photo Credit: MiLB.com

The 60-player pool makes for limited seating I’m afraid, some players will just have to plan for next year and hope all this is long gone by then. 2020 still holds no guarantees that we will get a full 60-game season of Major League baseball, “you just never know” can be this year’s slogan for sure. 

There is already an outpour of tweets showing their love of Minor league baseball. The truth is that it’s such a different atmosphere than the majors. Everyone is trying to build or reinvent themselves. It’s about new beginnings, but also redemption. It’s about baseball, but also about family.  It’s about the unknown and how long you will be there, but in that short time, you try and make it count.


Ralph Waldo Emerson’s quote always stayed with me and it can be used for the life of a minor league ballplayer where the unknown is constant: 


           “It’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey.”



Fans get to know one another in these ballparks, and we get to know the players that are just these ordinary human beings striving to become better. A symbol of life, shouldn’t we all strive to be better?  Yes, Minor League Baseball is canceled, but it’s not just baseball we lost, we lost a big piece of our community. 

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-Joshua Rushford – Franchise Sports Media

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