Save Minor League Baseball Task Force goes straight for the heartstrings in MLB battle
In a dispute that is largely about cold, hard economics, pitting Major League Baseball against its minor league offshoot, the newly formed congressional Save Minor League Baseball Task Force on Tuesday leveraged its biggest advantage by going straight for the heartstrings.
At a briefing/news conference on Capitol Hill for congresspeople and media members, aggrieved representatives and minor league franchise owners took turns extolling the virtues of minor league baseball — its romance, affordability and sheer American-ness — and decrying MLB’s proposal to sever player-development ties with 42 minor league franchises.
“Profit ain’t everything,” said Rep. Max Rose (D-N.Y.), whose district includes the Staten Island Yankees of the possibly doomed, short-season New York-Penn League. “We’re talking about community here. We’re talking about the very backbone of our neighborhoods.”
Rose and Rep. Mike Simpson (R-Idaho) on Tuesday became the third and fourth co-chairs of the bipartisan task force, formed last week by Reps. Lori Trahan (D-Mass.) and David B. McKinley (R-W.Va.) — all of them representing districts with teams on MLB’s proposed chopping block. On Nov. 22, Trahan and McKinley wrote to MLB to protest the cuts; 102 additional representatives, a near-equal split of Democrats and Republicans, signed the letter.