Coronavirus Helps Remind us Just How Important Sports Are at all Levels

We were just getting started on this yearlong journey to shed light on everything Minor League Baseball and small town America has to offer when the country and the entire world was all but shut down due to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 or “COVID-19.”  Getting right to the point, I am not a doctor, I don’t know how long this health crisis will last, and I am not going to comment on what should or should not be happening by those in government. Taking those factors into consideration, we’ve decided that our goal here at Small Ball America is to continue to write these blogs and prepare for our journey this summer, whenever it takes place.  The reality is, “this too shall pass.” I am in no way being insensitive to the situation or trying to minimize it in any way, but there is not a lot that can be done other than following the guidelines set by those in government and doing our best to stay healthy. So, we will continue spreading our message as it pertains to the minor leagues and small town America, because eventually, life will get back to normal.  

As I write this, professional sports at every level have been shut down for the foreseeable future.  For that matter, most large gatherings of any kind have been shut down, cancelled, rescheduled, etc… Just considering my four plus decades on this earth, I can only think of perhaps two times when something this big has taken place and changed the perceived and actual normalcy of people’s everyday lives.  Those incidents would of course be the attacks of September 11th, and the Great Recession. There have been other, more localized events that have devastated communities, like Hurricanes Andrew, Katrina, and Sandy, as well as the Loma Prieta earthquake of 1989, just to name a few. These events shut down sports and changed the trajectory of some people’s lives, but those were more localized tragedies.  I cannot think of another time in our country’s history when sports, all sports, were shut down indefinitely with the intent to start back up at a time unknown to anyone. During times of tragedy, sports are one of the most important institutions Americans turn to in order to decompress and forget the problems of the day, if only for a few hours. That option doesn’t exist this time, and it may help people to remember and perhaps better understand the exceedingly important role sports play in all communities, regardless of size.

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Why Major League Baseball Needs its Minor League System… As Is

As we inch closer to the start of a new baseball season, the brass at Major League Baseball continue to negotiate a new working agreement with those in charge of Minor League Baseball.  That agreement will determine how the partnership between the two separate, but indelibly linked entities will work moving forward. Whatever deal they come to is likely to set precedent for future negotiations at the very least, if not reshape the entire concept of minor league baseball altogether.  

It’s no secret that MLB has proposed to do away with some forty-two affiliated franchises from their minor league ranks.  These teams would be rebranded or eliminated altogether. There is clearly a great deal at stake for the cities and towns that house these and all minor league baseball teams, but what is not being discussed by many in the media and certainly not the aforementioned MLB brass, is all that Major League Baseball would stand to lose if they choose to simply walk away from these minor league towns and cities.  

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