Major Leagues Could Wreck Baseball in Bingamton
Major League Baseball could force the elimination of organized professional baseball in Binghamton. The New York Times reports that restructuring of the Minor Leagues could mean the elimination of organized professional baseball in Binghamton as early at 2021. According to the New York Times' article written by David Waldstein Major League Baseball is proposing a plan to eliminate 42 teams in Minor League Baseball when the current operating agreement ends on September 15, 2020.
According to the article and other sources Major League Baseball is looking to increase salaries for players in their Minor League systems. Also being considered are better travel conditions, more off days during the season and improved facilities and field conditions. The Binghamton Rumble Ponies have already made major improvements in NYSEG Stadium with over five million dollars of upgrades either completed or planned. Binghamton is also hosting the 2020 Eastern League All-Star Game in July.
Binghamton is listed as one of the 42 cities and teams to be eliminated if the plan is passed. The Rumble Ponies are the Double-A affiliates of the New York Mets. The only other Eastern League team listed is the Erie Seawolves, affiliated with the Detroit Tigers. Class A and short-season Class A teams would be hardest hit. Seven teams in the NY-Penn League (short-season Class A) are on the list.
According to the plan lower classified leagues would be converted into "Dream Leagues" where undrafted or recently released players could compete. In these leagues the costs would primarily be the responsibility of the local owners and operators which could force many out of business. Under the current agreement between Major League Baseball and its Minor League affiliates players, coaches and manager's salaries are paid for by their Major League affiliates. The affiliates then generally pay for any stadium expenses
, maintenance and travel costs.