01.06.20

SCHUMER MEETS WITH MLB COMMISSIONER MANFRED TO URGE PRESERVATION OF UPSTATE NY MINOR LEAGUE TEAMS; SENATOR PUSHES TO SAVE THE FUTURE OF BASEBALL IN NEW YORK

U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer today released the following statement, following his meeting with Commissioner of Major League Baseball (MLB) Rob Manfred last month to discuss MLB’s proposed plans to restructure the minor leagues and ongoing negotiations with Minor League Baseball (MiLB):

“Last month, Commissioner Manfred and I had a productive meeting to discuss Minor League Baseball’s presence in New York. Throughout the state, from Binghamton to Auburn, to Batavia, Staten Island and beyond baseball is woven into the very fabric of our communities, with fan bases that glean a sense of pride and joy from their success. That is why I will continue to fight to ensure that these teams remain in those communities. It is critical going forward that all of the parties—from team owners, to local leaders, to MLB and MiLB representatives—step up to the plate and negotiate in good faith,” said Senator Schumer. “In fact, I have urged MLB officials to come to these communities and hear directly from local leaders, and I expect that will occur early this year.”

“We appreciate Senator Schumer’s efforts to bring the parties together to discuss the issues that currently exist in Minor League Baseball,” said Commissioner of Baseball Robert D. Manfred Jr. “We are at the very early stage of negotiations and are hopeful that Minor League Baseball will come to the negotiating room and engage in good faith negotiations in an effort to make a deal.”

In November, news reports revealed that MLB proposed plans to take 42 teams that are currently affiliated with Major League teams and reassign them to compete in a newly-formed league, called the Dream League. Reports indicate that MLB’s proposal would mean the reassignment of four teams across New York State: the Binghamton Rumble Ponies, Batavia Muckdogs, Auburn Doubledays and Staten Island Yankees—and an alteration of the business plans of the Tri-City Valleycats, Hudson Valley Renegades and Brooklyn Cyclones.

This November, after learning of the proposal, Schumer wrote to MLB to express his serious concerns, request the league sit down with local stakeholders to discuss the plan and search for constructive solutions that would maintain minor league baseball’s strong presence in Upstate New York. In the time since, MLB met with representatives of MiLB and team owners to work through and negotiate potential plans in further detail. Schumer is now urging those conversations to continue and for all of the parties to negotiate in good faith to figure out a way to preserve baseball throughout Upstate New York.

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