ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Baseball’s minor leagues canceled their seasons on Tuesday after Major League Baseball decided not to provide any players to its affiliated teams amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues, the minor league governing body, made the long-expected announcement. The Professional Baseball Agreement between the majors and the minors expires after this season, and MLB has proposed reducing the minimum affiliates from 160 to 120.
MLB already had told clubs to retain expanded 60-player pools, of which 30 players can be active during the first two weeks of the season starting in late July.
“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 played,” National Association president 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.”
The Fresno Grizzlies put out a statement following the decision:
While we have been preparing for this outcome over the past few months, today’s news ofFresno Grizzlies
our season being canceled is, of course, devastating. We will thoroughly miss seeing all of
our fans, partners, and supporters this year at Chukchansi Park.
As I have talked to some of our fans over the past couple of weeks, hearing about the
shared love of the game constantly reestablishes to me how important baseball is to our
community and our country. The passion and joy that our crowd brings to every single
home game is second to none. We truly have the best fans in Minor League Baseball and
remain devoted to giving you the best experience in family fun and entertainment.
As an organization, we are already planning behind the scenes to give you the best
celebration imaginable once this hibernation ends and we take the field again in 2021.
Until then, stay safe, check in on one another and hold on to that Growlifornia feeling. No
matter what, we are all one Underneath the Bear Flag.