Milwaukee Brewers GM Doug Melvin isn’t happy with the way his team was treated by the Nashville Sounds (Class AAA; Pacific Coast League), who decided to seek a new affiliate as a new ballpark is opening next season.
The Brewers, in Melvin’s mind, were pretty patient with the Sounds the last several years when Greer Stadium was falling apart and barely up to baseball standards. The Brewers have a track record of sticking with teams like the Sounds and the Huntsville Stars (Class AA; Southern League), who have faced facilities challenges in the past few years; the Brewers will be rewarded with a new Biloxi ballpark sometime in 2015 or 2016; they won’t get to benefit from playing at First Tennessee Park. From MLB.com:
But speaking of the Sounds, Melvin said, “Very disappointing. We gave them 10 years there. A number of times we had a chance to move and we were patient with them. … I’m just disappointed they wouldn’t have given us two [more] years for what we put up with there.”
Even amid rumors that the Sounds were poised to drop the Brewers for a partnership with the Oakland A’s, Melvin heard the same. He says the Brewers offered to play preseason exhibition games in Nashville, and even to invest in the club if it helped move the sides toward an extension of their PDC.
Those overtures were declined without explanation, according to Melvin. He says he asked Sounds ownership three weeks ago, “If you’re leaning toward not having us, just give us a heads up so we don’t lose out on something else.”
And, apparently, the Brewers did indeed lose out on something else.
By the way, this notion of MLB teams investing in their MiLB affiliates seems to be all the rage this year. At least two MiLB owners asked potential affiliates to invest in their teams, and one potential PDC could hinge on such an investment, we are told.
Now, no one is accusing the Sounds of breaking any rules: the player development contract between the two teams expired, and the Brewers were informed it would not be renewed. Still, baseball is a business where loyalty is expected and demanded, and it does look bad to dump the Brewers after several years of support.
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