There was a brief disturbance in the force late yesterday when a content farm posted a report saying agents for minor-league players and Minor League Baseball teams had been notified the 2020 season was canceled. Turns out, not so much.
A blogger for SB Nation’s Lookout Landing (sorry, no link–don’t want to reward such nonsense with Google juice) reported that he had been told by two agents representing six players that the MiLB season would be canceled and that teams had received the same message. The story was softened later, saying that there was no messaging to teams and Minor League Baseball about the cancelation of the 2020 season. We spent a few hours on the phone–including some previous Happy Hour time!–trying to verify or debunk, and no one we spoke to had any idea about the season being shut down. Minor League Baseball, too, issued a statement saying the season was not shut down. And plenty of industry folks, like Jeff Passan, made calls to confirm or debunk:
Contrary to reports, Major League Baseball has not canceled the Minor League Baseball season, according to a league spokesman.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) April 29, 2020
Now, there’s no doubt there’s the fear out there in the industry that the 2020 MiLB season will be canceled. There are also scenarios floating around providing for a shortened season, or providing for only a few levels of play launching, or a season schedule that starts late and extends past Labor Day. Things are fluid; remember, we live in largely improvised times. But remember: it’s only April 30, and so far MiLB teams have only lost three weeks of the regular season. To take that concern during baleful economic times and turn it into a confirmed report of a season shutdown is irresponsible. We spend a lot of time every day chatting with hardworking MLB, MiLB and summer-collegiate owners and managers who are trying to make the best out of a very challenging situation. To throw this out in the face of their hard work is a terrible and insulting move.
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