Local Leaders Sound Off on Proposed Elimination of teams in the Appalachian League
Two leaders representing Tennessee and Virginia are speaking out following a recent report from the New York Times that points to the elimination of several minor league baseball teams including those from the Appalachian League.
Tennessee US Representative Phil Roe says he has joined several of his colleagues in writing against a proposed move by the MLB to save $100 million by ending 42 minor league affiliations, stating the effects on local communities would be damaging. Additionally, Bristol, VA Mayor Neal Osborne took to social media earlier this week to address the proposal, and echoed similar sentiments to Roe, while also adding how important the Bristol Pirates are to the community. Five of the ten teams in the league call Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia home.
Below is the full statement from Phil Roe:
“East Tennessee has long enjoyed watching America’s pastime in the Appalachian League each summer. With the First District of Tennessee home to four teams – and a fifth right across the border in Virginia – I could not more strongly oppose MLB’s plan as it stands because of the disproportionate impact it will have on our region. I was proud to join 106 of my colleagues in urging Commissioner Manfred to reconsider the plan to cut these teams and protect minor league baseball in our communities. Nearly half the Appalachian League teams call East Tennessee home, and it would be a great loss to the region and to MLB if they were eliminated. I look forward to discussing this plan in more detail with Major League Baseball.” Link to letter sent to MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred here.
Tweet from Neal Osborne
“I’m disappointed in Minor League Baseball’s decision to include most of the Appalachian League on their list of 42 teams to be considered for contraction. Our Bristol Pirates are an institution and an important part of our community.”
Courtesy of Image: Appalachian League Logo