Friday, February 09, 2007
The Appalachian League announced today that the league would operate with only 9 teams in 2007, which means Pulaski has been left out in the cold. After spending $1.5 million over the past decade to renovate Calfee Park, the city of Pulaski is now left without a team for at least one summer. This does not seem right. Is MLB that poor that they couldn't foot the expense of fielding a co-op team for one year while the league tried to find a new affiliate for '08 ? I'm sure the cost of running an App League team for one year wouldn't exceed the cost of a major league pinch hitter. The way Pulaski has been treated by the Blue Jays and MLB is a real slap in the face. First the Blue Jays said they were cutting affiliates, but then recently announced that would be putting a team in Gulf Coast League. So clearly they lied to Pulaski and the Appy League - and for what ? Just to save a few dollars ? Hopefully this serves as a warning sign to other cities that are threatened by MLB to pour money into their ballparks. Without some assurances of a team staying long term, cities need to start saying no. The Appalachian League provides one of the purest experiences in minor league baseball, but this kind of treatment from MLB could changes things in the future. I certainly hope not, but anytime a small city like Pulaski gets screwed, it's not a good sign. Here's hoping a new affiliate can be found for Pulaski in '08.