Not that it should come as much of a surprise to anyone at this point, but on Friday several leagues around Minor League Baseball announced the cancellation of their respective All-Star games. It’s been just over five weeks now since spring training was put on hold in Arizona and in Florida. And while it seems that Major League Baseball is trying to at least talk out plans to try and play some semblance of a season in 2020, there hasn’t been nearly as much talk about a minor league season. A lot of that comes down to the monetary factor. Major League Baseball has about $4,000,000,000 in television contracts between their local and national deals per year. It pays to play games to empty stadiums if you can.
Minor League Baseball does not have that working in their favor. Very few teams broadcast their games on local television, and the few that do aren’t doing so for the entire schedule. Teams in the minors make their money by selling tickets. If there aren’t fans walking through the front gate, there’s no money at all to be made for these teams.
Minor League Baseball wants to officially come out in May and tell people, but I’ll tell you guys I view this as quote unquote ‘lemons to lemonade’ because we’re pushing it back to 2022.
Triple-A is the only level that has one All-Star game, rather than games for the individual league. In rookie ball the Pioneer League and the Northwest League face off against each other – but that doesn’t make up the entire level. Every other level has All-Star games that are compromised of just players from their specific leagues.
On Friday we saw two of the three Double-A leagues announce the cancellation of their All-Star games. Binghamton and the Eastern League announced their cancellation first, but were shortly followed up with an announcement from the Texas League that their game in Amarillo was cancelled as well. Expect more leagues to follow.
The Cape Cod League also announced that they were cancelling their season this summer. Again, no surprise here.