WASHINGTON D.C.—U.S. Rep. Phil Roe, R-1st, continues to do his part countering a proposal that would eliminate 40 minor league baseball teams.
After meeting with Major League Baseball Deputy Commissioner Dan Halem, Roe released the following statement on Tuesday:
“The First District of Tennessee is home to four minor league baseball teams in the Appalachian League — with a fifth right across the border in Bristol, Virginia. There are ongoing discussions between MLB and its minor league affiliates about the future of minor league baseball, and since half of the Appalachian League teams play in our region, I want to be active in ensuring America’s pastime is preserved for generations to come. For that reason, I met with Deputy Commissioner Halem to discuss the concerns our communities have with the potential loss of the Appalachian League and its impact on Northeast Tennessee. I look forward to continuing on working to preserve baseball in the First District of Tennessee.”
Major League Baseball is currently negotiating a new agreement with the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues, the governing body of the minors. The initial proposal would mainly impact lower-level teams in short-season leagues — and take effect after the 2020 season.
Out of 10 Appalachian League clubs, the First District of Tennessee is home to four teams: the Elizabethton Twins, Greeneville Reds, Johnson City Cardinals and Kingsport Mets. Furthermore, the Bristol Pirates are right across the border in Bristol, Virginia.
Congressman Roe recently joined 106 of his colleagues in urging MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred to reconsider the plan to cut these teams and protect minor league baseball in their communities.