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Boyd reminds fans: There will be baseball this summer

Joe Avento • Updated Feb 19, 2020 at 6:38 PM

As Major League Baseball and the minor leagues negotiate to come up with an agreement on a new contract, the folks at Boyd Sports want to remind local baseball fans that there will be an Appalachian League season this summer.

In a news release issued Wednesday, Boyd Sports President Chris Allen said “We are putting our best foot forward and we need all the fans and businesses to come out and represent in numbers this upcoming season.”

Boyd Sports runs the Johnson City Cardinals, Elizabethton Twins and Greeneville Reds in the Appy League. The organization recently announced that the 2019 season had a total economic impact of $1,683,205 for those three communities. The group also runs the Tennessee Smokies in the Class AA Southern League.

As part of negotiations toward a new Professional Baseball Agreement, MLB has made a proposal to eliminate as many as 42 minor league teams. The current deal between MLB and Minor League Baseball expires after the coming season.

The proposal has been met with disapproval from all over the country, including politicians from the local level all the way to Washington, D.C.

Nothing has been decided yet, but any change in the makeup of the minor leagues wouldn’t happen until next year. MLB and MiLB are expected to hold the next round of in-person negotiations Thursday in Dallas.

The Johnson City Cardinals are the defending Appalachian League champions. They’ve won three titles in the past six years. Johnson City opens the season June 22 with a home game against the Kingsport Mets.

Roberto Espinoza will be back for his fourth year as the Cards’ manager. He’ll be joined by hitting coach Daniel Nicolaisen and pitching coach Rene Cortez. Also back will be play-by-play man Joey Zanaboni.

“Renew your season tickets, make a trip to the ballparks, and continue to support our local teams to prove we belong to stay in Eastern Tennessee.” Allen said.

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