Saturday, August 27, 2016

Affiliates current and former

One thing that has gone well for the Twins the past week-plus: They extended their Triple A affiliation with the Rochester Redwings.

There had been some speculation about that in the immediate wake of Terry Ryan's firing, especially considering that the New York Mets are a presumably better geographic fit for an upstate New York team, and the Mets want, for a variety of reasons, to get their affiliation out of Las Vegas.

This 2013 Wall Street Journal piece explains the  odd Mets-Vegas pairing well:

Only a handful of team-affiliate agreements expire each year, and if one of them isn't renewed, it creates a game of musical chairs. Las Vegas is the chair no team wants.
And the Mets have become the fanny no chair wants.
"They're undesirable," said Dave Rosenfield, a longtime Norfolk (Va.) Tides executive. "Nobody wants them."

The story is more than three years old, but as far as I can tell, it's not dated. The Vegas stadium hasn't been replaced, the Wilpons still own the Mets, and Vegas is still in the desert.

The Redwings, incidentally, have had a pretty good season, even if they appear unlikely to make the International League playoffs. It has certainly been a hectic one for player movement. Earlier this summer the Wings' play-by-play announcer tweeted that there were only three position players left from the opening roster -- and no pitchers.


Two years ago the Twins switched Double-A affiliations, leaving the New Britain RockCats (Eastern League) for Chattanooga (Southern League). This came as the RockCats ownership announced plans to abandon New Britain for nearby Hartford.

The team, now branded the Hartford Yard Goats, will spend the entire season on the road. The new stadium in Hartford is unfinished, and nothing as been done on it in months as the city wrangles with contractors and team, And this week, Baseball America reports, the Eastern League president said the Yard Goats may never play a game in Hartford.

The Twins got out of that mess just in time.

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