Baseball’s minor leagues cancel 2020 seasons

Baseball’s minor leagues cancel 2020 seasons
Photo Courtesy: Pawtucket Red Sox

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Baseball's minor leagues canceled their seasons on Tuesday after Major League Baseball decided not to provide any players to its affiliated teams amid the coronavirus pandemic.

For the Pawtucket Red Sox, that means the end of an era. The 2020 season was the final season the Red Sox Triple-A affiliate would play at McCoy Stadium, before moving to Worcester in 2021.

“Naturally, as baseball fans, we are deeply disappointed to not have a summer of PawSox Baseball, especially in our 50th-anniversary season,” said club president Dr. Charles Steinberg. “Yet all of us recognize that the health, safety, and well-being of our players, fans, and entire community are paramount. But we will keep the faith; this may not be how the story ends.

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“We continue to speak with the Mayor of Pawtucket, the Hon. Donald R. Grebien, and other public officials, about the uses this summer--and beyond--of McCoy Stadium. So many high school and college players have loved playing on this field through the years, and we will see if there is a way to continue to provide that opportunity. We have also loved welcoming so many Rhode Island families to enjoy Dining on the Diamond, and we will see if we can continue to offer that experience as well.”

The National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues, the minor league governing body, made the long-expected announcement. The Professional Baseball Agreement between the majors and the minors expires after this season, and MLB has proposed reducing the minimum affiliates from 160 to 120.

MLB already had told clubs to retain expanded 60-player pools, of which 30 players can be active during the first two weeks of the season starting in late July.

“These are unprecedented times for our country and our organization as this is the first time in our history that we’ve had a summer without minor league baseball played,” National Association president Pat O’Conner. “While this is a sad day for many, this announcement removes the uncertainty surrounding the 2020 season and allows our teams to begin planning for an exciting 2021 season of affordable family entertainment.”