6 Tennessee minor league baseball teams on ‘hit list’

Randy Boyd’s minor league baseball teams. (Source: RandyBoyd.com)

Major League Baseball wants to sever 42 minor league teams’ ties with parent clubs, including six in Tennessee, the New York Times reports.

The Tennessee teams on the so-called “hit list” are:

  • Chattanooga Lookouts, Double-A, Cincinnati Reds.
  • Elizabethton Twins, Rookie, Minnesota Twins.
  • Greeneville Reds, Rookie, Cincinnati Reds.
  • Jackson Generals, Double-A, Arizona Diamondbacks.
  • Johnson City Cardinals, Rookie, St. Louis Cardinals.
  • Kingsport Mets, Rookie, New York Mets.

Instead of being stocked with players and coaches from their respective parent clubs, those teams would become part of a lower-tier “Dream League” made up of mostly undrafted or released players.

Elizabethton, Greeneville, and Johnson City,  three teams playing in the Appalachian League, are owned by interim University of Tennessee President Randy Boyd. A fourth team, the Double-A Tennessee Smokies of Sevierville, would be unaffected by the change. The team is affiliated with the Chicago Cubs.

Also avoiding the overhaul are the state’s two Triple-A teams, the Memphis Redbirds (St. Louis Cardinals) and the Nashville Sounds (Texas Rangers).

The Times reports notes that many of the the affected teams have long baseball histories and traditions. The story includes this detail:

Officials in Elizabethton, Tenn., population 14,000, faced a choice a couple of years ago. They could either renovate the police station or meet a condition of the Minnesota Twins: to spend more than $1 million modernizing the clubhouse at the city-owned ballpark, home to its beloved minor league affiliate.

They deferred the police station renovation, and now the Elizabethton Twins have a huge locker room, an upgraded kitchen, a training room, and space to relax and study game video.

5 Responses to 6 Tennessee minor league baseball teams on ‘hit list’

  • James White says:

    So when is State Senator Kelsey going to pass a law that forbids this?

  • Beatrice Shaw says:

    These professional athletes make too much money. Tennessee doesn’t need to spend so much on just a few people. Many kids are good at sports, but they have to work to pay for their education. It’s almost criminal

    • Steve Johnson says:

      Don’t confuse the Big League salaries with what minor league guys make. Rookie and Single A players make about $1100-$2200 per month. Triple A guys make around $10,000 a month. These aren’t the Multi-million dollar salaries the guys in the majors make.

  • John Scott says:

    MLB making room for a team in Nashville. That is the usual MO. Can the minor league teams, free up some entertainment money, make people starve for baseball, then swoop in and say–“We heard you. Tennessee wants baseball. Well, here ya go! Big League Baseball!”

  • TR says:

    This is an absolute shame. The proposed hit list disproportionately hits Tennessee. These teams provide jobs and an economic boost for the communities they are in. Those communities have invested in facilities for these teams that will likely go unused if the teams are disbanded. It’s nothing to cheer.

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