There was a story breaking over the weekend, and if you follow baseball it is pretty huge. It also could have repercussions with our local team.

Maybe Sanford’s idea to get into the minor league baseball business isn’t such a major stretch?

A SouthDaCola foot soldier sent me the breaking news with links to stories, and their speculation on the deal;

Interesting developments on the horizon for affiliated baseball will be even more interesting to see the impact on independent baseball, the American Association (league in which Canaries play), the Sioux Falls Canaries franchise and the future of the Bird Cage (or other baseball stadium in Sioux Falls). 

Saw this in the Pioneer Press: 

In a massive proposed restructure of minor league affiliated baseball (and a proposed action seemingly unsolicited by the St. Paul Saints?), Major League Baseball might propose to bring the St. Paul Saints into status as a team affiliated with a major league team.

Found some other articles defining the big picture of this:

The McNews (USA Today) version:

From Baseball America:

From the Baseball America article, a good summary: “At the core of the negotiations, MLB is looking to dramatically improve Minor League Baseball’s stadium facilities as well as take control over how the minor leagues are organized as far as affiliations and the geography of leagues. Those areas have been under the control of MiLB for the past 100-plus years and would lead to a dramatic restructuring of how MiLB is governed and operates.”

  • Why St. Paul and Sugar Land independent league teams?  Speculation: St. Paul is one of the more successful and financially stable franchises in the American Association.  To poach them from independent baseball would destabilize the American Association.  No knowledge about the Sugar Land TX franchise, but doubtful that MLB is looking to bring a “weak sister” franchise into the fold of a consolidated model of affiliated minor league baseball.  
  • Up to 42 less teams in affiliated baseball.  Effect could be that those communities which are spurned by MLB might try to cling to a baseball identity by hosting independent league teams.  More independent league teams?  But someone still needs to be an owner for each of these teams.  See also Dream League below.
  • Each team will be limited to 150-200 players under contract.  As an example, the Yankees might have to drop 85-135 players the result of this proposal.  The pool of players who might be interested/available to independent league teams will expand.  The role independent baseball in development and advancement of players could become more important.  Or could fade completely away.  See Dream League below.
  • Formation of a “Dream League”. MLB draft to be reduced to 20-25 rounds (fewer players selected).  Undrafted players could join the Dream League (or an independent league team, such as the Canaries) in order to get noticed.  From Baseball America: “The Dream League would be a joint MLB-MiLB venture, but in essence, it would be a quasi-independent league where the clubs would field teams of undrafted players.”   IMO, this is a move by MLB to take up the space currently occupied by independent baseball leagues.  A real threat to a franchise like the Canaries.
  • Major League Baseball to exact higher minimum standards for facilities and other elements of minor league affiliated baseball.  I can actually see how this could play to the favor of baseball in Sioux Falls (and specifically emergence of minor league affiliated baseball) – health conglomerate which spends freely for sports and entertainment facilities (sports training and sport viewing facilities; golf entertainment facility; restaurant); CEO of health conglomerate who is a wanna-be sports franchise GM and relishes involvement in the money deals of sports (e.g. paying college teams hundreds of thousands of dollars to give up ‘Home game dates’ to come to play a game in your palace) and a municipality which may have an appetite to participate in building a baseball facility.  The kind of big money game which MLB is mandating is right up the power alley for said healthcare CEO and free-spending Mayor PTH.

2 Thoughts on “Maybe the Sioux Falls Canaries days are numbered anyway?

  1. St.Paul has better attendance and it’s closer than Rodchester. Canaries would not be affected by this change.

    The Canaries
    The Sioux Falls Canaries are a professional baseball team based in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, USA. The Canaries are a member of the North Division of the American Association of Independent Professional Baseball, which is not affiliated with Major League Baseball.

    The American Association stretches from Canada all the way to southern Texas and as far east as Indiana. Nine states and one Canadian province are represented in the 12-team league.

    Joining the Canaries in the Noth Division are the Fargo-Moorhead Redhawks, the St. Paul Saints, the Winnipeg Goldeyes, the Chicago Dogs and the Gary SouthShore RailCats.

  2. D@ily Spin on October 21, 2019 at 10:36 am said:

    Tearing down a good stadium to make surface parking speaks for the city opinion of baseball. With the American Legion relocated to the Pawn Debacle, couldn’t the stadium become a facility for regional Legion Baseball?

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