Monday, September 19, 2016
(9/19/2016 07:37:00 PM) - Al
Any thoughts about the minor league affiliates shaking out badly for the Crew?
To be honest Gerry, I have not heard anything official. And to be blunt, there really only appears to be a couple options for MIL.
1. Take what's left, which is exactly what they've done for decades.
2. Buy a team and eventually, move it to a city with a nice ballpark, good facilities, and have said team not lose money.
Of course, #2 is preferred, but lots of luck with that. Minor league baseball is not exactly a huge moneymaking venture. I have read numerous times most teams lose money, and very few do better than a beak even business. To be blunt, if the YES network is paying you a kijillion dollars a year, you can afford to lose money by owning a minor league club or two. For small market teams, well, that money would have to come from the bottom line.
The sad thing is...I get it. MIL has one great affiliate, the Timber Rattlers play in a great little stadium, is close enough for easy rehabs a few times a season, and being a Brewers' affiliate actually helps them a bit in Appleton, though not a lot. The weather sucks in April, but other than that, it's a nearly perfect marriage. Does that help MIL win more games? Even indirectly, it's difficult to find any correlation.
Other than that, none of them are great. Colorado Springs is a horrible place for pitchers, and makes it tough for hitters to learn how to read a breaking ball because they simply don't work at high altitude. I assume Gerry is referring to the Crew's high A team, which was in an extreme pitcher's park in an extreme pitcher's league, and now is probably going to be left with the A+ team no one else wants, which will probably be in Lancaster of the Cal League, an extreme hitter's park in an extreme hitter's league.
The irony here is, most folks just read the above paragraph and said, "So?" And, for the most part, they would be accurate. Having a AAA team in CS has not seemed to damage the Brewers' system or their player development in the past two years. Granted, it makes it mighty tough for us to judge pitchers (I tend to all but ignore ERA and just use K/9 and K/BB, for example), but, you know, that's not really a big deal.
So, let's ask the flip side of the above question...does Colorado Springs cost the Brewers any victories? Again, even indirectly, it's tough to blame the Sky Sox for any real problems of the parent team.
So, is it great they have crappy affiliates, with ballparks that do not mirror Miller Park's factors and dimensions? Is it preferred? No. It would also be nice if the AAA team was somewhat close to Milwaukee...though both would rarely be at home the same time, something most fans overlook, because, well, they're casual. It doesn't really matter if the others are near MIL or not, as players rarely report directly from those teams anyway. It'd also be nice if they were near major airports with direct flights to and from MIL for rehabs.
That said, does it matter if Junior Guerra had to take a connecting flight when he made a rehab appearance? If the clubhouse was modern? Um, no. As long as the field is safe for our prospects and they have a decent weight room, I can't say it's much of a concern.
It's a classic case of fiddling while Rome burns, or being extremely concerned about the "little things" while oblivious to the "big things." Some worry about the Brewers minor league teams not winning. I don't care if they win a game, but I do care if they are sending quality players to MIL. They do that very well, so, that's all that matters to me.
They could win a ton of games if they signed a bunch of veteran minor leaguers to play at AAA and moved everyone else down a level, but that would be bad for development. Some teams make winning a priority and do just the above annually, though not as blatantly as described. Do they win more in the majors? I've never seen any evidence they do. Hence, keep sending Arcias and Barnes and the like to MIL. The rest is for the lawyers.
9/19/2016 07:37:00 PM