Blog Comments

  1. Jim Crikket's Avatar
    Do you suppose the "team interested in owning the Beloit franchise" would be the Twins? They could buy the franchise, give Beloit/Janesville 2 years to come up with a new Stadium plan and if/when they don't, move the franchise to St. Paul. Just spitballing here. I like conspiracy theories. Burlington is community owned and I haven't heard anything about facility issues there. Even with low attendance, they apparently are operating in the black (even Beloit is supposedly managing to do that, but if they're forced to bring their ballpark up to standards, it could be problematic financially).

    The good news is that in just 3-4 weeks, we'll know all the answers
  2. jtrinaldi's Avatar
    The Twins are done with Beloit.......I have herd that a team is interested in Owning the Beloit franchise with an agreement to have a new stadium up by the time they get the All Star game in 2020. The Snappers board is not interested in doing a 2 year go around as a stop gap. George Spelius is getting old and he has said for the last 5 years that by the time he is dead, there will be a new team in Beloit. Beloit has 36K people, roughly 10K more than Clinton and Burlington. If the Twins are actually looking for a stop gap until St.Paul, that would be Burlington. Burlington has had the lowest attendance for the last 20 years in the MWL. If the St.Paul plan does work Burlington will lose their franchise.
  3. Jim Crikket's Avatar
    MLB Rule 58 (and "Attachment 58") address minor league facility standards. There are two sets of standards, those for "new facilities" (defined as those with construction starting after Jan 1, 1991) and "existing facilities" (everything else). Sections 11, 12, and 13 of the rule apply to both new and existing facilities and address the playing field itself, player/manager/umpire clubhouse, etc., and maintenance.

    Teams that don't comply with the standards can ask for a "variance." Variances can be extended for a period corresponding with the term of the team's current PDC. There's a lot of, "the Commissioner shall consult with... etc." language, but the bottom line is that if a facility remains out of compliance and are unable to meet reasonable deadlines for bringing facilities up to standards, penalties can be imposed. They range from monetary penalties up to and including forced divestiture of the franchise by current ownership.

    I have no idea if Beloit's ownership is currently operating with such a variance, but having been to their ballpark, it wouldn't surprise me. It also wouldn't shock me if one of the reasons the Twins are finally looking to move out of Beloit is that they don't want to be the "bad guy" that is responsible for not signing off on allowing extensions of any such variances that might be in place now.

    So, yeah... in my opinion, for whatever little it's worth and based on a layperson's reading of Rule 58, I think Beloit could face a required divestiture of their franchise if they don't have a stadium plan soon (which seems doubtful).

    I'm not sure about franchises that might voluntarily be sold. A lot of MWL teams are community owned, so those don't change hands except for financial reasons.
  4. IdahoPilgrim's Avatar
    Nice summary. I guess the one question I really have is, if there is a genuine interest in moving a Single-A team to St. Paul, which one would it be? You have to have a willing seller, so if Beloit wants they can keep their club and have a guaranteed affiliation with somebody as long as they want. That's of course if their facilities are considered suitable enough for the Midwest League. Is that standard changing? Are Beloit's facilities so under par that organized basebal would let they team be ejected from the Midwest league and a new franchise awarded? And are there any other franchises for sale that could be moved? Any thoughts?
  5. Jim Crikket's Avatar
    I didn't stick around for his Mr Shucks jokes. When I ran out of beer, I politely excused myself to return to the picnic area where my beer (and food) was free!

    Then again, maybe the free beer is what made the game seem long.
  6. John Bonnes's Avatar
    Great photos. Just great. I especially love Nate Roberts mustache. That is inspired.

    I also love the tidbit about Vargas' home run and hearing about the young (and promising) relievers.

    Finally, are you sure Saturday's game didn't seem long because of Mr. Horror Pants "Mr. Shuck" jokes?
  7. nowheresville's Avatar
    As a Twins fan and Snappers season ticket holder, I certainly appreciate your work here as well. It certainly seems like the Twins have their foot out the door of Beloit, which is a shame considering that the number of Twins fans that have either visited, and created, since the Twins came in 2007. I now see as much, if not more, Twins gear than Snappers or even Brewers gear at most games now. The staff really has done a lot to promote the affiliation with the Twins, and despite the subpar stadium, it seems like it has been a good relationship for the past 6 years.

    I would be curious as to where the Twins might go. It doesn't seem like there are a ton of other good options. Cedar Rapids would make the most sense, if its available, but I don't see many other options. QC already kicked them out of town to get the Cardinals, I'm sure Peoria wants to keep the Cubs, the Brewers are happy in Appleton, Kane County and Burlington just swapped 2 years ago, which only leaves Clinton in the MVL West. I really like watching games in Clinton, but I'm not sure their facilities would be big step up from Beloit. That leaves the MWL east, or heading south.

    I don't see baseball leaving Beloit anytime soon, especially since the team is community owned and has been in the Black the past few years. But, much like 2006, I suspect they will end up getting the team that is without a partner when the music stops. From my understanding, that's pretty much how the Twins ended up in Beloit in the first place during the last big MWL affiliate shakeup.

    But I will continue to hope that Terry Ryan will decide to step up and keep the Twins in his hometown!
  8. Jim Crikket's Avatar
    I didn't include it in the post because frankly it was too long already, but I did look in to the possible SAL options for the Twins. You never know what's going on in the minds of some team owners, but I don't see much available down there. There are 8 teams with expiring PDCs. Asheville's been with the Rockies for 18 years and I didn't see any hints of dissatisfaction, though their attendance isn't great by SAL standards. Greensboro has hosted the Marlins for 10 years, gets good attendance and has been competitive... not much reason for change. Hagerstown is a Nationals affiliate and being in MD, I can't see that changing. Lakewood is tied at the hip with the Phillies (and going to NJ wouldn't exactly get the Twins affiliate closer to Ft Myers anyway). The CEO of the ownership group that owns Savannah grew up near Shea and is a Mets fan, so seems unlikely he'd make a switch.

    That leaves Hickory NC, which has been a Rangers affiliate for 4 years, Augusta GA, which the Giants have threatened to leave due to inability to get new ballpark/facilities (and why would Minn want to get in another of those situations?), and Lexington KY, which has been an Astros affiliate since the team was formed in 2001.

    Lexington might make sense for the Twins, given its proximity to Elizabethton, but they draw well and I saw no indication of any dissatisfaction with their current situation.
  9. MWLFan's Avatar
    Jim Crikket thanks for the digging on this. As someone down here in Southwestern Wisconsin my one worry is the SAL League. I just don't want the Twins to go there with the low A team. (The Eastern Division of the MWL would be better, but not by much.) I have to agree with the assestment of the Snappers facitilies, Miesville has a better stadium. I worry about the Beloit market as a viable location for A Ball. Dubuque would have been a great town with a place down on the river across from the Bluffs, but they went Minor League Hockey instead and built a wonderful little arena. Fingers crossed for Cedar Rapids here too. I don't think too highly of Clinton, but the last time I was there the Snapper starter was Glen Perkins so do you know if they have upgraded the stadium? But it would beat being in Georgia.
  10. glunn's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Crikket
    Shanewahl, that's what I keep hearing. Any idea WHY it's considered such a terrible place for baseball? Is it the obvious... the fact that it's damn HOT all summer long there? Population-wise, it should support a team. Are the facilities bad? I guess I just haven't ever read much specific about it other than no MLB team really wants to have their AAA team there.

    Head First, I thought 2 weeks was remarkably little time, too. I can just imagine a bell going off and suddenly phones are ringing all over the place. I know internal discussions are going on behind closed doors well before September, but still... a lot of MiLB teams are run by BODs and 2 weeks isn't very long to give any Board to decide anything! Giving Bud Selig less than 2 weeks to approve termination requests isn't very long, either. I'm pretty sure Bud takes naps longer than that, at times.

    I attended a game in Las Vegas a few years ago. It was warm, but the humidity is low there. The facility is very nice and the stands were fairly packed with fans who were having a great time.

    After the game we went to an amazing buffet then spent eight hours or so at a living art gallery known as "Olympic Gardens."

    Please have some sympathy for us west coast Twins fans. A team in Las Vegas would bring us immeasurable happiness.
  11. Jim Crikket's Avatar
    Shanewahl, that's what I keep hearing. Any idea WHY it's considered such a terrible place for baseball? Is it the obvious... the fact that it's damn HOT all summer long there? Population-wise, it should support a team. Are the facilities bad? I guess I just haven't ever read much specific about it other than no MLB team really wants to have their AAA team there.

    Head First, I thought 2 weeks was remarkably little time, too. I can just imagine a bell going off and suddenly phones are ringing all over the place. I know internal discussions are going on behind closed doors well before September, but still... a lot of MiLB teams are run by BODs and 2 weeks isn't very long to give any Board to decide anything! Giving Bud Selig less than 2 weeks to approve termination requests isn't very long, either. I'm pretty sure Bud takes naps longer than that, at times.
  12. Head First's Avatar
    Good article. Surprising how little time there is to get a contract done.
  13. Shane Wahl's Avatar
    Las Vegas is a terrible place for baseball.
  14. Shane Wahl's Avatar
    Great post! That was informative and cleared up a lot for me.
  15. Jim Crikket's Avatar
    I'm going to admit that I based the "Twins own Elizabethton" comment on one source, Ballpark Digest. I've found them to be pretty reliable with their facts, but you never know. They have a nifty rundown on all of the affiliation agreements at this site: http://ballparkdigest.com/2009052619...ate-dance-2012

    Note, for Elizabethton, they indicate the affiliation agreement is "In perpetuity; owned by Twins"

    I would imagine it's quite possible that the parks department houses their offices and even contracts to do administrative work for the team, but that doesn't necessarily mean the city owns the team. Then again, Ballpark Digest may have that one wrong. Since I was focusing on the full-season affiliates, I didn't bother trying to find a confirmation one way or the other. Yes, I was lazy.
  16. IdahoPilgrim's Avatar
    Nice article! Explains it well.

    One point - I believe the team in Elizabethton is owned by the city, not by the Twins, just like Beloit is community-owned. If you call the team's phone number as shown on their official web page, you get the city parks department.

    Atlanta has pursued that model of owning their own affiliates (they own all but one, I believe) and Colorado just purchased one of their rookie affiliates and moved it to a city closer to Denver.
    Updated 08-08-2012 at 03:19 PM by IdahoPilgrim
  17. glunn's Avatar
    This is very interesting. Thanks for laying it out so clearly. I would not mind seeing the AAA affiliate in Las Vegas. It would provide opportunities for a fun trip.
  18. Jim Crikket's Avatar
    Thanks, HF. That picture actually doesn't do the line justice. I arrived just before the gates opened and it took over half an hour from the time I got in line before I was inside the gate. With room for just two people to take tickets, progress was slow. I was in line when I saw the Tweets about Valencia being traded, however, so I was able to have some interesting conversations with other Twins fans nearby when that news broke. At least it kind of helped pass the time
  19. Head First's Avatar
    Those are some good pictures Jim. Gosh that is a long line of fans. I visited Beloit about a month or so ago with my son and took in a couple of games. My pictures being nowhere near the quality of yours. Great time though! Thanks for posting.
  20. glunn's Avatar
    Great pictures and an interesting article.

    It will be sad if the Twins leave, but it's also sad that the city won't come up with some cash to fix the facility. I would guess that visiting Twins fans contribute a lot to the local economy.

    I am tempted to buy a Snappers jersey before it's too late.
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