WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, today joined a bipartisan resolution supporting Minor League Baseball and its efforts to fight Major League Baseball’s proposal to eliminate 42 MiLB teams from its MLB team-affiliated minor league system, including the Mahoning Valley Scrappers.
“As a lifelong baseball fan, I know what the sport means to our state and how proud we are of our Ohio teams as we rally together to support local clubs like the Mahoning Valley Scrappers,” Brown said in a news release. “I will continue to call on MLB to do the right thing and work with state and local leaders to keep baseball in the Valley and in local communities across the country."
Last week, Brown and Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, wrote a letter to MLB Commissioner Robert Manfred regarding a New York Times report from November that revealed that the Mahoning Valley Scrappers are one of the 42 teams that MLB has identified for contraction from its club-affiliated minor league system as part of its negotiations over an updated agreement with the MiLB.
Read the senators’ full letter here.
The resolution calls on the Senate to:
- Support the preservation of Minor League Baseball clubs in 160 communities across the United States;
- Recognize the unique social, economic and historical contributions that Minor League Baseball has made to the lives and culture of the people of the United States;
- Encourage the continuation of the 117-year foundation of Minor League Baseball through the continued affiliation of the teams in those communities with Major League Baseball.
“MLB is confident that we can simultaneously keep baseball in the communities in which it is currently being played and modernize our player development system so that it fits the 21st century, improves playing conditions and increases opportunities for players,” MLB said in a statement. “That’s why MLB clubs have already decided to increase compensation for minor league players. The most constructive role Congress can play in these negotiations is to encourage Minor League Baseball to continue working with MLB to address the real issues impacting minor league players and communities across the country.”
Along with Brown, U.S. senators c-osponsoring the resolution include: Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn.; Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va.; Dick Durbin, D-Ill.; Edward J. Markey, D-Mass.; Patrick Leahy, D-Vt.; Bernie Sanders, I-Vt.; Bob Menendez, D-N.J.; Joe Manchin, D-W.Va.; Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y.; Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa; Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn.; Joni Ernst, R-Iowa; Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass.; Jerry Moran, R-Kan.; Tim Kaine, D-Va.; and Tom Cotton, R-Ark.