The two U.S. senators from Massachusetts are asking Major League Baseball Commissioner Robert Manfred to rethink what they’re calling an “ill-advised” proposal to eliminate or strip the major league affiliation of 42 minor league teams.
One of the teams affected by the move would be the Lowell Spinners, the Class A Short Season New York-Penn League affiliate of the Boston Red Sox. Removing the affiliation would be a “slap in the face to Lowell” and do “long-term damage to the game’s ability to keep and grow its fan base,” Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey wrote to Manfred Monday.
“The team’s important affiliation with the Red Sox, and its proximity to Boston and New Hampshire, have allowed Red Sox fans from all over the region to enjoy a Spinners game and see players that will move on to play for the Red Sox and other Major League Baseball teams,” the letter said. “The Lowell Spinners provide an affordable family outing and have remained a strong partner for the entire community.” Markey and Warren said the Spinners and their stadium, LeLacheur Park, employ nearly 200 workers and that the team makes up “an important piece of the community’s cultural footprint.”
Congresswoman Lori Trahan, a Democrat who represents Lowell, last week joined with three Republican lawmakers to announce the formation of a bipartisan “Save Minor League Baseball Task Force” that will monitor negotiations and “discuss potential legislative action if and when such a remedy becomes necessary,” according to Trahan’s office. Another Red Sox affiliate, the Triple-A Pawtucket Red Sox, is planning a move from Rhode Island to Worcester.