Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
September 27, 2006
BASEBALL: The Tides Recede

Soccer Dad has a great post on a subject I hadn't followed at all - apparently the Mets' long affiliation with the Norfolk (formerly Tidewater) Tides is coming to an end, as is the Yankees' affiliation with the Columbus Clippers - the Tides will become an Orioles affiliate, the Clippers a Nationals affiliate, the Mets' new AAA team will likely be the former Milwaukee franchise in New Orleans (the Zephyrs) and the Yankees will apparently take over the Scranton market, being abandoned by the Phillies' affiliate . . . well, go read the whole thing. It's not just the end of an era but the simultaneous end of several eras for different franchises.

Reading between the lines, Norfolk wasn't happy with Omar Minaya's use of the New York-Norfolk shuttle to expand his pitching staff at the expense of the AAA club.

I remember in 1981 during the strike, Channel 11 (then the Yankee station) showed the Clippers games, and they had this amazingly hokey theme song, the hokiness of which can only be partly captured with the lyrics:

Col-um-bus Clippers, our team is Number One!
Col-um-bus Clippers, our fans are having fun!

(Repeat ad nauseum - there must have been more but that's the part I remember).

Posted by Baseball Crank at 9:25 AM | Baseball 2006 | Comments (9) | TrackBack (0)

Can't be more annoying than Terry Cashman's "Talking Baseball." I still hear that song in my head; I am not kidding.

Posted by: steve at September 27, 2006 10:20 AM

It seems to me the Mets lost a game of musical chairs. It's no where near New York, I don't see any great advantage to having their AAA team play in the Pacific Coast League, and New Orleans is (along with Las Vegas) a place I'd probably prefer not to have my up-and-coming prospects live for a year on the way to the majors.

Posted by: Jerry at September 27, 2006 11:07 AM

It's too bad when teams change thair minor league commitments, lot of hard fealings. I remember, several years ago, when the Dodgers left Albuqurque and Bakersfield. I don't think the reason was the loss of AAA players so much as $$$$$. Joey

Posted by: JOE CHOLIK at September 27, 2006 11:18 AM

Having grown up near Allentown, I was both happy and upset that the Phils would be moving their AAA team there. Happy, because I'm a Phils fan. Upset, because I thought it shouldn't be at the expense of the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre area. However, I'm thrilled for SWB that the Yanks have signed a deal with them. It's a definite upgrade for those folks. There are wayyyyy too many New Yorkers moving to the Poconos, so that area will probably soon become Yankee territory as opposed to the Phillies.
Incidently, the Mets could have pursued Syracuse, who are not happy with the Blue Jays, but didn't. If they're stuck with New Orleans, that's their own falut!

Posted by: Mark D at September 27, 2006 1:23 PM

Not that I could ever buy one, but what does a minor league franchise cost in terms of money and do the respective major league affiliates own any stake in the teams? I'm not sure if anyone on this post knows, but it was just something I was always curious about.

Posted by: Phanatic at September 27, 2006 3:02 PM

If my childhood memory serves me correctly it's:

Columbus Clippers, our team is Number One.
Columbus Clippers, our fans are half the fun.
No matter if they're winning or if they've had a spell,
Columbus Clippers, ring your bell.

Cowbells were a big part of the Columbus Clippers experience in those days. (No, I'm not kidding. No, Columbus really ISN'T a cowtown...)

Posted by: Michael at September 27, 2006 4:32 PM

I really like the way the Astros have aligned their upper level minor league teams. Basically they've moved their AAA (Round Rock) and AA (Corpus Christi) teams as close as they can to the parent team. Then, they treat them not as three separate teams but as a part of one big team. Physical proximity, plus the fact that the minor league owners [the Ryan brothers (Nolan's sons)] are tightly aligned with the parent club, means that these rosters are highly interchangeable. The traffic between these clubs this year is enough to make your head spin.

In a completely unrelated note, BC, when is Brooklyn gonna get an NL franchise? The Marlins are a natural fit in that town and the NYC market is certainly big enough to support three teams.

Posted by: mark at September 27, 2006 5:03 PM

The Phillies are doing much the same thing the Astros have done with their farm affiliates. They had the AAA team in Scranton for 18 years, In 2008 it will be in Allentown, even closer. Their AA team is in Reading, about 40 miles away. They have a high class A team in New Jersey, and they just switched short-season A affiliates from Batavia, NY to Williamsport, PA.

Posted by: Mark D at September 27, 2006 10:33 PM

Shame about the Mets leaving Norfolk. My years living in Virginia in the Navy led to the Mets being my NL team to follow.

Posted by: LargeBill at September 28, 2006 9:15 AM
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