CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – “Tomorrow is going to be about… ‘are there any teams that don’t accept this license.”
120 minor league teams will have to make a decision, by Wednesday, on whether or not they want to become a major league affiliated team.
WV Power was one of the roughly 40 teams that did not receive an invitation this year.
But, there’s still a chance the Power could get an invite.
“There was some rumbling that some teams couldn’t financially take on that burden of accepting the license and knowing they would have to invest – in some cases – millions of dollars to comply with Major League Baseball,” said Jeremy Taylor, general manager for WV Power.
The majors have created new rules and regulations, which would force minor league franchises to spend millions to renovate their facilities.
For example, teams like Lexington found they would have to spend 2 to 3 million dollars to comply with Major League Baseball.
“Small market teams are not gonna have 2 and 3 million dollars coming off of COVID,” said Taylor. “And who knows what the 2021 season is going to look like.”
Which is why WV Power is looking for other options now.
“We’ve learned more and more as we’ve been going on and on about the difference between being affiliated… and being in an independent situation,” said Taylor.
Should WV Power become an independent ball club, they would have much more freedom.
“What we have to stress to the public is… baseball is baseball,” said Taylor. “Hot dogs are hot dogs. Beers are beers. You know, and I mean 95% of the people who come to our games don’t know who’s on the field.”
Another restriction the majors are placing on minor league teams – games will have to be played before 4 pm on Thursdays and Sundays… like the majors.
“The biggest thing in minor league baseball is ‘Thirsty Thursday,’” said Taylor. “Dollar beer nights. Two dollar beer nights. And it’s a big social event and huge for the industry. It’s one of the bigger nights for everybody. And I don’t think they differentiated the culture of Minor League Baseball from the culture of Major League Baseball.”