The 2020 Major League Baseball season is already going to be a hodge-podge of things we’ve never seen before. From a 60-game season to the universal DH and new extra innings rules. There will be daily temperature checks, a more regionalized schedule and the minor leagues that we know will be turning into something more like a taxi squad of players the big-league teams can call upon when needed.
So what about all the other minor-league players and ballparks? They’re facing a unique situation too. Mostly doing nothing. But one MiLB GM has an idea that could make things even more weird — but also give us more baseball.
Adam Nuse, general manager of the Triple-A Nashville Sounds, wants to turn his stadium into its own independent league. Nuse said Wednesday he’d be happy to work with MLB on such an idea, but would go about on his own too.
The boiled-down version: Nashville would house two teams of free agents who would play each other four days per week, according to WKRN. They would want to start playing July 23, with a season that runs until the end of September. The games would also be open to the public, under the Sounds’ plan.
Here’s more from WKRN:
“We have a plan that if you bought a set of six tickets, all the seats within six feet of those tickets would be killed, so they wouldn’t even be able to be purchased. We want to invite people in so they can experience baseball, while being safe and following the rules,” added Nuse.
As for what type of baseball fans can expect to see; there will be two teams, each made up of 20 players and each team will have a manager, one pitching or hitting coach and a trainer. With there being no minor league baseball right now, there is plenty of talent out there and Nuse said he is in the process of putting these teams together.
“We want to make sure this is real baseball. These will be All-Star teams, made up of hopefully the best players that are out there, that are major league ready. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to do something like this because usually these type of players wouldn’t be available,” added Nuse.
The hope would be that big-league teams would watch and potentially give these players a job. Or minor league players who aren’t part of the big-league taxi squads would have a place to play.
Under the MLB plan for 2020, teams would have a 30-man roster plus a 30-man taxi squad, which would leave plenty of players looking for places to play. Nashville’s league could, realistically, function a lot like an independent league. It makes sense, given a surplus of both players and minor-league ballparks. If successful, it could even be duplicated in other regions to give MLB teams a pool of players to draw from.
The question would be whether Nashville can put together an MLB partnership — and if not, what kind of talent this idea could attract.
If it somehow leads to Yasiel Puig playing acoustic guitar and wearing a cowboy hat, we’re all for it.
BREAKING: @nashvillesounds planning to host 40-game season at First Horizon Park, with a hopeful start date of July 23. Planning to sign 40 players where 2 teams will play games against one another.— Chris Harris (@ChrisHarrisWSMV) June 24, 2020
GM Adam Nuse in process of finding players (minor league/etc) now...@WSMV
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