Loons management says affiliation with LA Dodgers will continue
Organization says report out of LA saying partnership will end is not true
MIDLAND, Mich. (WJRT) - Its been a tough year for many of us.
The Great Lakes Loons included.
The minor league baseball team didn’t play a game this year because of the pandemic.
It appeared the team’s year was about to get worse.
There was a report from a California media outlet that the Los Angeles Dodgers were getting ready to cut ties with the Loons.
But it appears, that’s not true.
At least at this point, bringing a huge sigh of relief from Midland.
“It obviously caught our attention,” says Michigan Baseball Foundation president Mike Hayes.
That attention grabbing headline was this, the LA Dodgers were cutting ties with the Great Lakes Loons.
The Dodgers have been the major league affiliate for Loons since the baseball team came to Midland in 2007, an affiliation that resulted in 16 former Loons being part of the Dodgers’ 2020 World Series team.
When Hayes heard the news, the management held a meeting, which included the founder of the Michigan Baseball Foundation, Bill Stavropoulus. They got on the phone with Dodger management.
“They assured us that our relationship with them is sound and as far as they are concerned the Midwest League will be going to a High A, from Low A, which doesn’t have a lot of implications for our fans, but that the Los Angeles Dodgers will be represented in that league by the Great Lakes Loons,” says Hayes.
Some minor league teams are being eliminated, but Hayes says it will mainly be Rookie and Short Season Class A teams. He says two-year partnerships between major league teams and their minor league affiliates could be a thing of the past.
“The intent is to have much longer, firm relationship with the parent team and will become more of a franchise model, as opposed to an affiliation model,” Hayes says.
He adds the Loons are preparing for a full baseball season in 2021.
“COVID will have an impact, but hopefully by then, we will as a country have made progress in conquering that, major league baseball is at this point committed to having a baseball season next year, and a minor league baseball season,” says Hayes.
We couldn’t reach the Dodgers for comment.
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