House OKs bill to study importance of minor league teams as MLB considers making cuts

Washington D.C. Bureau

WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) ─ Spring training is in full swing, but so are efforts to convince Major League Baseball not to cut ties with dozens of minor league teams across the country.

Both Democrats and Republicans joined forces to approve legislation Tuesday that would have the comptroller general of the United States study the impact of Minor League Baseball teams.

The bill, sponsored by Rep. Tori Trahan, D-Massachusetts will, “evaluate the social, economic, and historic contributions that minor league baseball has made to American life and culture.”

Rep. David McKinley, R-West Virginia, said the MLB should continue to support all minor league teams.

“They should not be allowed to bully these small communities into submission,” McKinley said.

The MLB announced the plan last December, which would cut more than 40 minor league teams from its farm system. Without support from the MLB, the teams are likely to fold, leaving smaller cities and towns around the country with empty ballparks.

Rep. Anthony Brindisi, D-New York, said both sides of the aisle are working together to preserve America’s favorite past time.

“Nothing says bipartisan like baseball,” Brindisi said. “Everyone wants to protect Minor League Baseball across the country because it’s so important to our nation’s pastime.”

Lawmakers believe the loss of the minor league teams would impact the social fabric of America and the cuts would be devastating to communities in more ways than one.

“If they decimate these minor league teams, there will be consequences, and we’re sending a very strong shot across their bow,” Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Connecticut, said.

Blumenthal has introduced similar legislation in the U.S. Senate. But with Opening Day around the corner, it remains to be seen if Congress can convince the MLB to play ball.

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