Bethpage Ballpark, home of the Long Island Ducks
Three Batter Minimum

Three Batter Minimum: Unaffiliated Ball, Now!

I write a lot on this site about unaffiliated baseball. It has become the main driving force behind Words Above Replacement. The purpose or goal of this site has never been to shame Major League Baseball fans for being fans of that organization. I am a Chicago Cubs fan, after all, that hasn’t changed even as I have become more enthralled by the unaffiliated side of baseball. That being said it’s now increasingly clear that there won’t be a 2020 MLB season.

My first reaction was to lament that I wouldn’t be able to watch my beloved Cubbies play this season. It will be odd not seeing the Cubs in action this year. There’s even a possibility I wouldn’t get to see them play next year either. Coronavirus has been a catalyst for all the ills of affiliated baseball to become enlarged and more dangerous. The end result has been the cessation of affiliated ball for who knows how long. I’m not quite sure I have fully processed what the new baseball landscape will look like if affiliated baseball is gone for longer than just 2020.

One thing is certain, people need to branch out beyond MLB. I know, I know, my regular readers are tired of me beating this drum. The truth is that we are in a world without affiliated baseball and that means if you truly love the sport it is time for you to branch out into the land of the unaffiliated. Right now that means your options are the Korea Baseball Organization out of Korea and the Chinese Professional Baseball League out of Taiwan. As the months go by and MLB remains dormant other unaffiliated professional leagues will start to play in the United States, Cuba, Japan, and many other places.

The time to beat the unaffiliated drum is now. If you are a fan of the sport of baseball it’s time to ditch your “Day 99 without baseball” posts and actually start watching baseball again. I can promise that you will enjoy the baseball you watch and will quickly come to remember why it is that you love the actual sport of baseball. Let’s face it people, thanks to the actions of the owners MLB has been less and less fun to watch, write about, and discuss for years now. If MLB is going to abandon you because the owners aren’t willing to risk anything then now is the time to start giving unaffiliated baseball a shot and remember why you love the game of baseball.

Lead photo courtesy of Unknown – Long Island Ducks

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Bill Thompson
Father (human/feline/canine), husband, Paramedic, Socialist, writer Internet Baseball Writers Association of America and Off the Bench Baseball; freelance writer at various online and print publications. Member Internet Baseball Writers Association of America & Society for American Baseball Research.

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