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The Nats re-up with Syracuse as their Triple-A affiliate for four more years

Dec 17, 2013, 4:07 PM EST

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I like when teams play musical chairs with their Triple-A affiliates. It adds some sort of fun tension to the offseason. Who will be stuck with Las Vegas or New Orleans? How many years will a team be affiliated with one city before I stop thinking of them being affiliated with another? Fact: I still think of Evansville as the Tigers’ Triple-A team and I bet it’s been 30 years since that was the case.

Anyway, Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post reports that the Nats have ceased to be a serial Triple-A city team. They’re staying put in Syracuse for four more years.

And now we start the music again  . . .

  1. nothanksimdriving123 - Dec 17, 2013 at 4:16 PM

    I don’t care what anyone says, I still believe the Montreal Royals are the Dodgers’ AAA team.

  2. 18thstreet - Dec 17, 2013 at 4:21 PM

    Wait, why are teams considered “stuck” with Vegas or New Orleans? Is a AAA team more likely to be profitable in big cities than in, say, Syracuse? What don’t I understand?

    Incidentally, I went to college in Rochester, which was a great place for a AAA club.

    • thebadguyswon - Dec 17, 2013 at 4:26 PM

      It’s been widely reported that the Mets are stuck in Vegas, They got the boot from Buffalo, which thinks they’re running a major league team and were left with Las Vegas, The field is basically like playing on cement and your have your top prospects 2,000 miles from Citi Field. Many assumed they might get into Syracuse eventually, but there goes that.

      • umrguy42 - Dec 17, 2013 at 4:39 PM

        It’s been explained to me but I still can’t wrap my head around it, especially when you say that “Buffalo thinks they’re running a major league team” – when it changes, all the players (and presumably coaches, and maybe other staff) all pack up and head off to wherever is next, leaving a stadium, a name, and a bunch of uniforms for the next guys who come in.

      • 18thstreet - Dec 17, 2013 at 4:52 PM

        SO part of it is distance? That you don’t want to be a team in Queens whose AAA players are in Vegas. That makes sense.

      • thebadguyswon - Dec 18, 2013 at 8:13 PM

        Of course. If you owned the Yankees, would you want their AAA team in Portland?

      • 18thstreet - Dec 19, 2013 at 8:17 AM

        Right. I was just confused what was so bad about New Orleans and Vegas. And now I understand.

        #themoreIknow

      • dcfan4life - Dec 17, 2013 at 4:59 PM

        Yes distance is a major point. The Nationals may keep their triple A team in Syracuse, which isnt really close to Washington D.C. but thats triple A. The most important minor league club, Double A, is about 40 minutes south of DC, the Potomac Nationals. That also bodes well for Nats fans to check out up and coming prospects with ease.

      • natstowngreg - Dec 17, 2013 at 5:08 PM

        As Rochester kicked out the Orioles after more than 40 years, because they weren’t providing competitive teams. For an affiliate, part of the calculation is, will an MLB team give us the talent to win? For the MLB team, part of the calculation is distance. See, for ex., the Braves moving the Richmond IL franchise to suburban Atlanta. Other examples are the Jays in Buffalo; the Tigers in Toledo; the Indians in Columbus; and the Mariners in Tacoma.

        As for market size, I’m not sure that matters a great deal. Rochester is hardly a Major League-sized market, but has supported AAA baseball for decades. Realistically, how much more support would one expect for a minor league team in a larger market like Las Vegas or New Orleans, where there are more entertainment alternatives?

      • dugly2ugly - Dec 17, 2013 at 5:27 PM

        dcfan,

        Potomac is high A. Double A is in Harrisburg about 2 hours north. Point noted though that it’s good to have teams close.

      • sumerduckman - Dec 17, 2013 at 6:22 PM

        The Braves moved their AAA team from Richmond Va to Gwinnett Ga . They were there for years, the Richmond Braves playing at “The Diamond”, great fun to watch. The team is now the Richmond Flying Squirrels, AA for the Giants. Quite a haul to SF.

      • dcfan4life - Dec 17, 2013 at 6:26 PM

        @dugly2ugly

        Oh yeah, i have played on the Potomac Nats field as a kid and live near there so i hear them a lot on the radio and such, made Harrisburg slip my mind. Thx for realizing my point tho.

  3. thebadguyswon - Dec 17, 2013 at 6:40 PM

    Well what I mean is Buffalo wanted a winning team, just like Rochester. They were ticked at the Mets for rostering too many retreads. So they booted the Mets and went with the Jays. The irony is the Bisons still stunk and the 51s (the Mets’ Vegas team) won their division. Had they’d stayed the course, Buffalo would have won. Moot point though, because the Mets still play AAA games across the country and that’s not changing anytime soon.

  4. NatsLady - Dec 17, 2013 at 6:47 PM

    Another factor is the stadium and the condition of the field and facilities, which are funded by a local owner or town. That was an issue in Potomac, where the field had poor drainage and “seams” in the turf that players would trip on. That was a sore point for the major-league team, but there isn’t much they could do in-season except to have major-league players who were rehabbing bypass Potomac–which they actually did for a while.

    Since having a Bryce Harper-type rehab in your local stadium is somewhat of a draw, things eventually got cleaned up. Potomac is convenient for rehabbing players who live or rent in the DMV…

  5. RoyHobbs39 - Dec 17, 2013 at 8:16 PM

    Like the guy said above, Richmond is definitely a great minor league town. The R-Braves were here for close to 50 years. Unfortunately, the AAA team was owned by the A-Braves who couldn’t run a minor league team at all. They left after years of asking for a new stadium and getting the runaround from the city and moved to within 40 miles of the mother team. They were replaced within a year by the San Fran AA team (from Connecticut which became the Flying Squirrels). I am not sure how the Connecticut/RVA team became the San Fran minor league team? They have become immensely popular. They group that runs them knows how to get fans in the seats. They are actually averaging just as much as a AA team as the G-Braves are averaging as a AAA team. Oddly, most casual Squirrel fans don’t see themselves as rooting for a San Francisco team. A couple of years ago they had the World Series trophy on display. There were more people in line for beer and nachos then there were to get their picture taken with the trophy.

    That aside, most people around here are either A-Braves fans or Nationals fans. But I feel if a team/ballpark is run as well as the Squirrels are and the Diamond is, it doesn’t matter who the team is affiliated with. Minor league ball is minor league ball.

  6. gmenfan1982 - Dec 17, 2013 at 8:26 PM

    How does this work? Do they just swap cities and move all the players? Or do they literally change teams all together? Players and all.

  7. lawson1974 - Dec 17, 2013 at 9:25 PM

    Being close to the major league team can be good for the minor league club as well. I live in Louisville, and it definitely helps that to be in the Cincy system since so many people are Reds fans and that provides an extra reason to go to the games.

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