If you have been looking for local and live baseball games to start, there’s good news for you. The American Association announced this afternoon that their regular season will start next month on July 3. (Yes, an independent league has their act together more than Major League Baseball.)
Although the regular season will get underway for the AA in a few weeks does not mean that the league is operating normally. Three of the cities in the league will act as “hubs” for this season. Games will be hosted by the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks, Sioux Falls, Canaries, and Milwaukee Milkmen. Three additional clubs will also be operating out of these cities: the Winnipeg Goldeyes will be in Fargo, the Chicago Dogs will be in Milwaukee, and the St Paul Saints will operate out of Sioux Falls.
This leaves the Sioux City Explorers, Gary SouthShore RailCats, Kansas City T-Bones, Lincoln Saltdogs, Texas AirHogs, and Cleburne Railroaders out of commission for this season. However, the American Association states that the teams were chosen due to restrictions in place in cities and states due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
All teams will play 60 games this season following a short Spring Training on June 25. The regular season begins on July 3 and goes through September 10. The top two teams of the season will battle for the championship in a five-game series following the regular season. 42 of the 60 games will be played in the team’s designated “hub”, limiting travel for the participating clubs. However, if regulations allow, the three clubs that are not at home could be allowed to host their games in their stadium as the season progresses.
Most importantly, fans will be allowed to attend these games. Each stadium has prepared a plan to allow for fans to watch games safely from the stands, with those plans coming out in the near future. As the American Association does not have any broadcasting revenue, this aspect is most important for teams to earn money.
Some additional changes include doing away with the roster rule that dictates how many rookies, veterans, and “LS” service level minimums and maximums. If you’re unfamiliar with the normal roster rules of the AA, the roster is a 23-man active roster comprised of no more than five rookies, five veterans, two LS-5s (players with five or more years of playing experience), and six LS-4s (players with four years of playing experience). You can find more on the roster rules here.
Additionally, a draft will be taking place for the six participating teams to choose players from non-participating teams. The AA believes this will allow the best talent to participate during the season.
The league will announce the full schedule on Monday.
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