Let’s start with a history lesson. Colorado Springs was previously home to the Colorado Springs Sky Sox, the former Brewers’ Triple-A affiliate. The Sky Sox didn’t begin to affiliate with teams until the Cleveland Indians in 1988. What also happened in 1988 is the completion of Security Service Field, home to the Sky Sox until 2018. Who occupies the stadium now are the Rocky Mountain Vibes, the former Brewers rookie-level affiliate. Wait, former? Here is what happened.
MLB’s New Partner League
Not only is baseball staying in Colorado Springs, but Major League Baseball announced the Pioneer League. The independent league is home to eight teams, including the Rocky Mountain Vibes. As well as any other independent team, they have to recruit their players. The 92 game season starts Memorial Day weekend and concludes in early September.
In 2021, the Pioneer League will become an independent professional @MLB Partner League, providing high-quality baseball to the states of ID, MT, UT & CO. All 8 teams will continue participating in the league & maintain their existing names & brands. pic.twitter.com/NAjKVJsSbh
— MLB Communications (@MLB_PR) November 30, 2020
What about the Brewers?
The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers are now a High-A affiliate and the Carolina Mudcats as a Low-A affiliate. What about Double-A and Triple-A? Well, there are reports of the San Antonio Missions dropping to a Double-A team. As a result of this, the Brewers without a Triple-A affiliate. Brewers beat writer, Adam McCalvy, reports that Wichita and Nashville are front-runners to host a Brewers Triple-A team.
It is a bad look for MLB. With the slow death of minor league baseball, MLB chooses to allocate their funds to the Pioneer League. Along with 40 teams being cut from their affiliates, this leaves Minor League Baseball with improper funding, fewer teams, and underpaid players. Not cool, MLB, not cool.