The Staten Island Yankees, their prized affiliation with the reigning AL East champions in serious jeopardy, received public support from local government officials on Monday in an attempt to survive the imminent downsizing of Minor League Baseball.
Congressman Max Rose, whose district includes all of Staten Island as well as a piece of Brooklyn, and Staten Island Borough President James Oddo sent a joint letter to Yankees managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner to plead the case of their club, which has represented the Yankees in the short-season New York-Penn League since 1999.
“This team means so much to our borough,” Rose and Oddo wrote. “Not only does it offer jobs and a big economic boost, it provides civic pride and family fun. The impact the players have is evident on the faces of the children who show up at the ballpark every year — and that cannot be overstated.”
In an endeavor that began last year, well before the coronavirus shutdown, Major League Baseball aimed to cut its affiliated franchises from 160, more than five per team, to 120, exactly four per team, in time for the 2021 season. While Minor League Baseball initially fought back, even…