Staten Island Yankees fold, file $20M suit against MLB, big-league club
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This pinstriped divorce is getting messy.
The Staten Island Yankees, who lost their affiliation with the mother ship last month, announced Thursday they are ceasing operations and have filed a lawsuit against both the Yankees and Major League Baseball “to hold those entities accountable for false promises.”
The New York Yankees, their former New York-Penn League representative asserted in a tweeted press release, “had made repeated assurances we would always be a minor league partner.”
MLB has dramatically renovated its minor league structure, downsizing the number of affiliates per team to four (from as many as seven) and taking control of the leagues. It also has tried to find new homes, albeit without the cachet of the affiliation with big-league clubs, for orphaned teams. The Trenton Thunder, for instance, joined the newly created “Draft League,” which will showcase amateur players hoping to get drafted, after losing their Double-A connection with the Yankees.
The Staten Island Yankees, in their statement, said while they have had no direct contact with their former parent organization, they’ve been led to believe the desire was for them to join a similar league. Instead, the club said, the expense required to pay the players and staff for such a team, as well as the cut ties with the New York Yankees, “makes it impossible for the Staten Island Yankees to pursue this business model.”
While they didn’t announce the amount of their lawsuit, the Staten Island Yankees said, “A portion of any settlement or jury verdict will go to the Staten Island Yankees Foundation to be distributed to local Staten Island charities like the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation and Person Centered Care Services.”
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