Minor league baseball is hanging by a thread. The one-time bedrock of America's pastime is crumbling from years of neglect and the MLB wants to tear the whole damn building down. Back in December, the MLB's plans for the liquidation of 42 MiLB teams—as well as the reduction of the draft from 40 rounds to just over 20—leaked to widespread condemnation from players and fans alike. Stories like Aaron Judge's might cease to exist, we worried. Entire regions of America might be cutoff from live baseball entirely, fans said. It was, and remains, a sad story. If Mets minor leaguer Ty Kelly's recent thread about the conditions minor leaguers face on a daily basis is to be believed, however, then perhaps a swift, merciful death is actually for the best. We apologize in advance if you're reading this on your lunch break.
There's NOTHING wrong with that lunch. Nobody should feel bad about what they eat to pinch a couple of pennies unless your name is Hannibal Lecter. But these are professional and semi-professional athletes. They shouldn't be turned away from their own cafeteria and served a field-trip lunch while their compatriots just one level up have a platoon of nutritionists and personal trainers fueling them with whatever strain of rare quinoa they ask for.
Making matters even worse is the Mets new $57-million-dollar spring training clubhouse, which debuted this week. Featuring leather sofas, flatscreen TVs, and plush cerulean carpeting, the clubhouse will only be used by the Metropolitans during spring training. During the season, however, the facilities will NOT be made available to the Mets' Class-A Advanced affiliate the St. Lucie Mets or any other visiting affiliate in order to serve as "a reminder of the status they are working to achieve." If that strikes you as more than a little tone deaf, well, you're not alone.
Icky doesn't even begin to describe this, especially coming from Ty Kelly, AKA the last New York Met to register a postseason hit. So maybe you don't want to euthanize 42 minor league teams, but it's clear from this story and countless others like it that change is both needed and inevitable. In the meantime, the New York Mets will continue to serve their god-given purpose: To remind baseball fans everywhere how bad things can truly get.