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The Biz of Baseball :: Minor League News
Average Cost for Family of Four Under $60 for Minor League Baseball Game PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Wednesday, 13 April 2011 14:21

Minor League BaseballA survey of the 160 Minor League Baseball clubs in the domestic-based leagues charging admission this season has proven once again that going to a game will be one of the more affordable forms of entertainment, especially for families. The average cost for a family of four (two adult tickets, two child tickets, four hot dogs, two sodas, two beers, a program or scorecard and parking) to attend a Minor League Baseball game this season is $59.77.

According to MiLB, Minor League Baseball is an even bigger bargain from a practical standpoint, since many clubs do not charge for parking; have more economical berm seating available; special ticket prices in place for senior citizens and military personnel; and concessions specials on certain nights of the week.

“Minor League Baseball continues to lead the way in providing affordable family entertainment across America,” Minor League Baseball President Pat O’Conner said. “In this day and age to entertain an entire family at these prices, in the quality stadiums in which we play, is a true value. Our ability to maintain an affordable price point in large part drives our success. I am proud of our Minor League Baseball teams and their commitment to affordable pricing for our great fans.”

READ THE BIZ OF BASEBALL INTERVIEW WITH O'CONNER FROM 2008

The ticket prices are based on the most economical fixed seat in the ballpark. The price for an adult ticket is $8 or less at nearly 80% of Minor League Baseball’s stadiums.

The average cost of a night at a Minor League ballpark ranges from $68.00 for a Triple-A game to $53.03 for a Short Season A/Rookie contest. The Double-A ($60.09) and Class A ($59.66) classifications are within 35 cents of the industry average, as they were in 2010.

AVERAGE PRICE BY CLASSIFICATION

 

Triple-A

Double-A

Class A

Short A/Rookie

Adult ticket

$8.12

$7.15

$6.99

$6.13

Child ticket

$7.07

$5.95

$5.89

$5.23

Hot Dog

$3.30

$2.91

$3.03

$2.63

Soda

$2.94

$2.86

$2.89

$2.58

Beer

$5.47

$4.76

$4.86

$4.37

Program

$2.77

$2.58

$1.96

$2.17

*Parking

$4.83

$4.43

$4.32

$3.72

*–price where fee is charged

Source: Minor League Baseball


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Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey, as well as a contributor to FanGraphs and Forbes SportsMoney. He is available for hire or freelance. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.

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Red Sox Renew Their Player Development Contract with Portland of the Eastern League PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Joe Tetreault   
Saturday, 22 January 2011 18:49

The Boston Red Sox announced on Friday that they had secured an extension of their Player Development Contract with the Portland Sea Dogs that will run through the 2014 season. The Sea Dogs have been a Red Sox affiliate since 2003. The PDC was set to expire after the 2012 season.

Moving quickly to maintain the continuity of their system, Boston ensured they would not face a situation like they did following the 2006 season. The front office had allowed their two year PDC with Wilmington of the Carolina League to expire without renewing the deal. THe Kansas City Royals quickly struck a deal with Wilmington and the Red Sox were left searching for an Advanced A team. The result was a two-year agreement with Lancaster in the California League.

Boston's pitching prospects who may have spent some time in Delaware the preceding year were then subjected to the most extreme hitters park in the minors in the most extreme hitters league in the minors. Current Red Sox set up man Daniel Bard had a horrendous debut in Lancaster and was demoted to A ball to work out his troubles. Such stories are why PDCs are good to renew earlier in the process.

Just up Interstate 95 from Boston, Portland enjoys close geographical and cultural ties to Boston. The relationship allows the Red Sox front office to keep close watch on their developing and rehabbing players. The Red Sox organization has three affiliates in New England, tripling the benefit. The club has also scheduled Futures games at Fenway Park to highlight the farm teams on the big stage of a major league ballpark. The games are regular season contests with some split of gate receipts that help support the minor league organizations. The Royals will hold a similar game this season, though it will be an exhibition game. The Royals AA affiliate Northwest Arkansas Naturals will take on their AAA club, the Omaha Storm Chasers following the home opener at Kauffman Stadium.

Boston has three additional PDCs due to expire in 2012. Their AAA affiliate in Pawtucket, RI, is expected to maintain their longstanding relationship with Boston. Pawtucket has been a Boston affiliate since 1970, when the PawSox were a AA Eastern League team. In addition their PDCs with Greenville (SC) of the South Atlantic League and Lowell (MA) of the New York-Penn League are up in 2012. Lowell enjoys even closer ties with Boston than Portland and Pawtucket. Their Advanced A affiliate, Salem is owned by the parent company of the Red Sox, New England Sports Ventures, and thus is perpetually affiliated with the big club.

Click here to read the press release from the Red Sox.

Read more...
 
Reds Shift Advanced A Affiliation to Bakersfield PDF Print E-mail
Written by Joe Tetreault   
Friday, 15 October 2010 09:58

MLB.com's Mark Sheldon reports that the Reds have settled on Bakersfield as their new Advanced A minor league affiliate. The move is the final domino in an offseason of Advanced A reshuffling that began with the conclusion of the Rangers sale.

New Rangers managing partner and CEO Chuck Greenberg is also President and managing partner for the Myrtle Beach Pelicans in the Carolina League. When the Rangers sale was completed and Myrtle Beach's player development contract with the Braves concluded at the end of the season, the Pelicans signed a new deal with the Rangers. The Braves looked to Lynchburg, the former home of the Reds Advanced A affiliate to serve the same capacity for Atlanta. And with the Carolina League filled, Cincinnati headed west to sign with the franchise Texas previously worked with, the Bakersfield Blaze.

The Cal League is notorious for its hitter friendly environs, and Bakersfield's Historic Sam Lynn Ballpark typifies the reputation of the league. The stadium has a stunningly shallow centerfield fence that sits just 354 feet from home plate. The stadium dates back to the founding of the Cal League and the Bakersfield franchise in 1941.


Joe TetreaultJoe Tetreault is Managing Editor of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He can be contacted here through The Biz of Baseball

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With 3 More, Drug Suspensions in Baseball Surpass Last Year's Total PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Friday, 01 October 2010 07:43

PEDs in BaseballWith three minor league players on Thursday, baseball – including both Major and Minor League – has now had 86 (84 minor, and 2 major) drug suspensions in 2010, surpassing last year’s total of 84. The number of suspensions are the largest since 2005 when there were 99.

The drug suspension total for 2010 is a 27 percent increase from 2008 when there were 66 total drug suspensions.

(See a complete history of drug suspensions in Major and Minor League Baseball)

The increase can be attributed to more comprehensive testing, an increase in the number of tests, the addition of publishing suspensions of players from the Dominican and Venezuelan Summer Leagues and a continued desperation of young players that play in those leagues Players in the DSL and VSL have comprised the majority of PED suspensions over the last 2 years.

The three Minor League players have that received 50-game suspensions after each tested positive for a performance-enhancing substance in violation of the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program yesterday, are:

  • St. Louis Cardinals Minor League shortstop Lainer Bueno, a member of the club’s Venezuelan Summer League roster, tested positive for Clenbuterol.
  • Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Minor League outfielder Reynaldo Ruiz, a member of the club’s Dominican Summer League team, tested positive for a metabolite of Boldenone.
  • Baltimore Orioles Minor League shortstop Alfredo Zambrano, a member of the club’s Dominican Summer League team, tested positive for metabolites of Nandrolone.

The suspensions of the three players are effective at the start of next season.


Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey, as well as a contributor to FanGraphs and Forbes SportsMoney. He is available for hire or freelance. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.

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Minor League Baseball Draws 41.4 Million Fans for 2010 PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Wednesday, 15 September 2010 14:10

Minor League BaseballMinor League Baseball continued to buck the economy for 2010, with fans continuing to come to games. The 15 leagues and 176 clubs drew 41,432,456 fans in 10,379 openings for an average crowd of 3,992. This season’s total attendance is only 0.5% less than last year when the industry attracted more than 41.6 million patrons.

The Eastern, Florida State and Midwest Leagues, along with 21 clubs, established new season records, helping Minor League Baseball top the 41.3 million fan mark for the sixth consecutive year.

“Once again, Minor League Baseball is showing its resiliency in the current economic conditions,” Minor League Baseball President Pat O’Conner said (read the 2008 Biz of Baseball interview with O'Conner). “While the economy sputters in many areas of the country, our fans continue to respond to our product. For Minor League Baseball to be down less than one percent in season attendance is truly a testament to the loyalty of our fans and the hard work of our teams.

“Had we not experienced difficult weather and had 100 games postponed in August, it is possible we would have recognized an increase in attendance this year.

“Playoff attendance has been strong, with many post-season series drawing far better than in years past. We are very pleased with our 2010 results and the energy and momentum we have carried into our playoff season,” O’Conner added.

2010 Attendance by Leagues

International

6,942,740

Florida State

1,182,581

Pacific Coast

7,032,545

Midwest

4,184,843

Mexican

2,714,955

South Atlantic

3,223,655

Eastern

3,966,241

New York-Penn

1,829,755

Southern

2,209,830

Northwest

885,025

Texas

2,942,930

Appalachian

289,929

California

1,566,501

Pioneer

650,389

Carolina

1,810,537

Total

41,432,456

Source: Minor League Baseball


Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey, as well as a contributor to FanGraphs and Forbes SportsMoney. He is available for hire or freelance. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.

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On FanGraphs: The Death of Baseball in Portland PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Tuesday, 07 September 2010 00:57

Portland Beavers

MLB affiliated baseball has come and gone since the Portland Beavers arrived in 1903 as part of the Pacific Coast League. But, on Monday, the club played its last game in PGE Park.

Today on Fangraphs, I write about the last game(see The Death of Baseball in Portland), and why pro ball leaving Portland this time is different from other instances before:

It wasn’t supposed to end like this. In 2000, Portland came on the scene as a possible relocation candidate for the Montreal Expos. But, on Monday, the Triple-A Portland Beavers played their last game at PGE Park, pushed out by Major League Soccer, not Major League Baseball. With the departure, Minor League Baseball’s largest market is now empty, a victim of MLS wanting a soccer-only facility, and a city that, like most of the nation, has placed education and services above stretching a double into a triple.

With PGE Park now having a fulltime tenant, it spells trouble for efforts to fill the market again with baseball. Read more at the link above.


Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey, as well as a contributor to FanGraphs and Forbes SportsMoney. He is available for hire or freelance. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.

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Rangers Renew Player Development Contracts With Frisco, Hickory and Spokane PDF Print E-mail
Written by Joe Tetreault   
Monday, 30 August 2010 18:20

RangersThe every other year tradition of the minor league affiliate shuffle is well underway. The Texas Rangers today announced the extensions of their Player Development Contracts with three of the organization’s minor league affiliates.

The Rangers and the Double A Frisco RoughRiders have agreed to a four-year extension through the 2014 season, and Texas has extended its affiliations with the Low A Hickory Crawdads of the South Atlantic League and the Short Season A Spokane Indians of the Northwest League for two years each through 2012.

“The Rangers are very pleased to be able to continue our relationships with Frisco, Hickory, and Spokane,” commented the club’s Senior Director of Player Development Scott Servais. “The efforts of everyone at those three clubs have helped play into the organization’s success over the last several years. We are happy to be going back.”

The Rangers have been associated with Frisco since 2003, when the franchise was relocated from Shreveport. The RoughRiders captured the Texas League’s First Half South Division title in 2010 to earn their fifth playoff berth in eight seasons as a Rangers affiliate, including a league championship in 2004.

Texas is completing its second year in Hickory with the Crawdads currently in contention for a 2010 playoff berth. The affiliation marks the first time that the Rangers have had a club in the South Atlantic League since 2002.

The Rangers’ affiliation in Spokane also began in 2003. In that span, the Indians have won Northwest League titles in 2003, 2005, and 2008, and have qualified for the playoffs again this season with a First Half East Division crown.

Source: Texas Rangers

Joe TetreaultJoe Tetreault is Managing Editor of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He can be contacted here through The Biz of Baseball

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Baseball Winter Meetings Return to Nashville for 2012 PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Thursday, 26 August 2010 15:58

Minor League BaseballTHIS IS BREAKING NEWS...

The Gaylord Opryland Resort will once again serve as the host of the Baseball Winter Meetings in 2012. It will mark the sixth time that the annual gathering of professional baseball club and league executives will be held in Nashville. Opryland previously hosted the Baseball Winter Meetings in 1983, 1989, 1998, 2002 and 2007.

The Baseball Trade Show and the Professional Baseball Employment Opportunities Job Fair will also be held on site during the convention, from December 3-6, 2012. Opryland is currently undergoing a restoration because of the record floods Nashville experienced in early May. The hotel, with over 2,800 guest rooms and 174 suites, is scheduled to re-open on November 15.

“Nashville, and the Opryland Hotel, have long been effective meeting spots for baseball,” Pat O’Conner, Minor League Baseball President, said.

(Read The Biz of Baseball interview with Pat O'Conner)

“As the city and property continue to recover from the floods of 2010, we are proud to confirm our commitment to conduct the 2012 Baseball Winter Meetings at Opryland. The extraordinary spirit exhibited in Nashville, as it works through the arduous flood recovery, is exactly why we feel so confident in holding our most important meetings in the Music City.”

The 2010 Baseball Winter Meetings will be held at The Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort near Orlando, Fla., from December 6-9. The Swan and Dolphin Resort also hosted the Baseball Winter Meetings in 2006. Next year’s convention is slated for December 5-8 at the Hilton Anatole in Dallas.

(EDITOR'S NOTE: Maury Brown will once again be reporting from this year's Winter Meetings)

Source: Minor League Baseball


Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey, as well as a contributor to FanGraphs and Forbes SportsMoney. He is available for hire or freelance. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.

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Los Angeles Dodgers Extend Partnership with Single-A Loons PDF Print E-mail
Written by Maury Brown   
Sunday, 08 August 2010 15:23

DodgersThe Los Angeles Dodgers and Great Lakes Loons announced today an extension of the organizations’ player development contract for an additional four seasons, making the Loons the Single-A Midwest League partner of the Dodgers through 2014. The Loons have been affiliated with the Dodgers since the franchise began play in 2007.

“We look forward to continuing our partnership with the Loons and our success both on the field and in the Midland community for years to come,” said Dodgers Assistant General Manager/Director of Player Development De Jon Watson.

The Loons’ 74-36 (.672) overall record is the best mark in Minor League Baseball this season and the club has already qualified for a second consecutive playoff berth by placing second in the Eastern Division in the season’s first half. Great Lakes qualified for the franchise’s first playoff berth and won a first-round playoff series in 2009.

“Our goal from a partnership perspective has always been to have continuity and competitiveness,” Loons President & GM Paul Barbeau said. “We have had a great working relationship with the Dodgers over our first four seasons. Our players have been active in the Great Lakes Bay Region, and our association with the Dodgers’ brand – which has such a rich tradition of excellence – has provided additional recognition and exposure to our franchise.”

“The Dodgers have made a strong commitment to our organization and fans by putting such a competitive product on the field the past two seasons.” Barbeau added. “The Dodgers have played a key role in the success our franchise has enjoyed, and we are excited to announce the Dodgers will be part of four more years of Loons baseball.”

Clayton Kershaw (2008) and Kenley Jansen (2010) became the first two Loons to debut in the Major Leagues with Los Angeles , while former Loons Josh Bell (Orioles), Victor Garate (Nationals) and Carlos Santana (Indians) made their debuts with other franchises. Last year, Dee Gordon and Kyle Russell were named co-Most Valuable Players of the Midwest League and the franchise has had 22 All-Stars in its four-year history.

Source: Los Angeles Dodgers


Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey, as well as a contributor to FanGraphs and Forbes SportsMoney. He is available for hire or freelance. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.

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Marlins Prospect Daniel Jennings Suspended 50 Games for PEDs PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Wednesday, 28 July 2010 22:37

Daniel Jennings

The Office of the Commissioner of Baseball announced today that Florida Marlins Minor League pitcher Daniel Jennings has received a 50-game suspension after testing positive for Methylhexaneamine, a performance-enhancing substance, in violation of the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.

Methylhexaneamine is mostly found in nasal decongestants, but can be used as a form of stimulant.

The suspension of Jennings, who is currently on the roster of Double-A Jacksonville of the Southern League, is effective immediately.

In a text message to Juan C. Rodriguez of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Jennings said, “It was an over the counter stimulant and all there is to do now is take responsibility and serve my suspension.”

“At the time I had no idea what I was taking had something that was banned in it, but the substance in it was just added to the list. Not an excuse, just a fact," Jennings said. "I should have been smarter. Now I pay the price.”

This year, including the off-season, there have been 65 minor league players suspended a total of 3,340 games for being in violation of the minor league drug policy. Last year, on July 29, approx. the same period, there were 64 minor league players that had been suspended for being in violation of the drug policy. Since July 15, the league has suspended 25 minor league players for being in violation of the drug policy.

See the complete history of drug suspensions in Minor and Major League Baseball

NOTE: Look for an extensive article on the inside workings of minor league drug policy, Tuesday on FanGraphs


Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey, as well as a contributor to FanGraphs and Forbes SportsMoney. He is available for hire or freelance. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.

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Minor League Baseball, New Era Cap Extend Partnership Through 2016 PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Wednesday, 28 July 2010 16:15
Minor League Baseball

New Era

Minor League Baseball and New Era Cap Co., Inc. have agreed to extend their partnership designating New Era as the Official Cap and Official Batting Practice Cap of Minor League Baseball through 2016. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed. The current partnership was set to expire at the end of this year.

New Era has been a licensee since Minor League Baseball instituted a licensing program in 1991. The Buffalo, N.Y., based company has been the Official Cap of Minor League Baseball since 1995, and the Official Batting Practice Cap of Minor League Baseball since 2005. New Era was founded in 1920 and has been providing caps to Major League and Minor League Baseball clubs since the 1930s.

“New Era has been one of our most valued partners for a long time and we are extremely pleased to be extending our on-field headwear agreement with them,” said Minor League Baseball President Pat O’Conner (see the 2008 Biz of Baseball interview with O'Conner).

”Continuing our partnership with Minor League Baseball makes sense as baseball is the backbone of our brand,” said Pete Augustine, President of New Era Cap. “New Era is excited that minor leaguers will have the chance to wear our products as they embark on their journey to the major leagues.”

“We are both committed to providing the highest quality products to our players and fans, so it’s a natural fit,” remarked MiLB Director of Licensing Tina Gust. “The New Era brand and the 59FIFTY cap have become synonymous with baseball.”

Headwear sales have accounted for nearly one-third of the nearly $50 million that Minor League Baseball has averaged in retail merchandise sales over the last three years.

Source: Minor League Baseball


Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey, as well as a contributor to FanGraphs and Forbes SportsMoney. He is available for hire or freelance. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.

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6 Minor League Players Suspended for PEDs, One for 100 Games PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Monday, 26 July 2010 18:37

PEDs in BaseballThe Office of the Commissioner of Baseball announced today that six Minor League players have received suspensions after each tested positive for a performance-enhancing substance in violation of the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program:

  • Los Angeles Dodgers Minor League outfielder Prentice Redman has been suspended for 100 games after testing positive for an amphetamine. The suspension of Redman, who is with Triple-A Albuquerque of the Pacific Coast League, will be effective upon completion of his current 50-game suspension, which was announced on June 25th.
  • Three Milwaukee Brewers Minor League players, all of whom are with the organization’s Dominican Summer League team, have received 50-game suspensions: third baseman Allixon Cequea and outfielder Erickson Salaya both tested positive for metabolites of Nandrolone, while pitcher Leonard Lorenzo tested positive for a metabolite of Boldenone. The suspensions are effective immediately.
  • Detroit Tigers Minor League pitcher Jose Valdez, who is currently on the roster of the club’s Dominican Summer League team, has been suspended for 50 games after testing positive a metabolite of Boldenone. The suspension is effective immediately.
  • Oakland Athletics Minor League pitcher Leudis Benzant, who is currently on the roster of the club’s Dominican Summer League team, has been suspended for 50 games after testing positive for metabolites of Stanozolol. The suspension is effective immediately.

This year, including the off-season, there have been 60 minor league players suspended a total of 3,100 games for being in violation of the minor league drug policy. Last year, on July 26, there were 44 minor league players that had been suspended for being in violation of the drug policy. Over the last week, the league has suspended 16 minor league players for being in violation of the drug policy.

See the complete history of drug suspensions in Minor and Major League Baseball


Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey, as well as a contributor to FanGraphs and Forbes SportsMoney. He is available for hire or freelance. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.

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