Mets Block Yankees from Putting MiLB Team in New Jersey

The Yankees aren’t moving any of their minor league franchises, but their Triple-A team’s stadium needs a renovation and for the next year they will be without a home. The Yankees figured a good place to stash them would be Newark, New Jersey as that is where traditionally they always had a minor league team and there is an empty stadium waiting to be used.

Seems simple enough, right? Wrong. Because of Major League Baseball’s anti-trust exemption the Yankees and the Mets both have territorial rights in the New York City area including parts of New Jersey. That gives the Mets the right to keep the Yankees from putting a team in Newark even if it’s just for one year. And that’s what they did.

Jerry Izenberg of the Star-Ledger has the entire story, but the basics is that the Yankees approached the Mets for permission to put there team there. They offered to grant the Mets the same rights and even offered to pay the Mets for the rights. They were rejected.

The Mets must be afraid that having a minor league team so close to their minor league team them could potentially cut into profits. Or they are just being dicks.

For a little back story, back in 1997 the Mets tried to put a minor league team in Long Island, but the Yankees rejected it. What ended up happening was that the two sides came to a compromise and the Mets put a team in Brooklyn instead while the Yankees put one in Staten Island.

However this time there will be no compromise. The Mets outright rejected the Yankees proposal and now there may never be a minor league team that fills the empty ball park in Newark (It’s not technically empty, an independent league team is there). The Mets have made it known that they don’t want the Yankees there and there is no chance that after this the Yankees will just allow the Mets to put a team there. It is neither team’s interest to let another organization place a team there. So the real loser in this story is the city of Newark, a once proud baseball city.

Stay classy New York Mets.

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3 Responses to Mets Block Yankees from Putting MiLB Team in New Jersey

  1. Bronx Knight says:

    This is interesting, because, as Rob points out, Riverfront Stadium is home to the independent Newark Bears (where Rickey Henderson ended his playing career, I think). The Bears have been really struggling, drawing something like 3,000 fans a game., to the point where people doubt whether the franchise can survive there. A Yankees AAA affiliate might have jump-started baseball in downtown Newark. But now we'll never know. Because Mets management decided to be a bunch of phalluses.

  2. AnthonyA says:

    I think the Riverfront stadium is a nice stadium. I actually know the daughter of the guy who founded the Bears, former Met and Yankee Rick Cerone. And I understand the deal would just be for a year. But with 2 major league baseball teams, 2 successful minor league teams, and proximity to a variety of other cities' teams, do we really NEED AAA baseball in Newark? Will Newark or the Bears really be that heavily influenced by a year of AAA? Or is it really that you wanted to see prospects and rehabbing pros without having to trek to Pennsylvania? Seemed convenient enough, sure, but I think the Mets have a reasonable point in denying the move.

    • For me it is just about the convenience of not traveling to Penn to see AAA baseball.

      I don't think the Mets are being reasonable at all. It's only for 1 year. The Yankees offered them permission to do the same thing whenever they wanted and offered them $250K on top of that. How threatened can they be over having a AAA team 30 miles away for 1 year?