The Yankees were publicly criticized by the Trenton Thunder’s owner.
A bombshell report dropped on Friday night that suggested the New York Yankees would be experiencing a minor-league realignment. We knew there’d be changes coming due to the elimination of about 40 teams, but the Yankees apparently surprised many with their decision.
New York is now rolling with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (PA) as their Triple-A affiliate, Somerset (NJ) as their Double-A affiliate, Hudson Valley (NY) as their High-A affiliate, and Tampa (FL) as their Single-A affiliate. That means Trenton, Staten Island and Charleston are no more, and that really didn’t sit well with the owner of the Thunder.
Trenton served as the Yankees’ Double-A team since 2003, and the organization felt betrayed by the decision, which apparently blindsided them.
Betrayed. Misled. Abandoned. Ungracious. Despicable. Those are some strong words to use in a public statement and it’s clear this was likely not handled properly. And it speaks volumes, because the Yankees shifting over to Somerset likely for economic reasons tells the whole story.
There’s no doubt we need more information here, especially since the Thunder’s owner, Joe Plumeri, is claiming that he was reassured over the last 16 months that Trenton would remain the Yankees’ Double-A affiliate. In such uncertain times due to the realignment as well as the pandemic (don’t forget, the MiLB season was canceled this year and all of those communities further suffered economically with no games being played), the Yankees allegedly not acting in good faith here is a heinous look.
Nobody knows if the Thunder will be affiliated with another organization by the time the 2021 season starts, but given their market and prestige (they’ve been under a major league team since 1980), it’s quite possible they’ll be selected.
The Thunder started as an affiliate of the White Sox (1980-1985), then moved on to the Detroit Tigers (1986-1994), Boston Red Sox (1995-2002) and Yankees (2003-2020). They by far had their longest relationship with New York, which makes this all the more devastating.
For the sake of minor league baseball, hopefully the renowned Thunder latch on with another organization as quickly as possible.