In the ever changing landscape of Minor League Baseball, a new move is about to come.
The Batavia MuckDogs are about to move to Waldorf MD for the 2017 season.
The MuckDogs are operated by the Rochester Redwings but without much of a profit. So the team has been for sale for a couple of years now.
An investor group has signed a contract to buy the MuckDogs, now a Miami Marlins affiliate. Notable detail about this deal is that if the deal is approved by several parties, the MuckDogs (or whatever they will be called after the move) will be the first club with a majority shareholder who is from African-American descent.
Next to Major League baseball, and the New York-Penn League, the Washington Nationals and the Baltimore Orioles will have a say in this move, the latter two because of their territorial rights.
The reason for the move may not be hard to guess as the MuckDogs are drawing the least fans by far for several years. A bit less than 33,000 fans passed the turnstiles last year. The second worst drawing team, the Auburn DoubleDays welcomed about 50,000 fans last year.
I always have some mixed feelings about the move of a team, but one thing is for sure, we can expect a new set of minor league merchandise for the next season.
If the team will move, it will play at Regency Furniture Stadium, currently home of the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs of the independent Atlantic League. That team will have to look for a new location. But there is still a vacancy in Camden New Jersey, where the RiverSharks played until they moved to New Britain after last season. At least that can be a temporary solution because there are several minor league clubs interested to move into that stadium.