The Baseball Cup
(John Corneau/Lowell Spinners)

The Baseball Cup

Major League Baseball has been meeting with Minor League Baseball to negotiate a new Professional Baseball Agreement between the two sides. Part of the proposal was a new restructuring of the minor leagues with fewer affiliated teams. I’ve already mentioned in other articles how much I hate this idea. Another part of the MLB proposal, The Baseball Cup, was super interesting and is something I think would be so much fun.

The Baseball Cup would be a single-elimination tournament occurring during the MLB season where all 30 MLB teams and 120 MiLB teams would compete. We could hypothetically see the New York Yankees face off against the Montgomery Biscuits or the San Diego Padres take on the Richmond Flying Squirrels.

The Baseball Cup concept is based on European soccer competitions like the English FA Cup. In the FA Cup, every English football club from top to bottom plays in one tournament. The higher division clubs get byes into later rounds and eventually face off against lower division sides that make it through the gauntlet.

Why the Baseball Cup Will Never Happen

As much as I love applying the FA Cup concept to Major League Baseball, this will never happen. One of the primary issues with The Baseball Cup is that it’s a mid-season tournament. Good luck getting the MLB Players Association and all 30 MLB teams to sign off on putting extra game days into the middle of the season. Plus, if a player like Mookie Betts or Aaron Judge were to get injured against the Amarillo Sod Poodles, everyone loses. The injury risk is always present.

Then, what if the Rocky Mountain Vibes somehow come out on top of The Baseball Cup? Major League teams would riot. Although I love the idea in theory, there are unfortunately too many issues. It’ll never get off the ground. I also don’t trust Rob Manfred to execute this idea in a way that ends up being as fun as it sounds. Knowing him, it would probably be terrible anyway. He would rig it so some random affiliate like the Vermont Lake Monsters win. It should be clear by now that Manfred doesn’t care at all about the legitimacy, presentation, or integrity of baseball. Oh well.

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