By Ron Wynn
NASHVILLE, TN — The announcement no one wanted to hear was finally made last week, and it means there won’t be any regular season Triple-A baseball in Nashville this year. Major League Baseball officially announced that they were canceling the entire minor league season. The majors are only playing a 60-game season, and that deal was finally reached when owners agreed to pay full pro-rated salaries. But there won’t be any expanded playoffs, and negotiations on the next Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) are expected to be even more bitter.
The Sounds made their own announcement last week in conjunction with MLB on their website.“We are extremely disappointed to not be able to bring Minor League Baseball to our fan base in Middle Tennessee in 2020,” said Nashville Sounds General Manager Adam Nuse. “While we will not have our traditional Minor League Baseball season this year, we’re continuing to finalize details for the 2020 Nashville Sounds Alternate Season and hope to share those plans as soon as possible.”
The Sounds have been a Nashville staple since the late ‘70s. They were originally in Double-A, but have been one of the nation’s top draws among minor league teams since building First Horizon Park five years ago.They have drawn nearly three million (2.8) fans over that time.“These are unprecedented times for our country and our organization as this is the first time in our history that we’ve had a summer without Minor League Baseball played,” said MiLB President & CEO Pat O’Conner. “While this is a sad day for many, this announcement removes the uncertainty surrounding the 2020 season and allows our teams to begin planning for an exciting 2021 season of affordable family entertainment.”
But the hope still remains that there will be baseball of some sort at First Tennessee Park, as negotiations continue to have top prospects playing games here by August.