ARLINGTON, Texas — While the Staten Island Yankees reside on baseball’s endangered species list, they have a very powerful defender in their corner.
Yankees president Randy Levine, while attending the owners’ meetings, released a statement in support of the club’s short-season Single-A affiliate that has been recommended by Major League Baseball — as one of 40 such teams — to lose its affiliated status.
“There are negotiations currently taking place between Major League Baseball and Minor League Baseball,” Levine said. “We have been assured today that there have been no decisions made regarding the elimination of the Staten Island Yankees. We support the Staten Island Yankees and their facility, and people should give the negotiations a chance to conclude before speculating on any outcome.”
The Staten Island team was targeted for relegation to a “Dream League,” an independent league that would be partly subsidized by Major League Baseball, in large part because of its geography — it’s difficult for every team besides Brooklyn, the Mets’ affiliate, to reach it — and its lack of good area housing for its players, according to an industry source.
However, as Levine said, the list, put together by MLB, is fluid. If the Yankees want to keep Staten Island among their chain, they probably can succeed in their mission. Though if this proposal holds, the New York-Penn League, in which the SI Yankees currently play, would cease to exist.