The unfortunate rebranding of the Salem Red Sox

If Aaron Sorkin were to ever make a movie about the chain of events that fell on my favorite Minor League baseball ⚾️ team I would jump at the chance to be the Lawyer making the teams case.

Your honor, we understand that the lost season due to the Pandemic was uncontrollable but the actions by the powers to be that followed are debatable to say the least. All of Minor League Baseball ⚾️ is swimming upstream after losing an entire season but so many were dealt multiple blows that will be long lasting.

Why make the case for Salem when 43 cities and towns were shown the door completely ? Maybe it’s nothing more than Salem sits in the shadows of my favorite city in the World and yes I am pretty sure that I am in the minority in saying that Roanoke sits at the top of the list of dream locals.

As I make my way around the Old Dominion to try and drum up interest in getting funding for both the Minor Leagues and the Summer Leagues here in the place I call home, I keep landing on Salem as the prime example of long term damage.

I understand that just down the road our 5 neighboring Appalachian League teams were expelled if you will, now being repackaged as an Elite Summer League. But I would argue that they stayed together as a group and could immediately start the process of building back under their new flagship.

Quick scoring update – Fayetteville launched a 3 run homer deep into the trees behind the left field wall making tonight’s score 3-0 heading into the second inning.

Prior to Covid Salem was proud to call the High A Carolina League their home and had a built in US-460 rival in the long standing Lynchburg Hillcats. Then the bad news started to be passed down to the club starting with the announcement that while the club wasn’t left out but they were being demoted from High A down to Low A.

The fact that the A level is the only level divided into the split grouping makes one think about FBS and FCS football but that comparison is being polite. At the High A level a player had survived Rookie ball, short season and Low A to reach the perch that is High A. The fans could relate that they were watching players that had taken 3 steps already and at step 4 were within 3 steps of reaching the Show.

Rookie ball and short season baseball ⚾️ has went the way of the dinosaur 🦕 so now Low A is the ground floor to the baseball empire. No season in 2020 and now a lesser place in the pyramid for 2021 would be bad enough but there was still more to come for the Red Sox squad.

While the Carolina League might not have the longest history in baseball its in the running when it comes to name recognition. At least the locals could still tell their friends and neighbors they were heading to Haley Toyota Field at Salem Memorial Ballpark for a Carolina League baseball game.

Maybe the decision making folks compared it to the mindset of let’s just rip of the band aid because they decided to change the League name as well to something so goofy I will chose not to list it here. I am sure that MLB will be able to sell the naming rights to the new situation down the road but I might have left it alone until then.

A beautiful, clean and spacious ballpark with rolling mountains in every direction, located in the scenic Roanoke Valley and with a scaled down version of the Green Monster inside for the young ones to mimic their heroes in front of…..

I know that teams in other cities were dealt a bad hand, Frederick comes to mind as well as Greensboro and Trenton, New Jersey but that is for their Lawyers to fight for and I trust that Mr. Sorkin will write their cases well. But as far as the folks here in Salem my pull quote would be – “Say it Ain’t so Joe, say it Ain’t so.”

Woodpeckers have pushed their lead to 5-1 in the home half of the third inning. It’s a picture perfect evening for baseball here and there are plenty of great seats still available !

At least they left us Lynchburg !

Red Sox break out the whooping sticks three crooked numbers to take a 12-7 lead in the bottom of the 6th