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A new task force is holding the negotiations between Major League Baseball and Minor League Baseball under a microscope, ready and willing to take legal action against MLB. Stock photo by StockSnap

On December 4, just two days after Governor Wolf and State Attorney General Shapiro joined the fray, congressional representatives Lori Trahan of Massachusetts, David McKinley of West Virginia, Max Rose of New York, and Mike Simpson of Idaho have formed the "Save Minor League Baseball Task Force" in response to the proposal to cut 42 Minor League teams. Like AG Shapiro, the task force is holding the negotiations between Major League Baseball and Minor League Baseball under a microscope, ready and willing to take legal action against MLB.

Related reading: State officials including Gov. Wolf and AG Shapiro fight MLB's team cut proposal

Echoing the words of Gov. Wolf, AG Shapiro, and Minor League President Pat O'Conner, the congressional representatives feel that the cultural losses that will be sustained from cutting the teams is far greater than any monetary savings or perks that the MLB could possibly gain.

“Major League Baseball can look at all the ‘sabermetrics’ it wants, but what they don’t understand is the serious impact that losing these baseball teams will have on our communities,” said Congressman Rose. “You won’t see it in any formula, but my colleagues and I have all seen the impact teams like the Staten Island Yankees can have on the faces of the children who show up at the ballpark every year. I’m proud to join this effort to urge the MLB to reconsider.”

Minor League Baseball's official statement expressed gratefulness and perhaps a tinge of surprise at the overwhelming support from government officials regardless of party affiliation, including a letter signed by 105 congressional representatives last month. "The overwhelming support from elected officials on both sides of the aisle, at all levels of government, has been tremendous and shows that baseball helps to unite our nation," the statement says.

Likewise, Williamsport's own Crosscutters expressed their gratitude for the support: “With this proposal, MLB is willing to break the hearts of dozens of communities across the country. We are going to resist this plan and are gratified that so many in Congress are willing to join with us,” Cutters' Vice President and General Manager, Doug Estes, stated in a press release on Wednesday.

With the tremendous uproar caused by MLB's proposal to break team affiliations, the amount of harm it could cause to the organization may outweigh the savings from cutting out the pay of Minor League teams - which was never an impressive amount, especially after MLB successfully lobbied for an exemption from the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 in 2018.

There's no doubt that an entity as big as MLB must have good lawyers, and they at least have enough money to drop over $2.5 million in lobbying dollars to avoid having to pay Minor League players living wages (see the "Save America's Pastime Act," which has absolutely nothing to do with saving anything but a few bucks for the executives at the top of MLB), but can they really afford to take on a state AG and a good chunk of Congress?