Schumer, Wilpon, and MLB Deputy Commissioner Visit Binghamton
Senator Chuck Schumer was joined by Congressman Anthony Brindisi, MLB Deputy Commissioner Dan Halem, New York Mets Chief Operating Officer Jeff Wilpon and various other officials for a tour of the Binghamton Rumble Ponies facilities and to continue a dialogue on keeping the team here. Of the 42 teams to be removed in the MLB's proposal to restructure minor league baseball, Binghamton is the first to have MLB officials visit. Schumer says they still have a ways to go but that they are heading in the right direction.
"We all came to an agreement that we want to see the Rumble Ponies stay in Binghamton as an affiliated club," says Schumer. "We all agree that it will take some doing. Everyone of us agrees that each side isn't going to get everything we want. But that everyone would come together so that we can keep them here."
Schumer emphasized the point that they are focused on keeping a MLB affiliated minor league baseball team in Binghamton. The main concern that has been brought up since the beginning of this is the quality of facilities. Schumer says that the MLB is working on a specific list of facility guidelines that all Double-A teams will need to meet. He says when the list is handed down they will work to meet the requirements. Rumble Ponies President John Hughes says the fact that the MLB sent such high ranking officials to Binghamton is a sign of their progress.
"I think it's positive, anytime you have frank, open transparent communication it's always step towards progress and resolution," says Hughes. "Left the meeting encouraged and looking forward to a continued dialogue on making this a reality."
Wilpon and Halem made no statements and would not answer any questions from the media.
There is no official deadline on when a final decision will be made on all of this. However there will need to be one before the beginning of the 2021 season since the proposal has 2020 as the last season of operation for the clubs listed in the plan. Hughes says they will be getting together with baseball officials to discuss further in the next 6 to 8 weeks.