What had been dreaded for months is now official: The Vermont Lake Monsters will not play this summer.
Major League Baseball has decided not to provide affiliated minor league teams with players for the 2020 season, Minor League Baseball announced Tuesday afternoon.
In other words: No baseball for minor league players across the country until at least 2021.
“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 Pat O’Conner, CEO and president of Minor League Baseball. “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.”
Not long after MiLB’s announcement, the Lake Monsters issued their own statement on the shelved season.
“The present challenges and restrictions in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic have made it impossible for us to host a season,” Lake Monsters general manager Joe Doud said.
“We look forward to continuing to be a part of the community this summer, in ways that we are able to make an impact,” Doud continued in his statement.
The Lake Monsters, playing in Burlington since 1994, are short-season, Single-A affiliates of the Oakland Athletics. Earlier this month, the New York-Penn League, home of the Lake Monsters, had delayed the start of the 2020 season indefinitely.
Vermont was slated to open its season June 18 with a six-game home-stand at Centennial Field. The 76-game regular season would’ve concluded Sept. 7.
Last year, the Lake Monsters went 33-42 to finish third in the NYPL’s Stedler Division.
Since signing a 20-year lease on Centennial Field with the University of Vermont in 2012, the team has invested roughly $2 million in the facility to upgrade the 114-year-old venue.
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