Down on the farm team

This might have been the least surprising announcement in all of baseball this week:

The Oklahoma City Dodgers and Los Angeles Dodgers announced today they have extended their Player Development Contract for two years. The extension keeps the OKC Dodgers as the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Triple-A affiliate through the 2018 season.

“Our partnership with the Los Angeles Dodgers has been better than we ever imagined,” said OKC Dodgers President/General Manager Michael Byrnes. “We have had an incredible string of success both on and off the field, and we’re looking forward to continuing it through the 2018 season.”

The affiliation began in September 2014, when Oklahoma City’s Triple-A franchise was sold to Mandalay Baseball, LLC — a partnership that includes ownership of the Los Angeles Dodgers.

There’s a lot to be said for ownership stability. Jeffrey Loria, current owner of the Miami Marlins, owned the former Oklahoma City 89ers from 1988 to 1992, and while he didn’t try anything weird during those years, once Loria got to the majors he became something of a pest:

Loria is considered a “meddlesome” owner. In April 2013, Loria reportedly had Ricky Nolasco and José Fernández switch the games of a doubleheader in which they were scheduled to pitch, violating clubhouse protocol. In July 2013, hitting coach Tino Martinez, who had been handpicked by Loria, resigned following allegations that he verbally and physically assaulted players, including Chris Valaika. When the organization considered promoting Valaika to the majors in August when Plácido Polanco was placed on the disabled list, Loria vetoed the transaction, and the team promoted Gil Velazquez instead.

The Blue Crew, however, apparently don’t play that way, and thank heaven (or Vin Scully) for that.





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