Despite MLB news, Trash Pandas still unsure if they'll play in 2020

The MLB announced it will start its season in July, but minor league teams are still unsure what that means for them, if anything.

Posted: Jun 24, 2020 6:11 PM
Updated: Jun 24, 2020 6:16 PM

Despite the MLB announcement that professional baseball will be played this year, minor league teams, like the Rocket City Trash Pandas, are still unsure what that means for them.

With the Trash Pandas inaugural season put on hold, the team has been looking at a number of ways to move forward.
Team President and CEO Ralph Nelson said the club was even looking into the potential of beefing up the roster and having the team play split squad games against itself.

"There are some ideas being floated out there about minor league players doing some games the way you described it,” Nelson said.

Though the team is interested, Nelson says it is not so easy since most players are under contract to their respective organizations --the Angels in this case.

Right now, Nelson said it's a waiting game and a lot will depend on when, and if, the focus shifts from the MLB to the minor leagues.

"They have to set the rosters of the major league club,” he said. “What that does is it's a trickle-down effect.”

Nelson has been in contact with the other owners of the Southern League teams, but said a lack of information has made those calls frustrating as the teams talk about “what ifs.”

With no word from the major or minor leagues about what to expect, Nelson said he wants to be optimistic about the potential of a season.

"I think there's a very good chance that we're not gonna play this year and I think there's a small chance we will play,” he said.
Nelson is focused on using Toyota Field for as many events as he possibly can, making sure those in the organization continue to get paid.

More than two months after the team was set to play its first game, Nelson knows the first season won’t be anything close to what was originally planned.

“That disappoints me every single day,” he said.

He is still holding on to hope. Nelson told WAAY 31 that the team would be ready if it gets the call to play.

"If they shift focus and they start talking about minor league ball, you'll see this place go into high gear, that's for sure."

Nelson said the league has a conference call scheduled for next Wednesday, where he hopes to get a better understanding of what happens next.

“I’m guessing there will be a lot more real information by then and so we will all become a little bit more educated.”

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