Sanders and Nationals pitcher decry proposed MLB elimination of a quarter of minor league teams
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Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersDemocrats face critical 72 hours Overnight Health Care — Presented by Altria — Manchin nixes Medicare expansion Manchin shutting down Sanders on Medicare expansion MORE (I-Vt.) on Tuesday backed Washington Nationals pitcher Sean Doolittle in speaking out against a Major League Baseball proposal to eliminate dozens of minor league teams.

“This is really sad and I hope it doesn’t happen,” Doolittle tweeted Sunday, linking to an NBC Sports report indicating MLB is considering cutting the number of minor league teams by 25 percent, eliminating 42 teams, even after a season that saw more than 40 million fans attend games for the 15th consecutive year and an attendance increase of 2.6 percent.


“Sean is absolutely right. Closing down Minor League teams, like the Vermont Lake Monsters, would be a disaster for baseball fans, workers, and communities across the country. We must protect these teams from corporate greed,” Sanders tweeted.

The Burlington-based Lake Monsters, whose MLB affiliate is the Oakland A's, are among the teams potentially on the chopping block, according to a list published by The New York Times. Other teams at risk include the Williamsport Crosscutters, whose MLB affiliate is the Philadelphia Phillies; the Staten Island Yankees, whose MLB affiliate is the New York Yankees; and the Lowell Spinners, whose MLB affiliate is the Boston Red Sox.