After Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt, called for Major League Baseball to abandon its restructuring plans for Minor League Baseball that would result in the elimination of 42 teams around the country, former Miami Marlins president David Samson told FOX Business' David Asman that Sanders doesn't know the facts.
On Tuesday, Samson said on "Cavuto: Coast to Coast" that Sanders' letter to MLB Commissioner Robert Manfred was full of "misinformation."
"It's not as though baseball is looking to eliminate 42 teams," Samson said. "This is about a negotiated agreement between Major League Baseball and Minor League Baseball, where, right now, their agreement will run out."
Samson said the reason that agreement will run out varies, but it's mostly due to facilities and accommodations not being good enough and traveling by bus being difficult. He said if those sorts of things aren't addressed, the teams need to be moved.
"I want to clarify two big mistakes [Sanders] made. Number one, there's no conversation about ending baseball in these communities."
Samson said the only time a baseball team will leave a location is when an owner wants to play in a new facility or sees revenue opportunities elsewhere.
"This second very important part ... is he brought into question the antitrust exemption," Samson said. "Well, Bernie, what you didn't understand is that antitrust exemption is the only reason why Minor League Baseball actually exists because, without it, Major League Baseball teams would be able to affiliate with anyone they wanted to, but now, they have to affiliate with minor leagues."
In his letter to Manfred, Sanders noted that Minor League Baseball players earn as little as $1,160 per month. He added that MLB’s proposed elimination of the 42 teams would “throw about 1,000 ballplayers out of work.”
But Samson disagrees.
"The fact is, Minor League Baseball is so highly attended. It will continue to be highly attended, but we've got to develop players to get to the Major League level."
Samson said Minor League Baseball needs to get the proper working conditions and facilities, and, whichever community can make that happen, will have the team.
Fox Business' Thomas Barrabi contributed to this report