Will There Be Grand Junction Rockies Baseball This Summer?
Summer is on the way, but everybody wants to know if baseball in Grand Junction is coming with it or will summer come alone.
All of the world is waiting for the return of live sports whether it's NBA and NHL -which had their seasons suspended - or MLB - which was halted by the coronavirus pandemic before the season ever got started. There is a lot of discussion, a ton of questions, but so far very few answers.
As far as sports go, Grand Junction has already witnessed the cancellation of the Alpine Bank Junior College World Series, one of the biggest events of the year in Grand Junction. Now we are left to wonder if Grand Junction will see the return of GJ Rockies baseball for another season at Suplizio Field.
I talked with Grand Junction Rockies Team President Mick Ritter to learn more about the status of a potential GJ Rockies season in 2020. He was very kind and straightforward in his conversation with me. He said he wished he had answers but right now it's just a waiting game and nothing is definitive at the moment.
Ritter told me they are waiting on Major League Baseball to formulate and announce a plan for getting its season underway and the dominos will fall from there. Obviously, nothing can be done locally at this time until MLB moves forward.
Beyond the uncertainty of the current Pioneer League Season, is what happens to the GJ Rockies in 2021. According to CBS Sports, a proposal from Major League Baseball, if accepted by Minor League Baseball, would eliminate more than 40 current minor league teams including short-season and rookie ball in 2021. Ritter said the GJ Rockies are on that initial list, but even that is on hold at the moment.
The proposal, which is extremely complex, according to Baseball America would completely reorganize full-season minor leagues including Triple A, Double A, high Class A and low Class A. An agreement between the two sides will need to be reached before minor league baseball begins its 2021 season.
Major League Baseball has suggested the possibility of setting up a Dream League for teams that's are left without Player Development Contracts. Players who went undrafted would have the option of playing in the Dream League or going to independent leagues. Full details of how the league might operate are not yet clear, but, perhaps there would be a place for the GJ Rockies in his league.
The bottom line is, Grand Junction Rockies baseball in 2020 is not dead yet, nor is the future of Rockies baseball in 2021 and beyond. In this period of unprecedented and uncertain times, all we can do is sit and wait and hope - and wait.