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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Major League Baseball unveiled its restructured minor league system last week, with all 30 big league clubs extending invitations to four farm teams apiece.

How it works: Under the newly configured system, every franchise will have a Triple-A team, a Double-A team, a high-Class A team and a low-Class A team, along with a variety of developmental teams.

  • In an effort to streamline geographical footprints, affiliations were also shifted among franchises.
  • For example: The Nationals' Triple-A affiliate shifted from Fresno, California, to Rochester, New York, while the Twins' Triple-A affiliate shifted from Rochester, New York to just across the river in St. Paul.

Why it matters: The number of affiliated minor league teams has been reduced from 160 to 120, altering the fate of 40 clubs.

  • Good news for some: After three decades as one of America's most successful independent teams, the St. Paul Saints are now the Twins' Triple-A affiliate. It's exciting news for the Saints, and the 10.6-mile drive between stadiums means the Twins can now call up and send down players with ease.
  • Bad news for others: The Salem-Keizer (Oregon) Volcanoes found out via social media that they would no longer be the Giants' Class A affiliate. "For a partnership of 26 years to end that way feels like a slap in the face," said CEO Mickey Walker. "I think heartbreak is an appropriate term."

The big picture: On top of the minor league shakeup, MLB is also forming its own amateur leagues for college players — a decision that has sent a chill through wood-bat college summer circuits from Cape Cod to Alaska.

Go deeper: Our May profile on the Cape Cod League

Go deeper

Kendall Baker, author of Sports
Oct 1, 2021 - Sports

NWSL in crisis after sexual harassment, abuse allegations

North Carolina Courage coach Paul Riley talks to his team in 2020. Photo: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

After years of silence, NWSL players are speaking up — detailing cases of harassment and abuse, often at the hands of male coaches.

Driving the news: The North Carolina Courage fired coach Paul Riley on Thursday amid allegations of sexual coercion that span over a decade and involve multiple teams.

Former Georgetown tennis coach pleads guilty to accepting admissions bribes

Gordon Ernst (left) former head tennis coach at Georgetown, is pictured outside the John Joseph Moakley United State Courthouse in Boston on March 25, 2019. Photo: Jessica Rinaldi/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

A former Georgetown University head tennis coach has pleaded guilty Tuesday to bribery charges related to facilitating the admission of prospective applicants.

Why it matters: Gordon Ernst solicited and accepted bribes from William Singer, ringleader of the cheating scheme uncovered by Operation Varsity Blues, and families in exchange for helping prospective applicants get into Georgetown as student athletes, according to the Justice Department.

3 hours ago - Health

CDC says some immunocompromised people can get fourth COVID shot

Photo: Noriko Hayashi/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in updated guidelines Tuesday that some immunocompromised people who have received either Pfizer or Moderna's COVID-19 vaccines will be able to get a fourth shot.

Details: People over 18 who are "moderately to severely immunocompromised" and have received three doses of an mRNA vaccine may get a fourth shot (of either the Pfizer, Moderna, or Johnson & Johnson vaccines) at least six months after getting their third Pfizer or Moderna dose, per the CDC.

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