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ValleyCats sue Major League Baseball, Houston Astros for $15M


TROY — The Tri-City ValleyCats have sued Major League Baseball and the Houston Astros for their unilateral decision to end their affiliation with the minor league organization. The suit seeks in excess of $15 million, ValleyCats chairman Doug Gladstone said Friday morning.

The team took the action after MLB decided to sever ties with the minor league team and a number of other affiliates around the U.S.

         <p>The ValleyCats spent the past 18 seasons as a minor league affiliate of the Astros. The ValleyCats found out last month they were not one of the 120 teams invited to be affiliates under MLB's plan for contraction and restructuring of the minor leagues.</p>                   <p>The ValleyCats filed suit Thursday night in the state Supreme Court's commercial division for breach of fiduciary duty and tortious interference. Gladstone said the value of the franchise has been greatly reduced by losing affiliation.</p>           <!-- Missed: ad -->              <p><a href="https://www.timesunion.com/sports/article/ValleyCats-getting-closer-to-hiring-manager-15870860.php" target="_blank" rel="noopener">ValleyCats getting closer to hiring manager</a></p>                   <p><a href="https://www.timesunion.com/sports/article/Tri-City-ValleyCats-join-Frontier-League-for-2021-15852540.php" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Tri-City ValleyCats join Frontier League for 2021 season</a></p>                   <!-- hearst/article/content/gallery.tpl -->               <img src="https://s.hdnux.com/photos/01/05/32/13/18195145/3/1200x0.jpg" alt="The Tri-City ValleyCats have sued Major League Baseball and the Houston Astros for their unilateral decision to end their affiliation with the minor-league organization. The suit seeks in excess of $15 million, ValleyCats chairman Doug Gladstone said Friday morning." />1of29<p>The Tri-City ValleyCats have sued Major League Baseball and the Houston Astros for their unilateral decision to end their affiliation with the minor-league organization. The suit seeks in excess of $15 million, ValleyCats chairman Doug Gladstone said Friday morning.</p>James Franco<a href="#">Show More</a><a href="#">Show Less</a><img src="https://s.hdnux.com/photos/01/05/32/13/18195149/3/1200x0.jpg" alt="The Tri-City ValleyCats have sued Major League Baseball and the Houston Astros for their unilateral decision to end their affiliation with the minor-league organization. The suit seeks in excess of $15 million, ValleyCats chairman Doug Gladstone said Friday morning." />2of29<p>The Tri-City ValleyCats have sued Major League Baseball and the Houston Astros for their unilateral decision to end their affiliation with the minor-league organization. The suit seeks in excess of $15 million, ValleyCats chairman Doug Gladstone said Friday morning.</p>James Franco<a href="#">Show More</a><a href="#">Show Less</a>  3of29<img data-src="https://s.hdnux.com/photos/01/14/43/35/20068200/7/1200x0.jpg" alt="The Tri-City ValleyCats have sued Major League Baseball and the Houston Astros for their unilateral decision to end their affiliation with the minor-league organization. The suit seeks in excess of $15 million, ValleyCats chairman Doug Gladstone said Friday morning." src="https://s.hdnux.com/photos/01/14/43/35/20068200/7/1200x0.jpg" />4of29<p>The Tri-City ValleyCats have sued Major League Baseball and the Houston Astros for their unilateral decision to end their affiliation with the minor-league organization. The suit seeks in excess of $15 million, ValleyCats chairman Doug Gladstone said Friday morning.</p>Jim Franco/Special to the Times Union<a href="#">Show More</a><a href="#">Show Less</a><img data-src="https://s.hdnux.com/photos/01/10/11/63/18914547/3/1200x0.jpg" alt="In this July 9, 2011, file photo, New York Yankees' Derek Jeter hits a home run for his 3,000th career hit during the third inning of a baseball game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Yankee Stadium in New York. Back in 1994, Jeter hit .377 with 12 stolen bases in 34 games with the Albany-Colonie Yankees. Click on the link to see some of his career highlights. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2xHpevdVa1U (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun, File)" src="https://s.hdnux.com/photos/01/10/11/63/18914547/3/1200x0.jpg" />5of29<p>In this July 9, 2011, file photo, New York Yankees' Derek Jeter hits a home run for his 3,000th career hit during the third inning of a baseball game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Yankee Stadium in New York. Back in 1994, Jeter hit .377 with 12 stolen bases in 34 games with the Albany-Colonie Yankees. Click on the link to see some of his career highlights. <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2xHpevdVa1U">https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2xHpevdVa1U</a> (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun, File)</p>Bill Kostroun/Associated Press<a href="#">Show More</a><a href="#">Show Less</a>  6of29<img data-src="https://s.hdnux.com/photos/50/52/166536/3/1200x0.jpg" alt="Before Ralph Kiner slugged 369 home runs in just 10 Major League seasons on his way to the Hall of Fame, he played his first two seasons (1941 and 1942) for the Albany Senators. Check out some of Kiner's highlights here: https://www.mlb.com/video/mlb-tonight-looks-back-on-kiner-c31344637" src="https://s.hdnux.com/photos/50/52/166536/3/1200x0.jpg" />7of29<p>Before Ralph Kiner slugged 369 home runs in just 10 Major League seasons on his way to the Hall of Fame, he played his first two seasons (1941 and 1942) for the Albany Senators. Check out some of Kiner's highlights here: <a href="https://www.mlb.com/video/mlb-tonight-looks-back-on-kiner-c31344637">https://www.mlb.com/video/mlb-tonight-looks-back-on-kiner-c31344637</a></p>Contributed Photo/Pittsburgh Pirates/Contributed Photo<a href="#">Show More</a><a href="#">Show Less</a><img data-src="https://s.hdnux.com/photos/70/23/47/14760424/3/1200x0.jpg" alt="Jose Altuve #27 of the Houston Astros hits a three-run home run during the fifth inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers in game five of the 2017 World Series at Minute Maid Park on October 29, 2017 in Houston, Texas. Long before that in 2009, Altuve could be found in Troy playing for the Tri-City ValleyCats. See more of Altuve's playoff heroics here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XC34yua88z0 (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)" src="https://s.hdnux.com/photos/70/23/47/14760424/3/1200x0.jpg" />8of29<p>Jose Altuve #27 of the Houston Astros hits a three-run home run during the fifth inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers in game five of the 2017 World Series at Minute Maid Park on October 29, 2017 in Houston, Texas. Long before that in 2009, Altuve could be found in Troy playing for the Tri-City ValleyCats. See more of Altuve's playoff heroics here: <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XC34yua88z0">https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XC34yua88z0</a> (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)</p>Christian Petersen<a href="#">Show More</a><a href="#">Show Less</a>  9of29<img data-src="https://s.hdnux.com/photos/22/21/70/4791820/3/1200x0.jpg" alt="The only athlete to play in a World Series and a Super Bowl, Deion Sanders, also found time to play for the Albany-Colonie Yankees. Sanders hit .286 and had 17 stolen bases for the AA squad in 1989. A year later, he was in the Bronx. Check out his inside the park home run at Yankee Stadium here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fdBPjMlshxE (AP Photo/Ron Frehm)" src="https://s.hdnux.com/photos/22/21/70/4791820/3/1200x0.jpg" />10of29<p>The only athlete to play in a World Series and a Super Bowl, Deion Sanders, also found time to play for the Albany-Colonie Yankees. Sanders hit .286 and had 17 stolen bases for the AA squad in 1989. A year later, he was in the Bronx. Check out his inside the park home run at Yankee Stadium here: <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fdBPjMlshxE">https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fdBPjMlshxE</a> (AP Photo/Ron Frehm)</p>Ron Frehm<a href="#">Show More</a><a href="#">Show Less</a><img data-src="https://s.hdnux.com/photos/15/23/45/3488087/3/1200x0.jpg" alt="Tommy Lasorda managed the Los Angeles Dodgers for 21 seasons, from 1976-1996, and won two World Series championships. But when he was a player, Lasorda pitched for the 1948 Schenectady Blue Jays in the Canadian-American League. Schenectady was a Philadelphia Phillies affiliate at the time. Watch Lasorda get into it with the Montreal Expos mascot: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pmzeK6oAtkk&list=PLUPUVszWAFY8dEGsH_fM0XzLe_fxncDa1&index=15&t=0s  (AP Photo/Stuart News, Matthew Ratajczak)" src="https://s.hdnux.com/photos/15/23/45/3488087/3/1200x0.jpg" />11of29<p>Tommy Lasorda managed the Los Angeles Dodgers for 21 seasons, from 1976-1996, and won two World Series championships. But when he was a player, Lasorda pitched for the 1948 Schenectady Blue Jays in the Canadian-American League. Schenectady was a Philadelphia Phillies affiliate at the time. Watch Lasorda get into it with the Montreal Expos mascot: <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pmzeK6oAtkk&list=PLUPUVszWAFY8dEGsH_fM0XzLe_fxncDa1&index=15&t=0s">https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pmzeK6oAtkk&list=PLUPUVszWAFY8dEGsH_fM0XzLe_fxncDa1&index=15&t=0s</a>  (AP Photo/Stuart News, Matthew Ratajczak)</p>Matthew Ratajczak<a href="#">Show More</a><a href="#">Show Less</a>  12of29<img data-src="https://s.hdnux.com/photos/76/37/74/16383790/3/1200x0.jpg" alt="Boston Red Sox slugger J.D. Martinez played most of his first professional season of baseball in Troy with the Tri-City ValleyCats in 2009. Martinez knocked in 33 runs in only 53 games, batting .326 for the 'Cats. See Martinez slam his first career home run in 2011 here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0gIrBxb_jUY (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)" src="https://s.hdnux.com/photos/76/37/74/16383790/3/1200x0.jpg" />13of29<p>Boston Red Sox slugger J.D. Martinez played most of his first professional season of baseball in Troy with the Tri-City ValleyCats in 2009. Martinez knocked in 33 runs in only 53 games, batting .326 for the 'Cats. See Martinez slam his first career home run in 2011 here: <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0gIrBxb_jUY">https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0gIrBxb_jUY</a> (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)</p>Matt Slocum<a href="#">Show More</a><a href="#">Show Less</a><img data-src="https://s.hdnux.com/photos/10/25/53/2185982/5/1200x0.jpg" alt="Chicago Cubs slugger Hack Wilson is shown selecting the proper bat after reporting for preseason practice at the Chicago Cubs' training camp at Avalon, Catalina Island, Calif., Feb. 27, 1931. Wilson's 191 RBIs in 1930 is still the most by a player in a single season in Major League Baseball history. Wilson closed out his career with the Albany Senators, playing 59 games with the club in 1935. (AP Photo)" src="https://s.hdnux.com/photos/10/25/53/2185982/5/1200x0.jpg" />14of29<p>Chicago Cubs slugger Hack Wilson is shown selecting the proper bat after reporting for preseason practice at the Chicago Cubs' training camp at Avalon, Catalina Island, Calif., Feb. 27, 1931. Wilson's 191 RBIs in 1930 is still the most by a player in a single season in Major League Baseball history. Wilson closed out his career with the Albany Senators, playing 59 games with the club in 1935. (AP Photo)</p> <a href="#">Show More</a><a href="#">Show Less</a>  15of29<img data-src="https://s.hdnux.com/photos/01/11/76/30/19392036/5/1200x0.jpg" alt="Former player Ron Kittle of the Chicago White Sox speaks to the media about donating blood during a blood drive at Guaranteed Rate Field on May 08, 2020 in Chicago, Illinois. The White Sox and the American Red Cross in partnership with Anheuser-Busch, are part of an effort to utilize available arenas and stadiums nationwide as temporary blood drive centers in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Kittle won the 1983 American League Rookie of the Year Award, hitting 35 homers while driving in 100 for the Chicago White Sox. In 1981, Kittle slammed 40 homers for the Glens Falls White Sox. See Kittle hit an inside-the-park home run while a member of the Yankees in 1987: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w8N98Xcg_lw (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)" src="https://s.hdnux.com/photos/01/11/76/30/19392036/5/1200x0.jpg" />16of29<p>Former player Ron Kittle of the Chicago White Sox speaks to the media about donating blood during a blood drive at Guaranteed Rate Field on May 08, 2020 in Chicago, Illinois. The White Sox and the American Red Cross in partnership with Anheuser-Busch, are part of an effort to utilize available arenas and stadiums nationwide as temporary blood drive centers in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Kittle won the 1983 American League Rookie of the Year Award, hitting 35 homers while driving in 100 for the Chicago White Sox. In 1981, Kittle slammed 40 homers for the Glens Falls White Sox. See Kittle hit an inside-the-park home run while a member of the Yankees in 1987: <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w8N98Xcg_lw">https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w8N98Xcg_lw</a> (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)</p>Jonathan Daniel / Getty Images<a href="#">Show More</a><a href="#">Show Less</a><img data-src="https://s.hdnux.com/photos/22/21/70/4791822/3/1200x0.jpg" alt="Mickey Tettleton made two MLB All-Star teams in 14 years of big league service from 1984-1997. Tettleton also spent part of that 1984 season with the Albany-Colonie A's. Tettleton, a switch-hitting catcher, hit five homers in 86 games with Albany-Colonie before slugging 245 dingers in the majors. Watch Tettleton slug one out of Camden Yards here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nr-JYf5aAZo" src="https://s.hdnux.com/photos/22/21/70/4791822/3/1200x0.jpg" />17of29<p>Mickey Tettleton made two MLB All-Star teams in 14 years of big league service from 1984-1997. Tettleton also spent part of that 1984 season with the Albany-Colonie A's. Tettleton, a switch-hitting catcher, hit five homers in 86 games with Albany-Colonie before slugging 245 dingers in the majors. Watch Tettleton slug one out of Camden Yards here: <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nr-JYf5aAZo">https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nr-JYf5aAZo</a></p>Michael P. Farrell<a href="#">Show More</a><a href="#">Show Less</a>  18of29<img data-src="https://s.hdnux.com/photos/01/07/56/36/18802583/3/1200x0.jpg" alt="Yankees reliever Mariano Rivera was the first player voted unanimously into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Rivera saved 652 games in 19 seasons, all with the Yankees. But the " src="https://s.hdnux.com/photos/01/07/56/36/18802583/3/1200x0.jpg" />19of29<p>Yankees reliever Mariano Rivera was the first player voted unanimously into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Rivera saved 652 games in 19 seasons, all with the Yankees. But the "Sandman" actually started all nine games he appeared in for the 1994 Albany-Colonie Yankees. Rivera was just as dominant too, posting a 3-0 record with a 2.84 ERA in those nine games. See Rivera's best here: <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U3suugFqiH0">https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U3suugFqiH0</a></p>Bill Kostroun / Associated Press<a href="#">Show More</a><a href="#">Show Less</a><img data-src="https://s.hdnux.com/photos/61/37/42/12974224/9/1200x0.jpg" alt="Bernie Williams was another of the Bronx Bombers to pass through the Capital Region. Williams played part of 1989 and all of 1990 with the Albany-Colonie Yankees. Watch his highlights here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oTqjUnXMewQ  (AP Photo/Doug Mills)" src="https://s.hdnux.com/photos/61/37/42/12974224/9/1200x0.jpg" />20of29<p>Bernie Williams was another of the Bronx Bombers to pass through the Capital Region. Williams played part of 1989 and all of 1990 with the Albany-Colonie Yankees. Watch his highlights here: <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oTqjUnXMewQ">https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oTqjUnXMewQ</a>  (AP Photo/Doug Mills)</p>DOUG MILLS / AP<a href="#">Show More</a><a href="#">Show Less</a>  21of29<img data-src="https://s.hdnux.com/photos/01/10/76/12/19128979/5/1200x0.jpg" alt="George Springer of the Houston Astros was the 2017 World Series MVP. Springer, a three-time MLB All-Star, made his professional debut with the Tri-City ValleyCats back in 2011. See highlights of Springer back in 2017 here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9JNwP8PgWa0 (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)" src="https://s.hdnux.com/photos/01/10/76/12/19128979/5/1200x0.jpg" />22of29<p>George Springer of the Houston Astros was the 2017 World Series MVP. Springer, a three-time MLB All-Star, made his professional debut with the Tri-City ValleyCats back in 2011. See highlights of Springer back in 2017 here:  <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9JNwP8PgWa0">https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9JNwP8PgWa0</a> (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)</p>Jeff Roberson/Associated Press<a href="#">Show More</a><a href="#">Show Less</a><img data-src="https://s.hdnux.com/photos/01/05/32/10/18194970/5/1200x0.jpg" alt="And in the 2016 World Series, Ben Zobrist was named MVP after helping the Cubs to their first title 108 seasons. Zobrist also played with the Tri-City ValleyCats organization, making his professional debut with the 'Cats in 2004. Watch Zobrist in action here: https://www.mlb.com/video/ben-zobrist-homers-1-on-a-fly-ball-to-right-center-field (AP Photo/Kamil Krzaczynski, File)" src="https://s.hdnux.com/photos/01/05/32/10/18194970/5/1200x0.jpg" />23of29<p>And in the 2016 World Series, Ben Zobrist was named MVP after helping the Cubs to their first title 108 seasons. Zobrist also played with the Tri-City ValleyCats organization, making his professional debut with the 'Cats in 2004. Watch Zobrist in action here: <a href="https://www.mlb.com/video/ben-zobrist-homers-1-on-a-fly-ball-to-right-center-field">https://www.mlb.com/video/ben-zobrist-homers-1-on-a-fly-ball-to-right-center-field</a> (AP Photo/Kamil Krzaczynski, File)</p>Kamil Krzaczynski / Associated Press<a href="#">Show More</a><a href="#">Show Less</a>  24of29<img data-src="https://s.hdnux.com/photos/61/11/00/12881965/3/1200x0.jpg" alt="Along with Zobrist, Hunter Pence started his professional career with the Tri-City ValleyCats in 2004. Pence played in 51 games batting .296 with eight home runs for the 'Cats. Watch Pence hit a grand slam here: https://www.mlb.com/video/hunter-pence-hits-a-grand-slam-5-to-left-field-delino-deshields-scores-rougned-o (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)" src="https://s.hdnux.com/photos/61/11/00/12881965/3/1200x0.jpg" />25of29<p>Along with Zobrist, Hunter Pence started his professional career with the Tri-City ValleyCats in 2004. Pence played in 51 games batting .296 with eight home runs for the 'Cats. Watch Pence hit a grand slam here: <a href="https://www.mlb.com/video/hunter-pence-hits-a-grand-slam-5-to-left-field-delino-deshields-scores-rougned-o">https://www.mlb.com/video/hunter-pence-hits-a-grand-slam-5-to-left-field-delino-deshields-scores-rougned-o</a> (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)</p>Frank Franklin II<a href="#">Show More</a><a href="#">Show Less</a><img data-src="https://s.hdnux.com/photos/23/73/06/5222785/3/1200x0.jpg" alt="Andy Pettitte won 256 games in 18 seasons of Major League Baseball. Pettitte also won eight games over two seasons with the Albany-Colonie Yankees. Pettitte started one game, and won it, in 1993 for the Albany-Colonie Yankees and then returned to post a 7-2 record in 11 starts for the AA club in 1994. Check out some highlights here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iVMnTF3a6uA  (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)" src="https://s.hdnux.com/photos/23/73/06/5222785/3/1200x0.jpg" />26of29<p>Andy Pettitte won 256 games in 18 seasons of Major League Baseball. Pettitte also won eight games over two seasons with the Albany-Colonie Yankees. Pettitte started one game, and won it, in 1993 for the Albany-Colonie Yankees and then returned to post a 7-2 record in 11 starts for the AA club in 1994. Check out some highlights here: <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iVMnTF3a6uA">https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iVMnTF3a6uA</a>  (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)</p>Kathy Willens<a href="#">Show More</a><a href="#">Show Less</a>  27of29<img data-src="https://s.hdnux.com/photos/14/56/50/3336705/3/1200x0.jpg" alt="Even Jorge Posada played a little for the Albany-Colonie Yankees. Posada hit .280 in seven games for the Albany-Colonie squad in 1993. Watch some of Posada's highlights here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TIupUwhf7QE (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)" src="https://s.hdnux.com/photos/14/56/50/3336705/3/1200x0.jpg" />28of29<p>Even Jorge Posada played a little for the Albany-Colonie Yankees. Posada hit .280 in seven games for the Albany-Colonie squad in 1993. Watch some of Posada's highlights here: <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TIupUwhf7QE">https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TIupUwhf7QE</a> (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)</p>Nick Laham<a href="#">Show More</a><a href="#">Show Less</a>  29of29                       <!-- e hearst/article/content/gallery.tpl --><p><a href="https://www.timesunion.com/news/article/Churchill-How-much-do-we-care-about-the-15763465.php" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Churchill: How much do we care about the ValleyCats?</a></p>                   <p>The sharply worded 33-page complaint accuses Major League Baseball of using "bullying" tactics to pit minor league operations against one another for survival. It notes that the Houston team announced it was continuing its affiliations with "three teams owned by the Astros and one owned by a former U.S. Senator and current Governor, likely in efforts to quell the political discord that has occurred regarding MLB's contraction efforts" — an apparent reference to the Asheville, N.C., Tourists, a team owned by the family of Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine.</p>           <!-- Missed: ad -->              <p>The ValleyCats are represented in the legal action by the same two law firms — Weil, Gotshal & Manges and Berg & Androphy — that are handling a similar suit brought by another recently disaffiliated minor league team, the Staten Island Yankees, against MLB and the New York Yankees.</p>                   <p>Astros spokesman Steve Grande said the team's legal department is looking into the suit and had no further comment. An MLB spokesman declined to comment on the ValleyCats lawsuit.</p>                   <p>The ValleyCats were not on a list of teams that were to be cut that was leaked to the New York Times in November of 2019, the complaint notes.</p>                   <p>“To make matters worse, in 2019, Defendants had publicly released a list of the teams that would remain affiliated with MLB, which included the ValleyCats, and made other public statements that the ValleyCats would be included,” the lawsuit states. “The ValleyCats materially relied on these public disclosures, which Defendants reneged on at the eleventh hour, by making substantial improvements to the Stadium, making ongoing lease payments it otherwise may not have, and continuing to fund a business which was unknowingly on the brink of decimation.”</p>           <!-- Missed: ad -->      <!-- Missed: ad --> <!-- hearst/home/mostPopular.tpl -->     <!--e hearst/home/mostPopular.tpl --><p>ValleyCats president Rick Murphy said last week it will cost the team an additional $220,000 to $250,000 per season to operate as an independent because they must now pay additional on-field costs, including the players’ and manager’s salaries. Those were paid by Houston when the ValleyCats were an affiliate.</p>                   <p>The suit says the ValleyCats’ long history with MLB makes the “betrayal even more egregious.” The team was purchased by Bill Gladstone, Doug Gladstone’s father, in 1992 when they were the Pittsfield (Mass.) Mets. Bill Gladstone moved the franchise to Troy in 2002 and the ValleyCats won three New York-Penn League championships.</p>                   <p>Bill Gladstone died last April 30 at age 88 — a loss that is mentioned in the ValleyCats' complaint.</p>                   <p>“MLB’s intimidation tactics, which it used to pit MiLB teams against each other for the ‘privilege’ of having their businesses destroyed, has gone on for years but was most vividly demonstrated by a May 2020 email in which Commissioner Rob Manfred emailed the ValleyCats’ owner condolences on the passing of his father, and then in the very same email, issued a veiled threat that any public statement about MLB’s contraction efforts would be ‘unwise,’ ” the lawsuit states.</p>           <!-- Missed: ad -->              <p>"Our objective is to play baseball and we're in the baseball business — that's what we do," Doug Gladstone said Friday.  "But we also are in the business of doing the right thing for our franchise and our fans when something we think is unfair happens."</p>                   <p>The ValleyCats announced last week they're joining the independent Frontier League and expect to begin play in mid-May at Joseph L. Bruno Stadium.</p>                   <p>“We’re pretty focused on moving forward, and that’s why we joined the Frontier (League). And we’re excited about that relationship and we think that’s going to bring a level of baseball to our fans that they will appreciate and have a great experience at The Joe,” Gladstone said.</p>

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