Chattanooga Lookouts president Rich Mozingo was having a quiet Saturday night when his phone suddenly became quite active.
Mozingo was inundated with questions regarding whether Chattanooga was among the 42 minor league teams being contracted by Major League Baseball after the website Overtimeheroics.net listed the Southern League's Lookouts as affiliation casualties along with three other Class AA franchises: the Southern League's Jackson (Tennessee) Generals, and the Eastern League's Binghamton (New York) Rumble Ponies and Erie (Pennsylvania) SeaWolves.
Those same four teams were mentioned last November as potential victims in a New York Times article about contraction, but MLB officials quickly claimed the list was inaccurate.
Baseball America reported this past week that minor league baseball representatives have agreed to MLB's desire for contraction, shifting their position due to financial difficulties during this COVID-19 pandemic. Discussions were held this past week on the contraction topic, according to Baseball America, but no specifics have been revealed from those conversations.
Both sides did release a joint statement that read in part: "The respective negotiating teams of Minor League Baseball and Major League Baseball held a constructive meeting on Wednesday."
Mozingo and the Lookouts responded to the Overtimeheroics.net article by releasing a statement.
"The recent article regarding the list of teams slated to be contracted is largely inaccurate," the statement read. "There have been no agreements on contraction or any other issues. The respective negotiating teams of minor league baseball and Major League Baseball are continuing their discussions, with the goal of concluding a mutually beneficial long-term agreement in the near future.
"The Lookouts firmly believe that there will be Lookouts baseball in Chattanooga next season and on into the future."