Rochester Goes National


It’s funny how these things leak out. “Official confirmation” of the long-suspected Washington Nationals/Rochester Red Wings pairing came courtesy of a tweet by Senator Chuck Schumer. 


On the 10th of this month, Rochester unnecessarily announced that the Minnesota Twins had informed them of the two teams parting ways. Since then, the Red Wings have played up the idea of being an orphan. On Wednesday the 18th, they published a humorous video showing a worker removing Twins’ decals from the ballpark. You have to wonder if this sort of social media activity caused Chuck Schumer to check in with MLB and/or the Nationals and get the leak that we all thirsted for so much. 

Here are some thoughts. 

For the Nationals it’s a good solid pairing, and it just feels right to me–maybe I’m still used to them being with Syracuse that it’s comforting to see them back in upstate New York. The Washington Post put up a nice little article detailing how it’s an upgrade from a reportedly tumultuous 2019 season with the Fresno Grizzlies. That year with Fresno turned out to be a one-time deal. I’ll take any opportunity to point out how weird it is that the Grizzlies were the Triple-A affiliate of five World Series championship teams in the past decade, including three (three!) different parent clubs. 

The Red Wings and the Twins had a good long run. I always thought there was something inherently satisfying about those two teams together. For a while I thought it was because the other Rochester is in Minnesota, but one day it dawned on me that there’s also a Red Wing, Minnesota, home of Red Wing boots. The Rochester Red Wings were with Minnesota, a city that’s home to a Rochester and a Red Wing. 

The Nationals become the fourth MLB team to have the Red Wings as their affiliate. The nickname was a play on their original parent club, the St. Louis Cardinals. The Cardinals booted up the Red Wings in the late twenties–one of the earliest affiliated teams in the minors. In this age of teams changing their names willy-nilly, Rochester has been called the Red Wings continuously for almost 100 years.


Looking forward, this news–taken in consideration with recent Texas-based announcements–pretty much ties up any loose ends at the Triple-A level. The Brewers now seem all but guaranteed to reunite with the Nashville Sounds. With the St. Paul Saints and Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp expected to join the top level, and the Grizzlies, Wichita, and San Antonio joining other leagues, that’s all she wrote about Triple-A. 

Now Rochester and Washington each have a solid partner that’s built to last. At least until a few years from now when Richmond gets a new stadium and the Red Wings become the Blue Jays’ Double-A club. Oh, wait that was just some crazy rumor

Till the next crazy rumor.