Baseball is an iconic part of American culture. A debate can rage about whether or not it's still 'American's pastime'. But baseball remains one of the most popular sports in the country. In fact, in the world.

Major League Baseball, generally considered the highest level, for baseball, in the world is upsetting many people. They want to make changes to their minor league structure. A particular proposal is an especially sore subject.

Considering 'contracting' Minor League Baseball

The most attention-grabbing proposal among MLB's ideas for changing Minor League Baseball is contraction.

To put it more simply, making it smaller. In theory, roughly one-third of existing Minor League teams would lose their MLB team affiliations.

No teams in AAA, the highest level for Minor League Baseball, would likely be affected. The vast majority of potentially affected teams are at the Rookie-level or various A levels.

Reports of this emerged some time ago. But more recently, a preliminary list of teams at least being considered for being contracted was made public. Finding out which specific teams could be on the chopping block has stirred up anger. The Boston Globe reports that a bipartisan group of members of Congress has written Major League Baseball. Angered, the member of Congress threatened that MLB's antitrust exemption could be reexamined.

Current Major League Baseball players have also expressed their unhappiness at the proposal. Something that was exemplified in a recent article by The Citizen. Lawsuits have already been discussed. Especially since many facilities for Minor League teams were built using tax dollars. With the understanding that the community would have ties to an MLB team in the end.

Several of those same teams and communities could be unceremoniously dumped.

MLB proposing a 'Dream League'

Major League Baseball is trying to assuage angered baseball fans by saying most contracted teams would fold. Instead, they would become part of a hypothetical Dream League. A league designed for undrafted baseball players to develop their talent with unspecified MLB support.

Few, if any, believe the Dream League to be a viable alternative. One reason for this is the great unlikelihood that many Dream League players would ever reach the Majors.

More likely what would happen is the many contracted Minor League teams would become collegiate summer league teams. In theory, they could join existing leagues or create new ones. Summer collegiate leagues and their teams can be highly successful and profitable. But it's not likely a Minor League team would choose that over an MLB affiliation.