The New York Mets might have accomplished something in Buffalo in 14 games which the Cleveland Indians could not do in 14 years. Get themselves run out of Buffalo. The Cleveland Indians left Buffalo after 14 seasons, 9 of which were playoff years, 3 of which were championships. The Bisons never wanted the Tribe to leave, but everyone understood the move was not because the Indians were unhappy with Buffalo, but because more money could be made with a farm club in Columbus so games could be shown in Sports Time Ohio. This new ownership of the Indians is more about the money then the product on the field. But no hard feelings where held by either the Indians or the Bisons.
So after much speculation about who the new parent club would be, Toronto, Pittsburgh or someone else, the Bisons signed with he New York Mets. The love fest started, the uniforms changed to Mets colors, the logo was changed to something similar to the Mets logo. NY was put everywhere around the ballpark, everything looked good except for one thing, the team. As this team stands now, they might be able to compete in rookie ball. This is by no means a good Triple A or, Double A or High A team. Never before has Buffalo seen such a bad offense. The Bisons have been shut out in 3 of their first 14 games. The best hitter in pitcher Brandon Knight, whose double to the warning track is about all the power the Bisons have seen this season. Mets prospect 1B/LF Nick Evans, who was supposed to start the season in New York before Gary Sheffield was signed has people wondering why is he here? He should be playing for the Brooklyn Cyclones when the season starts. He is no where near ready for Triple A. He has five hits on the seaons (four off a pitchers, one off of a catcher). And the sad things is his .096 batting average is not far behind the rest of the team. No one on the team is batting over .300. Jason Cooper who has only 11 at bats leads the team with a .273 average.
The Mets seem somewhere intrested in signing some players, as Willey Mo Pena is expected to make an appearance in Bisons orange and blue soon. Bisons fans realize that when the major league team is struggling as the Mets are, putting a winning team on the field is Triple A is not the major concern, but this team is so bad it has fans upset, and they are not the only one. It seems the Bisons have voiced their displeaser already, and have even made it public they have talked to the Mets about how bad this team is. If things don’t change around here soon, I would expect the Mets will be shipping their players out west again in 2011 as the Bisons get yet another new parent club.
Josh Beckett got suspended six games, and said he did not expect it. What did he think just because he was one of the best pitchers in baseball that MLB was going to ignore that he threw at a batters head and then moved towards the plate when Abreu did not charge the mound. Beckett is just lucky MLB did not nail him for ten games or so. He should have gotten tossed from the game the second that pitch flew over the batters head. No doubt he meant to do that, and you miss a bit and you hit a batter and things could be really bad.
The Bisons played another afternoon game, and lost again. Today the Bisons managed three runs, which is about the max you can expect from this team. So the Bisons record now falls to 1-6, which is worst in the IL. They are already 6 games out of first. So by the end of hte week I am guessing the playoffs will be out of the question. It is a very sad season when it is over before the team plays a road game.
I don’t think this is the way the New York Mets or Buffalo Bisons envisioned the season starting for the Mets top farm club. A lot of Bison fans were a bit worried about the Mets becoming the new parent club after seeing a lot of bad teams in Norfolk. But the Mets put a veteran club out on the field, with a few prospects mixed in, so there was some hope. But six games into the season this could be the worst baseball team I have ever seen. This team has no offense. Nick Evans, who was the “last man cut in New York” looks overmatch in triple a. I don’t think this is a guy who is pouting, but more of a guy who is not ready for this level. But he is not far behind the rest of the hitters, because no one is hitting. Yet Jason Cooper is not on the roster yet. If he could hit .250 he could be leading the team. I know that triple a is to develop players, but you would think the Mets would not mind winning a game too. I strongly believe if players get used to playing for a losing team, it is a attutude brought to the majors.
Top pitching prospect Jonathon Niese has been awful in both his starts. This is a guy who could have won the Mets fifth spot? He is getting hammered in the minors. It looks more like the guy is out there throwing batting pratice then pitching. The only bright spot on the team has been the defense. Last year Morgan Ensberg, Josh Barfield and company could not field a ball to save their life. So there was really no where to go but up.
But the Bisons do look good in their snazzy new duds, so that is a positive.
I have not written in this blog in a long time, but it is time to start it back up. So with the relaunch of the blog, things have changed a bit around here. While the Jays are still my favorite team, this blog is about the Buffalo Bisons, which is why the Mets layout.
So it about that special day. Thursday is opening day for the Bisons at newly renamed Coke-Cola Field, formerly Dunn Tire Park, North Americare Park, The Ballpark in Downtown Buffalo, and Pilot Field. The name change of the ballpark is not the only new thing this year. Of course the biggest is the Cleveland Indians left for Columbus leaving the Bisons to find a new parent club. In come the New York Mets, who after getting booted out of Norfolk three years ago were exiled to New Orleans. To go with the new parent club, the Bisons got new uniforms, a new logo, and colors. Royal blue, orange and black to go with the new parent club. The Bisons have went all out with the New York Mets thing. Orange foul poles and home run lines, new “NY style” foods at the ballpark. The Bisons always had their own thing going, never really using the parent club Indians as a promotion. But this year it is all about the Mets. If this thing fails, the Bisons will have a lot of things to change. But I would expect the teams to sign an extension soon so the deal is up to four years.
Tonight I will be heading down to Pettibones, for the Phillies vs. Braves opening night party the Bisons put on every year. Can’t wait for Thursday, which early weather reports are 49 and sunny.
IL Playoffs Report:Well, I guess that shows what I know about the IL playoffs. I said the finals would be Scranton vs. Charlotte. So the finals are Rochester vs. Toledo. But it kinda works out anyway, I will probably go down to Rochester for both games one and two and root for the Mud Hens. I just don’t want to see the Rochester fans have the joy of winning the cup. Really, you can’t find a bigger groups of jerks in minor league baseball. They throw things at you, they swear at you. It is not like I am doing anything but cheering for my team.
Blue Jays Report:Today after watching the Bills blow a 17-7 lead and lose to the Patriots 19-17, I turned on the Jays game to see Josh Towers coming in in the first inning. Needless to say that is not good because Doc was supposed to out there. I guess he got hit in the back, which is not good but I guess is better then the arm. I hope he is not out for any games. Not that it matters now, because the Jays are not going to make the playoffs, but I still want to see them catch Boston for second place. I think that and an increased pay roll of about $100 million, and it could make for a interesting year next year.
Before I talk about the IL playoffs, who the heck is Anibal Sanchez? I have never heard of him in my life, and the guy threw a no hitter tonight for the Marlins. And as I type this, a guy I have heard of, Randy Johnson is throwing a no hitter in the eighth inning.
The Buffalo Bisons may missed the playoffs this season, but it don’t mean that there is not baseball. The North Division champ always plays the wild card team. This year it is Scranton WB vs. Rochester. I like the Red Barons in five in this series. Scranton don’t have a superstars (if you can call anyone a superstar in the minors) like Ryan Howard, but they have a solid club 1 though 9 in the order and a strong pitching staff. Jim Rushford has always been a player I hated to see playing against the Bisons. Pedro Swann has been a solid pickup for the Barons from the Independent Leagues. And one of my all time favorite former Bison, Dusty Wathan is behind the plate for the Red Barons. A huge loss was catcher Carlos Ruiz, who was called up to Philly. Rochester is a team that never really impressed me much. Maybe they just did not match up well with Buffalo, but even the games the Herd lost to them it was more the Bisons screwing things up then the play of the Red Wings.
In the other playoff series, I like Charlotte is four over the Toledo Mud Hens. The Mud Hens had to go down to the wire to make the playoffs, winning a one game playoff for the West Division title. When teams have play that hard, it usually means they are spent by the time the playoffs are here. Meanwhile the Knights have been pretty much a lock for the playoffs since June. Former Bisons Ryan Ludwick has turned around his career and had a heck of a season for the Mud Hens. On the Knights side, they have former Bisons Ernie Young, who maybe be having his last kick at another IL title.
In the Championship, I like Dusty Wathan and the Red Barons to clinch the Governor’s Cup in five over the Knights. And after the party in Moosic PA, the Phillies will be pulling out of Scranton for their temporary home in Ottawa, while the Mets farm club which was pitiful will be heading to Lackawanna County.
Tomorrow I will be taking in some playoff action, as some friends and I are heading down to root on Dusty Wathan and the Red Barons in Rochester. I will be wearing my Muckdogs jersey because they are the Phillies New York-Penn League team, and one of the Red Barons hats.
JP Ricciardi and John Gibbons, please quite now. I have seen enough of you failures. For the first time in my life, I am embarrassed to be a Blue Jay fan. Ricciardi has done nothing to improve this team through the minor league system, and has proven that he can not find a bull pen pitcher if it hit him in the face. The Jays have two pitchers in the pen that I have any faith in. BJ Ryan and Brian Tallet. The rest are junk. Leading the way is Jeremy Accardo. Yeah great job, first the head clown in the dugout gets into it with Shea Hillenbrand, and then the clown in the front office trades him for this heap of junk. And why was Doc pulled after seven? I would rather have a tired Doc over a well rested Accardo. Doc should have went went eight, BJ comes in in the ninth to get the save. The Jay have played Cleveland five times, and had a lead in all five, but the pen has blown four of the five.
I have read some articles which say that JP and Gibbons will be back, and I have read some that say they have no chance at coming back. Well, I am sure hoping the are fired, I will probably throw a party the day when the black cloud leaves the top of the Sky Dome.
One of the most disappointing seasons in Bisons modern day history will come to an end Monday in Ottawa. The Herd will miss the playoffs for only the third time since 1995, Cleveland’s first year as the parent club of Bisons. They had a chance to make the playoffs with eight straight verse the division leading Scranton Wilkes-Barre Red Barons. The series ended up being seven because of a rain out last Sunday, and the Bisons dropped six of the games. I attended the two games in Scranton and they were two heart breaking loses. On Friday the Herd had a one run lead in the ninth when they gave up two runs on a ball hit off Bisons pitcher Vic Darensburg’s leg. Saturday the Bisons and Barons were tied in extras when Buffalo walked in the winning run.
This will be the last season the Philadelphia Phillies farm club will be the Red Barons. Next season the Phillies are moving their minor leaguers to Ottawa for one season and then the whole team is moving to Allentown PA. But Scranton will still have Triple A baseball. It looks like the New York Mets will be the Red Barons parent club, as they are being forced out of Norfolk in favor of the Washington Nationals. So it looks like Baltimore, who’s at the moment has its top minor league club in Ottawa, will end up having to move there prospects to New Orleans in the PCL.
Scranton has an okay stadium, really nothing special. Actually it kinda reminds me of Ralph Wilson Stadium in Buffalo, because the concourse is cramped, not very well lite, and very plain. And I guess it only gets worse for the players. In most minor league parks there is a bathroom outside the dugout for the players. In Scranton, there is a falling apart outhouse. The clubhouse is actually on the main concourse level. You follow a tunnel down under the concourse and then stairs back up. But some improvements have been made, with indoor batting cages added and a party deck for the fans. The best thing about the stadium is the view of the mountain side past the outfield walls. And the area is being built up with shopping plaza’s and restaurants being built close to the stadium. While Scranton is far from the top of the attendance chart, the fans that do come love their team, and very knowledgeable about the International League. I plain on making another trip down to Moosic next season in August when the Bisons play down there. I just hope the weather gets better.
I’m back from Scranton, and I saw two Bisons loses and Sunday’s game was rained out. There was a chance of rain all weekend, and I don’t think I saw the sun till we got back to Western New York, so I am happy we got two games in. And what a way to lose, the Bisons scored a run in the top of the ninth on Friday to take the lead, only to have Scranton score two in the bottom of the inning. Then on Saturday Buffalo walked in the winning run in the bottom of the tenth inning. I have pictures from the game and some other stories that I will share, but I have to go to work now, so I will probably update later after the Bisons game tonight.
I will make this really short and simple. If somehow John Gibbons and JP Ricciardi are not fired at the end of the season I will be shocked. Actually I will be even more shocked if they make it to the end of the week.These guys have embarrassed the Blue Jays organization enough. And I hope the next player Gibbons picks a fight with knocks him out.