• Charlie Greene

Spring Training 5

Hello Bisons Booster Club members, family and friends,

This is your Booster Club First Vice-President reporting from Dunedin, Florida. Did you join my wife in catching the mathematics error in my report yesterday?  Add up the players and you will get the total number of players in the Blue Jays Major League camp as of yesterday. TRIVIA QUESTIONS: 1. Who is Chase Anderson? 2. What is the only team to have 3 different players hit four home runs in a game? Answers below. WEATHER REPORT: The temperature at 6:30 AM when I started out on my 2 mile walk south on the Pinellas Trail and north along city streets was 68 degrees under mostly cloudy skies with a 7 mph wind blowing from the SSW. At the 1:07 start of the game, the temperature was 78 degrees under totally cloudy skies with a 10 mph wind blowing in from right field.  After 3 and 1/2 innings the rains came and the game was postponed.  As the rain approached, the wind reversed and blew out to right field.  I walked the mile back to the motel in the rain as the temperature dropped to 64 degrees.  I arrived safely but totally soaked, requiring a total change of clothes. SPORTS PAGE: Today's game was called after 3 and 1/2 innings with the Tigers leading 2-0. Batting for the Blue Jays before the rains came: (Batting averages and earned run averages are prior to today's game.) Joe Panik SS hit a single and a double. .000 Lourdes Gurriel Jr. LF hit into a double play and grounded out to shortstop. .000 Danny Jansen C hit a double to left field. .250 Rowdy Tellez 1B struck out in his only time at bat. .571 Rueben Tejada 2B reached on a fielder's choice in his only time to the plate. .000 Thomas Pannone pitched the top of the 4th inning allowing one run, one double and one walk with one strikeout. 9.00 Former Bison Daniel Norris was the starting pitcher for the Tigers.  Over the 2 innings he threw, he allowed a single and a double and struck out 2 batters. Former Bison outfielder Dave Clark served as the Tigers first base coach and the Detroit defensive coordinator today. With 6 home runs hit in the first 5 games of spring training, the Blue Jays are tied for 3rd place in the Grapefruit League home run derby.  Also, after the first five games, the Jays pitching staff leads the majors in strikeouts with 50 K's.  RHP Phillippe Aumont, who currently is on the Bisons roster, leads the Blue Jays and is tied for second in strikeouts among the entire league with 5.  Ten different Blue Jays have at least 2 strikeouts in one inning of work to start spring training.  The team batting average was .252 prior to today and their ERA was 3.40 with 3 wins and 1 defeat. The Baseball America magazine sends a Prospect Report to subscribers by email.  Today, Nate Pearson, who is currently on the Bisons roster, was the featured player after he struck out 3 experienced Major League batters on Tuesday. Former Bisons in other games today: For the Astros: Joe Biagini pitched 2 innings and was charged with 2 runs on 4 hits with 1 strikeout. For the Brewers: Eric Sogard 3B went 0 for 2 with a walk. For the Rockies: Daniel Murphy 1B also was 0 for 1 with a walk. For the Mets: Rene Rivera C went 0 for 1 with a walk.  (Tim Tebow LF was 0 for 1.) For the Indians: Oliver Perez pitched the third inning walking one and striking out 2. For the Yankees: Erik Kratz reached on an error, walked and scored a run before the rains ended their game.  He was at bat when the umpires called for the tarp to be put over the infield.  The game never resumed. Yesterday Tim Tebow hit his first extra-base hit in four spring trainings with the Mets, a two-run home run in the first inning against the Tigers at their spring training home in Lakeland. IN OTHER NEWS: Prior to the start of the game, I had a chance to greet Rowdy Tellez with a "Hello from Buffalo."  He waved in response but did not have time to talk because he had to get into the clubhouse to dress for the game. In addition to adding seats along the left field line, the Blue Jays also sell up to 1,500 standing room only seats to fans who are willing to stand in the new walkway around the outfield which is officially called the Orange Trail. Because of the darkness over the stadium by the end of the first inning, the umpires called for the field lights to be lit.  They appear much more powerful than the former lights.  Then, when the downpour began, the grounds crew had their first chance to pull the tarp over the field in game conditions.  It seemed like they had it done in hardly more than one minute. The Tampa Rays have had the lowest attendance in all of Major League baseball, but for 2020 they have come up with a new way to improve attendance.  They have sold out all standing room only tickets for the entire regular season. The Bisons have announced that they have signed an agreement with the City of Buffalo to extend the protective netting to the foul poles prior to the start of this season.  Although some fans do not react favorable to the netting, we already have seen several sharply hit line drives that could have injured fans if it were not for the netting at spring training stadiums. For those who are new to this report, here is the explanation about the Pinellas Trail on which I walk every morning: the Trail is a paved walk/bike riding former railroad line in Pinellas County, Florida, which stretches from Tarpon Springs in the north to St. Petersburg in the south, passing through towns including Dunedin and Clearwater.  It is utilized for walking, jogging, skate boarding and cycling with 2/3 of the west side of the 47 mile Trail assigned to bike riders and the remaining 1/3 to the walkers and runners.   Electric bicycles are allowed on the trail, but no other motor vehicles.  About 75,000 people use the trail each month. The annual Florida Strawberry Festival will be held in Plant City, Florida, from tomorrow through March 8th.  Plant City is about half way between Tampa and Orlando.  The festival which is a mix of carnival and fair attractions brings many famous entertainers to perform including Michael Ray, Reba McEntire, Frankie Avalon, Fabian, Bobby Rydell, the Oak Ridge Boys, Neal McCoy, Chubby Checker, Charlie Wilson, Rascal Flatts, 98 Degrees, Patti LaBelle, Josh Turner, the Eli Young Band, Tommy James and the Shondells, Sara Evans, the Nelson Brothers, Darci Lynne and Lynyrd Skynyrd as well as a Festival Battle of the Bands.  Tickets range from free to $56.00.  The Reba McEntire concert already is sold out.  The Festival is an alcohol free event. I had to adjust my morning walking route because the gas station at which I bought my local paper previous years no longer has a paper stand.  My new route takes me a mile down the Pinellas Trail and then back by a main city street to a gas station across the road from the motel where I have to pay $1.07 for the weekday Tampa Bay Times paper due to the fact that the paper is sold from inside the store and the clerk has to charge the extra .07 sales tax. TRIVIA ANSWERS: 1. Chase Anderson is a right handed pitcher who was traded to the Blue Jays from the Milwaukee Brewers on November 4th of last year.  The 23 year old threw 139 innings with an 8-4 record in Milwaukee starting 27 games. 2. The only Major League team to have 3 different players hit four home runs in a game are the Phillies. All 3 Phillies who accomplished the feat are in the Baseball Hall of Fame.  First baseman Ed Delahanty hit 4 against the Chicago Colts on July 13, 1896.  Right fielder Chuck Klein hit four homers and drove in six runners against the Pirates at Forbes Field on July 10, 1936.  Mike Schmidt hit four homers and drove in 8, including a game winning 10th inning homer, against the Cubs at Wrigley Field on April 17, 1976. BACK PAGE: The Blue Jays are home again on Thursday so we plan to be there and send another report after the game. Charlie Greene, First Vice President Buffalo Bisons Booster Club

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