• Charlie Greene

Full Season Report 1

Hello Bisons Booster Club members, family and friends,

This is your Bisons Booster Club First Vice-President reporting from Buffalo, New York. TRIVIA QUESTIONS: 1. What former Bison has the highest batting average on the Blue Jays after today's game? 2. What Boston Red Sox outfielder had 3 hits in one inning? Answers below. WEATHER REPORT: Near the end of every Player Appreciation Dinner that the Bisons Booster Club hosted for the Bisons players, I always told the players that the weather in Buffalo during the first half of September can be very nice, so we fans hope the team makes the International League playoffs.  Then, the players can enjoy that nice weather with the fans.  Now, those former Bisons who are on the Blue Jays roster can experience our Western New York September weather as they continue to play their home games at Sahlen Field. The lowest temperature at the start of a game during the Blue Jays most recent home stand in Sahlen Field was 61 degrees on Friday, September 11th, a 6:37  PM start and the highest temperature at the start of a game during the same home stand was 75 degrees on Saturday, September 12th, also a 6:37 PM start. SPORTS PAGE: Former Bisons and current Blue Jays outfielder Lourdes Gurriel Jr. was named Player of the Week in the American League for the seven days ending on Sunday, August 6th..  He hit at a .467 pace with 5 runs scored, 3 doubles, 2 home runs, 6 runs batted in, 3 walks and a .767 slugging percentage in 8 games played. Information is leaking out gradually which indicates that Major League Baseball's plan for the future of baseball in the United States goes far beyond the 10 items I included in my previous report and includes cooperation with college, independent and youth baseball operations as well as softball programs.  MLB wants all these programs to be coordinated with MLB at the top of the unified program.  College coaches are expressing support for the MLB plan to eliminate the advanced rookie and short season classifications as well as several rounds in the MLB draft.  College baseball would become the "primary  development vehicle for North American players aged 18-21," according to an article in the September issue of Baseball America magazine.  MLB also wants to develop much closer relationships with the Atlantic, American Association and Frontier independent leagues. (The Atlantic League already has experimented with rule changes before they have been introduced into minor league baseball in recent years, including the extra inning rule being used in the Major Leagues this summer.)  MLB also proposes having much greater influence over summer wood bat leagues including the one in which the Niagara Falls team has played in recent years as well as softball programs for both men and women.  Also, MLB would give minor league teams up to 3 years to improve their facilities for players after which, if a team did not complete the improvements, it could lose its MLB affiliation and be lowered to an independent league status while the affiliation is moved to an independent league city that had made improvements to satisfy MLB demands.  Although minor league and independent league baseball may not look that much different to fans in the seats starting next year, it could be very different in terms of administration and control. On September 10th, Minor League President and CEO Pat O'Conner announced that he will retire on December 31st of this year.  If MiLB baseball does not name a successor, that could open the door for Major League baseball to take over greater control of the minors as MLB has indicated they want to do. Transactions: On August 31st, the White Sox designated former Bisons infielder Ryan Goins for assignment, the Rockies acquired former Bisons center fielder Kevin Pillar from the Red Sox for a player to be named later and future considerations and Major League Baseball fined former Bisons infielder David Bell who is now the Manager of the Reds an undisclosed amount and suspended him one game for his actions during a bench-clearing incident. On September 1st, the Blue Jays optioned former Bisons pitcher Jacob Waguespack to their alternate training site at Frontier Field in Rochester and designated former Bisons infielder Sam Gaviglio for assignment.  Also, the Pirates activated former Bisons outfielder Anthony Alford and the Dodgers placed former Bisons infielder Justin Turner on the 10-day Injury List  with a left hamstring strain. On September 2nd, the Blue Jays optioned former Bisons RHP Sean Reid-Foley to their alternate training site. On September 4th, the Blue Jays recalled former Bisons RHP Sean Reid-Foley from their alternate training site and the Yankees placed former Bisons third baseman Geo Urshela on the 10 day Injury List with a bone spur problem in his right elbow. On September 5th, the Blue Jays optioned former Bisons RHP Sean Reid-Foley and former Bisons catcher Reese McGuire to their alternate training site.  Also, the White Sox outrighted former Bisons infielder Ryan Goins to their alternate training site and Astros optioned former Bisons RHP Joe Biagini to their alternate training site. On September 6th, the Pirates placed former Bisons outfielder Anthony Alford on their 10-day Injury List after he fractured his right elbow when he slammed into the outfield wall trying to make a catch. On September 7th, the Blue Jays placed former Bisons outfielder Teoscar Hernandez on the 10-day Injury List retroactive to September 6th with a rib injury, placed former Bisons RHP Wilmer Font on the 10-day IL and recalled former Bisons RHP Sean Reid-Foley and former Bisons outfielder Jonathan Davis from their alternate training site. On September 9th, the Blue Jays released former Bisons RHP Jake Petrika, recalled former Bisons outfielder Billy McKinney from their alternate training site and placed former Bisons first baseman Rowdy Tellez on the 10-day Injury List with a tendon injury in the right knee that is expected to be season ending.  Also, the Rangers placed former Bisons outfielder Shin Soo-Choo on the 10-day injury list retroactive to September 8th. On September 10th, the Cubs outrighted former Bisons LHP Matt Dermody to their alternate training site and the Marlins placed former Bisons infielder Jon Berti on the 10-day IL  and released former Bisons RHP Justin Shafer. On September 11th, the Blue Jays designated former Bisons outfielder Billy McKinney for assignment, optioned former Bisons RHP Sean Reid-Foley to their alternate training site and recalled former Bisons RHP Jacob Waguespack from their alternate training site. On September 12th, the Blue Jays activated former Bisons SS Bo Bichette from the 10-day Injury List and optioned former Bisons RHP Jacob Waguespack to their alternate training site. IN OTHER NEWS: Once the Buffalo Bisons season comes to an end, which would have happened on Labor Day this year, folks usually start asking me about spring training.  Here is what I know now: Facility managers and MLB teams are planning on having spring training in Arizona and Florida.  No team has begun taking deposits for spring training season tickets which will be the first to go on sale, if fans are allowed at games.  As of today, the Blue Jays and other teams who train in Florida would be allowed 20 percent capacity in stadiums with mandatory mask usage by fans and plenty of social distancing enforced, including ticketless entry and cashless concessions.  (The latter two may happen no matter what the state of Florida requires.)  If the Major League Season starts on April 1st as it is now scheduled to do, that would put the beginning of Cactus League and Grapefruit League spring training games around February 25-26 and reporting dates for catchers and pitchers around Feb. 15-17.    No date has been announced for the release of spring training game schedules.  (For the 2019 spring, they were available around the previous Labor Day and for this year, they were available around the end of August last year.)   The Philadelphia Phillies have published their 2020 Yearbook on line.  I mention this because it includes a photo and information about former Bisons pitcher Zack Wheeler, who now is a starter for the Phillies.  You can find the Yearbook at Phillies.com. TRIVIA ANSWERS: 1. After today's game, former Bisons shortstop Bo Bichette has the highest batting average for the Blue Jays at .354. 2. On June 18, 1953, Red Sox left fielder Gene Stephens, batting sixth in the lineup, hit two singles and a double, as Boston scored 17 runs in the 7th inning leading to a 23-3 victory over the Tigers at Fenway Park in Boston.  Then, on June 27, 2003, leading off and playing center field, Johnny Damon hit a double, a single and a triple off 3 different Miami Marlins pitchers.  The Red Sox won the game at Fenway Park, 25-8.   BACK PAGE: It seems only right that I make a comment after the passing of Hall of Fame pitcher Tom Seaver.  When the Mets were born, I lived on Long Island 20 miles east of Shea Stadium.  The cost of attending games was low enough for me to be able to see a few at Shea every summer.  Of course, Seaver became the leading fan favorite of myself and many others because of his outstanding pitching.  Then came 1969 when the Mets defeated the Orioles to win the World Series, surprising all of baseball.  That same October, my son was adopted.  There was a big picture window at the front of my house at which I hung an equally big sign: "Son Number One, Mets Number One!" Charlie Greene, First Vice-President, Buffalo Bisons Booster Club

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