• Charlie Greene

No Season Report 2

Hello Bisons Booster Club members, family and friends,

This is your Booster Club First Vice-President reporting from Buffalo, New York. TRIVIA QUESTIONS: 1. What was the highlight of former Bisons catcher Danny Jansen's Major League debut? 2. Here is another Toronto question: what Blue Jays player has the highest career batting average (minimum of 1,500 at bats)? Answers below. WEATHER REPORT:   The lowest temperature at the start of a game if the Bisons had played their 8th home stand of the 2020 season would have been 71 degrees on Saturday, July 11th, a 6:05 PM start, and the highest temperature at the start of a game would have been 88 degrees today, Sunday, July 19th, a 1:05 PM start. SPORTS PAGE: The saga of the Blue Jays as of 1:30 PM today, July 19th: On June 28th, the Canadian government gave the Blue Jays permission to do their "summer training" at the Rogers Centre in Toronto.  That meant that players who were not Canadian citizens could enter Canada without having to quarantine for 2 weeks before they could begin to practice baseball. On July 4th, the Blue Jays announced that they planned to have up to 30 players not on their Major League roster train at Sahlen Field until the end of the 2020 season in September. The Blue Jays gathered all the players on the 40-man roster and 20 others at their spring training site in Dunedin, Florida, between June 27th and July 4th.  Several of those players would have started the season in Buffalo, if minor league games had not been canceled.  As the Jays team began "summer" workouts in Toronto on July 5th, the team was short 12 players.  All the players on the roster were tested for Covid-19 in Dunedin and one player tested positive.  This was the second positive test among the Jays.  As a result that player and others who had been in close contact with the individual who tested positive remained in Florida.  Those players had to be monitored and had to record 2 negative tests before they could make the trip on a Jays charter.  When the workouts started in Toronto, the team was under a strict quarantine protocol at the Rogers Centre.  Under the plan, the team was staying at the hotel attached to the stadium and players were not allowed to exit the building before the proposed start of the regular season on July 24th.  The Jays were keeping TD Ballpark in Dunedin as a backup if they were not able to play home games at the Rogers Centre. On July 10th, the Blue Jays announced that any player who left the hotel attached to the Roger Centre could be fined up to $750,000 by the Canadian government and possibly serve jail time.  It was assumed that the same policy would apply to visiting teams, if the Jays were allowed to play their regularly scheduled games in the Centre.  The Canadian government had not yet given the Jays permission to play games in the Rogers Centre. Around July 9th, the Blue Jays began considering the feasibility of playing games in Buffalo, but among the considerations were 2 major concerns.  The lighting at Sahlen Field is not Major League quality and the Canadian government had not given the Jays permission to play in Buffalo.  In fact, neither the Province of Ontario nor the Canadian national government had not given the Jays permission to play official games at the Rogers Centre.  The Jays weeks ago had installed Major League quality lighting at the A level facility in Dunedin, Florida, thinking they could play official games there, but with the spread of Covid-19 in Florida, Major League Baseball officials instructed the Jays to avoid playing home games anywhere in Florida.  Other options open to the Blue Jays included sharing another Major League ballpark with its home team or playing in Charlotte or Nashville where there are ballparks much newer than Sahlen Field. Then, on July 16th, the Province of Ontario gave the Blue Jays permission to play their home games at the Rogers Centre as long as the players on both teams agreed to strict quarantine regulations.  Visiting teams also would be housed at the hotel attached to the Rogers Centre.  Because the National government of Canada had not yet given its approval, the staff of the Bisons continued to make arrangements that would enable them to get Sahlen Field lighting and indoor facilities ready to host Major League games.

Two days later, on July 18th, the Blue Jays were denied approval by the Canadian government to play home games at the Rogers Centre.  Because of the Covid-19 situation in Florida, Buffalo emerged as the club's preferred backup plan over Dunedin, Florida, with the Jays already having some staff in Buffalo "laying groundwork" for Jays home games to be played here.  The Canadian national government said they would reconsider the decision if the Jays made the playoffs.  During the 6:30 PM Pacific Daylight Time newscast, a TV station in Oakland, California, reported that the Jays would play their home games in Buffalo, but at that time, the Canadian government had not given the Jays permission to play "home" games anywhere.  That government approval was required before the Jays could play any home games outside of Canada. As of 1:30 PM today, Sunday, July 19th, the Blue Jays had not announced where they would play their home games starting on July 29th. In other sport news: Tyson Brummett, who pitched one game for the Bisons in 2013, died in a plane crash on Friday, July 3rd. Transactions: On July 16th, the Orioles selected the contract of former Bisons pitcher Wade LeBlanc from the Norfolk Tides and the Rays selected the contract of former Bisons LHP Aaron Loup from the Durham Bulls.

On July 18th, the Twins assigned former Bisons catcher Juan Graterol to their Alternate Training Site from the Rochester Red Wings, the Yankees assigned former Bisons catchers Josh Thole and Erik Kratz to their ATS in Moosic, PA. from the Scranton Willkes-Barre Railriders, the Indians assigned former Bisons outfielder now a LHP Anthony Gose and former Bisons infieder Jake Elmore to their ATS from the Columbus Clippers, the Reds assigned former Bisons RHP Justin Shafer to their ATS from the Louisville Bats and the Mets assigned former Bisons catcher Rene Rivera and former Bisons outfieder Melky Cabrera to their ATS from the Syracuse Mets. IN OTHER NEWS: On Friday, July 10th and Saturday, July 11th, the Columbus Clippers invited folks to come to their home field, Huntington Park, for movie nights.  Folks were asked to bring a blanket and spread out on the outfield "for some special distance fun."  Also, with high school baseball and softball canceled in the Columbus area, the Clippers invited seniors and their coaches to take batting practice on the field in uniform to create a lasting memory with their teammates.  Seniors were allowed 10 guests to come to the ballpark to witness and commemorate their final high school at-bat. The Yankees will have their reserve players practice at the home field of the Scranton Wilkes-Barre Railriders in Moosic, PA.  As a result, the Railriders are hiring tarp crew members who must be on call at short notice to put the tarp on the field or take it off.  Pay is $10.00 per hour. The sympathy of the Bisons Booster Club is extended to the family and friends of Robert Maisano, who entered eternal life on Saturday, July 11th. TRIVIA ANSWERS: 1. In 2018, Danny Jansen became only the 4th Blue Jays player to reach base in each of his first 8 Major League games. 2. Among the Toronto players with at least 1,500 at bats, Paul Molitor has the highest career batting average for the Blue Jays at .315.  Roberto Alomar is next with a .307 career average. BACK PAGE: If the Bisons were playing, at this home stand there would have been a 3 game weekend series vs the Rochester Red Wings, followed by three days off for the AAA level All Star Game events and then 4 more home games vs the Syracuse Mets. Charlie Greene, First Vice-President Buffalo Bisons Booster Club

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