• Charlie Greene

No Season Report 4

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 Hall of Fame catcher led the league in passed balls 7 years in a row? 2. Who is the all-time home run leader in Pirates history? Answers below. WEATHER REPORT: The lowest temperature at the start of a game, if the Bisons had played their 10th home stand of the 2020 season, would have been 77 degrees on today, Sunday, August 16th, a 1:05 PM start, and the highest temperature at the start of a game would have been 86 degrees on Thursday, August 13th, a 1:05 PM start.  Something very unusual happened on what would have been the first 3 games of the Bisons home stand.  The starting temperature for all three games, 7:05 PM starts on August 10, 11 and 12, would have been 84 degrees.  Of course, the games on the 11th and 12th were played by the Blue Jays in Sahlen Field. SPORTS PAGE: On August 6th, Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association agreed on stricter Covid-19 regulations including: ...Players and staff must wear coverings over their nose and mouth everywhere in a ballpark except when they are on the field. ...Home teams must provide covered outdoor spaces for visiting teams. ...Players and staff must wear masks at all times in the hotels except when they are in their individual rooms or eating. ...Persons traveling with a team must be essential personnel. ...Players and staff must notify their club compliance officer any time they leave the hotel while on the road. ...Players and staff are not allowed to visit bars, lounges, restaurants and malls. On August 5th, just 2 days after Minor League Baseball replaced its negotiating committee, as I reported in my previous report, the new committee sent a proposal to Major League Baseball, but some MiLB owners told MLB that the new negotiating team does not represent their interests.  The primary controversy seems to be that some minor league owners want to be independent of the major leagues with player agreements similar to what exist now while other minor league owners are open to having the major leagues govern the minors because of the potential for lower costs and higher revenues for minor league owners.  If an agreement is not reached by September 30th, MLB could set up its own development system, which it could govern.  Meanwhile, the minor leagues cannot prepare any 2021 schedules because no one knows what teams will exist and in what leagues those teams will be. On August 11th, the situation became even more confusing when the Minor League's Baseball Board of Trustees selected a new negotiating team to carry on talks with Major League Baseball.  This is the third negotiating team to represent MiLB with many members from the original group.  The new team has to be approved by MiLB President and CEO Pat O'Conner.  As of the last information I have, O'Conner has not approved the new team which leaves MLB in limbo not knowing with whom they are to negotiate. Baseball America magazine rates the Blue Jays minor league system as the 4th best in all of professional baseball. The Red Sox taxi squad is practicing at McCoy Stadium home of the Pawtucket Red Sox.  Fans are able to watch the practices on a Facebook page.  A game in early August featured just one outfielder.  Luxury suites are being used as locker rooms.  A trailer in the parking lot is used for showers.  Exercise equipment has been moved from an indoor room to open to the air entrance areas.  When the practice drills and games are finished, the field is quickly transformed into a dining area.  Meals are served to fans who make reservations in advance with PawSox office staff working as the servers.  The reactions to these arrangements has been positive while this is the final year that the Red Sox AAA team will be located in Pawtucket. Through games on Friday, August 14th, 2 former Bisons are among the top 6 batters in the Major Leagues: Bo Bichette is second in the American League with an average of .356 and Daniel Murphy is 6th in the National League with an average of .339. Transactions:  On August 5th, the Blue Jays called up former Bisons outfielder Billy McKinney from their taxi squad. On August 8th, all Major League teams reduced their active roster from 30 players to 28 where it will stay until the playoffs begin.  Also, the Marlins added former Bisons two-handed pitcher Pat Venditte to their Major League roster and the Yankees called up former Bisons catcher Erik Kratz from their taxi squad and signed him to a Major League contract. On August 10th, former Bisons and current Mets RHP Marcus Stroman opted out of the 2020 season due to Covid-19. IN OTHER NEWS: Nice to hear complimentary comments from Don Mattingly, the Marlins Manager, about the visiting team facilities in the temporary tent in the Sahlen Field parking lot.  The Rays Manager was even more positive declaring the facilities to be "highly impressive."  "Our clubhouse is tremendous," he commented, according to the Buffalo News. When the Blue Jays play the Mets and Yankees, those games can be watched on local cable systems.  Those games and all others also will be available on Canadian radio station AM 590 which can be accessed in many locations in the Buffalo area. On the morning of August 14th, a chihuahua belonging to a family living about 1/2 mile from our house crawled from the road bed into the engine compartment of a car parked on the side of the road.  It took the Cleveland Hill Fire Department volunteers almost an hour to free the dog that suffered no injuries.  A firefighter exclaimed, "they did not teach us how to do this at the firefighting academy!"  While the firefighters were cleaning up, I tried to direct traffic at a nearby corner.  Numerous drivers would not believe an old guy (me) wearing a Buffalo Wings shirt until they drove past me and had to turn around and go down the street to which I had pointed.  TRIVIA ANSWERS: 1. Six foot, 3 inch, 230 pound Cincinnati catcher Ernie Lombardi, known as "Schnozz," led or tied the National League lead in passed balls from 1935 through 1941.  The 1938 Most Valuable Player, topping the National League with a .342 average, also led in passed balls in 1932 and once more in 1945.  He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1986. 2. The all-time home run leader for the Pirates was Willie Stargell with 476.  Ralph Kiner hit 301 and Roberto Clemente is third with 240. BACK PAGE: If the Bisons had played this home stand, there would have been 4 games vs the Charlotte Knights and 3 games vs the Columbus Clippers. Charlie Greene, First Vice-President, Buffalo Bisons Booster Club

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