• Charlie Greene

No Season Report 5

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 St. Louis Cardinal pitcher had the most wins? 2. What Major League team had the worst record in a season in the last 50 years? Answers below. WEATHER REPORT:  The lowest temperature at the start of a game, if the Bisons had played their 11th home stand of the 2020 season, would have been 72 on Wednesday, August 26th and on Friday, August 28th, both 7:05 PM starts and today, Sunday, August 30th, a 1:00 PM start.  The highest temperature at the start of a game would have been 84 degrees on Thursday, August 27th, a 1:05 PM start. SPORTS PAGE: As I have reported previously, Major League Baseball wants to make some changes in the Minor League system before the start of the 2021 baseball season.  Among the objectives of MLB are affiliations that are more permanent, that make greater geographical sense, that are more cost efficient and that have higher facility standards.  The assumption of Major League play has allowed MLB to resume negotiations with Minor League Baseball.  No final decisions have been made yet, but among the possible outcomes are the following: 1. The New York-Penn League, including the Batavia Muck Dogs, would cease operating as we have known it.   2. The high Class A Florida State League, including the Dunedin Blue Jays, would switch to a low Class A classification.  This change would allow rookie players from Latin America or warm U.S. climates to adjust to full-season baseball without it being their first exposure to cold April weather in Northern communities. 3. A new suggestion from Minor League baseball is to have a low Class A league split its season between two homes.  In this plan, the Florida State League would play the first half of the season in Florida and then players would go to cities in the existing NY-P League for the second half of the season.  This proposal would keep baseball in Batavia and other NY-P communities for the warmer part of the summer.  Also, it would mean that players could avoid playing up north during the cold spring and in Florida during the 90+ degree weather during the summer. 4. AAA level baseball would be divided into 3 leagues with one serving the Western MLB teams, one serving the Eastern MLB teams and a new one serving the Central MLB teams.  The possibility for interleague play would exist among the 3 AAA level leagues and the AAA level championship would need to be eliminated or reorganized. On August 27th, Major League Baseball presented Minor League Baseball's negotiation committee with its proposal for a minor League system starting in 2021.  Included in the proposal are the following items among others: 1. MLB would take over all aspects of the day-to-day operations of the minor leagues, thus eliminating any need for a minor league office or staff. 2. MiLB teams would continue to pay the 8.5% ticket tax (a percent of ticket sales) that they now pay, 0.5% of which now goes to the minor league office in St. Petersburg, Florida.  With no minor league office, the entire 8.5% would go to MLB. 3. MiLB teams would grant to MLB their sponsorship broadcasting, licensing and digital national rights.  MiLB teams would retain the right to sell locally. 4. MLB would split the revenues from their national rights on a 50-50 basis with MiLB teams. 5. MLB would be responsible for handling scheduling, umpire assignments, umpire development, dispute resolution and other day-to-day tasks that MiLB now controls. 6. A Baseball Cup would be played that potentially could have MiLB teams face MLB teams in a tournament. 7. MLB essentially would govern the minors, but the minors would have an executive council which would have representatives from MLB and MiLB owners.  This council could make recommendations to the MLB commissioner's office, but the commissioner's office would have final decision-making power. 8. The requirements for quality of travel and hotel accommodations as well as other items directly impacting minor league players and coaches would be mandated. 9. MLB teams would be allowed to help pay for improvements at minor league ballparks. 10. 120 teams would remain in the MiLB system.  Each team would receive a license to affiliate with a Major League team.  Those affiliations could last as long as 10 years instead of the current affiliation agreements which can last as little as 2 years. (The information above was provided by Baseball America magazine.) Again, I repeat, all of these suggestions still are in the discussion stage, but until a final decision is made, Buffalo will not have a 2021 season schedule available. After games played on Friday, August 28th, former Bisons and current Blue Jays outfielder Randal Grichuk had the 10th best batting average in the American League at .311. Transactions: On August 16th, the Blue Jays placed former Bisons SS Bo Bichette on the 10 day Injury List with a right knee sprain.  At the time, he was hitting at a .444 clip.  To replace Bichette on the roster, the Blue Jays called up SS Santiago Espinal from their taxi squad.  Also, the Bisons released LF Patrick Kivlehan. On August 19th, the Blue Jays placed former Bisons RHP Nate Pearson on the Injury List with tightness in his right elbow and called up former Bisons RHP Jacob Waguespack from their alternate training site at Frontier Field in Rochester to replace Pearson on the active roster. On August 20th, the Blue Jays designated former Bisons CF Anthony Alford for assignment and former Bison outfielder Billy McKinney was added to the Blue Jays roster from their alternate training site as the 29th player for the first game of a doubleheader. He hit 2 singles in 3 times at bat.  Also, the Marlins placed former Bisons 2-handed pitcher Pat Venditte on the 10-day Injury List retroactive to August 19th. On August 21st, the Blue Jays returned former Bisons outfielder Billy McKinney and former Bisons RHP Jacob Waguespack to their alternate training site. On August 22nd, the Orioles designated former Bisons outfielder Dwight Smith, Jr. for assignment. On August 23rd the Blue Jays recalled former Bisons RHP Jacob Waguespack from their alternate training site. On August 24th, the Blue Jays designated former Bisons pitcher Thomas Pannone for assignment. On August 26th, the Blue Jays recalled former Bisons RHP Sean Reid-Foley from their alternate training site and activated former Bisons relief pitcher Sam Gaviglio also from the alternate training site. On August 27th, the  Blue Jays optioned former Bisons RHP Sean Reid-Foley to their alternate training site.  Also, Orioles outrighted former Bisons outfielder Dwight Smith Jr. to their alternate training site and the Pirates claimed former Bisons CF Anthony Alford off waivers from the Blue Jays. On August 28th, the Blue Jays optioned former Bisons LHP Thomas Pannone to their alternate training site. On August 29th, the Blue Jays placed former Bisons RHP Jordan Romano on the 10-day injury list and recalled former Bisons RHP Sean Reid-Foley from their alternate training site. IN OTHER NEWS: On August 21st, I had the privilege of representing the Bisons Booster Club and speaking at the Book Cover Reveal for The Seasons Of Baseball in Buffalo 1987-2020" inside the Johnny B. Wiley Amateur Athletic Sports Pavilion former home of the War Memorial Stadium known as The Rockpile.  The book is an updated and expanded version of The 100 Seasons of Buffalo Baseball originally printed in 1985 and authored by Joseph M. Overfield.  The new publication is a 400-page book with more than 150 black and white and color photographs, cartoons and images.  The story of the Bisons Booster Club is the last story in the new book.  The hard cover book will retail for $49.95 and a special 10% discounted price of $45.00 plus tax and handling is available by pre-ordering the book from now  through October 1st at www.bisons.com.  A portion of the money from the book sales will be donated  to The Joseph M Overfield Baseball, Softball and Mentoring Program, a collaboration with Omega Mentoring, The Willie "Hutch" Jones Educational and Sports Program and the Wiley Sports Pavilion. International League teams continue to find ways to connect with fans and use their facilities.  The Norfolk Tides invited fans to play on their field on Saturday, August 15th.  It was reported to be great fun for children and families with social distancing and masks. TRIVIA ANSWERS: 1. Bob Gibson leads all St. Louis Cardinal pitchers in wins with 251.  Jesse Haines trails Gibson with 210 victories. 2. The New York Mets had the worst Major League record set during their first season of existence, 40 wins and 120 losses.  The previous record was held by the 2003 Detroit Tigers who won 43 and lost 119 for a .265 record compared to the Mets .250 record.  Even though the Mets lost all those games in 1962, they were a fun team to watch and the cost of tickets was low enough that folks living on Long Island as I was could afford to attend some games. BACK PAGE: If the Bisons had played this final home stand of the regular season, there would have been 3 games vs the Lehigh Valley IronPigs and 3 against  the Rochester Red Wings.  Also, there would have been a dog day, the Mystery Ball Night, the final Friday Night Bash with fireworks, Fan Appreciation Night and a Kids Appreciation Day on the final home game of the season. Charlie Greene, First Vice-President, Buffalo Bisons Booster Club

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