• Charlie Greene

Spring Training 6

Updated: Mar 2

Hello Bisons Booster Club members, family and friends, This is your Booster Club First Vice-President reporting from a dry Dunedin, Florida. TRIVIA QUESTIONS: 1. What two Blue Jays records are held by former Bison Bo Bichette? 2. What did Hall of Fame third baseman Wade Boggs do before every game? 3. Bonus question: What is Bernie Williams noted for in addition to his years as a New York Yankee great? Answers below. WEATHER REPORT: Temperature at 6:33 AM when I started out on my 2 mile walk south on the Pinellas Trail and north on a city street: 55 degrees with a 14 mph wind blowing out of the NNW.  The clouds overhead appeared very threatening, but I trusted my Storm Team 2 app  which said the rain was gone.  By the time I finished my walk, most of the clouds were gone and the temperature went down to 48 degrees as the sky cleared. Temperature at 1:07 PM when the game started: 55 degrees under mostly cloudy skies with a 9 mph wind blowing out to center field. SPORTS PAGE: This afternoon, the Blue Jays and Twins played to a 3-3 tie.  For 8 innings, one hit was good for one run as starting catcher Reese McGuire hit the first pitch he faced over the right field fence.  Otherwise, the starters were 0-for... (statistics are from prior to today's game) Bo Bichette SS 0 for 3, all 3 were groundouts. .125 Cavan Biggio 2B  0 for 1 with a walk. .333 Lourdes Gurriel Jr. DH 0 for 2, all groundouts with the first hitting into a double play. .000 Vladimir Guerrero Jr. 2 strikeouts. .333 Travis Shaw 1B 2 strikeouts. 000 Randal Grichuk CF 0 for 2. .200 Billy McKinney LF 0 for 2 including a strikeout. .500 Teoscar Hernandez RF 0 for 2. .167 Reese McGuire C ended up with a ground out to the second baseman in his second and final at bat. .000 Then came the 9th inning when minor league players drove in the 2 runs that tied the game on 3 hits and a walk, only to end the game with the bases loaded when Patrick Kivlehan 1B hit into a force out of the runner going from first to second base. On the mound: Justin Miller  pitched the 6th inning with batters going 0 for 3. 0.00 Sean Reid-Foley took the mound for the 7th inning achieving a ground out, a fly out and a strikeout. 0.00 Kirby Snead threw the 8th inning striking out the first batter, allowing a single and then getting the next batter to hit into a double play. 9.00 Ryan Dull came on for the top of the 9th inning and was charged with the Twins 3rd run after having batters hit 2 doubles while striking out the last batter he faced. 0.00 Game time: 2 hours, 12 minutes. Attendance: 4,302. Former Bisons in other games played today: For the Nationals: Asdrubal Cabrera 3B has walked in a game that is being played while I type this epistle. For the Dodgers: Justin Turner 2B was 0 for 3 with a walk. When Alejandro Kirk came in to catch in the last 3 innings for Toronto today, he was wearing  an arm band carrying directions for pitch calling. Before the Blue Jays starting pitcher Hyun Jin Ryu began his regular warm up pitches he spend several minutes playing catch with another player who stood at the 328 pole in right field while Ryu stood in front of the 400 sign on center field wall. Among the improvements at TD Ballpark is a totally new playing field with a much improved drainage system which passed its first test perfectly during yesterday's heavy rains. During the spring training games, field umpires rotate around the bases after every three innings. The A level Dunedin Blue Jays organization is getting ready to use electronic balls and strikes calling.  Pitch detectors already are installed in front of the seats behind each dugout, at the end of each dugout, behind home plate a little above ground level and behind home plate on the roof.  At least 2 more are to be installed in other locations.  The indicators will be used during Florida State League home games, but not during spring training games. Tim Tebow manages to make the Sport Section of the Tampa Bay Times newspaper which included a story today noting that Tebow will play for the Philippines in next month's World Baseball Classic qualifying game.  Tebow's parents were Baptist missionaries in the Philippines when he was born there in 1987.  The Philippines will play in a qualifying tournament March 23-25 in Tucson, Arizona.  With the qualifying round being held that late in March, probably it means that no Major Leaguers will play for national teams because of the regular season beginning on March 26th. The World Baseball Classic, held once every 4 years, is scheduled for March 9-23, 2021 which means than many minor leaguers and some major leaguers with permission from their teams will be missing from their team's spring training games next March.  It is disappointing to fans who go to the spring training games,  but an exciting tournament for the players who compete in it representing the nation of their birth or citizenship. The Tampa Rays players  and their wives who had to vacant their rental home because of brush fires on Monday had the electricity turned back on and were able to move back into the house yesterday. IN OTHER NEWS: We enjoyed a Firehouse Submarine sandwich for dinner last night, but we did not eat at the Firehouse Sub Shop.  Realizing that the rain was going to last over the dinner hour, my wife went to Firehouse before the rain started and we ate in the breakfast room of the motel as did other people who avoided going out in the rain. Tonight, we enjoyed dinner at Sea Sea Riders, a nearby restaurant that we like because of its good food, unusual name and a tree on the property that has another tree of a different kind growing out of the center of its trunk. While typing my report last night, during the rain storm, the motel experienced a power outage for a few seconds.  Fortunately, I had all my electronic devices, including my computer, on a power protection strip which resulted in no loses and no damage. Payment for use of the dryers in the motel is by credit card only.  (No more quarters needed!)  Apparently, when we had the power surge, it deactivated the card machine which meant that all my wet clothes had to be hung in our bathroom to dry.   Meanwhile when a person tried to use the dryers, the card machine registered a charge of 25 cents and then recirculated to the start position, requiring another payment and around and around it went. TRIVIA ANSWERS: 1. Bo Bichette holds a Blue Jays record with 61 hits in his first 46 Major League career games, besting Aaron Hill who had 58 in 2005.  His 11 home runs also are the most in that many games, beating out J. P. Arenciba who hit 10 from 2010-2011. 2. Before every game, Wade Boggs ate chicken so his teammate Jim Rice called him "chicken man" and Boggs went along with the joke to the point of publishing a book of chicken recipes called Fowl Tips. 3. Bonus question answer: Bernie Williams has moved from his baseball career to being a singer.  He is a nominee for the Latin Grammy this year and is live in concert tonight in Tampa along with SHELEA.  VIP tickets still are available! BACK PAGE: The Blue Jays travel to Lakeland for a game against the Tigers on Friday, so we will spend much of the day at the Big Cat Rescue facility which we will enjoy seeing again after being there several years ago.  Many of the lions and tigers that we saw previously have died.  It will be interesting to see the new big cats that they have rescued from circuses, folks who thought they could be home pets and other sources. Charlie Greene, First Vice-President, Buffalo Bisons Booster Club

Here is a bonus report from Booster Club member Paul Synor: Mary and I attended our first spring training game of 2020 yesterday with 2 friends who are visiting from Lancaster, NY. We went to the Pirates vs Orioles game in Sarasota and watched the Orioles trounce the Pirates, 13-0. Based upon the Os performance over the past few years, this victory was overwhelming as they had 19 hits, made no errors and allowed only 4 hits! Oriole center fielders, Austin Hays and Cedric Mullins each made fantastic catches, robbing Pirate batters of extra bases. Hays, Pat Valaika, 2B and Bryan Halladay, C, executed a great relay and threw a Pirate runner out at home plate. Left fielder, Ryan Mountcastle, had 3 hits - 2 doubles and a solo HR - while Anthony Santander, DH, Chris Davis, 1B, Valaika and Hays each had 2 hits. The Os hit 7 doubles and, besides Mountcastle, Davis, Valaika and Martin Czwenka hit HRs. Ex-Bison Rich Urena entered the game as a DH in the 6th inning and had a single in 2 trips to the plate. Ex-Bison Dwight Smith, Jr, OF, is on the Orioles spring training roster while LHP Wade LaBlanc is a non-roster invitee. Neither played in today's game.

For the Pirates, Colin Moran, DH, had 2 hits including a double while ex-Bison Jake Elmore lined out to RF in his only trip to the plate.

The Os pitching was also superb with starter, left hander Tommy Milone tossing 2 innings, allowing 1 hit and striking out 3. Five relievers held the Pirates scoreless allowing only 3 hits, walking one and striking out 5.

Attendance was 4,264 and the game was played in 2:42, rather quick considering the number of hits and runs scored.

This is the 10th anniversary for the Orioles in Sarasota with 20 more years included in their lease. A $5, 80 page program includes highlights from those 10 years, an article on retired Oriole Brian Roberts who is now a broadcaster for Oriole games on the radio and a Community Ambassador and information about off season adventures of the players.

We plan to attend at least 5 more spring training games on the Gulf coast and will send our thoughts later. Paul Synor


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