• Charlie Greene

Spring Training Report 1

Hello Bisons Booster Club members, family and friends,

This is your Booster Club First Vice-President reporting from West Melbourne, Florida. CORRECTION: Who noticed that I was off by a century when I gave the dates during which Mike Bolsinger pitched for the Bisons?  Of course, the dates should have been 2016 and 2017! TRIVIA QUESTIONS; 1.  What former Bisons coach is still a coach for the New York Mets? 2. Who was the first President to throw out an Opening Day first pitch? Answers below. WEATHER REPORT: The temperature in Port St. Lucie kept going forth and back from 69 degrees to 71 degrees throughout the Mets game today depending upon whether or not a cloud was blocking the sun with a 7 mph wind blowing in from right field.  It seemed like the wind was stronger because the left fielders and center fielders had some difficulties keeping up with the paths of the balls. SPORTS PAGE: Former and future Bisons got off to a good start this afternoon as the Blue Jays defeated the Yankees in Tampa, 2-1. Cavan Biggio started at 2B and had a hit in one of his 2 times at bat as did Patrick Kivlehan 1B. Andy Burns 3B also went 1 for 2 with an RBI. Rowdy Tellez 1B walked in one of his 2 times to the plate. Anthony Alford CF went 1 for 2 and scored a run. Forrest Wall LF went 0 for 1, but drove in a run. Bo Bichette 2B, Ruben Tejada SS, Lourdes Gurriel Jr. DH, Vladimir Guerrero 3B, Rowdy Tellez 1B, Teoscar Hernandez RF, Danny Jansen C and Caleb Joseph C also played but did not get any hits. On the mound: A. J. Cole pitched an inning and struck out one batter. Phillippe Aumont pitched the 7th inning and game up one hit. For the Yankees: Josh Thole was 0 for 2 while catching and Erik Kratz went 0 for 2 as the DH. While the Jays were winning, my wife and I were at the Mets opening game vs the Marlins which the New Yorkers lost 5-3. Former Bison Jon Berti started at SS for the Marlins and grounded out to the shortstop both times he came to bat. Attendance: 7,031 Weather: see above. The Mets contest was a split squad game.  In the other split squad game, the Cardinal defeated the Mets 2-0.   Former Bison Marcus Stroman pitched the first 1.1 innings for the Mets allowing 1 earned run on 3 hits with 2 strikeouts and a walk. IN OTHER NEWS: Clearly, the highlight of today's game was seeing the remodeled Mets spring training facility.  As I showed on a Facebook photo, the entrance now features a wide stairway reminiscent of the entrance at the Syracuse Mets stadium.  (There is an elevator for folks who cannot navigate the stairs.)  Large photos of past Mets cover the walls both outside and inside the stadium.  A new walkway stands behind left field.  The concourse behind the seats is more than twice as wide as the former concourse.  Railings have been installed in the middle of the stairways up to the seats.  The Clover company has purchased naming rights so the stadium is now known as CloverPark.  The actual field dimensions remain as they were: 338 to left and right field poles and 410 to deep center field.  The screens protecting fans now extend almost to the foul poles.  Screens protect the area where the managers and some coaches sit during the game.  Also, some practice fields used by the Major Leaguers have been reconfigured. The Mets now have 2 game announcers.  The male voice from previous years does the pregame and inning breaks announcements, but a woman who obviously is bi-lingual announces the players as they come to bat. Minor Leaguers are not yet in camp because the minor league teams do not begin their regular season until 2 weeks after the start of Major League baseball at the end of March. The Mets sell a 90 glossy paged program for $10.00.  The contents include photo features of the Mets front office staff, storylines to watch this spring, a CloverPark guide, 2020 season previews. photos of last year's award winners, player biographies, the Mets spring training roster including coaching staff, training staff and spring training instructors, opponets spring training rosters, the Mets schedule, stories about the Mets top prospects, a list of their Minor League affiliate staffs, a Grapefruit League team locator, the St. Lucie A level schedule and lots of ads. Parking costs $10.00. TRIVIA ANSWERS: 1. Former Bisons pitching coach Ricky Bones is back as the Mets bullpen coach.  This is his 9th year in that role.  Also, former Bisons manager Tim Teufel is serving as the Mets infield coordinator.  Once the season starts, he becomes the Minor League infield coordinator.  Former Bisons outfielder Benny DiStefano is the A level Brooklyn Cyclones Bench Coach. 2.  On April 14, 1910, President William Howard Taft tossed the first pitch before the game between the Washington Senators and Philadelphia Athletics at Griffith Stadium in Washington, D. C. The Senators won 3-0 as Walter Johnson out-pitched Eddie Plank.  Both pitchers were 300-game winners and would be elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame. BACK PAGE: On Sunday, I am back to Port St. Lucie to watch the Mets again. Charlie Greene, First Vice-President Buffalo Bisons Booster Club

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