• Charlie Greene

Spring Training Report 9

Hello Bisons Booster Club members, family and friends,

This is your Booster Club First Vice-President reporting from Dunedin, Florida. TRIVIA QUESTIONS: 1. What defensive distinction can be made by Jonathan Davis? 2. What American League team won the most games in a 3-year stretch? Answers below. WEATHER REPORT: Temperature at 6:28 AM when I started out on my 2.37 mile walk: 49 degrees under clear skies with calm winds.  The normal low in the morning is 56 degrees and the record low was 38 degrees in 1964.  The temperature finally topped out at 71 degrees this afternoon. SPORTS PAGE: This afternoon, the Blue Jays made the 49 mile trip to Bradenton to play the Pirates in Lecom Park only to lose the game, 13-9. At the plate for the Jays: Bo Bichette SS hit his first home run of the spring in one of his 3 times at bat driving in 2 and striking out once. .125. Cavan Biggio DH was 0 for 2 with a walk. .273. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. 3B hit his first home run of the spring in one of his 3 trips to the plate. .286. Patrick Kivlihan PR-1B hit a single in one of his two plate appearances, scored twice, drove in a run and struck out once. .273. Teoscar Hernandez CF went 0 for 3 with a strikeout. .214. Joe Panik 2B hit a single in each of his 2 times at bat, walked once and drove in 2 runners.  .556. Reese McGuire C was 0 for 3 with a strikeout. .111. Anthony Alford LF hit his first triple of the spring in one of his 3 trips to the plate and then scored while striking out twice. .143. Billy McKinney RF hit his second double of the spring and struck out his other time he came to bat. .417. On the mound: Ryan Dull pitched 1/3 of an inning striking out the only batter he faced. 3.86. T. J. Zeuch threw 1.1 innings and was charged with 4 earned runs on six hits. 10.80. Thomas Pannone pitched 2/3 of an inning striking out one batter. 6.75. Former Bisons in other games played today: For the Tigers: Matthew Boyd started and pitched 3 innings allowing only 2 hits with 1 walk and 4 strikeouts. For the Red Sox: Kevin Pillar RF was 0 for 3. For the Orioles: Dwight Smith Jr. DH went 0 for 3 with a walk. For the Astros: Joe Biagini allowed one earned run on 2 hits and a walk in one inning. For the Mariners: starting pitcher Kendall Graveman allowed only 1 hit with 1 walk and 3 strikeouts over 2 innings. Santiago Espinal has reached base in each of his first 5 games played and had a 3 game hit streak prior to only walking in yesterday's game.  Espinal hit the first home run in the newly renovated TDBallpark and has a total of 3 extra base hits.  Rowdy Tellez is tied for first  place in the Grapefruit League in RBI with six. Tellez leads the Blue Jays in hits and had recorded a hit in each of his last three games prior to striking out twice yesterday.  All 3 of those previous hits were for extra bases.  Teoscar Hernandez has driven in 3 runs across in his last 3 at bats. The Blue Jays pitching staff currently has 76 strikeouts through 8 games while posting a collective 3.43 ERA good for 5th in the Grapefruit League and 8th overall.  The staff also has the 2nd best opponents' batting average (.194) trailing only the Yankees (.180).  RHP Phillippe Aumont and LHP Anthony Kay currently lead the team in strikeouts with 5 apiece.  Four different Blue Jays have at least 3 strikeouts in 3 or less innings of work to start Spring Training including RHP Nate Pearson who struck out all 3 of the batters he faced. Among the many meetings that teams have off the field is an annual media training session to advise the players how best to respond to questions from sports reporters. IN OTHER NEWS: This morning, I modified my walk and hiked south along the Gulf of Mexico shore until I reached the world famous Hotel Fenway (you may google it) now operated by the Toaist Society where parking is by valet only.  Then I walked one block east to a side street where I passed the former public elementary school which is now the headquarters of the Taoist Tai Chi society.  The walls of the school rooms were removed changing the building into mostly one large gymnasium. Mark the date: the annual Open House at Sahlen Field will be held on Saturday, March 21st from 10:AM to 1: PM.  More details to come. Today, we had lunch with Cynde Keller former wife of former Bisons coach Dave Keller who still is the Latin American Coordinator for the Chicago Cubs. This afternoon, I walked a mile north on the Pinellas Trail and back to the motel for the first time this year.  About a block to the north is an area of Dunedin that was settled by black people in 1880, some of whom were descendants of former slaves.  They established 3 Christian churches, one of which is still active now.  On the other side of the trail is a much used public park at which a wild flamingo was grazing.  For more than the distance I walked there used to be a railroad siding so now the paved trail is divided.  Walkers use the former siding area and bikers use the former main track area.  The two sides of the trail are separated by about 6 feet. The State of Florida used to be the orange producing capital of the world, but that is no longer true.  About 70% of the orange groves have been destroyed by a virus which explains why many of them are now housing developments.  The former grove owners are living off the proceeds they made by selling the land to developers. The multi-section Sunday edition of the Tampa Bay Times costs only $2.00 plus 14 cents tax. The local Pinellas County School District auctioned 34 used school buses yesterday that had been driven between 133,209 and 304,727 miles.  All but one of the buses was sold and the District  received about $80,000.  Most of the buses were purchased by churches, charter schools and camps. TRIVIA ANSWERS: 1.  Jonathan Davis has the distinction of making the ESPN SportsCenter's Top-10 five times in 2019 for defensive plays. 2. From 1969 through 1971, the Orioles won 318 games and lost 164.  Their best regular-season record was 109-34 in 1969, but that team lost the World Series in 5 games to the Amazing Mets.  The Orioles beat the Reds in 5 games in the 1970 Series but lost again in 1971 to the Pirates in 7 games. BACK PAGE: The Blue Jays are back at TDBallpark on Monday afternoon for our final game of this trip. Charlie Greene, First Vice-President, Buffalo Bisons Booster Club

Here is another bonus report from Paul Synor:

Mary and I attended the Jays vs Pirates game in Bradenton today. Aside from the information that you reported, the Jays hit 6 HRs in all. Travis Shaw, Forest Wall, Joe Panik and Pat Kivlehan were the others besides Biggio and Guerrero, Jr. The Jays also hit 3 doubles - Shaw, Billy McKinney and Josh Palacios - and totaled 12 hits and 9 runs. The Pirates hit 3 HRs and 6 doubles among their 15 hits. Mary's new favorite Pirate, shortstop Cole Tucker, played a good game collecting 2 hits, stealing a base and playing well defensively. As you noted they scored 13 runs, 7 of those in the first 2 innings and 6 in the last 2. This certainly was not a pitcher's dual but an exciting offensive performance by both teams.

Regarding the pitching, 30 outs were recorded by strikeout with the Pirates fanning 13 Jays. Nate Pearson threw 2 scoreless innings for the Jays with 3 Ks. Two of his pitches reached 100 mph while the Pirates Nick Burdi also hit the century mark twice.

Before the game, retired Pirate catcher Manny Sanguillen was honored for his illustrious career.

The game was played in 3:24 and attended by 5,546. The $5 program includes spring training rosters of all teams that the Pirates will play, articles about what the players do regarding "Pirate Charities" as well as articles about several of the Pirate players including their minor leaguers. The Bradenton Mauraders are the Pirates team in the Florida State League and play all of their home games in this same venue - LECOM Park. Catcher Reese McGuire started his minor league career with the Marauders.

We will be returning to Sarasota on Thursday to see the Twins and Os. Paul Synor


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