One of the most disappointing seasons in Bisons modern day history will come to an end Monday in Ottawa. The Herd will miss the playoffs for only the third time since 1995, Cleveland’s first year as the parent club of Bisons. They had a chance to make the playoffs with eight straight verse the division leading Scranton Wilkes-Barre Red Barons. The series ended up being seven because of a rain out last Sunday, and the Bisons dropped six of the games. I attended the two games in Scranton and they were two heart breaking loses. On Friday the Herd had a one run lead in the ninth when they gave up two runs on a ball hit off Bisons pitcher Vic Darensburg’s leg. Saturday the Bisons and Barons were tied in extras when Buffalo walked in the winning run.
This will be the last season the Philadelphia Phillies farm club will be the Red Barons. Next season the Phillies are moving their minor leaguers to Ottawa for one season and then the whole team is moving to Allentown PA. But Scranton will still have Triple A baseball. It looks like the New York Mets will be the Red Barons parent club, as they are being forced out of Norfolk in favor of the Washington Nationals. So it looks like Baltimore, who’s at the moment has its top minor league club in Ottawa, will end up having to move there prospects to New Orleans in the PCL.
Scranton has an okay stadium, really nothing special. Actually it kinda reminds me of Ralph Wilson Stadium in Buffalo, because the concourse is cramped, not very well lite, and very plain. And I guess it only gets worse for the players. In most minor league parks there is a bathroom outside the dugout for the players. In Scranton, there is a falling apart outhouse. The clubhouse is actually on the main concourse level. You follow a tunnel down under the concourse and then stairs back up. But some improvements have been made, with indoor batting cages added and a party deck for the fans. The best thing about the stadium is the view of the mountain side past the outfield walls. And the area is being built up with shopping plaza’s and restaurants being built close to the stadium. While Scranton is far from the top of the attendance chart, the fans that do come love their team, and very knowledgeable about the International League. I plain on making another trip down to Moosic next season in August when the Bisons play down there. I just hope the weather gets better.
I’m back from Scranton, and I saw two Bisons loses and Sunday’s game was rained out. There was a chance of rain all weekend, and I don’t think I saw the sun till we got back to Western New York, so I am happy we got two games in. And what a way to lose, the Bisons scored a run in the top of the ninth on Friday to take the lead, only to have Scranton score two in the bottom of the inning. Then on Saturday Buffalo walked in the winning run in the bottom of the tenth inning. I have pictures from the game and some other stories that I will share, but I have to go to work now, so I will probably update later after the Bisons game tonight.
I will make this really short and simple. If somehow John Gibbons and JP Ricciardi are not fired at the end of the season I will be shocked. Actually I will be even more shocked if they make it to the end of the week.These guys have embarrassed the Blue Jays organization enough. And I hope the next player Gibbons picks a fight with knocks him out.
The weather has not been kind to my baseball schedules this week. Monday I was supposed to go to Jamestown for a Jammers game, but it was rained out. Today I was going to make the trip to Syracuse for the Bisons game, but it was rained out. Hopefully next week will be a bit better weather wise. The Herd is home Monday through Thursday and then we are off to Scranton for the games there Friday through Sunday.
Blue Jays Report: What the heck is happening in Toronto? The team is losing, Hinske was traded to Boston, the team they were trying to catch. Vernon Wells says he is going to leave when his contract is up, and JP Ricciardi called him an "idiot". First off, the only "idiots" are JP Ricciardi and John Gibbions. If the Jays want to win, it is time to fire these two. You are not going to get players to sign when you got a manager who is picking fights with his players, and an GM who is calling well respected players "idiots". These two are a long ways from Cito Gaston and Pat Gilliack in terms of class and winning. Please Mr. Rogers, fire these two clowns and bring some respect back to the organization.
Bisons Report: That fat lady that was singing a couple weeks ago, well her throat is sore, and she may not be able to sing again till after the Bricktown Showdown September 19. The Bisons are red hot, winning games all kinds of different ways. Taking leads and holding on, blowing teams out, making comebacks. I wish they would have figured things out before August, but I guess late is better then never, right? They still do trial Rochester by three for the wild card, because Rochester managed to win one today, but that is still better then the seven they trailed going into last Fridays game. So what has sparked the Bisons turn around? My first guess would be Andy Marte going to the big leagues. We now have Kevin Kouzmanoff up from double a. But he actually can field the ball, he hits home runs, and don’t get picked off the bases every other time he is on them. What a breath of fresh air from the former third basemen of the team. Next up for the Herd is three up North in Ottawa, and then they head down to Syracuse for two. I will be at Saturdays game in Syracuse to root the team on.
Blue Jays Report: Oh the Blue Jay pen. Doc went a strong seven, and did get the win tonight, but I must say the pen had me worried in the 8th inning. Once Brandon League got the final out of the inning the pressure was off, because I knew the next Jays pitcher I would see on the mound would be number 52, and that usually means the game is over. Probably the Jays won’t make the playoffs, but it has still been fun. Right now I am still hold out hope for the playoffs, or at the very least, catch Boston. I would love to see Red Sox fans reaction to coming in behind Toronto.
I have not had much of a chance to get on here in the last week, but I have had an awful week. Actually the week was not bad, and I saw lots of baseball, but I got some bad news on Monday about a close friend and it had me worried the whole week, so I was pretty much as basket case. But I saw Bisons games Monday and Tuesday at home. Tuesday night the Bisons were down 9-5 in the ninth inning with two outs and a full count. A double, scored two. Then a home run tied the game. Then a walk, and error and a walk off home run by Jason Dubois won it. I don’t know if the Bisons pulled victory from the jaws of defeat or Ottawa pulled defeat from the jaws of victory.
Wednesday it was up to Toronto for the afternoon Jays game. Doc was great and the Jays won 4-3. Thursday and Friday it was down to Rochester to see the Bisons. A lose 6-5 on Thursday, but it seemed better seeing the Bisons were down 6-0 early. Friday the Bisons got a 2-1 win. Today it was back to the ballpark for a 6-2 win over the Rochester Red Wings at home. Tomorrow is in Buffalo and then my buddy Tommy and I might make a trip to Jamestown for a game Monday night.
But thank god for baseball. When you get bad news, even thought I expected it, it still hurt. To be able to keep my mind off the issue for a few hours each night and just enjoy a game is great.
Just a total side note that has nothing to do with anything, but I am wearing a Beloit Snappers hat as I type this. You see, early in the season a foul ball came up, and I ended up on the ground with my hands over my head, trying to miss the ball when it went by, but also when it hits the wall behind me and comes back through. Well, my cell phone started ringing before I was up with people making jokes. So my friends Jessie and Tommy started calling me the "Turtle" because of my actions that day. So Jessie found the Beloit Snappers site one night and that of me and bought me that hat. Well, Thursday night in Rochester I had a chance for a foul ball, and ended up getting out of the way again, and the radio announcers for the Bisons mentioned it on the air I did not catch the ball. So when Jessie game me that hat, she was really laughing about it. So I just wet the hat down so it can form to my head.
What heartbreak for my little buddy Brian yesterday. His baseball team was down 2-0 heading into the seventh and final inning of the championship game. The worst part is they were getting no hit. The other team put in a new pitcher, got two outs but walked the bases loaded. Brian was up, and I was a nervous wreck. On a full count pitch Brian hit a slow roller to third which the pitcher fielded, and threw high to first. Brian would have beat out the throw, but the error allowed him to move to second and the second run to score to tie the game. With the no hitter over, the next batter doubled to put Brian’s team up 4-2. Heading into the bottom of the inning with a 4-2 lead, they got the first two outs but loaded the bases. Then a kid hit a walk off three run triple to win the game, and take the championship. What heart break it is, being one strike away from losing the championship, and then one strike from winning it, only to lose it. Brian was upset they lost, but he and the team played a heck of a game, and should be proud of themselves.
Tommys game did not go so good either, but they had less drama. They took the lead in the top of the first 1-0, but that is all the scoring they would do, losing 6-1.
Bisons Report: That fat lady that was singing a few weeks ago, she is off the stage for the time being. The Bisons have won 12 of 16 and have pulled within 3.5 of wild card leading Rochester and 4.5 of division leading Scranton. With the Bisons having one more against the Norfolk Tides and Rochester in Charlotte for one more, the Bisons could make up more ground today. The Herd has a huge series against Rochester next week, playing Thursday and Friday in Rochester and Saturday and Sunday at Dunn Tire Park. Later in the month they have eight games in seven days against Scranton. It should be a fun last month of the season.
Blue Jays Report: That fat lady that was singing for the Bisons, has changed theaters, and is singing for the Blue Jays. I knew the seven games on the west coast would be hard, but I would have never imagined they would fall so far so fast. I don’t even know what to say about this slide. I guess TSN has it right by saying, when will it end. Agh, not much to say then please win a game. The offense has failed, the pitching has failed, the defense has failed, the manager and GM have failed. Everything is going wrong. Maybe Shea was right with his message "The ship is sinking".