Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Goodbye Buffalo...

There had been rumor and speculation that the Buffalo Bisons and Cleveland Indians were going to end their 14 season affiliation. The rumors have been confirmed and the Indians have decided not to renew their contract with the Bisons and will move closer to home, taking up shop in Columbus Ohio. This is a move that will surely disappoint me, and I wonder what the exact economic purposes of this move are, however I am confident that Columbus' brand new ballpark played a part in this move.

Buffalo has certainly been fortunate in recent years as the Indians have allowed essentially everyone of their top prospects to spend considerable time in triple-A, which isn't something that always occurs. In fact, of the Tribe's current starting 9, each player had spent considerable time in Buffalo.

One of the most exciting seasons I have had enjoying Bison baseball occurred in 2004 when Jhonny Peralta and company took the International League crown. Peralta had such a brilliant season that he took home the IL MVP award. Additional current Indians include Grady Sizemore, Ryan Garko, Franklin Gutierrez, and Fausto Carmona.

This club also had some other players that have gone on to make serious impacts within Major League Baseball including Jeremy Guthrie, Bob Howry, Ryan Ludwick, Josh Bard, and Brandon Phillips. Rare is it for a minor league team to see so many young players combine to win a championship and end up being capable big league teams.

Another great moment occurred in 2005 when Ernie Young smacked his 300th career minor league home run. Ernie Young was a player that was easy to root for as he played over 1700 games in the minor leagues.

With the imminent severing of the Indians organizational ties, there had been rumor that the Jays would move into Dun Tire Park. This had come as terrible news as the Jays run one of the worst triple-A organizations in all of baseball. Triple-A, for the Jays, is often a team which goes through the motions. Rare is it for a top prospect to spend a significant amount of time in triple-A.

For example, Jays current right fielder Alex Rios spent all of 49 games in Syracuse. Middle infielder Aaron Hill saw only 38 games of action in the 'Cuse. While there are certainly ex-Jays prospects who had a great deal of triple-A hacks (Wells, Lind, and Marcum to name a few), the team is very quick to skip this stop among a players career.

Further example of the Jays ineptitude of running a triple-A club, the Chiefs have not seen the playoffs since 1994. During this time, the Bisons have sent 9 teams to the playoffs, 7 while being affiliated with the International League.

There has been recent rumor that the New York Mets are going to pass on Syracuse and set up shop in Buffalo. This would clearly be the best of what is a fairly sad situation. Clearly, for Buffalonians, the Mets are the best idea as their games are more prominent on nationally televised games, and many have access to the Mets home network, SNY. Conversely, CBC is the only network that shows Jays games in the Buffalo area, and they only do so once or twice a week.

According to Syracuse.com,
The New York Daily News is reporting today that the Mets are moving their Triple-A team to Buffalo, not Syracuse, and they've scheduled a press conference to announce the deal on Monday in Buffalo.
There is however, one issue that is keeping this deal up in the air. Aside from the fact that teams are not allowed to begin discussions until September 18th, WGR 550AM is reporting that Syracuse, in one last attempt to land the Mets, are offering the Mets partial ownership with the team. Whether or not this seals the deal will be seen in the next couple of days and will become obvious if the Mets cancel their press conference in Buffalo on Monday.


In other news, I had my final assignment as a university student submitted the other day. My practicum should begin in January and adult-hood is just around the corner.

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