Pesky Passes; Olson to Minors; Baseball Facts

Garrett Olson is headed back to Buffalo after clearing waivers today, Olson played in one game, and only pitched 0.1 innings, but managed to give up 3 hits, a walk, and 4 earned runs, giving him a whopping 108.00 ERA.

Yesterday we lost one of the greatest baseball legends, who was a legend on and off the field, always finding time to devote himself to baseball. Johnny Pesky passed away at 91 yesterday, leaving behind an amazing legacy. He appeared in 1270 games, stepped up to the plate 4745 times, and ended his career with a .307 batting average. R.I.P Johnny.

I also thought I would throw in a couple of facts from this day in baseball history, so here they are:

1888 – Tim Keefe’s 19 game winning streak is snapped when the White Stockings defeat the Giants 4-2 at Polo Grounds.

1919 – The Cubs and Dodgers finish a double header in only 2 hours and 17 minutes, in the first game the Cubs beat the Dodgers 2-0, and in the second game the Dodgers are defeated be Chicago, 1-0.

1933 – Jimmy Foxx hits for the cycle and bats in 9 runs in a game against Cleveland, a record that still stands today.

1958 – Vic Power, who would only steal 3 bases this season, steals home twice in one game, a feat that hadn’t been accomplished for 70 years.

1960 – Mickey Mantle is booed by Yankee Stadium fans and benched by Casey Stengel for not running out a routine ground ball.

1962 – Al Jackson pitches 215 pitches for the Mets in a 15 inning loss, he lost the game despite only giving up 6 hits.

1982 – With 12,365, Pete Rose passes Hank Aaron in plate appearances.

1987 – Mark McGwire hits his 39th home run, breaking the record for most home runs by a rookie in a season.

2004 –      The Florida State Leagues’s Daytona Cubs will be forced to shift their home games into away contests as Hurricane Charley causes extensive damage to their historic ballpark. The facility, which was built in 1914 and renamed for Jackie Robinson to commemorate the site where the future Hall of Famer and civil rights advocate played his first exhibition game with the Montreal Royals, was also damaged by Hurricane Donna (1966) and Hurricane Floyd (1999).     

2007 – Bobby Cox is ejected for the 132nd time in his career – marking a record.

2007 – Phil Rizzuto passes away

Why Baseball Should Be In The London 2012 Olympics

Baseball is not being featured on the Olympic program this year, and a lot of people are upset over it. Baseball should obviously be an Olympic sport and they decided to vote t off the program….Heres why it SHOULD be an Olympic sport.

Just a little history of baseball at the Olympic games; baseball started as a demonstration sport at the 1912 Stockholm Olympics, and was also a demonstration sport at the 1936 Berlin Olympics, the 1956 Melbourne Olympics, the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles,, and the 1988 Seoul games. It was officially declared an Olympic sport for the 1992 games. In 2005, the Olympic Comitee
 decided that that baseball would not be in the 2012 Olympics, and in 2009 decided it would not be featured in the 2016 Olympics either. They have appealed to be in the 2020 Olympics.

Heres one of many reasons baseball should be in the Olympics:
Amateur prospects would not get recognized representing their country if they don’t get international recognization like this. Think of Aroldis Chapman and Yeonis Cespedes; they were unknown and probably wouldn’t have been recognized if not for the Olympics.

Baseball was scratched from the program for being “too American”… This is just plain dumb. In so many ways. How many countries have professional players come from? How many countries are part of their respective baseball federations? To give you a view about this, Bhutan, the Marshall Islands, Tonga, and Palau fall into this catergory…not very populated countries, and some you may not have heard of, but they ALL play baseball.

Heres another reason; the number of teams currently ranked by the IBAF, the International Baseball Federation, is 76 teams. The number of teams currently ranked by the IIHF, the International Ice Hockey Federation, is 49, and ice hockey is an Olympic sport. Im not trying to say ice hockey shouldn’t be a sport; rather that baseball should be.

Another reason they Olympic Committee decided to vote out baseball was because the MLB will not pause their season for their players to compete in the Olympics. The MiLB does, though, and just because one league will not pause their season, doesn’t mean other Japanese, Cuban, and European leagues that ARE willing to pause their season should not be able to compete in these Olympics.

The success of the World Baseball Classic is also another reason; millions; even billions of fans crowded around their TVs to watch their nations compete. The success of the WBC shows that baseball draws the attendance and has the popularity to be an Olympic Sport.

I think all these reasons provide a good argument for why baseball should be in the Olympics, and hopefully the Committee will reconsider.


Anybody remember Scott Kazmir?

I’m posting about Scott Kazmir for more than one reason; because the Mets traded him to the evil Rays and he became their ace, and because he is in the independent leagues right now. Kazmir was a 2 time All-Star while playing for the Rays, and played in the Major League until June of last year.

Kazmir was considered the next best pitcher for the New York Mets in 2004, while he was playing with the Binghamton Mets, the Mets Double-A affiliate. On July 30, 2004, he was traded along with another minor league pitcher named Joselo Diaz, who played one game in the Major Leagues, to Tampa Bay for pitcher Victor Zambrano, who played in the Majors until 2007, but required the second Tommy John surgery of his career in 2006, and Bartolomé  Fortunato, who was out of affiliated baseball by the next year. Needless to say, if you take away Kazmir, this trade was a dud.

Now onto Kazmir, who this article is about. On August 23rd of the same year, he got called up and pitched 5 scoreless innings against the Seattle Mariners. He ended the 2004 season with a record of 2-3 and a 5.67 ERA while appearing in 8 games, 7 of them starts. On September 9th, he made a relief appearance against the New York Yankees and gave up only 1 run in 3 innings of work.

The Rays obviously liked Kazmir, and believed he was going to be the future of their pitching staff, because he started the season opener in 2006 on April 3rd, against the Baltimore Orioles. The opening day start was a rough one for Scott, as he get knocked around for 6 runs in only 4 innings of work. He finished off the 2006 season pretty good, though, with an 10-8 record and 3.24 ERA. This was obviously enough for his peers, as they elected him to the 2006 All-Star Game, in which he pitched a 1-2-3 6th inning, retiring Albert Pujols, Carlos Beltran, and Freddy Sanchez. On August 22nd of 2006, he struck out 8 Texas Rangers batters to become the Tampa Bay Devil Rays franchise leader in strikeouts.

2007 was Scott’s best season, he led the AL in strikeouts, 239, and starts, 34. He also picked up 13 wins this season, while having poor run support (The 2007 Tampa team lost 96 games!). The fact that he didn’t make the All-Star Team in 2007 stunned people.

Scott didnt pitch until May 4th of the 2008 season, because he hurt his elbow during Spring Training. The injury didn’t stop him from going 5-1 with a 1.22 ERA in May 2008. Kazmir was elected to the 2008 All-Star Game, and pitched in the 15th inning, making him the winning pitcher. Kazmir went 5-3 the second half of the season, and posted a 1-1 record through 5 starts in the postseason. The ongoing problem with Kazmir was that he couldn’t go deep into ballgames, he mostly went 5 or 6 innings. During the season, Kazmir signed a 4 year contract in which he was guarenteed 28.5M.

Again, Kazmir found himself with elbow problems, but was activated on April 8th. For some reason, Kazmir lost it. He went 4-4, with a terrible 7.69 ERA before going back on the DL in late May because of leg problems. He returned on June 27th and brought his season record to 8-7 with a still shocking 5.92 ERA. August 28th of this year, he was traded the the Angels (not writing their full name, because its confusing, why can we just call them the Los Angeles Angels?). Kazmir finished the season with a 2-2 record and a 1.73 ERA with his new team. In the postseason, he has a 7.56 ERA with a 0-1 record.

A trend for Kazmir was starting the season on the DL, as he did in 2010 for the third time. He returned April 15th only to lose to the Yankees. He had a 6.92 ERA the first half of the season, which was good enough for the worst of all AL starters, and a 7-9 record. On July 18th, he once again went n the DL, but returned in August to finish the stadium with a 9-15 record.

Kazmir struggled in 2011 Spring Training, giving up 19 runs in 23 innings of work. He gave up 5 runs in 2 2/3 innings in his first regular season start, and was sent to Extended Spring Training. After spending a month in Extended Spring Training, he was sent to the Triple-A Salt Lake Bees, where he had a 17.02 ERA in 5 starts….yes you read that right. On June 15th, he was released by the Angels, and thus marked his final day in affiliated baseball. He tried getting his career back on track by playing in the Dominican League, but in his only start he gave up 2 walks and 2 hits in only 1/3 of an inning.

Scott Kazmir’s career was one of the quickest to slip down the drain; one season he had it, and one he didn’t. It makes you wonder what happened…

Kazmir signed a contract to play on the Sugar Land Skeeters of the independent Atlantic League on July 7th, and has yet to make an appearance.


Bisons Walk Up Songs

In this post, I will list all the known walk up song for the 2012 Buffalo Bisons. I will continue to update this list throughout the season.

Valentino Pascucci
“Big Poppa” by Notorious B.I.G

Dylan Owen
“Starships” by Nicki Minaj

Matt Tuiasosopo
“Get Low” by Bizzle

Fred Lewis
“Future” by Tony Montana ft. Drake

Ruben Tejada
“We No Speak Americano” by Yolando Be Cool

Jean Luc Blaquiere
“A Millie” by Lil Wayne

Dustin Martin
“Jesus Freak” by DC Talk

Justin Turner
“Call Me Maybe” by Carly Rae Jepsen
“What You Got” by Justin Timberlake

Josh Thole
“What You Got” by Justin Timberlake

Justin Hampson
“I don’t have a walk up/out song but it seems every time I come in they play ‘Healthy Changes Everything'”

Home Run Song
“Gold On The Ceiling” by the Black Keys
“Kenkraft 400” by Zombie Nation
“Homerun Song” in The Natural

Corey Wimberely
“Riot” by 2 Chainz


Johan’s No-No

The title is pretty self-explanatory, isn’t it? Everybody who has even flipped on a news station ad watched the sports section has probably heard of the No Hitter Mets pitcher Johan Santana threw yesterday, the first one in Mets history. In the Mets 50 year history, no pitcher has EVER thrown a No Hitter, despite Tom Seaver taking three of them into the 9th inning, but only to be broken up, the most famous in 1969.

The unsung hero award of this game, goes to an outfielder that most people don’t know, a left fielder by the name of Mike Baxter, and if you remember from last year, I caught his first ever Triple-A home run. In the 7th inning, Baxter rushed back to make an attempt to catch a baseball of the bat of Yadier Molina that looked long gone. The ball appeared to be landing just short off the wall, a hard catch to make at Citi Field. Baxter rushed back and made the catch, crashing awkwardly into the wall and hurting his left shoulder, but hanging onto the ball.


Here’s a picture of Josh Thole, who came off the DL that day, celebrating with Santana after he struck out the last batter.


After the game, Johan said to his team “We did it, finally!”
And to the fans “I’m very happy, and happy for you guys — finally the first one”

Terry Collins told Santana “You’re my hero” on the field after the no hitter.

Post game, during a press conference, Collins said “I don’t know why I’m up here, Johan did it, tonight is his night.”

After 50 years, 8.019 games, and 3 almost no hitters, it has been done, Mets fans.


Mothers Day In Baseball

Ah, Mothers Day is here! While we all celebrate our Mothers on Mothers Day, there are some celebrations done in baseball, too! The field is coated with pink! Players use limited edition pink bats manufactured by Louisville Slugger for the occasion. They were first used in 2006, and have been in use for about 6 years today. In addition to using the unique Sluggers, players and field-staff wear pink wristbands and pink ribbons, while bases and homeplates were tagged with the breast cancer awareness logo, and line-ups were written on a pink card lineup card. All of the specially produced memorabilia is later autographed and auctioned off on to benefit Komen for the Cure. In its debut season, “Major League Baseball and its fans collectively raised $350,000” through the program. Players such as Manny Ramirez, Richie Sexson, Ryan Howard, Alex Rios, Jimmy Rollins, Xavier Nady, Jim Thome, Carl Crawford, David Ortiz, Mark Teizara, Ken Griffey Jr, and many many more. Other players, including Geoff Blum, KhalilGreene and Mike Cameron, flatly refused to use the unorthodox bats. (Because apparently they think their hotshots).

In 2007, Biggio, Blalock, Berkman, Dye, Hunter, Griffey, Young, Teixeira, Hall, Rollins, Garko (Thats for you, Danny), and Pujols used the pink bats, along with over 200 more players. Pitcher Mike Myers of the New York Yankees ordered a pink glove. Myers said he would ignore the rule and face a fine. Ultimately there was no issue since
Myers did not appear in the game. The MLB thought the pink glove would distract batters. Right, because those pink bats don’t distract pitchers?


A picture of the pink bats.

In its third year, 2008, the program offered pink wristbands and pink titanium necklaces. Nick Swisher of the Chicago White Sox also dyed his goatee pink in honor of his deceased grandmother Betty. Last year, I got a pink wristband from Buffalo bullpen pitcher Jose De La Torre, which I will post later.


The pink titanium necklaces


….and the pink wristbands.

In 2009 and 2010 a lot of players donned the bats, including the players from previous years. The MLB ran an honorary batgirl contest in 2009, of which the proceeds went to fund breast cancer awareness. In 2010, Chris Coghlan planned on giving the bat he used to his mother, after having recorded his first three-hit game of the season with it.

In 2011, among with the pink wristbands and necklaces, catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia wore pink plated catchers gear.


The pink plated catchers gear worn by Jarrod S. it was engraved with R.S. and A.S., his grandmothers and mothers initials.

In 2012, many players will wear the pink wristbands, necklaces, and will bat with the pink bats. I will post an update if any special out of the ordinary pink gear pops up.


4-14-12 Pawtucket Red Sox vs Buffalo Bisons @ Coca-Cola Field

I want to start off this entry with saying I’m sorry for not being able to post this sooner.  I have had a lot of stuff going on in school and as a result, I have never gotten a chance to post this.  Okay, now to the game part:

Yes!!  My first Bisons game of the 2012 year!  Today was the 1st coin giveaway in remembrance of the 25 years at Coca-Cola Field.  The gates opened at 12:00 p.m. for the 1:05 p.m. start and my mom, brother, and I arrived at the stadium at about 11:15 a.m.  I then waited in line while my brother and mom went to go get tickets.  At about 11:25 a.m., I saw Austin and his family get in line about 30 people behind me.  My brother and mom came back at about 11:35 a.m., and I asked her if I could go out into right field and try to get a baseball.  I asked Austin if he wanted to come to and he said yes and tagged along.  When we got there, the fence was open!  We could pretty much run onto the field.  Bisons pitcher Jeremy Hefner was standing right by the open fence and Austin asked him for a ball that he just got.  Jeremy Hefner replied by rolling it to Austin.  So Austin had 1 baseball on the day.  Another ball came to Jeremy Hefner and I asked for it.  Mr. Hefner then kicked the ball to me for my first Triple-A ball of the season and my 45th career baseball.  Here is the ball:


Here is the view from where we saw Jeremy Hefner:


Austin and I then went to an area where a fence was and Austin asked Bisons pitcher, Chuck James, for a baseball.  Chuck James then throw the ball about 50 feet right into Austin’s glove.  I tried to get another ball, but I couldn’t get one.  Austin and I did see 2 baseballs get hit for an HR while we were out in right field.  We decided that Austin would get in line with my mom, brother, and I, so we could get 1 of those balls for ourselves.  We got into the stadium and received the coins.  Here they are:


Austin and I then went out to right field and got those baseballs.  Unfortunately, I was not able to take anymore pictures because my camera stopped working.  Of course, right when I got home after the game, it worked fine.  After Austin and I got those baseballs, we saw Danny by the Bisons dugout.  We learned that he had no baseballs on the day yet, while Austin had 3 and I had 2.  All of us then went by the Bisons dugout to look into it.  Danny and Austin then went to the Red Sox side while I stayed by the Bisons dugout.  The reason I stayed was I saw a ball tucked underneath the tire of the groundscrew car.  I don’t know what to call it, so I’ll call it the groundscrew car.  Danny then came back to see what I was waiting there for.  I pointed out the ball and the all of sudden, 2 baseballs got rolled by a groundscrew member and sat in front of us.  The next groundscrew member we saw, we asked him for the baseballs.  He flipped Danny and I one baseball each.  After Austin saw this, he came over and started to try to get the ball that was underneath the tire.  That’s what I thought, but he was convincing an Bisons employee to give him a ball inside of a cup holder in the groundscrew car.  She gave him that ball and I asked her for the ball underneath the tire.  She then picked up the ball and handed it to me.  That was 4 baseballs for me on the day.  Right after I got that ball, I went over to the foul line on the 3rd base side because the Pawtucket Red Sox started to play catch.  After Will Middlebrooks of the Pawtucket Red Sox finished playing catch with Jason Repko, I called out to him for the baseball.  Will heard me call his name and he flipped me the ball.  The ball fell really short though, but I reached over and almost fell, but managed to catch the ball and not fall over.  That was it for me before the game.  5 baseballs is great.  It tied my single game record for most baseballs snagged on a day.  This is pretty much my first game ballhawking at a Bisons games.  Before I started ballhawking, I just sat by the dugout and only tried for third out balls.  Fast forward to the game:


The Bisons where down 9-3 and Bisons 2B, Bobby Scales, stepped up to the plate with runners on 1st and 2nd.  The wind was blowing at this game and Booby took a swing and hit a deep opposite field fly ball.  It didn’t look like it was going out, but the wind carried it over the left field fence for an HR.  I was standing in the cross aisles in hopes for foul balls and was 100 feet away from the left field fence.  The HR ball then bounced back onto the field and Red Sox OF, Lars Anderson, picked up the ball and threw in into the crowd way over the heads of the asking kids.  By that time i was running towards the ball, but thought I had no chance because I was at least a 100 feet away.  I noticed that the kids could not find the ball while I was running towards it.  When I got closer, I realized that the ball was rolling down the steps and the kids kept reaching for it instead of running down a couple of steps to pick the ball up when it reached that row.  I did that though when I got  over there.  I ran down 5 rows away for the ball and waited for the ball to come toward me.  The next thing I knew, my 50th career Triple A baseball was in my glove.  I got a couple of high-fives from some fans.  Of course, right after I marked the baseball with a 50, it came to me that it was Booby Scales first HR as a Bison.  I would have given it to him, but I already marked it , so I didn’t give it to him.  The Pawtucket Red Sox ended up winning this game 9-6.  That was it for me on the day.  6 baseballs and a game home run.  Awesome!  Here is a look at the Bobby Scales HR ball:


Here are my 6 baseballs on the day:


2012 Stats for Triple A Baseballs:

Total Baseballs at this Game: 6

Total Baseballs for 2012 Season: 6

Average Baseballs Per Game: 6


Player Profile-#31-Jeff Stevens

Jeff Stevens has a 1-0 record in the majors. It doesn’t seem like much but he is really more of a middle-reliever so he has a pretty solid excuse. Stevens attended and pitched in Division 1 at Loyola Marymount University. In 2005 Jeff was picked in the sixth round (182nd overall) by the Cincinnati Reds. After climbing to class A Dayton in 2006, the Reds sent him to the Cleveland Indians organization to complete a Brandon Phillips trade. He finished 2006 with the Single A Lake County Captains. He was promoted to the Double A Akron Aeros for 2007. During the 2008 season he was promoted to the then AAA affiliate of the Indians, the Buffalo Bisons.

Jeff Stevens was chosen to go to Beijing for the 2008 Olympics pitching for team USA. After that, Stevens spent 2009, 2010, and 2011 with the Iowa Cubs of the Pacific Coast League. Stevens also pitched a little for the Chicago Cubs during these years, making 33 total MLB relief appearences. This year he made his way into the Mets organization and back to Buffalo for the 2012 season. This quadruple A reliever will probably be in the majors soon, so let’s all root for him.



Random Mets Player – Steve Henderson

Steve Henderson was originally drafted in the fifth round of the 1974 Major League Draft by the Cincinnati Reds, out of Prairie View A&M University. He was leading the Double-A Eastern league in hits, 158 hits, eleven triples and 255 total bases, and batting .312 in 1976 for the Reds’ double A affiliate, the Trois-Rivieres Aigles. In 1977 he was batting .324 while with the Reds Triple-A affiliate the Indianapolis Indians, when he was traded to the New York Mets on June 15, 1977 along with Pat Zachry, Doug Flynn, and Dan Norman for Tom Seaver. The Mets wasted no time bringing him into a game, as he was summoned as a pinch runner for Ed Kranepool, and scored his first Major League run, a game tying run against the Houston Astros which the Mets ended up winning 4-3. In Shea Stadium on June 21st in a game against the Atlanta Brave, he hit a ninth inning bomb off of Braves closer Andy Messersmith to send the game in extra innings. In the 11th inning, with a runner on, the Brave intentionally walked Felix Millan to get to Henderson, a strategy that didn’t work. About 20 seconds after issuing the walk, a ball was sailing in the air, going over the wall, and the Mets were celebrating at home plate.

For the season, Henderson had a .297 batting average in 99 games and 350 at-bats with twelve home runs, 65 runs batted in, 67 runs, 104 hits, sixteen doubles, six triples, six stolen bases, 43 base on balls, 4 sacrifice flies. He finished second to Andre Dawson of the Montreal Expos in National League Rookie Of The Year balloting by only one point (10 to 9). On February 28, 1981 he was traded to thw Chicago Cubs along with money in exchange for Dave Kingman.

In 1981, a season that was shortened by strike, Henderson hit .293 with five home runs and 35 RBIs. He declined in 1982, with his average falling to .233, and he was fighting with Jay Johnstone and Keith Moreland for left field playing time. He was traded to the Seattle Mariners at the end of the season for Rich Bordi. He was released from the Mariners after two uneventful and disappointing seasons.

He was signed as a free agent by the Oakland Athletics on March 31, 1985, and only batted .077 on the season. He was released on May 29, 1986, and picked up by the Chicago White Sox shortly afterward, and spent the rest of the season in Buffalo playing for the Bisons (Coincidence.), and batted .288 with 5 home runs. He was released by Chicago at the end of the season, and again signed with the Athletics for the 1987 season, splitting time between playing in the big leagues and playing for their Triple-A affiliate, the Tacoma Tigers.

In 1988, he signed a minor league deal with the Houston Astros. He once again split time playing for their Major League team and Triple-A affiliate, the Tucson Toros. He was released during the offseason and picked up at the end of free agency by the Pittsburgh Pirates, and was assigned to their now Triple-A affiliate the Buffalo Bisons (Again!). He then retired at the end of the 1988 season.

Between 1990-1993 he served as a coach in the Pirates minor league system, and moved to Houston, coaching in their minor league system in 1994, and served as the Astros Major League hitting coach in 1995 and 1996. He moved to the Tampa Bay Devil Rays organization in 1996, serving as hitting coach during their inaugural 1998 season and from 2006 to 2009, making the first trip of his baseball career to the post season in 2008. He was relieved of his duties as hitting coach of the Tampa Bay Rays on October 5, 2009.


Jersey Giveaway

Harrison Tishler gives away hats. Erik Jabs gives away shirts. Here at nybisons, we give away jerseys. We are giving away a Buffalo Bisons screen printed youth XL road jersey. Youth XL may seem a little small, but it should fit a person who wears an adult M or even L. Here are some pictures:ImageImage

Here is the right sleeve:ImageHere is the left sleeve:ImageImageJust a quick note; I never took the jersey out of the package. In the pictures where it is removed from the package, that was my jersey. The winner will recieve the jersey in the the first photo. The second place winner will get this 2006 10 card Bisons update set. The set includes: Jason Alfaro, Vic Darensbourg, Jason Davis, Tom Mastny, Edward Mujica, Jonathon Van Every, the first ever card of Belle “The Ballpark Diva” (mascot), and Chip T. Bison.

ImageThe third place winner will get this 2012 triple-a All Star Game folder from the Buffalo Bisons luncheon in February. The front:ImageThe back:ImageThe inside:Image

The rules are as follows: every comment will count as one entry. But, you can only get one entry per post. So, if you comment twice on one post, that will be one entry. Also, if you are on Twitter, every retweet will give you an entry. We will decide if we are going to do a drawing or something else later. A winner will be chosen when there are 150 entries of right after the World Series is over, whichever comes first. This is a big giveaway, so we want a lot of entries. Tell your friends, please!