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The blessing in disguise of Opening Day deferred for the Buffalo Bisons

There hasn't been a lot going on around Coca-Cola Field the past two days.

And while the Opening Day delay is frustrating, in some ways it can be a blessing in disguise.

The Buffalo Bisons postponed the first two days of their season on Wednesday with weather forecasts for rain followed by snow. That pushed Opening Day to Saturday (1:05 p.m.) against the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders.

So for the last two days, players have been working out in the cages, going to meetings with the coaching staff and going about the business of finding a place to live.

For first-year Bisons' manager Bobby Meacham, the early postponements were better than coming to the park and waiting around for two hours until the game would inevitably have been called.

"It's been better knowing we can come in here and get some things accomplished without worrying if the game is on or off, especially for the players," Meacham said in his office Friday afternoon. "They can plan their day and how to get ready for Saturday. A lot of stuff is just setting up. There are meetings we need to have, going over signs or just acquainted with this whole scenario, the roles that guys are going to fit in to."

Then there's the part of finding a place to live.

While the Bisons' staff certainly helps players with that, it's still a stressful time. The Bisons broke camp on Sunday, reported to Buffalo on Tuesday and were scheduled to start playing on Thursday. That's not a lot of time to get settled in a new city and it can be difficult to focus when you still haven't unpacked your suitcase.

"I think it's a big deal just to get set up in an apartment for the players, whether that's finding the right roommates or the right apartments," Meacham said. "Just kind of feeling settled. I think these days have been good because usually it's a scramble and then it's 'oh, right we've got a game.' But I think it's probably been a blessing for these guys to get settled in before games start.

"The older they get, they've got wives involved, kids involved with travel from wherever to here. You've got a lot of responsibilities. And on top of that I'm trying to get back to the big leagues or I'm trying to get to the big leagues. This is a rough game and not just the baseball part of it just the whole life part of it."

As far as the baseball part, the delay puts a bit of a crimp in the Bisons' schedule already. They will open on Saturday with starter Casey Lawrence still getting the call as the Herd's Opening Day pitcher. Sunday's doubleheader means Mat Latos will start the first game while Matt Dermody will get a spot start out of the bullpen for Game Two.

Scranton is scheduled to start Johnny Barbato on Saturday with Dietrich Enns getting the start in Game One on Sunday. The RailRiders have not announced their starter for the second half of Sunday's doubleheader.

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