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Bisons and Baseball

Usually you can draw a few conclusions from the first month of the season, but it's impossible to figure out what to make of April when you look at the American League East. (OK, the Orioles were supposed to be terrible and they have been. The Blue Jays were supposed to range from mediocre to terrible and have been. Toss them out of this discussion). The Yankees can'…

Bisons and Baseball

I want my sport back. Seriously. And not the old days when just about every game in Major League Baseball was played in less than 2 1/2 hours. We're not talking 1977 here. I'd be happy for a return to, oh, 2009. Yes, everybody is supposed to hate commissioners, but I'm rooting for Rob Manfred's attempts to fix what's wrong in baseball. There's nothing wrong with change.…

Bisons and Baseball

Let's get one thing straight right off the top: Harold Baines doesn't matter. The fact that Baines is going into the Baseball Hall of Fame — clearly thanks to the prodding of his former owner (Jerry Reinsdorf) and former manager (Tony La Russa) on the Today's Game Committee — doesn't change the standards for election one bit in this view. Baines never got more than 6…

Bisons and Baseball

As we hit the All-Star break, baseball feels broken. The Yankees, Red Sox and Astros are all on pace to win at least 105 games and no league has ever had three 100-game winners. The Orioles and Royals are both on pace to lose 117, and the White Sox will lose 106 if they keep this up. Since starting 11-1, the Mets are playing at what would be a 109-loss pace. This loo…

Bisons and Baseball

Jose Bautista's return to Toronto with the Mets on Tuesday and Wednesday went pretty much as you would have expected. The Blue Jays did a fine job with a pregame video tribute, and the fans showered Mr. Bat Flip with standing ovations both nights as he came to the plate. It all had a throwback sort of feel to it, odd in a way because Bautista just left Toronto last Sept…

Bisons and Baseball

Western New Yorkers watching the broadcast of Friday's Yankees game or at Yankee Stadium got a surprise when one of their own appeared on the scoreboard. Gage Tomaszewski from West Seneca was named "Veteran of the Game." Tomaszewski, a U.S. Navy air traffic control specialist petty officer second class, served during Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Fre…

Bisons and Baseball

TORONTO — The Boston Red Sox are a team you're still trying to figure out. Are they the group that burst from the scene 17-2, giving Alex Cora the best start for a rookie manager since 1900? Or are they the team that entered Saturday just 9-10 in their last 19 and having already blown the 7 1/2-game lead they built on the Yankees in mid-April? The answer probably lies s…

Bills

I must say, I'm touched. The Mailbag took a three-week hiatus and people actually missed it. There was a pile of mail waiting, on all manner of subjects. And no one told me to retire or move back to New England (where I spent last week). It's hard to get to everyone's questions. I still have some good ones sitting in the file from last fall. So in an attempt to be more …

Bisons and Baseball

TORONTO -- For openers, it could not have been a better start for Giancarlo Stanton with the New York Yankees. Two home runs to right-center field at the Rogers Centre totaling nearly 900 feet of air time. Seriously. Major statement made. The Yankees throttled the Blue Jays, 6-1, on Opening Day and easily the biggest talking point was about the booming bat that colle…

Bisons and Baseball

TORONTO – In the hours leading to his debut as a big-league manager, Aaron Boone insisted he wasn't nervous. Even though he's now wearing the massive responsibility as the skipper of the New York Yankees. "I'm doing all right actually. Compared to being a player, I was more anxious at this moment as a player," Boone said Thursday afternoon in Rogers Centre, a couple hou…

Bisons and Baseball

The roll call of former Bisons connections managing in the big leagues has been cut by two this month with the essentially forced retirement of Terry Collins in New York and the dismissal of John Farrell in Boston. But a new name has surfaced as a potential leading candidate to join the group that now numbers five skippers. Ex-Buffalo catcher Dusty Wathan, the clubho…

Sports

TORONTO -- Rebuild and contend in the same year. It's usually a foolish thing to try. It's viewed by most as staying down the middle without making a real decision. But it's exactly what the New York Yankees did this year. Lo and behold, they got it right. The Yankees are going to the postseason, no small accomplishment given all they've endured this season. Saturday…

Sports

Just imagine you bought Subway Series tickets way back in March. Two games in Yankee Stadium on Monday and Tuesday. Games in Citi Field on Wednesday and Thursday. Mid-August. Middle of the pennant race. Think of the drama you figured to see. Now think of the reality. The Yankees, while still leading the AL wild-card race, are coming off two horrific losses to the Red So…

Sports

When it comes to the Dog Days of August, the Yankees are in the throes of them. Don't let Friday's did-you-see-that comeback against the Red Sox fool you. What has been a fascinating transition season engineered by GM Brian Cashman is clearly in danger of slipping away thanks to a quiet offense and injuries on the mound. Slugger Aaron Judge entered the weekend having…

Sports

TORONTO -- Whether it's because of injuries, ineffectiveness or maybe even trades, you can't figure to go an entire season with just five starting pitchers. Since they affiliated with the Buffalo Bisons in 2013, the Toronto Blue Jays have bucked that trend and have mostly done exactly that. But fate caught up to them this year and their lack of pitching depth at the top…