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Bisons and Baseball

Gotta hand it to the folks at MLB for some neat ideas in recent years. The Fort Bragg game was a wonderful salute to the military. The Little League Classic is a gem you would hope they would keep for years and years. The forays into Australia and London have been memorable. The buzz surrounding next summer's "Field of Dreams" game in Dyersville, Iowa, is already huge. …

Bisons and Baseball

NEW YORK – Everything is fine on the surface with the Yankees. Barring some sort of historic collapse, they're going to win the American League East in a walk and spend the next six weeks or so merely getting things in order for the playoffs. But even though they entered the weekend tied with the Dodgers for the best record in the game, the Bronx Bombers have issues tha…

Bisons and Baseball

COOPERSTOWN — Enter Sandman into the Hall of Fame. Mariano Rivera closed Sunday's induction ceremony Sunday just like he did so many times in his career, with a flourish and complete attention to detail. Parts of Rivera's 25-minute address were made in Spanish in support of those on hand waving flags from his native Panama. It included two vignettes not widely known …

Bisons and Baseball

COOPERSTOWN – The symmetry we're going to see here Sunday afternoon is going to be perfect for Yankees fans making the pilgrimage from either end of the state. Mike Mussina will be the starter for the Baseball Hall of Fame induction. As for the closer of the six-man class, could it possibly be anyone else but Mariano Rivera? Mussina said here Saturday that during Fri…

Bisons and Baseball

Through Friday's games. Most recent rankings in parentheses. 1. Los Angeles Dodgers. Lead in NL West is up to 14 games, run differential has soared to plus-151. (1) 2. New York Yankees. As Mariano and Mussina head into Cooperstown, Boone's "Savages" have just about put away AL East with 22-6 run of dominance. (2) 3. Houston Astros. In city that hosted Mission Cont…

Bisons and Baseball

There will be excellence and dignity on display all weekend in Cooperstown. But when the Baseball Hall of Fame stages its annual induction ceremony Sunday at the Clark Sports Center, there's certain to be a good deal of sadness as well. The absence of Roy Halladay will loom over the big day for this class of inductees. Halladay, a larger-than-life figure on the mo…

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…