Some tidbits as we head what's going to be a 3:10 first pitch for the new-look Bisons against Pawtucket here at Coca-Cola Field:
---It's a beautiful sunny day but don't let that fool you. Breezy and brisk. Mid-40s. Stiff wind blowing from right field to left. Bad news for left-handed hitters. Have a sweater and a hood if you're coming down. The game is on Time Warner 13 and WWKB 1520 AM.
---For posterity, the first batting practice swing by a Mets farmhand in downtown Buffalo was taken at 12:42 p.m. by backup catcher Rene Rivera on a delivery from pitching coach Ricky Bones. It was a two-hopper up the middle. The Herd was resplendent in its new blue batting practice tops with the word "Buffalo" across the front. And I think the black jackets with the word "Bisons" on the front and the new circular logo on the sleeve will be popular as well.
The team's "A Baseball State of Mind" slogan is painted on the field in Mets orange and blue (Think Billy Joel. Get it now?). The foul poles and home run line atop the fence have both been painted orange. A new championship corner banner is up in left field painted blue.
---The Bisons' final roster does not include fan favorite Jason Cooper. He is here in uniform but will apparently open the season on the phantom disabled list.
---Nice tidbit from PR guru Brad Bisbing: The Bisons have played 4,873 regular season games since the season finale in 1965, the last time they played as a Mets affiliate. But hey, how many did they win??!
---Jonathan Malo, a 25-year-old from Joliette, Quebec (about 45 miles north of Montreal), will be Buffalo's first Mets-era batter today and play second base. He will be followed in the batting order by Jose Coronado-ss; Fernando Martinez-dh; Nick Evans-1b; Bobby Kielty-rf; Jesus Feliciano-lf; Omir Santos-c; Cory Sullivan-cf; Rob Mackowiak-3b.
---Jonathon Niese will start against Pawtucket's Enrique Gonzalez, who pitched for Venezuela in the World Baseball Classic.
I'll have another post closer to gametime describing the pregame ceremones and the game itself.