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The Russ Bus returns to Cleveland

One of the more intriguing stories for Bisons fans to watch this season with their former parent is the return of slugger Russell Branyan to Cleveland. He's 34 now and long past his prospect days but he's also coming off his best big-league season -- 31 homers and 76 RBIs for the Mariners last year -- before a bad back saddled him for the final month.

Since he was traded by the Indians to the Reds in 2002, Branyan has really bounced around. He's been with six other teams after the Reds and even returned to Cleveland two other times -- slugging 25 home runs for the Bisons in 2004 and appearing in one game for the Herd in 2007. His 76 home runs in Buffalo are two shy of Jeff Manto's modern-era franchise record.

Can Branyan stay healthy this year and put up the kind of numbers the Indians saw last year in Seattle? Can he pick up the slack if Travis Hafner has yet another brutal season? Should be interesting. Here's some video of Branyan's press conference with Cleveland reporters a few days ago at the Tribe's spring camp in Goodyear, Ariz. (He gives it up to the '04 Bisons at the one-minute mark)

---Mike Harrington
(www.twitter.com/bnharrington)

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Bisons/Indians | Ex-Bisons | Major leagues
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About Inside Pitch

Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington, a Canisius College graduate who began his career as a News reporter in 1987, has covered the Buffalo Bisons since 1992 and Major League Baseball since 1995. A member of the Baseball Writers' Association of America, Harrington has reported on more than 30 MLB postseason series — including every game of the World Series in this century — and all three of the Bisons' championship runs in their modern era. He is a connoisseur of the famous Stadium Mustard at Cleveland's Progressive Field.

@BNHarrington | mharrington@buffnews.com


Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz, a native of Lockport, has covered the Bisons for The Buffalo News since 2002. She has a bachelor’s degree in journalism/mass communication from St. Bonaventure University and a master’s degree in humanities from the University at Buffalo. An endurance athlete, she has completed several triathlons, half marathons and marathons.

@amymoritz | amoritz@buffnews.com

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