Be sure to check out Sunday's Inside Baseball column as we check in with Buffalo Baseball Hall of Famer and new Mets manager Terry Collins. He's a pepperpot of energy and that's exactly what the Mets need. The calendar says January and he's already set a lineup, picked an Opening Day starter and will be meeting players for voluntary workouts at the team's Florida complex tomorrow!
Transition year? What transition year? Listen to Collins' session with the media below as he talks about his preparation with the Mets and the promotion of Tim Teufel to manager of the Bisons.
The Bisons fired up the hot stove Friday for their annual mid-winter luncheon. The big news was the announcement of Tim Teufel as the Herd's new manager. Mike Harrington reports from the Adam's Mark hotel downtown:
Tim Teufel donned his No. 11 Bisons home jersey today at the Adam's Mark as he was officially introduced as the team's new manager. New Mets manager Terry Collins, who was the team's minor-league field coordinator last year, was impressed with the job Teufel did in keeping Double-A Binghamton together last year in the face of massive callups to Buffalo. Collins knows winning is part of the Bisons' agenda and the Mets feel Teufel is the man to lead many of their top prospects who will be here this season.
Teufel hasn't won much in his career (403-480), mostly in the low minors where players are quickly moved up a level if they're succeeeding at the expense of teams. He knows the record is going to mean a lot more in Buffalo.
"I'm all for it," Teufel told me after his formal press conference. "You have to come to the ballpark with a winning attitude. You don't come here to lose games. You come here to win and get better. winning is a product of your mental preparation and your respect for the game."
Cold and frigid is the forecast but it's plenty hot for baseball today for the Bisons as they host their annual Winter Hot Stove Luncheon in the Adam's Mark. New Mets manager Terry Collins, the Buffalo Baseball Hall of Famer, will be the keynote speaker. Prior to the luncheon, the Bisons will hold a press conference to introduce Tim Teufel as their new manager.
As we reported weeks ago, Teufel is getting promoted from Double-A Binghamton to take over the Herd with Ken Oberkfell gone to New York to join Collins' staff. Teufel shared the second base duties with Wally Backman on the Mets' 1986 World Series champions. Backman, who managed Class A Brooklyn last year, will be taking over Teufel's old job as manager in Binghamton.
Keep it here during the day for more thoughts from Teufel and Collins and probably a dash of audio and video thrown in.
Be sure to read Sunday's Inside Baseball column discussing the big contract the Yankees have given to Tampa Bay closer Rafael Soriano, who will now be Mariano Rivera's setup man. I felt there was no question this move was orchestrated by the Steinbrenners over the wishes of GM Brian Cashman, who said just last week he was not giving up his No. 1 draft pick for any free agent other than Cliff Lee.
That was the scuttlebutt that was coming out of New York and the Daily News appears to completely confirm that suspicion with this story in Saturday's editions. Hal Steinbrenner was uncomfortable with just Joba Chamberlain ahead of Rivera, especially with what looks like a thin rotation, so he plowed ahead and made sure Soriano was signed. Interesting stuff.
They say Cashman has lost no power. We'll see. And we'll see if Cashman starts to wonder if his days in New York are numbered if he gets overruled like this.
The Buffalo Bisons promised a "Big" announcement Wednesday afternoon and they delivered during a press conference in Coca-Cola Field, unveiling that they're in the process of installing a new high-definition video display in center field that will be the largest board in the minor leagues. The start of the work has been visible to cars driving behind left field on Oak Street.
"The Bisons TV HD Board" will be 80 feet long x 33 feet high -- more than triple the size of the current video board that was installed in 1999. The team is funding the entire cost of the $2.5 million project, including the board, HD cameras and control booth updates needed. The video system will be used for the ballpark scoreboard as well as the team's Internet broadcasts and its television broadcasts on Time Warner Cable and SportsNet New York.
The board will be installed by Daktronics, Inc. of South Dakota, which has done the ballpark's first two versions and has a board in 26 of the 30 major league stadiums.
Mayor Byron Brown was also on hand in Pettibones Grille to announce that the city is installing a new energy-efficient lighting system to replace the one that was installed at the park during construction in 1987. The corroded outfield light towers will be replaced by galvanized steel versions that will be about 20 feet shorter but will provide more light and be cheaper to operate.
Brown said the city is footing that bill, nearly $750,000, will be eligible for rebates from National Grid for the project and should save more than $565,000 in energy costs over the 25-year life of the system.
"This wil ensure Coca-Cola's place as one of the premier minor-league parks in all of baseball even though it's 24 years old," said Bisons VP/General Manager Mike Buczkowski. "And it will ensure that this ballpark remains the premier sports and family entertainment venue in our region. It goes without saying it will remain a Buffalo landmark and a place we can all be proud of for many years to come."
"As great as this fan experience has been, it's going to be even greater," added Brown. "I'm certainly looking very much toward Opening Day at the ballpark [April 7 against Syracuse] to see all these improvements in place."
The Bisons will host their annual Winter Hot Stove Luncheon Jan. 21 at the Adam's Mark and the featured speaker will be Buffalo Baseball Hall of Famer/newly hired New York Mets manager Terry Collins.
Collins, 61, was hired by the Mets to replace Jerry Manuel on Nov. 22 after serving last year as the team's minor-league field coordinator. He managed the Bisons from 1989-1991, posting a 246-186 record and leading the club to the 1991 American Association East Division title.
Bisons vice present/general manager Mike Buczkowski will also speak and will update fans on some changes planned for 2011 at Coca-Cola Field. The new playing surface was completed in November and fans driving by on Oak Street have noticed work beginning on a new scoreboard video component.
Tickets are $20 for a buffet lunch at noon followed by the program and can be purchased by calling the Bisons at 846-2011. Tables of eight are $160. Doors open at 11:30 a.m. The Bisons are asking all fans to RSVP by Jan. 18.
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.
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.