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Las Vegas GM on Blue Jays' potential Triple-A move: 'Buffalo is the hot girlfriend'

LogoThe Bisons' potential move from the Mets to the Blue Jays -- which, remember, can't happen until after the current deal with the Mets runs out Sept. 15 -- will draw the most attention in Las Vegas, where the Blue Jays have been since 2008.

It's no secret the Jays and Vegas were the last kids picked in gym class four years ago and that's how they got paired. And it's likely Vegas will once again earn that fate. The Mets are hardly a lock to end up there, as they're known to like Oklahoma City and have interest in checking things out in places like Memphis, Nashville and even New Orleans (where they were in 2007 and 2008). It remains to be seen how many of those alternatives will be available.

As for Sin City, Las Vegas 51s General Manager Chuck Johnson would love to keep the Blue Jays but admits in this Las Vegas Review-Journal story that he knows Buffalo is lurking. (*see below for the explanation on 51s)

"We have such a great relationship with the Blue Jays, but we kind of understand (Buffalo is) the hot girlfriend and we may not be so attractive,"  Johnson said. "We understand if they're going to go, they may have their eyes opened to move back East."

Blue Jays farm director Charlie Wilson says in the same story that the team would love to stay in Vegas, but only because he has to. He faces fines if he discusses other locales. That said, most folks you talk to say management in Vegas is more than good enough. It's simply a poor ballpark (29-year-old Cashman Field) and the PCL travel and altitude makes it tough to judge prospects.

The story also talks about the Bisons' unhappiness with the Mets because of the team's record and gets a comment from someone who knows the town well. Current Vegas manager Marty Brown directed the Herd to the 2004 IL championship and was here in July for the Triple-A All-Star Game.

"Buffalo's a very competitive town. They like to win," Brown said. "They don't handle losing easily in Buffalo."

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

(The Vegas team is called the 51s because that was the name of the semi-secret government base known as Area 51, which is about 120 miles northwest of Las Vegas. Reports of UFO sightings and alien activities spawned the team's nickname, alien head logo and its mascot, Cosmo.)

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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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