Bisons VP/General Manager Mike Buczkowski acknowleged today the team needs to have a better chance of winning games as one part of rebuilding attendance in Coca-Cola Field. And with that in mind, the Herd has opened talks with the Toronto Blue Jays on a new player development contract.
Buczkowski said both he and team president Jon Dandes have already spoken today to Charlie Wilson, the Jays' director of minor-league operations, and that they expect to talk to Toronto GM Alex Anthopoulos and President Paul Beeston in short order. That talk could come as soon as later today following the Jays/Red Sox game in Rogers Centre.
Bisons operators Bob and Mindy Rich are also expected to speak to the Blue Jays via conference call. It's likely Bob Rich, who is a longtime friend of Mets owner Fred Wilpon and also close with Buffalo Baseball Hall of Famer and New York manager Terry Collins, will make what amounts to a goodbye call to the Mets in the next day or so.
"I would never question the Mets' effort, especially this year," Buczkowski said. "They made a real effort to sign players, to keep our roster full. They did a lot of things to make us successful. It didn't just translate on the field."
Buczkowski said he didn't agree with some of the perceptions, fostered by some Mets-centric blogs, that the Bisons are overly demanding of their parent clubs when it comes to wins and losses.
"People say we have to have a winning team but I say to be competitive," he said. "There were a lot of times the last four years we were not competitive. We get a bad rap that we're demanding a championship team. That's not what we're saying. We need a competitive team. Win more than you lose. Play some games in August that mean something. We haven't done that."
Buczkowski said he did not expect the process of talking to the Jays to drag out but said he didn't think any announcement would come until Tuesday at the earliest.
"Within the next day or so we'll come to a decision and do the right thing for everybody involved," he said.