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Inside Baseball live chat at 11 a.m.

Thoughts on the Bisons' likely dumping of the Mets for the Blue Jays? Your reaction/additional comments to Sunday's story on what the Herd needs to do to improve the experience at Coca-Cola Field? Can the Yankees get it done in the AL East? How about the charge of the Phillies and Brewers in the NL wild-card race? Or even the release of the 2013 schedules.

Let's talk about it here at 11 a.m.

 

Triple-A shuffle down to three as Bisons/Blue Jays appears to be mere formality

There are only three Triple-A teams left without an affiliation for the 2013 and 2014 seasons -- the Bisons, Las Vegas 51s and Tucson Padres. And if you've been paying attention at all in the last year, it's pretty obvious how this is going to go.

Nashville (Milwaukee), Oklahoma City (Houston) and Memphis (St. Louis) all re-signed with their parent clubs Tuesday (click the team name for their story on the renewals). If you want to switch, you have to file that intention come Sunday and the Bisons are certainly going to do that. It looks like the Blue Jays and Mets are the only teams that will have different affiliates come next year.

Tucson is a temporary home for the Padres, who will stay there for 2013 and then likely have their Triple-A club in a new park El Paso, Texas in 2014. The Bisons will be signing with the Blue Jays, leaving the poor ol' Mets to join up with Las Vegas in a last-kids-picked-in-gym arrangement.

(For those of you still asking me if the Bisons might keep the Mets, forget it. Please stop! They've had all season to re-sign. They're the only International League team without a parent for next year. Doesn't take a degree in rocket science, or even journalism, to see how this one is going down.)

The Triple-A shuffle, and what it means for the Bisons and Blue Jays, will certainly be one topic we can tackle in a special Inside Pitch live chat we will host here Thursday morning at 11. Many of you probably have more thoughts about Sunday's column regarding what the Bisons can do at Coca-Cola Field. I might even have more thoughts on that one as well.

Be sure to tune in.

---Mike Harrington
(Twitter: BNHarrington) 

 

Yankees-Red Sox playoffs tonight ... in Rochester

The homeless Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees somehow won the International League North Division and will return "home" tonight at 7 at Rochester's Frontier Field in quite a pickle in the IL semifinals. The Yankees are down, two games to none, and can be eliminated from the best-of-five set tonight if the Pawtucket Red Sox get another win.

The PawSox have overcome deficits in both games, posting a 3-2 win Thursday in McCoy Stadium.

Tickets in Rochester are $11, $9.50 and $7. The teams would meet again Saturday at 7 and Sunday at 6, both if necessary. 

Charlotte leads the other series over Indianapolis, 2-0, after posting a wild 14-13 win Thursday in Indy. The Knights, led by ex-Bisons manager Joel Skinner, can clinch the series tonight at home.

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

Bizarre numbers games

While waiting for the massive opener of tonight's Yankees-Orioles series, I've been checking some stats out. Consider:

---The Braves posted their second straight 1-0 win over the Rockies Thursday afternoon -- and neither game featured an earned run. According to Stats Inc., Atlanta is the first team to win back-to-back 1-0 affairs with unearned runs since the Dodgers did that to the Reds in 1984!

---How did the Braves score Thursday? When Rockies pitcher Jhoulys Chacin missed the throw back to the mound and allowed Juan Francisco to scoot him from third. Little League stuff.

---The Braves went the last 32 innings of their series with the Rox without scoring an earned run. Somehow, they still won three out of four games!

---How are the Dodgers still in the playoff hunt batting .197 with runners in scoring position and two out?

---Gio Gonzalez's 18th win for the Nationals makes him the franchise's first 18-game winner since Bryn Smith did it for the late, great Montreal Expos in 1985.

---The Marlins' tragic number to be eliminated from the NL East is two. Who had them as the third team ousted from division contention this season? Nobody. And it's really the first real team out, because the pathetic Cubs and Astros are both headed to 100-loss seasons.

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

A call for info: Your thoughts on Coca-Cola Field

As I mentioned in Sunday's Inside Baseball column, I've been swamped in recent weeks by plenty of reader e-mail and tweets (@BNHarrington) about the experience at Coca-Cola Field for Bisons games.

Bringing the Blue Jays in as a parent will help but won't be a complete panacea. When I ask people why they've stopped going to games, the most common response remains "the team stinks." But there are others. And it should be noted there's plenty of talk as well about what is done well and what people like.

As the stadium heads into year 26, I'll be writing an upcoming column about what the team can do to keep people coming -- and maybe to get them to come back more than once and stop making a trip to the ballpark a once-a-summer event like Allentown or the Taste of Buffalo.

So feel free to give me your thoughts, any and all of them. Leave a comment here, send me an email (mharrington@buffnews.com) or hit me up on Twitter (@BNHarrington).

(5 p.m. update: More than a dozen emails so far. Keep 'em coming!)

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

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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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