According to a report from the Buffalo News, Mets Triple-A manager Wally Backman “pretty much confirmed late Sunday afternoon what has been plainly obvious for several weeks: These are the New York Mets’ final days as the parent club of the Buffalo Bisons.”

“I would guess that’s true,” Backman said when asked if he expected the homestand that begins Monday night to be the Mets’ final one in Coca-Cola Field.  ”It’s a shame for us, really. Buffalo is a great city but I don’t envision us coming back, from the things I’ve heard from the grapevine.”

Adam Rubin of ESPN New York provides the kicker, reporting on the News piece and adding his own speculation that the Bisons “presumably would align with the Blue Jays. That potentially would leave the Mets in the PCL with Las Vegas, which is Toronto’s current affiliate.”

Now, obviously this is all very far from being official, but that’s sounds bloody terrific, doesn’t it? Fingers crossed…


Image via Kristan Cunningham.

Comments (181)

  1. This would be too good. Im not sayin’ nothin’ until its final.

  2. having an affiliate in Buffalo would be pretty cool if it works out. i imagine it could be good for the Bisons attendance too.

    • It would be a short drive for jays fans and a much better environment for jays pitching prospects but ya I’m not getting all excited over rumor and maybes

  3. It’s 2am and traffic’s slow…..

  4. Time for the boys in Vegas to fill their boots while they can (buffets & gambling). Hopefully, the move is confirmed.

  5. Moving to Buffalo would be excellent forthe Jays.

    Similar climate to Toronto, so you could probably assess the hitters & pitchers better than Vegas.

    Easier for the Jays to callup players without red eye flights.

    More fans from Toronto visiting Buffalo for the weekend to see prospects.

    Very good news for the Jays if the deal is finalized.

  6. yeeeeehaw

  7. Why are the Meta giving up on Buffalo?

    • From the Rubin piece, it sounds like it may be the Bisons’s giving up on the Mets. The team has had a shitty record and attendance is dropping, so if Buffalo see better opportunity with the Jays, then they’re free to not renew with the Mets.

      From Rubin:
      “Since Buffalo received disproportionate media/marketing attention from being affiliated with a New York ballclub, dumping the Mets is a major rebuke of the organization.

      The Bisons’ attendance steadily has decreased, with Buffalo struggling to win during the four-year relationship. With a loss Sunday to Pawtucket, Buffalo has a .456 winning percentage (255-304) in four seasons as a Mets affiliate.”

    • Other way around.

    • People in Buffalo have never really taken to the Mets partnership. Perhaps the sting of losing Cleveland still lingers (no, that isn’t sarcasm. Attendance records, championships, homerun derbys with Jim Thome, and numerous mega-talent through the pipeline). In addition, the Mets haven’t lived up to promises of fielding a quality team that would be competitive. Their francise has been in flux the past few years, with little direction and a joke of a farm system. They are hesitant to pass whatever prospects they have through AAA, so there is even less to get excited for. Simply put, no one wants to go see Casey Fossum, Jeff Weaver or Fred Lewis play for the affiliate of NYC’s bastard son.

      • “NYC’s bastard son”. Try floating that in a borough other than Manhattan. Nobody wants to watch bad baseball. If the Mets focused on building a decent farm system they’d be in Buffalo forever.

  8. So now let us all celebrate with a cool glass of turnip juice….

  9. It would be great for those of us nerdy fans who’d like to check out prospects here in Southern Ontario. An hour and a half drive is nothing.

    • DJF prospecting roadtrip?

      • I’ll be the DDD, got room for 6. Volvo wagon is stealth, looks like a mom-mobile ’til you open ‘er up

    • Some of the hipster stat geeks could rent cars using their parents credit cards & derive down to Buffalo to check out the propspects :))) #sarcasm.

      • You can’t take rented cars across the border (normally).

        Also, #noonelikesyou.

        • Of course you can.

          • You’ll probably end up paying a premium to cross the border, and another one if you are under 25 – insurance risks.

        • as a Canadian living in the US, I can confidently confirm that this is not true.

        • Why would people bother to say stuff like this when they obviously don’t have the faintest clue what the hell they’re talking about? Of course you can take a rented car over the border.

        • It totally depends on the rental agency, but I’ve done it with no additional fees several times from Ontario to New York and from Yukon to Alaska. It’s never been an issue.

  10. Given the regionalization of the Bills into Southern Ontario, this seems like a perfect way for the Jays to reciprocate and start tapping into the Yankee-dominated Western New York region. This is a baseball-starved community with good, loyal fans that are looking for someone to root for. The Jays are young and on the rise, and would provide a quality team with exciting talent. Before this Mets fiasco, Buffalo has historical been one of the most successful minor league francises (on the field and at the ticket office). This partnership (if fruitful down the line), coupled with our ever-growing discontent with our downstate brethren…I expect I won’t be wearing the only Jays cap in Buffalo before long. Make it happen, please.

    • B-lo – is that a thing? Just trying to get started acclimating to this move, presuming it happens.

    • I live in Buffalo and I rotate through wearing two different Jays caps. People here are super friendly, and I often get stopped at the grocery store to talk about baseball. People here that I’ve talked to are mostly fans of teams other than the Yankees (the Rays, Red Sox, Indians, etc), though there are still a few Yankees hats (but I think that’s more of a fashion/trend thing).

      The Buffalo Bisons are reportedly very well run, and there have been rumours in the paper that they might switch to the Blue Jays for at least a few months now. Mike Harrington, who has an awesome column each Sunday called “Inside Baseball” has written a bunch about how the Bisons and the Jays would be a great fit and how the Mets haven’t been a great match.

    • Very good news!

      I would love to come down to Buffalo for weekends to see the AAA Jays play.

      Do they serve Beef on Wek at Cocoa Cola stadium?

  11. The stadium in Buffalo is a great place to watch a game. It’s the biggest stadium in the minor leagues and was built with the hopes that an MLB team would follow. And it’s not even the fact that Buffalo is close, it’s that the stadium is VERY close. The Buffalo bus terminal is a block away and you can take Megabus for 10 bucks each way. Seems like a pretty awesome move for Jays fans.

    • Agreed, it’s an awesome place to watch a baseball game. Has had a brutal on field product since the Indians switched affiliates though.

  12. B-dot to the T-dot, easy bus ride for call ups and all the Niagara Region Blue Jay fans will surely come out to a great venue in downtown Buff. So many positives and few if any negatives….make it happen, Go Buffalo Blue Jays!!!!!

    • I live in St. Kitts right now and have honestly been putting my future life plans on hold until I find out if the AAA Jays are moving to Buffalo.

  13. James while John had had had had had had had had had had had a better effect on the teacher.


    Also, the affiliate in Buffalo would be excellent

  14. My musical salute to leaving Las Vegas – light a candle:

  15. Born and raised in the 716. Exciting move, if it transpires.

  16. THIS IS HORSE MALARKEY and i’ll tell you why:

    First this is a clear example of the level of brain washing Rogers inflicts on unsuspecting, naive fans. Lets all take a step back here and be honest for a moment, shall we, the Jays having an affiliate in Buffalo will not attract more fans there to watch AAA games. If it does, lets call a one time thing a rounding error. If you’ve ever been to Buffalo, you’d know it’s worse then spending a weekend in Hamilton. Who in there right mind would cash their paycheck, or save up, the building of anticipation, finally the day comes, load up their family into the mini van, drive 2-4 hours to spend time in Hamilton? When you drive past it on the hwy or over the bridge, everybody stares in awe and amazement, (with the windows done up) like the aftermath of a chemical war this close to home. Buffalo is worse except you have the windows done up so you don’t get robbed and the smell. Buffalo is the equivalent of a burnt down Detroit.

    This whole PCL / Vegas hard to grade prospects thing is just as bizarre. Yes for the average or even advanced fan, I see and agree to the point. But the hard infield makes infielders, better, Vegas despite the air has a bigger outfield than most teams and the biggest CF in the minor leagues. So it’s not a cake walk but forget all of that, teams easily counter those settings with advance metrics, advance stats that examin where the ball is hit and 1000 other factors. Sorry but they don’t care about avg. Personally I’d rather have my studs rake before getting owned in the ML.

    Finally the Jays have fielded a team that at one point or another consisted of only one ML position player from opening day roster, so I ask has the Las Vegas 51′s roster, players with Jays jerseys on prompted ANY of you to go to a Jays game you normally wouldn’t have, because of the presence of these kids? I mean you can get a ticket to the DOME for what, 15-30$ and even take the TTC to the front door, or lock your 10 speed up outside. The answer is probably not, no. Red eye flights and the like are probably not a big deal. Honestly I have been (once) and would just as soon, rather the Jays stay in Vegas. 1$ beer nights and $100 flights there are a lot of fun.

    • As a native of WNY, fuck off.

      • As a native of Ontario, you fuck off

        • Now this comment section is safely back in its comfort zone. And now we return to your regularly scheduled Buffalo-bashing and ass-backwards analysis of player development.

          • Pft, I am from Hamilton you backwater, hill billy. Tell me I’m wrong, come on! Even the people who live there know its true, lets as I said above, be realistic about this whole thing. Stop drinking the Rogers Koolaid and think for yourself PUPPET!

            Show you have something that resembles intelligence and offer up a response. Do my tax dollars not provide you with enough money from welfair to attend Jays games at the Dome? Like you’re really going to Buffalo to watch a game, let alone weekend pass’s or packages GTFO dumbass

        • someone’s still recovering from the hockey season

          • It’s more like remission, isn’t it?

          • not even hockey season. Just Leafs season. This jagoff is basically the worst kind of Leaf fan: a bitter bitch who listens to the Garreth wheelers of the world and jerks off in front of a mirror. And now he’s wearing a Jays hat but doesn’t wear it because they aren’t doing well…but wears it if they do well…but doesn’t wear it if they aren’t doing well….but wears it if they are doing well….

    • I could care less for the economics of the situation for the Buffalo management but I think they’d do better than you think.

      Hitting is one thing but you’re forgetting what it does to the pitchers and how it forces them to pitch differently than in the majors. If you don’t believe me go back and read the interviews that Walton did in spring training which is just confirmation for what everyone else already knew about pitching in some of these parks.

      The stats for the PCL are so distorted it makes getting a read on players tougher and as with the pitchers it distorts their development for the big leagues. As per Keith Law and others most teams won’t even send there good pitching prospects to PCL teams instead keeping them in AA. There’s a reason for that. It’s another reason why the hitters do so well.

      There’s also the logistics to consider. I think there’s been a couple times this year the Jays had to go with a short bench while the call up wasted a day in travel from Vegas to Toronto. With Buffalo that’s not going to be a problem. In fact you could probably make moves as late as a 3 or 4 hour before game time.

    • Sweet Jesus, are you real? Or are you a gift from the cranky bullshit rant heavens?

    • +1 for being an AAA-class level troll and a jackass of epic proportions

    • You spelled paycheck wrong Einstein. Try “paycheque”

    • I live in SWO, it is about equal distance for me to see a Jays game or a Buffalo game. I have been to buffalo many times for the Bills, and Sabres and I have never had a problem with the city. Sure if you start wondering around some neighborhoods with your pockets out you will get into trouble but as a place to go for a sports games I have never had a bad time.

      If the Jays send their AAA team there and I have the option of going there for cheap parking $10 field level tickets, cheaper beer and food, and it is just as close. I think I will become a buffalo fan.

    • That’s how I feel about Toronto as a city, to be honest.

      I much prefer visiting Hamilton and Buffalo. Hamilton has a great arts community and there are tons of super cool things to do there. Buffalo, and its surrounding area, has lots of charm and plenty of awesome stuff to explore and see.

      Plus, the traffic’s not super terrible, much like the traffic to, from, and in Toronto. It’s okay to personally not know about all the great things to do in awesome cities like Buffalo and Hamilton, but maybe at least google some stuff before posting your ignorance.

      I don’t think that Rogers is trying to get people to drive down to Buffalo. They make money by having people go to the stadium formerly known as the Skydome. If anything, the hope would be that fans of the Bisons, after seeing players work on their trade in Buffalo, would then go to Toronto to see them play in the big leagues if and when they make it.

      Plus, the Bisons are one of the better run AAA organizations (from what I can gather via news articles etc).

      • Holy fuck bro you lost me at “great arts community and tons of super cool things to do there.” Unless one of those things is ‘drive through it on your way to somewhere better’ I’ll have to respectfully disagree with your assessment.

        • Well, I teach drawing and painting at OCAD, and I can say that a lot of artists are moving to Hamilton because it’s cheap as fuck. (I’m told that Detroit, however, is the real international hot spot. It’s the new Berlin. Artists from everywhere are going there. A former student of mine bought a house there and her mortgage is less than her cell phone bill.) But Hamilton has a lot of stuff going on there these days also. Several young faculty members from my school have recently relocated there.

        • There’s actually been a lot of artists moving into the James St. area. The Globe and Mail did a piece on the growing arts district there a couple of years ago. The art museum has also put on some great shows over the time I spent in Hamilton. Here’s a bit from wikipedia on it:,_Ontario)#James_North_Art_District

          Honestly though, I’ve found that you can praise or shit all over any city. Every city has its bad parts of town and its redeeming aspects. How people view it says more about their general attitude than it does the city.

        • Have you ever been to the theatre or arts venues in either Hamilton or Buffalo? Buffalo, especially is world class. And they both boast excellent universities, which make a big difference too. They are redefining themselves after suffering the death throes of their founding industries and it’s damn exciting for arts/culture/heritage geeks.

    • Buffalo and Rochester were depressing 15 years ago, I guess. It’s actually quite pleasant these days with the best pizza and wings on the planet. Sure, the native beer sucks but that’s OK, we just serve yours. Don’t let me stop you from raging out your asshole on shit that came to a conclusion a lifetime ago GRRR SMALLPOX

    • A few issues:
      1) Accessibility of minor league ball that is attached to the club of your fandom may not be of interest to you, but it clearly is to many others.

      2) Seeing the Vegas quality roster struggling against big league opposition is entirely different from watching them compete against players of their own caliber.

      3) You obviously just hate Buffalo.

      4) The PCL issues are far more important to development of prospects than you mention here. Advance metrics can’t account for the effect that thin air has on breaking balls (less friction=less movement), the fact that many teams (like the Jays) hide the best arms in their systems from the PCL (skipping them from AA straight to the majors) and extreme park related factors (the quality of data on minor league park factors, as well as the high degree of variance between parks in the PCL, skews the applicability of statistical measures.) While having your “studs rake” may seem advantageous in terms of building confidence, it also may hinder development as it provides a skewed view of their skills due to environment over talent based factors.
      Finally, to this point, you are entirely ignoring the fact that having a team in Vegas effectively removes AAA as a developmental stop for pitching prospects, halving its usefulness as a farm team for the big club.

      5. Go back to Russia

    • Buffalo has a great outdoor stadium, and just down the street is the Pearl St. Pub serving up great eats and cheap booze.

      Yeah, sounds like a terrible place to watch a game! :/

  17. Hamilton is nothing like Buffalo.

    • Its not? Please tell the rest of us what separates the two cities…

      I mean what’s a few burned down, abandon houses / buildings / factories, full of crack heads and squatters between friends?!

      • I honestly can’t comprehend people like you. Are you actually as obtuse as the comments make you sound or do you masturbate to the pleasure of commenting on the ridiculous points you make? Either one of those possibilities is terrible.

        • When you read your own comment, at what point do you realize its absurd, or are you often this easily confused?

          First the comment wasn’t directed at you and second it clearly states a question and gives an example. What part of proper question, answer dialog are you most overwhelmed by?

          • BTW, talking about jerking off and or calling others such, isn’t very witty and if nothing else its a view into your sad world. Do you need a 1800 number because it’s apparent you need help.

          • Gio reigns supreme, SUUUUPREME!!!!

      • Buffalo has a neat AAA stadium, a baseball team, Bills fans who don’t beat you up when you’re cheering for the opponent, and wings. Hamilton has the stupid Tiger-Cats, football fans who shout anti-Semitic slurs and throw beer bottles at you if you’re an Argos fan, and dirty drinking water. Clearly Buffalo wins.

  18. Do you think we could get some wins first before this happens what good is farm team if the players we get from them cannot play period! Jays have been a disgusting franchise since 1995, the 1994 team did not win the world series but had pretty good record which we have not since! 20 years is far far to long!

  19. Id love for this to be true, I had a blast a month ago when I went to the AAA all-star game in an outdoor stadium, rather then rust bucket sky-dome or w/e its called now a day.

    Its a 90minute drive from Toronto, 5 minutes past the fort-erie border into Nuffalo, and its in a good clean area in Buffalo.

    Cant wait going for the djf prospect porn road trips..!

  20. Well, I just hope the Jays learned their lesson. I mean, basically getting the shaft and being one of the least desirable teams to be affiliated with is a kick in the pants.

    I think a lot of the fans have felt more embarrassment about this than the organization. Since Beest and Alex took over, so many other things have improved. The uniforms are no small accomplishment after the lousy laundry for far too long. They grabbed an extra affiliate, they managed to get a Canadian affiliate (with possibly more to come). These are all things (that should not have been screwed up before but were) that fans knew should be done and have been accomplished. Beest + Gillick >>>>>Beest + Alex >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Godfrey + JP >>>>> Godfrey + Ash

    • Incorrect. Godfrey + Ash > Godfrey + JP. Riccardi developed pretty much no talent. Gord Ash gets my enduring admiration for two things – the infinitely fun 1998 Blue Jays (Shannon Stewart inside the park homerun when the CF injured himself is a top 5 fondest baseball memory) and fucking drafting fucking Roy Halladay, AKA the best Blue Jay there ever was or will be.

      In fact, even if all that Gord had done was draft Halladay he’d kick the shit out of JP’s tenure, which basically left me with Vernon Well’s contract and an enduring hatred of Lyly Overbay.

  21. Excited for this, but fuck the sabres

  22. Fucking cantaloupe continues its killing spree – 32 dead in the last year – WHERE IS THE OUTRAGE?????

  23. For those who keep saying baltimore is lucky in 1 run games, here’s their record in 2 run games.

    jays 8-8

    bal 19-12

    So I don’t think they can be lucky in both?

    • Why can’t they be lucky in both, isn’t that the nature of luck?

    • I saw a tweet today that said the last team to match their record in 1 and 2 run games combined was the Indians back in 1954.

  24. This would be fantastic if only for the ease of logistics as many have touched on already. I saw a game at Safeco and my friends were telling me about the Mariners affiliates. They’re ridiculously well situated with their AAA team in Tacoma and one of their single-A teams in Everett – it’d be like the Jays having the the 51s in Mississauga and a single-A team in Hamilton.

    • The difference of course being that washington state is beautiful and Hamilton is like Iraq. Naaasty, dirty city top to bottom, 3 blocks of Rosedale and 3 blocks of Westdale don’t really make a dent in the reality.

      • who gives a fuck? Take a short road trip with a few buddies, grab some wings, watch a fuckin’ baseball game for cheap on a Friday night. Then Head back to Toronto and catch an MLB game the next day or two. Get your head out of your ass.

        • Do you need attention this badly? Something tells me, you don’t have a few buddies to go with, as per my first response, flying to vegas is only $100. Its also probably a lot safer than you hitch hiking your way to Buffalo but on your shoe string budget, I guess we can see your point.

          • What are you, the fucking Vegas tourism board? Seriously, there are some beautiful parts of Hamilton, a rapidly growing arts community, one of Canada’s top universities, a dropping crime rate, a slowly revitalizing downtown. But, someone whose experience ends at the QEW on ramp probably cares not for forming any real impressions of the city.

            Go back to Russia

      • I’m not sure what relevance your ramblings have on what I said, since I was talking about geographical proximity and was only using those cities as an example.

      • Wow, you really have a problem with Hamilton don’t you? Get a life!

      • Comparing a City to a country is just plain ignorant.

  25. The only casualty of that happening would be mike McCoy’s air miles account

  26. A really great article about Buffalo’s stadium in the Atlantic:

    • That doesn’t make Buffalo unique – they’re the same as Kansas City (who’s built TWO NHL / NBA-ready arenas and barely got any use out of them).

      Given how much population has left Buffalo since they finished third behind Miami and Colorado in the expansion deby, it’s probably for the best that they didn’t get a team back then. Unless they went on an insane run, odds are good that they would have relocated anyway; the city has trouble supporting the two teams that DO play there (the Bills survive mainly on the generosity of the NFL TV deal), and they already lost the Clippers.

  27. if true, the jays have some where to play a series or two a year during historically shitty home dates. think tampa @ Disney world. make more $$$

    add to that market take over/penetration – ex. nfl Bills in T.O. make more $$$

    Also, they can play in buffalo for a few months when they decide they can no long procrastinate upgrading the rogers centre. save/put of capital costs + make more $$$

    it’s called SYNERGY!!!

    book it!

  28. why would buffalo think toronto would be any different than the mets? when was the last time the jays fielded a “winning” minor league AAA affiliate? I recall the syracuse chiefs were freaking brutal for about ten years before they dumped us. fact of the matter is, not MANY major league teams use AAA as a proving ground for their best and brightest prospects. its more a repository for prospect washouts, AAAA players, and back up catchers, middle relievers, and utility infielders.

    obviously it would be helpful to have the affiliate closer, but i think some of the perks regarding evaluating prospects are over hyped. I cant think of any prospect that we were told about yet that was not as advertised.

    we were told thames had a bunch of holes in his swing, hech and gose were not MLB ready, and that Lawrie and TDA could rake. all of those have proven true except for TDA who is injured.

    its only lazy people who want to rely on numbers rather than reading what actual evaluators have written time and time again on these prospects that think this move is going to result in some evaluation renaissance.

    • Maybe go look at the league standings. The 51s have the 5th best record in the PCL at 73-55. That seems to be a “winning” team, no?

      Also factor in that the Jays’ minor league affiliates below AAA have been pretty awesome. 2 of them won their leagues last year and another two were league runners-up. Across all of the minor league teams, they had the 4th best record in MILB. Sure you could argue we just happen to have a lot of depth, and maybe that would be right, but there seems to be a wave of players coming through the system who are capable of being competitive.

      As for talent evaluation, yes, it is much better to simply watch the player and see his talent level, but at least in Buffalo we will never have to say “he has an OPS of 1.020″ with the added caveat of “but that’s in Vegas”. Minor league stats may not be everything, but they at least tell you part of the story.

    • Have you given thought at all to the following?:
      1) Rival GMs might not trust Jays prospect numbers in discussing trades, due to the LV factor.
      2) It may not be the best thing for some young players, a guy like Hechevarria for example, to see inflated numbers as a prospect coming in, then transition to a harsh reality as a big leaguer. It might cause them to believe they are following a better approach – and then losing it when they hit the majors – when it’s really plain to see that the playing environment is a major factor in said numbers.

      I can’t see how moving to Buffalo would be anything BUT great unless you’re a numbskull with preconceived notions about the city. They’d be able to call up quick replacements, even if they just need an extra quad-A arm after an extra-innings game. The player evaluation environment is better for all sides. It’s a better field and a chance to regionalize the Blue Jays brand. I grew up in WNY loving the Jays because they were on TV and they were an exciting young team. They are losing that battle in the market all the time to the Yanks and even the Indians. Say what you want about the city but I think it’s a natural fit and there are still a lot of people with money in the suburbs who want to take their families to games, and it’s still cheaper than the Bills by a lot.

    • The prospect evaluation thing is valid, especially for pitchers. Of course, that’s why the Jays try to keep any decent pitcher OUT of LV.

      That can’t be a good thing, though. I don’t buy the “all the really hot prospects are in AA” line of thinking. I want my up-and-coming pitchers to be facing the Travis Sniders of the world, and the Jays didn’t keep him at AA for long.

    • Your argument completely ignores pitchers.

  29. Buffalo would be great, real nice intimate park. Been there numerous times to see games. being from Niagara makes it easy, but the evening is a cheap night out. Ten minutes over the border, $5 dollar(cdn) for parking 2 minutes from the park, food and beer is cheap as well. Get to see players coming up, on rehab for next to nothing.

  30. Lol, gotta love a clever title, but I think you forgot two or three Buffalo:

  31. Would Backman continue to be the manager if the move happens, or would Marty Brown (51′s manager) take over?

    • I’d assume the entire Las Vegas coaching staff would come up to Buffalo. Especially considering Backman’s quote.

    • When affiliations switch the only people who stay behind with the original team are the stadium operations people, the GM of the minor-league club, and the uniforms/history. So the Buffalo Bisons do not become the Buffalo 51s.

      What does happen is the entire 51s team, including coaching staff, would move to Buffalo and become the 2013 Buffalo Bisons. This year’s Bisons squad would move to wherever the Mets affiliate with, be it Las Vegas or another AAA club. So potentially, the 51s could make the playoffs and win the Pacific Coast League title in 2012, and then field a completely different roster in 2013. Such is life in the minors.

    • As long as Chad Mottola continues to be associated, I’ll be happy. The guys needs to be promoted to the big club.

  32. Are any other AAA PDCs up after this year? That would really affect my hope/optimism

    • Ok, this is based off http://www.minorleaguesource.
      Buffalo – NYM
      Indianapolis – Pirates
      Pawtucket – Red Sox
      Albuquerque – Angels
      Fresno – Giants
      Iowa – Cubs
      Las Vegas – Jays
      Memphis – Cards
      Nashville – Brewers
      New Orleans – Marlins
      Oklahoma – Houston

      Quite a few teams who are up, only two that are in the IL. But I think we could rule out a few teams. I think Boston and Pawtucket have a really solid relationship, so scratch them out. Giants, Angels, Astros and Marlins don’t seem like good fits, considering geography and state of the franchise (looking at you Houston). NYM is obviously out if reports are correct. That basically leaves Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Louis, Pittsburgh and Toronto.
      I’d say Toronto’s got to be the frontrunner. Close location, improving farm system with players starting to hit the higher levels of MiLB. St. Louis and Pittsburgh probably have good shots too, though. I’d guess Cubs and Milwaukee would be on the outside looking in.

      • Albuquerque is the Dodgers, not the Angels, and they aren’t going anywhere. Pawtucket is not going anywhere because everyone knows they are the Sox team (hence their name Pawtucket Red Sox). Rochester is also unhappy with Minnesota. Everyone links the Mets to Vegas, but I could see Rochester trying for some 90-loss seasons with the Mets instead of more 90-loss seasons with the Twins, and then Minnesota getting stuck in Vegas, which is a little closer than either New York or Toronto. Both the Twins and the 51s would be happier with that, I’d imagine.

        So I see it this way: Blue Jays get Buffalo, Mets get Rochester, Twins get Las Vegas.

      • One other interesting fact: today’s Pawtucket Red Sox franchise is actually the old Toronto Maple Leafs, who were charter members of the International League and a Toronto institution at the foot of Bathurst Street before they moved to Kentucky after 1967, and then landed in Pawtucket in 1972.

      • Agreed on most points, but Buffalo has always considered itself an “NL City” for some goddamn unknown reason (especially as they were the Indians affiliate for a good long while). Whether that was in reaction to the Jays or what, I don’t know, but several people I know there have mentioned that.

        • This is confusing to me. The Indians, last I checked, and I check all the time, are an AL team.

        • Anyone know what the situation is with St. Louis, Pittsburgh, the Cubs and Brewers? My guy tells me St. Louis probably has a pretty stable relationship. Iowa’s called the Cubs but not sure how much that means about anything.
          I’m getting quite a bit more optimistic about this becoming real.

  33. Rogers is tired of paying for those awfully expensive plane tickets to Vegas. Now, we can expect players to drive to Toronto when I start juggling the roster, which, as you all know, I like to do almost daily.

    When Rogers saves money, we all win. Right? :)

    • Um I’m having a lot of trouble seeing the downside you’re so eager to highlight. If this lets us actually keep good pitchers at AAA instead of just using Vegas as a place for Travis Snider to do steak lines off of strippers then what’s your problem?

  34. For what it’s worth, I was in Las Vegas at the 51′s games on Friday and Saturday Aug 10-11, and all the stuff with a Jays logo was at 50% in the team store. The rep there was pretty much resigned to see the Jays go even though nothing was confirmed yet. With the rash of injuries in Toronto, you were hard pressed to easily identify most players on the field (although Cecil and Chavez started the two games I was there to see, and McDade was starting at 1st base, but otherwise… McCoy got pulled after an inning on Friday to join the Jays).

    As for the road trip comments, I organize a lot of my travel around baseball schedule so I get to see differnt teams/ballparks, and I’d definitely go to Buffalo to take in a game. The opportunity surprisingly hasn’t come up yet, although I’ve been to Rochester (Twins affiliate) and Syracuse (Nats) close by. I think the proximity would benefit Toronto for call-ups, but also Buffalo for fans that could come from Canada for the occasional game. It worked for Ottawa when they were the Expos affiliate (not so much when they switched to the Orioles). Hopefully this works. Watching a ballgame in 110 F weather is not that great.

  35. This is exactly like when the Expos had their farm team in Ottawa: they had great success with it because it was 90 minutes away. If the Expos needed to call up a player at 3 PM and the game started at 7 they’d have their man in the stadium and in uniform by 6 at the latest. And the Lynx led the IL in attendance during the Expos years because Ottawa was full of Expos fans, and the Montreal-Ottawa corridor gets a ton of traffic both ways so you’d get a bunch of fans driving in from Montreal and the Quebec suburbs.

    The Jays don’t care about Buffalo’s attendance or whether people in Toronto will drive over to see the Bisons. They make zero money off of Buffalo’s attendance, it’s a different organization (though some AAA clubs are owned by the parent team, I know the Braves and Phillies teams are). The Jays just want their players to be at Rogers Centre within an hour if they are needed urgently. For the Bisons, people in Buffalo will show up if the team is good, and there’s a tradition of winning in Buffalo minor league baseball. But now, Buffalo is going to get the Jays fans in the St. Catharines and Niagara areas coming across for the Bisons games. They have the AAA team in their backyard now, they don’t need to sit on the QEW for 3 hours trying to make a 7 PM first pitch at Rogers Centre. I’m sure they will do many promotions with accepting Canadian $ at par and have “St. Catharines Day” or “Fort Erie Day” or whatever. And you might even see some cross-promotional marketing between the Jays and Bisons to bring Buffalo fans to Toronto and vice-versa. The Bisons will make good money from this and their attendance will go back up. The Jays get their call-ups into uniform within an hour and with zero jet-lag. It’s a solid match for both teams.

    • +1

    • I live in Burlington.
      Taking into consideration traffic flow on the QEW Eastbound on a weekday evening, my drive to Buffalo will theoretically be shorter.
      Add to that the cost of tickets and the ability to actually sit outside in front of real grass, and you can bet your ass I’ll be at more Bisons games than Jays games next year.

    • The Niagara aspect is pretty huge. There are 500,000 people in the Niagara region many of which would still remember the days when the St Catharines Blue Jays/Stompers, Welland Pirates and Niagara Falls Rapids were minor league clubs. Buffalo has always been the “big city” down there (Niagara really isn’t well-integrated with Toronto/GTA and most people never go to Toronto), so it has some potential to draw some people if they’re smart about it.

    • “I’m sure they will do many promotions with accepting Canadian $ at par ”

      They’d better, since it actually IS at par. :)

  36. Fuck yes. I live in Syracuse, and fuck the Chiefs. MAKE IT FUCKIN HAPPEN BEEST.

  37. I for one can’t wait to fondly remember the 2012 Blue Jays when they’re all playing in Buffalo next year.

  38. Ya. Personally, I’d love to go on a road trip to see the AAA team if they were in Buffalo. That would be great.

  39. Wow, some really bitter, negative people on here. Amazing. @Gio – did someone from WNY shit in your Cheerios?


    Crossing my fingers for this one. Always have a good time spending a weekend in Buf with the wife shopping, checking out the Albright-Knox, pounding back the awesome craft brews on Elmwood ave (esp. Cole’s)… the opportunity to go see a game in a nice stadium will bring us there more often.

    Yeah, it’s not Paris or Rome, but it’s 1.5 hours away. Stadium beers won’t be $10. Natural grass. Friendly people…

    If you run into an asshole in Buffalo, 9/10 times they’re from Toronto.

    • Speaking of craft brews, if you’re stuck at the Walden Galleria mall waiting for the wife or girlfriend to do her shopping thing, go to the Jack Astor’s. Yes really. The place actually has a pretty good craft beer tap selection unlike the shitty Jack Astor’s in Ontario.

  40. I was just talking with the fiance about how it made no sense that Buffalo hadn’t been aligned with the Jays before (she’d never been there, and was amazed at how nice the park looked while driving by). I’m glad to see that this finally happened; I know it was close before when Buffalo chose the Mets, and I’ve always wondered exactly why that happened.

    It’s a logical tieup for the Jays, even more than Syracuse was back in the day.

    • They chose the Mets because they thought having a New York team would bring in fans. So the Bisons just assumed that there were as many Mets fans in Western New York as there are Yankees fans. They were very wrong.

    • You’re a lucky man that your fiance even entertains such topics for discussion as the Blue Jays minor league affiliates

      • I’m guessing he was talking to her about it while she was thinking, oh right that pretty park we drove past on our way to the Walden Galleria.
        If they were actually discussing the Jays’ minor league affiliates…well…hold onto her fuck sakes.

        • My girlfriend actually follows me to Jays minor league affiliates game (and other minor league parks), enjoys it and even remember the names of the players we’ve seen from past seasons. I’m marrying her this October.

  41. Love the idea a team in Buffalo would be good for attendance. Yes, because they Rogmahal is bursting at the seams so much people will flock to see the AAA squad. Come on.

    Am sure Buffalo will be thrilled too with the reminder of Toronto dropping a team in, what with all the speculation of Toronto ripping their cherished Bills out one day.

    • Given that for $20 you can pretty much go round-trip from stadium to stadium, plenty of fans in Toronto could go to a game there with ease. Also, there’s half a million people (a million if you want to stretch it to Hamilton) just across the river from Buffalo. Maybe you won’t get people from Brampton or Ajax traveling to Buffalo but it’s very accessible for fans in downtown Toronto and in the Niagara/Hamilton Region.

      If they get dozens of Canadian fans per game, that they wouldn’t have got otherwise, that’s pretty good.

  42. Now I have no reason whatsoever to visit Las Vegas…

    • Lol, no AAA team affiliated with the Jays, what really would that city have left to offer anyone?

  43. As a Jays fan in Syracuse, I always wondered why the Blue Jays and the Bisons didn’t have a deal to be affiliated with each other since the beginning. They were so close, much more so than here on the other end of Lake Ontario which is still close but not Buffalo close. Location, location, location….

    • and I can tell you if the Chiefs weren’t happy with the Nats (which they are, I think both love each other) I would take the Mets affiliation. I actually thought the Chiefs and the Mets would hook up before the Mets went with B-Lo over us after we dumped the Jays.

  44. Give the $$$ saved on flights to Carlos V.

  45. jays fans are so fucking pathetic that they now celebrate where their AAA teams are. WHOOO WHOOOOO WE GOT BUFFALO PLAYOFFS.

    what the fuck is wrong with you low expectation having mother fuckers?

    whats next? celebrating Rogers getting a great interest rate on a corporate loan?

  46. I do think, however, the the Jays minor leaguers will be somewhat disappointed with this development. As in: “So I get to hit .350 with a 1.000+ OPS AND LIVE IN LAS FUCKING VEGAS!! Giddy the fuck up!!!!”

  47. I have to tell everyone – I’m considering moving to Pittsburgh. With Travis there and me here, the distance is just too great and I suspect he feels the same. So soon you’ll be able to call me pittsburgh69. A yummy thought!

  48. So if the 51′s do go to Ralphalo, will they be called The Fireman? And you can pick whatever city name you want…Lackawana, Tonawanda, Batavia, Depew, Cheektowaga, Wagawaga…why does every town end in waga or wanda?

  49. I like the Tonacheektolackawnawaga Arsonists for a team name.

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