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Bisons Baseball Schedule – Musical Chairs

Here’s what was supposed to be going on with minor league baseball in Upstate New York this weekend:

The Buffalo Bisons were at the Rochester Red Wings at Frontier Field this Saturday and Sunday.

The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees were hosting the Pawtucket Red Sox at Dwyer Stadium in Batavia this Saturday and Sunday. Remember that the Yanks are homeless this season while their stadium in Moosic, Pennsylvania undergoes a big renovation this year.

Well all that changed in a blink of an eye this afternoon, as it was announced that Yankees pitcher Andy Pettitte would be making a rehab start with the SWB Yanks, but only if the game were played at Frontier Field, which is serving as the team’s temporary home venue. Additionally, Pettitte would have to have an afternoon start.

So what did the Rochester Red Wings do? They booted their own team out of their ballpark to make way for the Yankees, that’s what. The SWB Yanks will play their game in Rochester on Sunday at 2PM, and fans holding tickets to the Rochester/Buffalo game on Sunday will instead see the Yanks/Paw Sox in action.

As for the Bisons? Well, they will now play a doubleheader in Rochester on Saturday. Sunday will be an off day and the team will board a plane for Gwinnett, Georgia early Monday morning to continue their road trip.

Bisons General Manager Mike Buczkowski held a news conference during tonight’s Bisons/Chiefs game at Coca Cola Field in the press box lounge, and here were some of his takes on the entire situation:

-He was not informed of this change of venues. dates and scenery until the very last minute.

-There is no problem with the team playing a doubleheader. In fact, Manager Wally Backman alluded that the off day Sunday would be a welcome respite.

-The team did not have the option of holding Sunday’s game in the evening, as that would have meant getting into Buffalo very late, then a 4:30AM wake up call to get to the airport.

-Having the Yanks/Paw Sox game on Sunday night was also not an option, although Buczkowski was never told why.

-Buczkowski also emphasized the strong working relationship with the Rochester organization, citing schedule cooperation in past seasons so the Bisons could stage their July 3 Independence Day event, and be on the road on Labor Day weekend to accommodate the Wingfest as prime examples.

-Having Andy Pettitte appear on the mound in Rochester is a one time experience, and Buczkowski emphasized that Rochester baseball fans are lucky to have this turn of events happen to their schedule.

So who are the winners in this entire situation? Well certainly the Rochester Red Wings, who should draw a big house for Sunday’s game. Rochester has also jumped on the merchandising and branding bandwagon this year, as one needs only to visit their team store to see all sorts of “Empire State Yankees” stuff on their shelves.

The losers? The baseball posse in Batavia, that’s who. Batavia Muckdogs fans were promised seven AAA games in their friendly little ballpark, Dwyer Stadium, this season. Of the first four, two were cancelled for weather reasons, and a third was played in brutally cold conditions. Now this cancellation. Batavia deserved a better fate.

Bisons fans are encouraged to make the trip to Rochester this Saturday to cheer on Buffalo. There will be two 7 inning games, with the first pitch of game one scheduled for 5:05PM.