Rex Ryan steals the show as Bisons open season
by Andrew Kulyk (@akulykUSRT) - posted 11:40 pm, April 9, 2015
On Thursday afternoon at Coca Cola Field, 12,683 fans arrived in perfect weather conditions with overcast skies and temperatures hitting 60 degrees. Many stuck around even when the rains came in the top of the 7th inning. The results weren’t good for the home team as the Bisons lost their opener, 6-3, to their Thruway rival Rochester Red Wings.
Fans who arrived early were treated to none other than Buffalo Bills head coach Rex Ryan, who was on hand to participate in the pre game festivities and throw out the ceremonial first pitch. The 52 year old Ryan didn’t disappoint, dishing up the full windup from the top of the pitchers mound and throwing a change up just outside the strike zone. Ryan was mobbed on the field by media photojournalists and well wishers, and gladly obliged youngsters tossing balls towards him for autographs.
“I forgot the freakish type of movement I have on my pitch, so it was a little off the corner, but I haven’t thrown a baseball for years, so I get out there, and say to myself, ‘oh gosh’. So two warmups and I was out there.”, said Ryan.
Ryan reminisced about his younger times in Toronto, attending Blue Jays games at the old Exhibition Stadium. He also touched on his changing sentiments for his favorite hockey team, having grown up a die hard Leafs fan. “Well, we will see what happens, we’ll see if the Sabres get the first pick or not. I am a huge Sabres fan now for more than one reason. By the way the owner of our football team owns the Sabres?”
Besides getting large doses of the Rex Ryan charm, those attending got to see the new look ballpark with the new kelly green seats in the infield special reserved sections. And for the first time, the pace of play clock was put into use, allowing 20 seconds between pitches and 2 minutes and 25 seconds between innings or pitching changes. While the outfield clock went dark several times during the game due to some glitch, when things were functioning as they should be, looks like none of the players had a problem getting their throws and swings in during the allotted time.
On the field the Bisons squandered many great chances with running in scoring position, going 2 for 11. Starting pitcher Andrew Albers went only 4.2 innings, allowing 4 earned runs and taking the loss.
The teams go at it again on Friday at 2:05PM, before taking their series to Rochester for a pair this weekend.