The nuances of Friday’s Hot Stove Luncheon at the Adam’s Mark were subtle, but significant. Especially if you read a little into comments by Mike Buczkowski, the Bisons general manager who fought to keep strong ties with the Indians organization over the last few seasons.
Cleveland did little to branch out here, especially in its last few seasons as the parent organization. Keeping Buffalo blacked out from Indians games was a bush-league move if there ever was one.
And it was rare to see Indians players or management making Buffalo appearances to garner good vibes. So when Buczkowski started his speech by mentioning he was happy to see a parent club that was willing to send people up to chilly Buffalo for the event, he wasn’t just saying thanks to the Mets, he was saying thanks for nothing to the Indians.
And with good reason. The Bisons have always been minor league baseball’s classiest act, and the Indians responded by treating them like a redheaded stepchild for the past 9 months. (NOTE: I can use that expression, since I was a redheaded stepchild.)
But the move that brought the biggest smile was the re-signing of Jason Cooper, a guy who’s become that one player local fans can attach to. Everyone needs a Jody Gage, and he’s ours. Remember Gage, the longtime Rochester American, who’d pop up for a token few games every few seasons with the Sabres, then head back to the Amerks and post ridiculous numbers? He made for great PR in a great minor league hockey team.
Same thing here.
As I wrote in Saturday’s paper, this thing could work out for everyone.