The Buffalo Bisons’ new manager will be introduced today and the first man at the head of the Herd in the Toronto Blue Jays era will be an old, familiar face.
Marty Brown, who led the Bisons to the 2004 International League championship as part of an impressive three-year run, is returning to Buffalo to try to get the franchise back into the postseason for the first time since he left for Japan in 2005.
The Bisons and Blue Jays jointly confirmed the hiring of Brown, 49, in statements Monday. He will be introduced during a 2 p.m. news conference today in Pettibones Grille at Coca-Cola Field, and will be available to fans during a Meet the Manager night celebration there tonight from 5:30-8 p.m.
“We’re thrilled to welcome Marty Brown back to Buffalo to lead the Bisons into this exciting new era as the Triple-A Affiliate of the Toronto Blue Jays,” Bisons vice president/general manager Mike Buczkowski said in a statement. “Marty is a proven winner, having already brought home a championship to the fans of Buffalo, and his passion for the game really resonates with Bisons fans.”
“Marty Brown is a veteran baseball man who brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the dugout,” said Charlie Wilson, director of minor league operations for the Blue Jays. “He has the ability to teach the game and to get the most out of his players. Marty has enjoyed great success as a minor league manager and we are delighted that he will be managing the Bisons in 2013.”
Brown has a 783-719 record in 16 years of managing in the United States. He went 238-193 in his three years with the Bisons and needs just 16 wins to pass Buffalo Baseball Hall of Famer Brian Graham as the franchise’ modern-era victory leader.
After a 73-70 campaign in 2003, Brown was named International League Manager of the Year and Baseball America’s Minor League Manager of the Year for guiding the Herd to an 83-61 record in 2004.
The Bisons overcame a 2-0 deficit against Durham in the IL semifinals and beat the Richmond Braves in four games to take the franchise’s third title of the modern era. After the clinching 6-1 victory in Game Four, the most vivid image of the celebration was Brown parading the Governors’ Cup down the right-field line of the ballpark for fans to see it.
In 2005, Brown won his second consecutive IL North Division title with an 82-62 record and the Bisons had a 2-0 lead in the IL semifinals over Indianapolis but lost the last three games of the series at home. The Herd has not been in the playoffs since.
Brown spent five seasons managing in Japan (2006-10) and has led Toronto’s Triple-A affiliate in Las Vegas the last two years. The 51s were 79-64 last season under Brown, the best record by the Blue Jays’ top farm club since 1998.
The Blue Jays have not finalized the rest of the Buffalo coaching staff. As part of Brown’s introduction, the Bisons will unveil their new logo for next season and gear with the logo will be available for sale at the evening event.
The team’s new uniforms are still scheduled to be unveiled during a Hot Stove Luncheon in January.