The Buffalo Bisons were 3ø games behind Rochester in the International League wild-card race coming into Saturday night’s game against Lehigh Valley with 10 games remaining. The Bisons were four games behind IL North-leading Pawtucket prior to Saturday. So there is hope, albeit slim.
Manager Marty Brown said while some players intend to finish the season strong, others have not taken a similar approach.
“Some guys are where they need to be, realistic walking through the door every day and ready to compete then we have some guys who aren’t there,” Brown said before Saturday’s game. “They’re either disappointed they’re not in the big leagues, or maybe the year didn’t go as expected from the halfway point until now. Some guys are in a bit of a shutdown mode and other guys are wanting to play. They want another paycheck, they want to finish things up. It’s all about character and what you stand for.”
Brown, 50, is all old school. His stay in the majors was brief — he appeared in 35 games with Cincinnati and Baltimore over two seasons (1988-90) — and collected just 11 hits. But no one questioned his effort or competitive drive. It’s a tough sell trying to convince today’s players that good things tend to happen when you place the team first.
Brown might be peddling a dream. Of the remaining 10 games, the Herd are on the road for seven, including a doubleheader at Lehigh Valley on Monday —- but baseball can be rather adventurous in August. Rochester blew a 6-1 lead in the ninth inning Friday night and lost to Indianapolis, 7-6, pushing the Red Wings out of first place in the IL North. The tough part for Brown is getting his players to buy in.
“It’s very difficult to motivate guys at this point in the season, but you play for this spot every year where you have a chance, an opportunity, to move forward to go to the postseason,” he said.
“You’d like to think most guys you have in your clubhouse for a full season have the same mentality, they’re fighting to understand that they’re here and if something good happens and you get called up, great. But while you’re here, you’re here to win and it’s not just about you. It’s more about the team, it’s more about the city, it’s more about the fans but unfortunately for some personalities it’s more about what’s in it for me. ‘How come I’m not getting mine? I’ve had a good year. I’m better than that guy, this is bull.’ That sort of thing. It’s unfortunate because all you’re doing is selling yourself short.”
When Brad Glenn hit two home runs Friday night, he became the fifth different Bisons player with a multi-homer game this season. Glenn has hit in seven of his eight games with Buffalo and is batting .346 with a double, three homers and four RBIs. … The Herd wraps up the four-game set at home with the IronPigs at 1:05 p.m. today (1520 AM) with Kyle Drabek (1-1, 2.57) facing Raul Valdes (3-4, 3.11).