Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Buffalo Plays Last Game as Tribe Affiliate

A 9-6 loss to the Rochester Red Wings on Monday was not only the end of a season for the Buffalo Bisons, but also the end of an era. For 14 seasons, the industrial New York city was the host of the Cleveland Indians' AAA farm team and what a marriage it was. Bisons fans didn't quite have the final season with the Indians they wanted going 66-77 for 4th place in their 5 team division, but they did go out with a bang, getting to see Aaron Laffey, Travis Hafter, Josh Barfield and Victor Martinez play for the last 10 or so games of the season. However, with multiple division championships and an International League Title in 2004, there were many great moments for the fans in Buffalo, but those will not be gone. Buffalo fans will still have a AAA team in 2009, likely the affiliate of the Toronto Blue Jays, while the Indians will move closer to home in Columbus.

On the year for players who played the majority of the season in AAA, Mike Aubrey led the team in average (.281), Todd Linden was the MVP and leader in homers (14), Brad Snyder was the leader in RBI (61) and pitcher John Halama led the team in wins (8). Young starter David Huff stole the show for the Bisons after being called up from AA Akron going 6-4 but with a 3.01 ERA. Rick Bauer led the team in saves with 18 and Eddy Buzachero had an excellent season out of the pen with 10 himself.

All in all it was a sad but reflective year for Bisons fans but an exciting one for the Tribe. With a new start in Columbus, better facilities and home in Ohio, the future is looking up for Indians Minor League Baseball.

NOTE: The Akron Aeros begin their playoff series with the Bowie Baysox on Wednesday looking for their third championship since 2003.

Source: Cleveland Indians.com

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