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Buffalo Bisons 2018 Preview: More Prospects, more hustle, more laughs

Buffalo Bisons

The Buffalo Bisons open their season tonight on the road against the Rochester Red wings weather permitting. They look to bounce back this year after a disappointing 2017 season. They’ll have some help to start from a pitcher/comedian with major league experience, Joe Biagini.

There’s a lot of happy faces floating around the Bisons facilities. Six of the Toronto Blue Jays top 20 prospects will be on the roster, as well as one of the organizations better young pitchers Joe Biagini, who manager Bob Meacham said will be their opening day starter.

“I’m looking forward to seeing (Biagini) pitch. He’s made tremendous strides,” said Meacham. “I’ve seen his preparation all spring long. Just to become the best he can be as a starting pitcher. Man, I can’t wait to see how he does.”

While Biagini had a few great starts for the Blue Jays last year, his true talent may be as a journalist, as he came to yesterday’s media event with some hard-hitting questions.

“Coach how do you feel about the attractiveness of the opening day starter for your team this year?” asked Biagini.

“Well our opening day starter, he’s a good pitcher. Look he’s ok, but we’re just looking for him to pitch really well. I’m not sure he’s going to win any beauty contests,” said Meacham.

A truly demoralizing blow to the esteem of a young pitcher looking for a compliment. Handsome or not, he’s got opening day to worry about.

“I think for me, besides trying to look cute out there which my manager seemed to think wasn’t very possible… other than that I have a lot of things I want to continue to improve on.”

If the weather won’t cooperate, Biagini plans to use Mother Nature to his advantage.

“If it’s a blizzard, maybe throw a lot of pitches that kind of come at the same arc as the snowflakes and then maybe that will be more effective.”

With many new young additions to the Bisons squad this year, Biagini acknowledged there’s a lot of mentoring going on.

“The veteran guys usually give rides to the younger guys because they are not as confident driving… We explain to them things about life like taxes.”

No matter how the Bisons perform this year, as long as Biagini is on the roster, this season plans to be an entertaining one. Hopefully we get to learn more about him.

“I’m a very sweaty person. Maybe I shouldn’t say that,” Biagini said.

Laughter aside, Meacham believes this will be the hardest working Bisons team fans have seen to date.

“We’re used to seeing guys pop up and jog around the bases because it’s going to be caught,” said Meacham. “Now we’re going to see guys that are expecting more than that. We’re expecting if they drop it I’m going to be on second. If this guy misses the cutoff man we’re going to score from first on a double. I think the fans and the baseball population in general (are) going to see these players go out there and play as hard as they can.”

The last time the Buffalo Bisons qualified for the playoffs was 2005. They finished fifth in their division last year for the second straight year. The last time they finished above .500 was in 2014.

The Bisons home opener is Thursday, April 12th against the Indianapolis Indians at 2:05 PM.

Nick Lippa leads our Arts & Culture Coverage, and is also the lead reporter for the station's Mental Health Initiative, profiling the struggles and triumphs of those who battle mental health issues and the related stigma that can come from it.