Niagara Gazette — BUFFALO — It’s been quite some time since there was this much excitement around the Buffalo Bisons organization.
After a disappointing four years under the New York Mets banner, the Bisons are now the AAA affiliate of the Toronto Blue Jays, and manager Marty Brown is back in the dugout for Buffalo. That’s right, the same Marty Brown who led the Herd to its sixth Governors Cup back in 2004.
The Bisons are set for opening day at Coca-Cola Field today at 2 p.m. against in-state rival Rochester, and Brown is excited to be back in Buffalo.
“I love Buffalo,” he said on Tuesday afternoon outside the Bisons’ clubhouse on Media Day at Coca Cola Field. “It’s a special place for me and all the people around here are like family. I was sitting around my office today and similar things were going on with (press box announcer Kevin) Lester and (VP and General Manger) Mike Buczkowski, and I’m like, ‘Did I really leave?’ I didn’t even think I left, but its good to be back.”
The Bisons went 83-61 in their championship season, and Brown, who coached from 2003-2005, was named International League Manager of the Year and Baseball America’s Minor League Manager of the Year. Buffalo hasn’t played a playoff game since he left.
Brown is a no-nonsense type of manager who expects his -players to perform and compete to win games. He said the Toronto-Buffalo marriage is a win-win situation for both parties.
“I think that affiliation really helps (the Blue Jays) to be quite honest, because of the fact logistically we are so close to Toronto,” he said. “I really enjoyed my time in Las Vegas (Toronto’s former AAA affiliate). But, you look at Buffalo and the facility itself is state of the art from the time I first played in it until now — it’s still one of the best.