“I kind of compare it to catching falling knives; hoping you catch the right one.”
This has nothing to do with Japan, but that’s part of a response Buffalo Bisons reliever Mike Zagurski gave me when we were talking about his status in Triple-A and whether or not the Toronto Blue Jays organization was the right fit for him.
I moved on to more important questions at that point during the interview but I have since been incredibly puzzled by the statement. Why would the knives be falling? Why would you want to catch a knife? WHY? If anyone can answer any of these questions, please do.
I’m in Buffalo right now, the home of the Bisons, taking in the final three games of the team’s four-game series against the Lehigh Valley IronPigs. That brings me to the point that I have indeed left the country since my last post. I had written that my next time leaving Canada would be to head to Japan, forgetting that I would be hitting up Buffalo almost immediately, and then great city of Seattle next month, prior to that cross-world departure. I’ve since fixed that little detail, but sorry for the mistake, mom.
Sidebar, editors are great.
When I planned the trip across the bridge – not anticipating the bee in my car that would make the drive incredibly interesting – Canadians Lars Davis and Phillippe Aumont were with the Pigs. Aumont has since been called up to the Philadelphia Phillies for his second stint with the club, so Davis was the No. 1 priority on my interview list, of course. I then spoke with Bisons relievers Kyle Drabek and Zagurski on their reunion – first together as teammates in the Phils organization – to follow up on a piece I wrote more than three years ago for Baseball America about how much the elder pitcher helped Drabek through his first Tommy John surgery rehabilitation process. Turns out, Drabek convinced Zagurski to sign with the Blue Jays AND both pitchers were helped through their respective rehabs by Canadian hurler Scott Mathieson, whom I mentioned in my first blog post. Also, Mathieson turned Zagurski into a hockey fan.
ALSO, Mathieson is hilarious and gave me a slight panic attack on Saturday night. I emailed him to ask about Drabek and Zagurski and when his incredibly quick response came up as a preview on my phone, the first line read, “I have no idea who Mike Zagurski is sorry.” I thought I was part of some elaborate prank for a brief moment, before opening the entire email to get the rest of the joke. It’s funny now.
The Bisons won the first game I attended, their third victory in a row. Aussie Liam Hendriks got his eighth victory of the season and mentioning him gives me a reason to link to this piece I wrote on him earlier this year.
Post-game, I returned to my sketchy Tonawanda hotel – the room kind of reminds me of the strange, tiny, mirrored spaces on cruise ships – to find Bull Durham on the tube, and an early brawl in the Pacific Coast League to follow on Twitter. A game between the Albuquerque Isotopes – with fellow Londoner Jamie Romak on the roster – and Reno Aces featured 10 ejections – not Jamie – after a second-inning baseball fight comparable to the World Baseball Classic’s Mexico and Canada battle. Real punches were thrown, even some kicks. Here’s one fan’s video if you’re interested in that kind of thing. The worst part is the children you can hear crying in the background.
For those who don’t know how much I despise day games after night games, I do. And before today’s afternoon matchup, I participated in the Run Jimmy Run 5k road race in support of the Alzheimer’s Association of Western New York and ended at Coca-Cola Field. Bisons broadcaster Ben Wagner and Amy Moritz of The Buffalo News ran it too, so together we were some sort of self-proclaimed team.
We have no idea how we did, but we finished and that was the point, so job well done. During the run, Ben and I passed – important detail to let you know I’m fast – Buffalo closer Bobby Korecky and his wife Jill. Amy and I both thought it was interesting that he ran the race, so after the Bisons won their fourth game in a row, we interviewed him and I wrote about it here. It was his first organized race, and it doesn’t sound like it will be his last.
I thought about heading to a movie after the afternoon game, but instead I found a Law and Order: SVU marathon on USA channel, my favourite. Plus, I don’t know if there are any flicks out that I want to see. So here I sit, finishing pieces on Canadian baseball players from my time in Buffalo, Arizona, Lansing and Toronto – I have a lot to catch up on – with the help of Elliott Stabler and Olivia Benson.
Even they can’t solve the mystery of the falling knives, however. Seriously, if anyone can interpret what he was trying to say there, please let me know.
Time to get back to it, and also of course keep working on that Japanese.