The Toronto Blue Jays Organization recently named the new manager for the AAA Buffalo Bisons. Bobby Meacham will guide the Herd!
He’s been with the Toronto Blue Jays organization since 2013, has a decade of coaching experience before that, and an MLB short-stop career with the Yankees, but just who is Bobby Meacham and what does he bring to the Buffalo Bison’s table?
He does bring with him a very Mark Shapiro friendly 2015 Blue Jays Bobby Mattick Award which honours excellence in player development and that might be the key as there is a list of promising players coming up through the ranks, on the way to the Blue Jays via the Buffalo Bisons.
Meacham has experience managing with four other minor organizations, Kansas City, Colorado, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, and his MLB coaching career includes working with Florida, San Diego, Houston and the New York Yankees.
Meacham seems to be popular with the players. With the thought floating around that Danny Barnes is on the way up to the bullpen, it seems that having Meacham in Buffalo would be welcomed news to the Toronto pitcher. Barnes had this to say about working with Meacham when he talked to John Habib of the Union Leader back in April, 2016.
“I’ve had him for parts of three seasons now. He’s a great manager, someone you want to play for and learn from as a player.”
The official introduction happened at Coca-Cola Field in Buffalo (and was shown live on Facebook) where Meacham was formally introduced as the new Manager, the Buffalo Bisons first African American manager in their 133 year history and hopes are high that the Bisons will be able to improve their 66-78 record from 2016. Meacham, who played for the Buffalo Bisons in 1989 will be with the club as they celebrate the 30th season at Coca-Cola field.
At the press conference held to announce Meacham, he seemed genuinely happy to be back in Buffalo, remarking on all the changes to the clubhouse and stadium due to the renovations, some happening as recently as this offseason.
Charlie Wilson, the Blue Jays Director of Minor Leagues was charged with the introduction of Meacham and had this to say,
“He has proven to be invaluable to many of our young players. He is a premier field manager, 10 seasons as a minor league manager he’s led his team to the playoffs four times and he’s had a major impact on many players, specifically in our organization. Those players include Jon Berti, Andy Burns, Roman Fields, Rowdy Tellez, Matt Dermody, Conner Greene and Chris Smith, many of whom you will likely see here in Buffalo next season.”
Meacham himself seems to be up to the challenge,
“I’m looking for a team, a team that’s exciting to watch here in Buffalo, and I’m looking forward to leading a team that is just as exciting to watch as we were back in ’89 playing for one of my favorite managers, Terry Collins.”
“I look ahead to what can be, for these guys. It’s tough when guys are coming back down to this level of play from the major leagues in a situation like I was and dealing with players like me, and he (Collins) did a good job handling me. It’s also tough helping guys on the way up because they’re so eager to get passed this level that sometimes they miss a process, and I think he was able to help the young guys coming through here.”
As for his plans for his players? Meacham is in it to help in any way he can. “I’m looking forward to helping guys get through this level on the way up and also helping them re-group when they get back down to this level to get back up to help the big club, the Toronto Blue Jays, to hopefully bring a championship to the team up there.”
There’s a new sheriff in town, and he’s looking for success, both for the Bisons and the Blue Jays. It’s definitely going to be a must see season all around.
*Featured Image Credit: slgckgc UNDER CC BY-SA 2.0
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Catherine Stem is a Blue Jays fan and writer who has combined both of these great things by writing for Jays From the Couch. Through all the ups and downs of baseball, all aspects of the game are explored. Keeping a close eye on the Blue Jays Triple A team, the Buffalo Bisons has also become part of her make-up.