The nature of a being a fan of a Minor League Baseball team is terminal frustration. No matter if your team is going good or not, it won't be too long before the parent club comes to raid the cupboard and pull the best players up to the Majors.
Sometimes, like in the case of Jesus Feliciano and Mike Hessman last year, the big league club will bring your best players up to simply sit on the bench. It eventually helped kill Buffalo's once-promising season last year, and it leaves fans feeling like a richer, better looking guy stole their girlfriend, just because he could.
But there are rewarding times that leave Minor League fans feeling like proud parents. Friday night was finally one of those nights for Bison fans, as ex-Bisons Dillon Gee, Lucas Duda, Justin Turner, Jason Pridie, Josh Thole and Ruben Tejada all had a hand in the Mets' 8-1 win over the Pirates.
Gee, who broke the Bisons' single-season record for strikeouts last summer, was terrific on the mound for the Mets. The right-hander, who is coming into his own at the Major League level, gave up one earned run on eight hits in eight innings of work Friday night. Most impressively, Gee didn't walk a single Pirates' hitter, and has only walked two in his last 22 innings of work for the Mets.
Duda played in left field for the Mets in his first game since being recalled early on Friday morning. He didn't skip a beat from the absolute tear he was on with the Herd. Duda was 1-for-4 with two RBIs, including a rocket to Pittsburgh right fielder Matt Diaz that ended up as a sacrifice fly.
Turner had a pair of RBIs and C Josh Thole knocked in a run as well.
While it's nice to have those "proud parent" moments when you see that half of the Mets on the field have been in Buffalo in the past 18 months or so, it doesn't help things at Coca-Cola Field. The perception among a lot of fan is that the Mets loot their Triple-A team more than most teams.
A fan told me, "it almost seems like a different team every time they come back home after a road trip" on Wednesday night.
Roster turnover is the main culprit for dipping attendance, more than weather, more than anything else. The angst of the fans is borne out in this telling stat: only four current players on the roster have not been involved in a roster transaction since opening day.
And now Columbus heads into town for a four-game set starting on Saturday night. We'll see the team that Cleveland decided needed to move to the state of Ohio. We'll get a harsh reminder of what we used to see when the Bisons and Indinas were affiliated with each other -- the team with the best record in the International League.