Bisons manager Tim Teufel got quite the surprise last night when he stepped up to home plate to exchange line-up cards with Toledo manager Phil Nevin.
"It kind of leaked out at home plate, Phil was kind enough to tell me when we were passing out the line-up cards that he had a pitching change," Teufel said. "So I said, 'well who's the pitcher?' and he goes, 'some guy name Toyful or Teefull.' And I said stop messing around with me and he told me, 'no, your son is coming up to pitch.'"
Teufel's son Shawn Teufel is making the jump from single-A to triple-A ball, which Teufel didn't expect. He said it's such a huge jump that he never expected it but that he hasn't seen his son pitch in a while and was excited for tonight.
"I haven't seen him pitch a whole lot since college, so this will be the third time since that I'll be watching him pitch, probably the most nervous of all three of them," said Teufel. "Shawn with the Mud Hen uniform, it's funny because I grew up in the Minnesota system and played for the Mud Hens, it's just a unique time. It's like somebody upstairs put all this together."
It's been a long time since Teufel has shared a baseball field with his son.
"You'd have to go back to high school, in Florida, but Shawn wasn't a pitcher then so this is all new, this has been his career since the time he went away to college and converted over to pitching his Junior year and got drafted his senior," Teufel said.
So far Teufel said that his son is handling the whole situation calmly, saying that he asked Shawn if he minded that he coach third base since that's his normal positon.
"I'll be out on the field coaching third against him, and Shawn said no problem. So if he can get through this night Detroit's got a special kid, playing against his dad first of all, and most kids when they get called up are nervous as it is because they're getting called up to a higher level, so this is a test to see how he can handle the whole pressure thing," said Teufel.
Teufel said that this would be a very good test, but that's its one Shawn has handled before, getting in and out of jams in his career. Teufel jokingly said that Shawn throws 103, he brushes people back, and has a knuckle curve ball.
"He's your typical lefty, and if he throws strikes he's going to get guys out, if he has trouble he's going to get in trouble," said Teufel. "But, like I said I haven't seen him a whole lot so I don't know what we're going to get."
Friends and family have been contacting Teufel asking how they can see the game and the manager was happy to tell them that it was on SNY. Teufel's wife is coming into town for the game as well but said that there's no doubt she will be pulling for the Mud Hens.
"One of the nicest things about the Buffalo organization is their generosity, and as soon as it happened, the Bisons put together flight arrangements for my wife to come up to the game tonight," Teufel said. "She will be rooting for the other side tonight."
Teufel said his perfect scenario for tonight's game is that his son pitches well and the Bisons win later on. Teufel said he told his son that he's putting the Herd's version of Murder's row out there tonight, with Josh Satin, Zach Lutz, and Valentino Pascucci in the two, three, four spots. He said they weren't going to lighten up.
"Great night," said Teufel.
- the herd -
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.