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Wednesday, July 08, 2009
The Death of Baseball in TorontoThe Blue Jays have released B.J. Ryan. He probably has about $14-15 million left on that $47 million deal they gave him. That's on top of the $99 million or so they owe Vernon Wells through 2014, the $61 million or so they owe Alex Rios through 2014, and the combined $26.5 million or so they owe Scott Rolen and Lyle Overbay through next year. As a result, the Jays have to trade Roy Halladay to save money. Those other dudes will still be hanging around.
As Pete mentioned in the comments yesterday, attendance in Toronto stinks. As he wrote last winter, the future of baseball in Toronto is rather ugly as well.
What a mess. Toronto is something like the fifth largest market in baseball, which probably makes them the second or third largest single-team market. They're certainly the only team that has a whole country to itself in many important respects. They used to outdraw everyone. They used to win all of the time. Yesterday Pete said that he "wouldn’t be surprised if there is no MLB in Toronto in a handful or several years." I don't know if I'm that pessimistic, but it's certainly beyond depressing.
What, or who, killed baseball in Toronto?
Posted by Craig Calcaterra at 4:36pm
Tim Kelly said...
I think the test case is Tampa Bay. As Tad points out, they have a good baseball ops department and anyone can see that they have a ton of talent at the major league and minor league levels. Will this lead to long-term success in a division with NY & Boston? I guess we’ll see…
Posted 07/10 at 10:02 AM
Johnny Tuttle said...
I’d agree with Tim yet again if I weren’t so pessimistic for what happens to TB as its vaunted young talent reaches arbitration and FA in droves.
Seriously? Someone questioned that the Rays were built through the draft, aided by higher choices there? And simultaneously dismissed that as “only” having yielded three blue chippers (Upton, Longoria, and Price)? The Blue Jays are a team caught in the old success cycle middle ground in that division (where they could very plausible win the AL West or NL Central). That ain’t rocket science, folks. They can’t outspend the Yanks and Sox. They would have to endure bottoming out Pittsburgh style to rebuild completely. Yuck.
Somehow, the Jays and their fans are supposed to be willing to endure that for a shot, as calculated and tenuous and disadvantaged as the Rays’ shot now and the run the Orioles are putting on for 2012? And if they don’t show up in droves, it’s their fault? Goodness.
Posted 07/10 at 11:02 AM
Tim Kelly said...
I’m pessimistic on TB too (and the Orioles), but I can’t say that I *know* (yet) that they can’t succeed. I do think this system can only last so long, if TB does melt away and the O’s get derailed by some mistake or injury in a few years, change will have to happen…
Posted 07/10 at 01:20 PM