Today at THT

Things to read while recovering from a night of watching people go to parties on CNN:

  • I’ve heard an awful lot from Blue Jays’ fans about how unfair it is that they have to be in the same division as Boston and New York. Just yesterday I even had a commenter complain about this in the salary cap post thread. I wanted to feel sorry for them, but then I remembered: Toronto is a gigantic city. Bigger than Boston, brother, and when you realize that they’re the only game in the whole of Canada, they’re hooked up with a big cable company, and own their own stadium and all the revenue streams pursuant thereto, it’s hard to accept the crying poor of so many Blue Jays fans. They could be just as big a wheel as the Red Sox and maybe even the Yankees if they wanted to, but they don’t, and even though this out of the control of Jays’ fans, I fail to see why this makes things unfair for them.

    Why don’t they want to be a big wheel? John Brattain tells us today that its because they’re run by Selig loyalists.

  • Brian Borawski has the business of baseball roundup. Particularly interesting is a story about minor league attendance and Fenway Park’s mini-me.
  • Tuck! should get a bodyguard after daring to draw something critical about The Greatest Fans in Baseball ™.
  • Finally, over at Fantasy Focus, Derek Carty helps us figure out how to choose a closer. Whether this is better than my “pick the guy with the bushiest mustache” system won’t be clear until after the season.
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    Comments

    1. Craig Calcaterra said...

      C’mon, Tuck! Take a stand! Pick a fight!  I can think of nothing more entertaining than going head on against every Cardinals fan.

      Well, someone else doing it, anyway.  I’m not touching that with a ten foot pole.

    2. Wooden_U_Lykteneau said...

      Brattain’s diatribe is awfully familiar to folks in DC, who are convinced that the only reason that the Nationals are in last place is because the Lerners are cheap, not because MLB gutted the Expos farm system. It’s also very similar to what my children do when I say they can’t go to the toy store.

    3. Pete Toms said...

      Yes, Toronto is a huge market, but that doesn’t mean it’s a huge baseball market.  It’s Canada, baseball is an afterthought, unless you’re winning back to back WS and then…nothin draws a crowd, like a crowd.

      Yes, the Jays own their stadium.  But it’s crap and is their biggest liability.  It opened in 89 and we Ontario residents got screwed to the tune of $600 million.  In 04, the Jays bought it for $25 million!  The real estate, were it vacant, might be worth more than that, it’s smack downtown on the waterfront.  The ACC is there, theatre, shopping, convention centre….perfect location…and it still fetched only $25 million!  The Jays just missed out on the retro / HOK boom, they were one of the last teams to build a big, ugly, boring multi purpose stadium ( the CFL team plays there too and they don’t like it either ).  Yes, in the early days it was a huge hit, the retractable roof ( and unlike Montreal, it actually worked! ), the size, the better amenities and seating ( Exhibition Stadium, though I have fond memories of it, was nasty ).  So, it was a perfect storm, new digs and a great, great team.  But that was then and this is now and baseball in Toronto needs what most others have; a greatly smaller ( at least 20,000 seats ) baseball only “ballpark”.  And Rogers dumped millions ( 10s or 100s, anybody recall? ) of dollars into the joint, unlike a lot of their brethren who use public money for that sorta thing.  Anyway, somethins gotta give and deMause recently speculated that it “won’t be long before they’re agitating for a new one” ( a stadium )

      JB kvetches about the impact of the strike.  Sorry John, but I’m sick of hearing that from “baseball fans” here ( and I’ve heard it plenty ).  It’s an excuse, not a reason.  Contrast the reaction here to the lockout/strike in the NHL.  When it returned, attendance and TV ratings went way up the next season.  Fans missed it, because they are hockey fans.  They didn’t miss baseball, because they aren’t baseball fans. 

      Most of us are amibiguous about Rogers ownership.  We all know they have the resources to spend more than they do but on the other hand they are a way better owner than InterBrew.  Corporate ownership is fickle.  Labatts viewed the Jays as a marketing tool during a battle with Molsons for market share ( Labatts best selling brand is Labatts Blue ).  InterBrew didn’t see it that way.  ( Interestingly, InterBrew is now InBev.  InBev bought A-B last year and many question if they will slash the huge amounts of money that A-B has traditionally spent on pro sports sponsorships and advertising but I digress ).  Rogers has been somewhere in the middle.  They boosted the payroll ( actually very significantly ), poured some dough into the stadium…but, still not the big spenders they seemingly could be ( they own the friggin RSN that broadcasts most of the games and the friggin cable company that carries the RSN )…but, the beancounters don’t seem to see it that way….

      With the passing of Ted Rogers there has been a lot of speculation re. the Jays future in Toronto.  If Rogers wants to sell, is there a local buyer?  I say no, unless a new “ballpark” is forthcoming.  Tied up in all this is the possibility of the NFL in Toronto.  If that happens ( and I’m a lot less certain than I was a year ago ) somethins gotta give with the stadium situation.  Rogers Centre ( Skydome ) is too out of date to support a billion dollar investment in an NFL team.  And it’s no good for baseball either…..so….what gives?….interesting times ahead in Toronto.

      Contraction?

    4. Ron said...

      If those wussies would just throw complete games, we wouldn’t have to worry about closers.

      Closers? We doan’ need no stinkin’ closers!!!

    5. Craig Calcaterra said...

      GM-Carson:  I deleted your post because I do not accept spam—even well-intentioned, non-commercial spam—in comments, and I prefer that links to other blog posts be at least vaguely on topic.

      I have my email address posted in the upper left corner. If you (or anyone else) would like to send me links to read or consider, that is the best way to contact me.

      Thanks

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