Monday, January 21, 2008


Possible conclusions to draw from the Citizen's farcical "let's play ball" editorial, in which Ken Gray carries on like there's an opportunity to get the Blue Jays AAA franchise here:
  1. It's gotta be a parody of how those blogs link two new stories that are barely related to jump to ridiculous conclusions: "Hey! Syracuse is kicking the Jays out! Hey, Ottawa doesn't have Triple-A anymore! There's a story there!"

    The Jays do not own a Triple-A team. Come the end of this season, they will go, caps in hands, to sign an agreement with another International League city. Logic, geography and Rogers Communications' bottom line would say that is Buffalo.
  2. Some of the unelected pencilpushers down at 10 Laurier Ave., who wield more power than most city councillors, must really, really want Miles Wolff's Can-Am League club to fail. Why shouldn't someone suspect that this part of some quid pro quo between City Hall and the Paper of Record?
  3. Or it could be that the Citizen is really that out of it that they can't grasp some basic facts about baseball that even an 11-year-old could understand.
  4. Did the paper here in the nation's capital forget about the effort to make the Coventry Rd. ballpark a home for Baseball Canada, which would be impossible with the 144-game schedule in Triple-A?

The Jays don't own a Triple-A team ... The Jays don't own a Triple-A team ... The Jays don't own a Triple-A team ... The Jays don't own a Triple-A team. Hopefully repeating it will get the point across to Mr. Gray. (Hey, if we have to play by the Citizen's rules, that includes honorifics.)

Look, off on whatever cloud-cuckoo-land Mr. Gray is calling home, maybe it looks like the Jays putting a team here, if they had a team to put here, could work. The rest of us, alas, live in the real world. That's where average Joes get up and go do work that doesn't include being paid to write editorials that don't make a lick of sense and wouldn't pass muster as a blog post.

We have a shot at something very special and very real with the Can-Am League. One would hope that this doesn't lead to people looking at our new team and saying, "Oh, this is why we don't have the Blue Jays farm club." The potential is out there.

Let's play ball (Ottawa Citizen; thanks for link goes to Jean-Pierre Allard and Pete Toms)

(UPDATE: Check out the comments.)


Dennis Prouse said...

The fact that neither Quebec City nor Halifax have a stadium doesn't stop some CFL fans from dissing Ottawa, saying that an expansion team should instead go to one of those places. Using that criteria, why should a small detail like the Jays not owning their own affiliate get in the way of a good story? I find that with sports, people feel free to create their own realities in a way that they can't possibly do in other fields. That's all you are seeing here, I think -- blue sky thinking, pardon the pun, without any critical analysis.

sager said...

"Blue sky thinking." That, friends, is why Dennis should rule the world.

Bottom line, it is infuriating to read that coming from a major daily in town after the ups and downs of the past 17 months, since this blog starting beating the drum for the Can-Am League.

So many obvious points missed here:

1) The IL doesn't want a Canadian team
2) Buffalo's available to the Jays after this year
3) Given Rogers' share of the market (digital cable, cell phones), why would they need to put $20 million into putting a team in a Canadian city that's only a 4-hour drive/train ride away?
4) The Jays will probably never have a Canadian-based affiliate again. It would backfire, since everyone hates Toronto.

Tao of Stieb said...

Hey, we've beat the drum for a while about the Jays-Ottawa link that could be exploited, but it just doesn't make sense at the Triple-A level anymore.

The two massively presumptuous statements in this editorial conveniently come back to back:

"A Jays farm team in Ottawa would boost the major-league club's TV ratings in Ottawa and provide a source of revenue for the Jays if the team were owned outright by Toronto. "

Unless the ratings didn't move an inch because of Ottawa and the team were a source of red ink for Rogers. (Which, in spite of their corporate colours, the fellas at Uncle Ted Inc. aren't fond of.)

John Edwards said...

The most salient point in all of this is that the Jays had numerous chances to affiliate with Ottawa during the last 5 years if they were interested. They didn't. That says it all to me.

Do you really think Buffalo wants any part of the Jays? Given the, um, stellar performance of Syracuse, I doubt Toronto is a highly sought-after affiliation. I could see Toronto being the team that ends up with some weird pairing (like Florida-Edmonton about 10 years ago) because the other teams have all found dance partners.