Friday, January 18, 2008


The tin-foil hat is down off its hook after reading the Citizen's dog's breakfast article about the Blue Jays needing to change their Triple-A affiliate and Ottawa being a quote-unquote "possibility," which it is only is in a pig's eye.

It's curious why the Citizen had a key fact -- the Jays do not own a Triple-A team and would have to buy one in order to put in Ottawa, or any city of their choosing -- buried in the 15th graf of an 18-paragraph story. (Miles Wolff points it out.) The Syracuse Chiefs are owned by local shareholders. It's their team. The Jays provide the players the way Coca-Cola provides a local diner with soft drinks.

Secondly, the major game of minor-league musical chairs that might take place after this season was not acknowledged. Seventeen of the 30 Triple-A teams will need to sign a new PDC (player development contract) with a major-league team. Most won't change at all. The Jays will have an open look at striking a deal with Buffalo (the Cleveland Indians are going to make a play for nearby Columbus) or Rochester (whose deal is up).

It's a lot more penny-wise than buying and operating a team. Thanks to my pal Dan Rowe (a Syracuse resident, oddly enough), we're well-acquainted with Rogers Communications' concept of "uninterested ownership," so which route do you think they would choose?

That might have been important to mention before going off and stuffing Glebeites' heads full of this "maybe Ottawa?" nonsense. It's curious, to say the least, why the paper of the Ottawa establishment does this story now that Wolff is well on his way to getting the Can-Am League team set up in town.

It's not news that the Jays and Syracuse Chiefs are on the outs. There were rumblings over the summer. It's been in the upstate New York papers and circulated among Jays-themed blogs for three months (The Tao of Stieb was the first blog to note it).

There was almost certainly no malice intended. However, can't you hear people saying, "but I heard we were gonna get the Jays farm team!" at some point when the subject of giving the new a chance comes up.

Posts are also up at Can-Am Ottawa and Carl Kiiffner's Unofficial Ottawa Lynx Blog.

Jays would explore all Triple-A options -- maybe Ottawa? -- if new home needed (Geoff Nixon, Ottawa Citizen)


Pete Toms said...

Yeah, I've never seen this Geoff Nixon guy before - I am a Citizen subscriber but pretty much only read the sports section when Ray Emery does something entertaining, and I don't mean netminding - but he's misinformed. MW is obviously correct, the key is if one of the 30 owners of AAA franchises would move here or sell to folks who would move it here. Unless that happens, who gives a shit what the Jays want?

My prediction? Jays to New Orleans! I think it's a done deal that the Mets are leaving NO for Syracuse. The key city in the chain reaction is Buffalo. If Cleveland leaves for Columbus the dominos will start falling. The Braves are also leaving Richmond after 42 years in the NL, headed to suburban Atlanta.

Let's move on, CanAm is here come May 22 for at least a couple of years, let's support it.

sager said...

In fairness, the onus is more on the paper than the reporter himself. (Nixon is apparently a youngish city-side reporter.) They were realllllllllllllly stretching to pull a story out of this, and they buried Wolff's rather important point that the Jays don't have a franchise to move.

Frankly the Jays in Buffalo makes so much sense. Since we're taking the Bills, they can take our Triple-A team!

sager said...
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