“Time For Blue Jays To Move”Blackhawks First!

Easy killers, I didn’t write it. I’m just letting you know that someone else did.

“TORONTO — The getaway suits were on, the bags were packed — some Gucci, some whatever animal Randy Williams hunted himself and turned into a piece of luggage.
The White Sox players and staff were leaving Toronto late Thursday night after their one and only trip north of the border this season.

If it were up to most of the traveling party, it would be the last — ever.”

That’s the start of Joe Crowley’s article – No Canada, For MLB. Now, you know I love talking about attendance. Mike Hogan was asking callers to tell him this am why the numbers have fallen off so dramatically THIS year as opposed to in the past. That’s a discussion for another day- or maybe tonight.

However- for now- let’s look at the issue as Mr. Cowley suggest it’s high time to leave (Lucile)

“And while Major League Baseball has more than a few issues that need addressing, somewhere in that list should be getting a team out of Canada.”


Let’s look at some numbers Joe, shall we?????

Low attendance = time to remove the franchise correct?

Well, given that, we need to consider avg attendance per game and I would think where that number puts that team compared to the rest of the teams in the league right? Only fair isn’t it???

Which hypothetical market should lose it’s team..

Exhibit A:

year avg attendance place amongst other teams (/30)
2004 13,000 27/30
2006 13,000 29/30
2007 12,000 29/30
2008 16,000 19/30

Exhbit B:

year avg attendance place amongst other teams (/30)
2005 24,000 23/30
2006 28,000 18/30
2007 29,000 18/30
2008 29,000 18/30

Well??? (and I can fill in 2009 and 2010 for 1 of them in a minute)

Given the numbers above, the market that is Exhibit A should lose it’s franchise right Joe???

I mean – look at the apathy. Three out of those 4 years they are in the bottom 3 teams in the entire league! Back up the trucks Mr. Irsay and move those Blackhawks!

What you say??????

Yes, Exhibit A is the Chicago Blackhawks, the owners of the 27th, 29th, 29th, worst attendance records in the entire pathetic league that is the NHL! Exhibit B is the team that as Alex Rios says “there’s no real following here. There’s that small group of diehards, but it’s hockey, hockey, hockey. It’s gotten sad here. They just don’t really care.”

Before you want to look at the Blue Jays, who, even last year averaged 23,000 fans per game- which was still 22/30 teams look at those teams below the Jays for potential moving targets.

I mean you want to rip the Blue Jays, that’s fine. The numbers don’t lie.

The Blackhawks- who clearly under Joe’s theory should have moved jumped to first in attendance in 2009 and in 2010! Will the Blue Jays ever get to number 1??????? I have no friggin clue. Here’s what I do know. Let’s reserve judgement until at least the end of the year. If the Blue Jays average around 11k a game the rest of the way- the numbers will show it. We know when Halladay throws here they will sell out. That game plus the home opener will be averaged out at seasons end. I could be wrong, but I am willing to make a friendly bet that the Blue Jays won’t be in the bottom 3, attendance wise this year.

“It’s kind of a sad situation up here,” Guillen said. ”There are people supporting Toronto baseball, but it’s sad when you remember 10 or 20 years ago how exciting it was to come play up here. There was enthusiasm in the city. There were great things happening here.

”Hopefully the fans realize how important it is to have a baseball team here, and what it will be like if they do leave. It’s all about the fans. This is on them. Especially because this is the only team left in Canada, and they have to show they want to keep it.”

But is it really on the fans to have a sport forced on them that isn’t their own? It would seem like it’s up to Major League Baseball to move the product to a place that really wants it.”

The exact words of Ozzie Guillen could have been said at the end of the Wirtz era with the Blackhawks. With respect to Joe’s comment at the end. I am all for moving teams to places where people really want them. Let’s start with taking those teams who are consistently at the bottom of the attendance standings and move them first. Let’s turn back the hands of time and grab the blackhawks and move them to Hamilton, a market that clearly wants them. When the Blue Jays are at the bottom of the MLB attendance standings then we can talk about moving them. As for now, who wants the Oakland A’s, Florida Marlins, Pittsburgh Pirates and Kansas City Royals???

Joe Cowley’s article on moving the Toronto Blue Jays out of Toronto is here

I rounded off MLB and NHL attendance figures from ESPN.com

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April 16, 2010 3:13 pm

You’re totally right TSM.

From 06 to 09 the Jays have been 17th, 18th and 22nd in attendance. Even in this rough year, Baltimore, Cleveland and Oakland (and there may be more) have had lower attended games than the Jays lowest.

It’s sad and embarrassing, but this is a franchise that hasn’t come close to the playoffs in 17 years, just had a terrible 09 season, THEN announced a rebuilt and traded their best player.

This year you can probably expect the Jays averaging around 21K a game, probably about 26th to 28th in MLB (right there with Baltimore and Cleveland I’d guess).

Now, that is embarrassing, but is it really such a noteworthy situation when other teams are struggling just as much at the gate or worse? Are people suggesting the Indians, Orioles, Pirates, Royals, Rays or Marlins are doomed?

No. (Well, maybe Florida and Tampa, but those markets have never enjoyed much success). Toronto can be a great baseball market, but 17 years of mediocrity has eroded the enthusiasm of the city.

When this team gets successful again the fans will come. Did you know Philadelphia was at the bottom of the pack in attendance in the early 2000s when they were terrible?

Lastly – according to Forbes, the Jays made 13 million dollars last season. They are owned by a billion dollar corporation that owns Sportsnet, The Fan and the RC. While the attendance is embarrassing and concerning, it is not nearly as noteworthy as some seem to think.

The guy who wrote this is a jackass.

April 16, 2010 3:15 pm

By the way – this is a writer with no credibility. This is from his Wikipedia page:

In May 2004 while traveling with the White Sox on a road trip to Toronto, Cowley made disparaging remarks about the city of Toronto in a radio interview, calling it “nothing but a city in a third-world country.” [1] Subsequently during the series in Toronto, Cowley refused to stand for the Canadian national anthem prior to a game. Toronto Blue Jays president Paul Godfrey described Cowley as having “bad manners” and had letters of complaint sent to both Cowley and his publisher over the incident.

Cowley gained notoriety nationally when he admitted on Tuesday Nov. 21, 2006 on the Mike and the Mad Dog show, which is heard on WFAN New York, to be the only writer to vote Derek Jeter in sixth place on the American League MVP ballot. However, if Cowley had placed Jeter first on the ballot, Justin Morneau still would have won.

That was the second such incident for Cowley; after omitting Blue Jays players Carlos Delgado and Vernon Wells, two top-ten overall finishers, from his 2003 AL MVP ballot, the Chicago chapter suspended him from voting the next year. They accused Cowley of not voting seriously, saying he “embarrassed” the Chicago chapter of the BBWAA. [1]

In November of 2009, a Chicago White Sox fan blog posted a report that their sources had said the White Sox were having preliminarily discussions to acquire Adrian Gonzalez from the San Diego Padres in a three-way deal.[2] Cowley called the blogger a “trekkie turned blogger” who wrote from his basement.[3] Cowley occasionally mocks SoxNet.net on Twitter and on the radio from time to time.[4] Cowley’s initial mocking prompted a response from the SoxNet.net blog calling his attacks “unprofessional, offensive, and completely inappropriate”.[5] Cowley replied, but SoxNet.net opted not post his reply, calling Cowley’s initial attack “mature” compared to his response[6]

Kartik Krishnan
Kartik Krishnan
April 16, 2010 3:17 pm

The Blue Jays fans love baseball. Alex rios does not what he is talking about. We get 15000 a game which is not bad. You chicago guys don’t know anything about baseball.

Rob Janssens
Rob Janssens
April 16, 2010 7:09 pm

Weird that the only pro team in Toronto that’s actually winning nets the saddest attendance totals. What is wrong with you fans??

Pat MaGroin
Pat MaGroin
April 17, 2010 1:19 pm

World Baseball Classic 2009
Canada Vs U.S.
46,000 butts in the seats
If game were In Chicago
Less than 10,000……..

Rob Janssens
Rob Janssens
April 17, 2010 2:07 pm

In no universe is Toronto a better baseball town than Chicago, what with its 2 MLB teams, one of which sells out every game and has an international broadcast reach despite 100+ years of futility

April 18, 2010 10:24 am

@ Daniel…..great insight on the writer of the article…how does he still have a job? Brutal. TSM readers….if you haven’t read the comments on the Sun Times article, you should….again, how does this guy still have a job?

April 18, 2010 8:16 pm

It’s just a guy that likes to crap on Canada for some reason. There’s no reason to single the Jays out as a team that should move, when they’ve been in good shape up until pretty much the end of last season. Even in this rough start to the year, Baltimore, Cleveland, Oakland and Florida are all struggling just as much or moreso.

It’s kind of like suggesting the Avalanche should move. Yeah – bad couple years at the gate, but it’s still a completely viable market. It’s just having a tough period.

And the Blackhawk comparison is a very good one I think, TSM. Most franchises have an ebb and flow – it happens. There are not many Maple Leafs/Yankees/Red Sox out there.

Worth noting too that only one MLB team has moved in last 40 years – and it took forever to move the Expos who didn’t even have ownership for years.

Griffin wrote a good piece on the whole thing today:

April 19, 2010 1:54 pm

Not to bombard this thread with links, but I think Blair’s take on this situation was good too. It’s near the bottom of the article:


Dannie Bernstein From 670thescore.com
April 21, 2010 4:10 pm

Joe Cowley roasted your radio boobs the other day on this subject when they tried to ambush him about this. They had absolutely no retort and looked like dopey hosers.

Rob Janssens
Rob Janssens
April 21, 2010 6:05 pm

Trust me…even though I don’t know which “radio boobs” you’re referring to, the fact that they looked like dopey hosers doesn’t surprise anyone up here. Once the local all-sports station’s morning show hosts came up with an idea called “Chacin” cologne named after one of the Blue Jays’ pitchers. The gag went on, and on, and on. He’s long gone…yet the hosts remain…

Dannie Bernstein From 670thescore.com
April 23, 2010 11:38 am

here is the clip – judge for yourselves:


Dannie Bernstein From 670thescore.com
April 23, 2010 7:54 pm

Nice article. Very well-written.

Too bad I am not Dan Bernstein. However, I am “Dannie Bernstein”, a totally different, yet completely imaginary, person, and one who “just came from” the website 670thescore.com. . . as a visitor!

I bet the real Dan Bernstein got a kick out of your crackerjack fact-checking/verification before you put that article to print, though!

Rob Janssens
Rob Janssens
April 23, 2010 8:06 pm

This thread has suddenly gotten more confusing than the late John Cerutti trying to explain the infield fly rule to Brian Williams in less than 2 innings

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