Are Toronto Blue Jays Fans Being Set Up?


Perhaps it’s Brian Burke’s self imposed holiday roster freeze, or it could be the recent struggles of the hockey team, but it’s mid-December and the Toronto Sports fan is talking baseball. Not steroids, not how much the Yankees or Red Sox spent on free agents, but rather Toronto Blue Jays baseball.

In case yu (sorry) haven’t noticed, word is in almost every major sports publication that the Toronto Blue Jays are going to be announced as the highest bidder amongst MLB teams, earning them the right to try to sign Japanese pitcher Yu Darvish. If the Jays win that right, it means they will have outspent other bidders and therefore spent a fortune int he process. The knock on Rogers (whether warranted or not) has been their reluctance to spend on the Jays. Spending on this player will likely shut up those critics for the time being.

Unfortunately, it’s all speculation right now.

Enter the Toronto Star’s sports media columnist Raju Mudhar:

“The problem is that the excitement heightens the backlash if the Jays do not win the bid. Considering how much fans are putting into this pursuit, it will fuel a fan revolt and spur plenty of disparaging comments online from some of their most knowledgeable fans. ”

With all due respect to Raju, that’s a load of crap.

Fans aren’t putting anything into the pursuit, media sources in NY claimed that the Jays were the highest bidder. That same story has been repeated by multiple sources around MLB including Toronto media outlets. If the Jays aren’t the winners, why would their be a fan revolt? Let’s say the Jays bid what people say they did, 40-50 million and another team went higher, the fans are going to revolt over that? Please. Disparaging comments from their most knowledgeable fans for not winning? No. Those comments would come if they didn’t bid or if their bid was a token bid. Win or lose, I have to think that this will bring lots of good will.

Bruce Arthur of the National Post has other thoughts too:

“It would be wonderful for Toronto if Rogers changed course. But as the old saying goes, I’ll believe it when I see it. Yes, Rogers should expand the payroll parameters, sure, if only to truly prove to Torontonians — so many of whom pay the company on a monthly basis — that they really are more serious about winning than they are about budgets. If the Jays have committed US$52-million to negotiation rights to one pitcher, a year after starting the season with a US$70-million payroll, then it only makes sense that times have really changed. If they have, watch baseball fever consume this city, and beyond.

But I wouldn’t hand over your whole heart yet, Toronto. Not until the Jays show theirs.”

So, again, if the Jays are the winners, it looks like there is a lot of reasons to be hopeful if your a baseball fan in Toronto.

By the way, we are told all the time that those who write the stories don’t write the headlines. Is it more or are those who write the headlines in Toronto amongst the worst at their trade anywhere in North America? If I were a scribe in Toronto I’d demand the right to write my own headline (and I don’t care what’s never been done before). The headline writer butcher story’s all the time which really do effect how an article is viewed or if it is viewed at all.


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