In both the Manchester Union Leader and at his personal Gray Matter blog, Kevin Gray throws some cold water on the notion of the Jays Double-A affiliate landing in Ottawa after the 2012 season, though… it’s kind of an exercise in non-denial denials.

“The Blue Jays have a great relationship with New Hampshire. The only way the Blue Jays would ever leave New Hampshire — and nobody, absolutely nobody has talked with Toronto about this happening — would be if another team agreed to come here,” said Fisher Cats president Rick Brenner, apparently ignoring the rumour that Ottawa is working on purchasing the Binghamton Mets. “It would have to be a win-win situation for everyone.”

“The Fisher Cats will remain in New Hampshire,” Gray writes, “whether they are aligned with the Blue Jays, Twins, Rays or another team. And Ottawa is a long way from landing a team.”

On his blog he tosses in some speculation. “If I had to venture a guess,” he writes, “I’d say they’ll extend the PDC for another two years with an announcement this spring or summer.”

“Charlie Wilson, Toronto’s director of minor league operations, has told me the Blue Jays want to stay in Manchester as long as possible,” he adds, “saying the club’s relationship with NH is ‘amazing.’ ”

So… they’re saying all the things they’re supposed to say, but there’s not a whole lot that really indicates that the Jays won’t be switching affiliations this summer. Which, of course, isn’t to say that they will. But it’s a no-brainer, given the club’s national marketing strategy and their wildly successful affiliation with the Vancouver Canadians, that if the option is there, the Jays will want to be in the nation’s capital. Total no-brainer.

Comments (23)

  1. Is it just too easy and obvious to put the Blue Jays AAA team in Ottawa? (and get them the fuck outta Vegas)

  2. Costs more to get a stadium up to AAA grade, I believe. AAA in Buffalo and AA in Ottawa makes more sense.

  3. Any chance they move from Vegas to Buffalo then?

  4. Buffalo’s deal with the Mets is up too, I believe. I’m sure the Jays will push hard to get the fuck out of Vegas, obviously.

  5. The stadium was a AAA stadium for the Lynx before… 

  6. It needs work, though. They’re pouring millions into it as is, so I assume more would be needed to make it appropriate for AAA– and I believe I’ve read that somewhere in all this, but I’m not prepared to go looking for it at the moment, and I could totally be wrong on that.

  7. Until Ottawa lands a team the Jays are not going to make any waves. Given the way organization has been dealing since AA and Beast took over, I’d expect we’ll hear about it only after a planeload of Jays prospects land in Ottawa.

  8. When is the press conference?

  9. Isn’t Ottawa a little cold for a minor league team? I lived there for 4 years, I feel like the pitchers/players wouldn’t be able to get into a groove until June.. 

  10. Baseball in the cold isn’t that bad. It’s just snow and more than five below that you really feel affected.

  11. isnt this kevin gray guy the one that said the jays were scheduling a presser to announce they won the darvishsweepstakes and kept insisting it were so even thought no toronto reporter had been contacted re : said presser?

    if so, why do we care about anything he he says now or in the future?

  12. Because being wrong once doesn’t make you wrong always?

  13. couldnt they just move out of vegas, put aaa in NH, and aa in ottawa?

  14. NH can not have a AAA team as part of an agreement with Boston when they were awarded a AA franchise.

  15.  no it doesnt make you always wrong

    but when you say something repeatedly like he did about darvish and when you say it with the conviction he did over and over again and it turns out to be complete nonsense it raises serious questions about your credibility or at the very least about your judgment, to the point where its difficult to take anything he says seriously anymore

    serious reporters know that and thats why they dont do it like he did … kevin gray is pretty much a joke 

  16. I’m hoping that the Fi-Cats can manage a way into the IL (AAA) and the Jays get into Ottawa as their AA team. That stadium is awesome, great atmosphere and it draws one of the highest annual crowds in ALL the minor leagues.

  17. I try to remember that about you too, penis-breath. But it seems like I have to remember it every fucking post…

  18. Have I missed something, but why not Montreal instead?

  19. Putting a AAA team in Ottawa is far from easy and effectively a non-starter. There aren’t any obvious IL teams to move to Ottawa, and moving a PCL team would require at least one other team to shift leagues. No one will be putting a AAA team in Ottawa (or Montreal) any time soon.

    Buffalo and Rochester are Toronto’s best AAA options next offseason.

  20. I seem to recall reading that teams can’t even discuss the possibility of moving or changing franchises until their agreements are up, so that they aren’t accused of tampering.

    No one will confirm anything specific until after the season is over, and PDCs are actually expired. I have a sneaking suspicion there’s a whole lot of winking and nodding going on right now.

  21. Here we go:

    “It’s important to remember that teams cannot negotiate new affiliations until after the 2012 season, though they can extend their current deals. They are not even allowed to discuss possible changes for fear of tampering charges. So even if Toronto is interested in moving to Ottawa, the team would not be allowed to discuss or explore the option with the city or Beacon Sports.”… 

    Again, I think there’s a whole lot of winking and nodding going on behind the scenes.

  22. Also:

    “The National Post story also addressed speculation that the Blue Jays would like to move their Triple-A affiliation from Las Vegas to New Hampshire, while putting a Double-A affiliate in Ottawa. While such a move sounds interesting, it is not practical because the Blue Jays cannot realign minor league baseball. Like most teams, Toronto does not own its affiliates in Las Vegas and New Hampshire, but rather signs a player-development contract with the privately owned minor league teams. What’s more, Las Vegas is in the Pacific Coast League.”… 

  23. While we’re at it, why doesn’t moneybags Rogers pony up and think about owning some of the Jays affiliates like the Atlanta Braves do. Wouldn’t make sense south of the border, but for any Canadian Jays affiliates, presumably there would be some marketing benefits of owning the teams.

    Nothing against this US sports-marketing group that’s talking up Ottawa, but local ownership is generally a good thing and would think there’d be some appeal to Rogers to owning the franchise in Ottawa, playing in “Rogers Park” and inundating the fans with its Rogers cross-marketing schemes.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *