Well here’s something that probably should turn into a regular feature, but never quite seems to — but that I’ll make to look like one anyway in order to keep from having it seem too terribly out of place: a collection of Monday morning thoughts on what was going on over the weekend…

Noise Of Jays Being Out On Tanaka Just That

It’s a very long shot that the Jays will be able to sign Masahiro Tanaka. Notice, though, that I’m not saying it was always going to be a long shot for the Jays to acquire him, as though the club is already out. That was the prevailing thought on Saturday night, though, as MLBTR passed along a report from Nikkan Sports suggesting that a bunch of teams had made formal offers to Tanaka, with the Jays not among them. Bernie Pleskoff of passed what seemed like merely that along without attribution, simply listing the teams in the report, expressing surprise that the Jays wouldn’t have made an offer, and later half-heartedly walking it back, explaining, “Teams listed for Tanaka are those reported so far. Who knows, there could be even more. Doubt it though.”

Because this is the internet, that, apparently, was plenty to start sourpuss Jays fans tweeting at me about what an affront it was that the club wouldn’t even make a bid. Of course, as I said at the time, colour me not dumb enough to take it as gospel. The ultra cynical could suggest that I’m just twisting myself in knots to keep alive this silly fantasy for my own cynical, pageview-related reasons, and I guess I couldn’t blame them. But what I didn’t say at the time was that, once I started talking about what Pleskoff was saying half seriously on Twitter, I was approached by a person that I trust telling me not to bother even giving it that much attention.

That isn’t to say that I was being told that the Jays did make an offer, or anything like that, but it certainly affirmed my instinct, at least about Pleskoff’s tweets, if not Nikkan. So again: colour me not dumb enough to take it as gospel. (Or to post about it as such.)

This will all be cleared up by Friday’s 5 PM ET deadline, and it’s probably best not to believe any of it until then.


Argos To BMO Gathering Steam?

“Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment could expand BMO Field in time for the July 2015 Pan Am Games, its chief executive says — but only if MLSE and the government can come to a financial agreement ‘very’ soon,” begins a report this morning from Daniel Dale of the Toronto Star.

The soccers are up in arms about the spectre of such changes, and rightfully so. BMO is utilitarian, but also kind of perfect. Not only that, it’s theirs. Plus, ”unobtrusive” doesn’t seem to be a word in Tim Leiweke’s vocabulary, so obviously there is trepidation about the scope of the changes that sound more and more like they’re coming.

I’m with them on that, and I think any baseball fan, especially in this city, who has watched the sport shift hard and fast towards baseball-specific venues, can understand why it’s far better not to be in a multi-purpose facility. But, of course, that’s where this is going.

Dale continues:

Leiweke said the renovation would allow for a temporary capacity of 40,000 for a major event like the NHL’s Winter Classic. To the chagrin of many TFC supporters, it would also position BMO Field as a potential home for the CFL’s Toronto Argonauts, who are not owned by MLSE.

Interesting thing, that last line. Every once in a while I’ll get email tips from readers, wondering if I’ve heard some of the same things they’re hearing, or if there’s a way for me to look into some sort of rumours they’ve heard. I don’t know these people from Adam, so there is absolutely no reason to actually believe that whatever piece of gossip they’re bringing to me is true — and I would never want to present it as something that isn’t completely unsubstantiated, and possibly even entirely fabricated or simply misunderstood — but I got one of those this week. In it the suggestion was made that word is out there that MLSE has all but finalized a deal to purchase the Argos, but that they’re keeping it under wraps in order not to suck the wind from the sails of this month’s big P.R. win for TFC, with the signings of Jermain Defoe and Michael Bradley.

It would make sense, but I’m sure as hell not going to suggest that it’s true. I’m not even going to poke around, like a responsible journalist might do, and try to get a comment out of anyone who might have knowledge of such a thing. Not only because I’m sure they’d just deny it anyway — if they’d even speak to me — but because… well… it’s more fun this way, isn’t it?

Another of these types of emails came to me a couple weeks ago with the suggestion that a major local construction company had been putting together a bid to do plumbing and irrigation work under the playing surface at Rogers Centre. I’ve been told, however, that it could simply be budgeting work, for Rogers to make decisions with, and not the actual tendering of a bid.

Or, of course, like the other stuff, it could also be complete horseshit.

Intriguing though, huh?

Well, it would be if we didn’t know that the Argos leaving and grass coming in wasn’t already pretty much a foregone conclusion, right? RIGHT????


And The Rest…

- Over the weekend Jeff Blair tweeted that he’ll be leaving the Globe and Mail next month, though continuing on as the host of his radio show on the Fan 590 (or whatever they’re calling themselves this week — Radio Free Sportsnet or something), and that his assumption is someone will give him a platform to write on, as well. Obviously he doesn’t have to worry, but with layoffs at both the Globe and the Post being announced this month, it’s not a good time to be out on that withering branch of the media industry, and it sucks that people are losing their jobs. I could go on for hours with thoughts on this sort of stuff, but I’ll spare you. As far as Blair goes, I’m glad to hear he’ll be writing for Sportsnet, even if it’s just one less reason to pick up the Globe or go grapple with their silly paywall, I guess, and that’s really too bad.

- I know a lot of folks around here are holders of ballpark passes, and you may be interested to know that, while this year the Jays are only issuing a single card that has both passes on it, according to a handy tip I received, apparently if you email the Jays and request separate cards, the Jays will accommodate you. Of course, I can’t verify this tip either, but if you had to believe only one of the three unsolicited tips I’ve written about here, this would clearly be the one.

- Buster Olney writes today at (Insider Olney) about MLB’s growing economic divide, explaining that “executives of small-market and mid-market teams are increasingly unhappy with baseball’s economic system. The Have-Nots don’t have access to top free agents, they increasingly struggle to keep their own best young players, and are limited by the spending caps on the amateur draft and in the international market.” I don’t doubt that executives don’t like any of that stuff. Owners, though? I bet that’s a different story.

Comments (137)

  1. How likely is it, if the Jays don’t land Tanaka, we never really hear how serious they were/what they bid?

    • Never is a long time, but I wouldn’t be expecting a presser the next day announcing what their losing bid was, that’s for sure.

      Same as any other free agent, really. If it suits them to let it be known how hard they tried, we’ll hear about it.

  2. As far as Tanaka is concerned we’ll find out soon enough. That said, I’d still be quite excited to to see Redmond, Hutch, Drabek, Rogers, McGowan competition to fill two spots.

    The Argo BMO thing is good for everyone – Jays/Argos/MLSE/City of Toronto/even TFC (they’ll have more seats to sell by the end of it), so it’s gonna happen.

    The globe has an excellent personal finance section (the comment section is quite insightful), so read it for that. These days I’d rather read Blue Jays Plus than Jeff Blair, so there’s that.

    • I’d be more excited to watch that group compete for one spot.

      • They will.

        Well, probably. But they just have such an advantage because of the draft picks with Ubaldo and Ervin that it’s hard to see a team valuing those guys enough to offer up a first round pick AND beat whatever the Jays are offering.

        • Stotes, you keep mentioning the jays protected first round pick, which certainly is an advantage for them, but maybe not as much as you are thinking

          White sox, cubs and mariners will also be gunning for pitching and have protected top 10 picks as well.

          • They’re interested in Tanaka, but doesn’t mean they’re interested in the Santana/Ubaldo types. Maybe the Mariners– shit, maybe the others too– but that’s still a really limited market, and competitors for whom the pitchers don’t make as much sense, or, in Seattle’s case, a team that has a bunch of young pitching and may not want to keep throwing money around after they spent so much on Cano.

          • Seems like a pick between #16 and #30 has an expected value of 3-5 WAR over his career. (Source: inexpert graph-reading of “The changing value of draft picks” from Fangraphs.)

            You have to do some funny business with discounting and subtracting off post-FA production and salaries and whatnot that probably drives the pick’s value down considerably below that. Doesn’t seem like draft pick compensation should hurt anyone’s FA payday by much more than $15MM.

      • I’d be more excited to see them compete for one spot – that only comes up due to injury or really bad performance.

        In other words, I’d prefer 2 solid starters and I think for the money Tanaka will get, we could get 2 somewhat proven guys instead.

    • Not sure how good it is for TFC. Has having more seats than necessary hasn’t exactly helped the atmosphere at Jays games, has it? And, of course, there’s the whole possible destruction of the pitch/atmosphere thing regarding the moving back of seats in the end stands, and — if necessary — widening the pitch. Very little good for TFC, actually.

      • TFC won’t have trouble filling seats if the team doesn’t suck. And it’s looking like they won’t.

      • There is a significant difference between a 50k seat stadium that averages 25k a game and a 5k add on to to a 21k stadium that averages 18k per game. A little reality/intellectual honesty in your comparison I think is needed.

        The pitch? Really? The pitch? Money brings in players, winning brings in fans, fans bring money. The pitch is a side note at best. They were on field turf at their inception.

        The atmosphere works at BMO mostly because the place is full of fans, the same can be said of Rogers Centre for Jays game. Nobody complains about that place when it’s full (except for the 500 level fights). MLSE will do their best to make the reto fit work a well as possible for all tenants , it’s in their best interest.

        • Talk out your ass much?

          Hey, but go ahead, question my intellectual integrity on this and see how far that gets you.

          • I questioned your comparison’s intellectual honesty and realism, not YOUR intellectual honesty and realism.

            Please read carefully.

          • @Stoeten.

            I think that MLSE which is 50% owned by Rogers is happy about expanding BMO to add seats. TFC just announced that they are spending 100 million or so on new players. This ill probably lead to an increase in attendance if the team starts winning.

            TFC was selling out when the team was horrible to watch. I would not be shocked if it sells out again now that the team has better players.

            I used to have season tickets for TFC in 2007 but gave them up after a couple of years because I couldn’t even give away tickets to people for free when I was out of ton.

            I find it strange that Rogers approved a spending spree at TFC, where revenue streams are more limited than the Jays have access too.

            I agree that they should not have put in a $20M refundable bid if they ere not serious about winning the bid. Why get fans hope up for nothing?

            I think most fans will be happy with any of the big 3 free agent pitchers left. We have more depth pitching this year & if the team stays healthy , 85-90 wins is likely.

            Blair was smart to get a gig on sportsnet. No one reads the globe & mail for sports.

        • Oh, OK, I can’t resist…

          1) Current capacity is 22K and the aim is to take it to 30K in terms of permanent seating — it says so right in the Star piece — with the ability to add 10K more temporarily, and we don’t yet know how all that will work or where those seats will go when not in use. Regardless, if the average is 18,000 (which is what was reported, but certainly not the case last year in terms of live bodies), that’s 40% of the stadium empty.

          2) Yes, the pitch. Yes, they were on a synthetic pitch when they first started playing at BMO, and if you weren’t just a moron talking out his ass, and actually remembered or paid attention to what the conversation was then, you’d know how much that was griped about and what a hindrance it was. You think the Rogers Centre turf inhibits the Jays from getting players? (Hint: we know, at least in part, that it does). It also keeps other team’s stars off the field occasionally, as we saw with Cabrera this year. Same thing with the soccer pitch, and probably worse because of the nature of the sport and all the running. So, yeah, it matters. Ask a TFC fan maybe.

          3) Yep, you won’t hear a single complaint about Rogers Centre when it’s full. Not about the ugly grass, not about the shit sight lines in the outfield bleachers, not about the team of Sherpas needed to reach the top of the 500s or the lack of beer and food service up there. Nope, everything is just peachy in your little delusion.

          Next time you want to slag someone’s intellectual honesty, please have the common courtesy to not be dumb as fuck. And spare me the nonsensical backpedalling and horseshit trying to put it on me for not understanding your batshit idea that comparisons have some kind of innate integrity/honesty or not, and that such a statement isn’t exactly about the person making the comparison.

    • I’m still finding it hard to beleive that their are Jay fans out there, who think they should seriously consider McGowan as a starter. I’ve been a huge fan of his since he first came up, and have been pulling for him to recover from these injuries. I know we seem to have a surplus of releivers, maybe even late inning relievers, but I don’t understand how that would make moving him into the rotation sensible. I hope he is here when the season begins, and think that he could be part of one of the scariest bullpens in all of baseball. My fantasties of him being a front line starter have been tempered down, and I commend him for fighting through a couple of years of rehab, and would thoroughly enjoy him being on the mlb roster for the whole season, but that likely would not be the case if he were a starter.

  3. I’ve kind of looked at the whole Tanaka thing the way I look at most major free agents (the Cano, Fielder, Pujols level) – it seems so against the Jays MO to go after these guys, that I’m going to mostly tune out any Jays speculation that comes out and just hope he signs with a team the Jays don’t compete with.

    Stoeten’s “tip” (quotation marks because I don’t know what to call it, not to be sarcastic) for some reason is the first thing that really makes me wonder, though, coupled with the fact that it really seems like the Jays have saved all of their bullets this offseason for something, and if it’s not Tanaka, then what?

    I don’t know how I’d react if they did sign Tanaka out of the blue later this week. That would be something.

    (Side note: it’s nice to note that a lot of writers think we’ll learn who Tanaka is signing with tomorrow or Wednesday, to give a couple of days for finalizing details, medicals, etc.)

    • To be clear, the “tip” wasn’t about the Jays or their seriousness with Tanaka.

      As for the Jays’ MO, I don’t think too much should be read into their past actions being predictive of what they might do now. Wasn’t their MO to deal prospects for guys on big money contracts until last year, either. Plus, Tanaka is just so young and so perfect for what they need that I can see him being an exception — though I still have a hard time seeing them outdo whatever the big clubs are going to offer.

  4. What will happen if AA doesn’t add one starter?
    Looks bad on him for not improving the team

    • People will lose it, and there will be some merit to that, but probably not as much merit as there will be noise.

    • Maybe recent improvements that haven’t yet performed will prove to have been good assets to target – esp Happ and Rogers.

    • Looks really bad. However, given the fact that there are still 3 decent options on the market, that will only cost money.. how much blame can there be on AA’s hands?

      If it’s payroll flexibility thats the problem, then its really out of his hands. Hard to fault him for the current payroll commitments at all, in fact if it wasn’t for bautista and EE’s extensions you’re probably not able to bring in Buerhle and Reyes.

      Like I’ve said before, maybe its just the realization that pretty much the same team was expected to contend last year. The realization that unless the core of this team gets off to a good start, Tanaka or Jimenez alone, doesn’t help them contend.

      So maybe his play is to wait out the high prices and see how his team reacts, if we’re around in July (which we should be) then he has the pieces to go out and get what he needs.

    • Fans might not love it but the way the starters ended the season and the glut of arms coming back that are better than the fodder of last years group means to me it cannot be worse and must be better starting pitching wise dont you think?

      • One would hope that the Jays ambitions are such that “cannot be worse” isn’t the bar they want to clear. I mean really what you want is basically what you expected you had at the beginning of last year minus the risk. Are a “glut of arms” coming back? Yes, there are… but after last season I don’t imagine folk are all that keen to doubledown on risk and that’s exactly what those glut of arms are… a big honking pile of excess risk with less upside then last years rotation.

    • Fans will lose their minds. But keep in mind even tho we lose Johnson. We gain some depth with the returning hutch and drab. And guys like red and stroman. We are actually in a better position with legitimate guys competing for the 4-5 spots (if you don’t assume Happ is the number 4 guy). No more waiver wire work looking for a starter this year. I’m way happier with a guy like stroman or Drabek in AAA then bringing in Wang or someone to spot start.

  5. I can confirm that the jays will issue you two separate fan pass cards if you email

  6. I’m really hoping that the rumour of the Jays not bidding is false, there is simply no justification for not being in the running. However, as its been pointed out, we can’t really react to that rumour, in fact who knows if we’ll ever find out.

    • Even if the five teams in the bidding report is somewhat true (which I don’t think it is) I’d be certain that there were more teams involved. As always with these things, the terms used tend to be misleading, often purposefully.

      Anthopoulos does this frequently himself, like when he said “we’ve made no offers in free agents to this point.” Even if he were being honest that they didn’t fill out a contract and send it to the agent for the player to consider signing, doesn’t mean they didn’t discuss terms with the agent/player.

    • There is absolutely justification in not bothering to bid if they knew it was going to be a losing one. Question then would be why was that the case. Whether they bid or not isn’t necessarily relevant, assuming they don’t land him. It COULD be, but the statement that there is “simply no justification” is false.

      • you’re right, there is some justification. Like he won’t play in Toronto or hates Dome’s, that would be a legit reason to not bid.

        but the fact that both Chicago teams has reportedly bid, the ‘only wants to play in LA’ rumours go out the window, same with wanting to play on a contender.

        Chicago bidding is what throws me off.

        • I think the more likely reason the Jays may not bid is because they don’t view Tanaka as worth more than $100 million. If this is the case, can you blame them? I cerntainly wouldn’t.

      • It’s entirely possible that Tanaka’s agent has let it be known to the Jays brass that he will not play there for whatever reason–not in the US/hitters’ park/bad record of pitchers getting injured/whatever. In which case obviously they won’t offer because it would be pointless. However just bopping out to get a starter for the sake of getting a starter isn’t to my mind a good way to go about improving the team either.

        • It would be pointless for Tanaka’s agent to do that… why remove a bidder from the process? If nothing else if the Jays put in a higher offer they could use that to coax a matching bid out of a different org.

      • Well yeah….. that’s self explanatory, but then how about being the winning bid? There’s an idea worth pursuing Rogers.

  7. The Tanaka rumour and the subsequent reactions pissed me off as soon as I saw them.

    For one, I don’t believe for a second that they Jays haven’t made a bid. And secondively, if it is true, I guarantee there’s solid justification behind it. If they didn’t make a bid it’s not because they didn’t want to improve the team. If they went to Tanaka’s camp and were told the Yankees had an offer on the table for 6/$150, it would make complete sense for them not to bother submitting a bid. I love rumours as much as the next fan, but why can’t people be a little bit more patient before they go ape shit over something that may or may not be true?

  8. Imagine the Argos weren’t a total fucking pariah and could stand alone on their own two feet? What a world that would be.

    • I don’t hate the CFL as a whole, I just don’t understand why if there are two leagues, you would on purpose watch a watered down semi pro version of a sport, when you don’t have to.

      • you mean like MLS?

      • So? People go to minor league baseball games. People even go to WNBA games.

        CFL football is fun and exciting. If there was a good place to watch the Argos I would go.

      • Can’t speak for anyone else but I prefer the larger field and three downs. I’d love to see that game played with NFL calibre athletes though.

        • JAM – yes I like the game too. BMO field is an improvement but I’d really like Varsity stadium area the best. Close to both subway lines would make it so much more of a place to go.

    • “Total fucking pariah” is a little harsh.

      I’m no CFL fan, but the Argos problem is comparable to somebody who buys a big house that they can’t afford. Always behind in payments, not enough furniture in all the rooms (just looks weird).

      If they would have been more sensible in in 1990 all would have been fine. However between the Skydome being built, McNall,Gretzky, and politicians of the day attemping to justify a stadium build the Argos got lost in the shuffle.

      BMO will fix that.

      As for the TFC/soccer fans may I extend a heartfelt ‘Fuck You” to all of you. BMO is owned by the City of Toronto. If you want a pristine pitch may I suggest you stand on your “own two feet”.

      • Hope you had a fun ride here on DJF mountain.

        • Did you just call me a piece of shi….. oh, wait a minute, you said I’m BEING a piece of shit, not that I am a piece of shit.

          I get it your not impressed with my point of view, but your not saying I’m a terrible person.

          So there is a difference.

        • Seriously?

        • LOL losing it again over a soccer comment

          • How about your read before you say dumb things.

            • you have the greatest job by far around here, you’d think you’d be able to fucking calm down about sports

              • Again, maybe read before you say dumb things. As in the comments above here.

                Maybe consider that I actually can remember exchanges I have with people, and don’t just fly off the handle banning people for one comment. Hey, but thanks for the benefit of the doubt.

                • I did read, you’re acting like a baby and banning someone over an argument about a stadium

                  • Read harder.

                    • Is that the title of the sequel to Reading Rainbow?

                    • Nobody derails the comment sections around here like yourself, do you even realize that

                    • Oh, I realize that. Your point? Y’know, besides avoiding the question of why you somehow still haven’t figured out what this is about.

                    • I don’t know, was it the intellectual honesty comment? He responded to that. That’s the closest thing to offensive that he wrote, unless it’s the soccer comment? Which is basically the same thing Drew wrote?? Christ this is exhausting, this is what getting in an argument with you is like, you go around and around in circles until you’re right and the entire comments section is ruined. That’s my point.

                    • He responded to that hilariously poorly, went on being a dick (including going way beyond what Drew said, FYI), and has had to ask me to un-ban him multiple times in the past (and once, after I told him I wouldn’t, his charming response was “it’s on”), so… thanks for your advice and the ignorant scoffing, but I’m real comfortable with it (though he’ll probably get un-banned eventually anyway). Thought that was all in pretty plain text after I told you to read the comments above and that there’s a history, and that I wouldn’t have to walk you through it, but here we are. Sorry if this is somehow being circular.

                    • I still think you shouldn’t be banning people who aren’t just spamming the comments, I still find this the best place for baseball discussion in Toronto and the people around here are at least pretty knowledgeable and well-spoken and it’s better than having them all banned and replaced with and TSN commentators.

                    • You’re entitled to feel that way. I grapple with it sometimes. But… nah, no need for shitheads.

                    • Don’t mind me, I’m just looking for the popcorn.

                    • Free speech…censorship……..umm, ammendments…….umm let’s see, something about china…………umm that’s it I guess

                    • Bullsh!t

                    • What’s bullshit?

                    • im sry andrew .. reading back at those msgs i gotta agree with the other side… You got a delicate ego. Banning ppl left and right who barely even insult you.Seriously quit dictating over a sports blog. Just lay your facts and/or point of views and let the others reciprocate as they feel.

                    • And did you dig back and find the older stuff that was referred to? Sorry, but I see no reason why I should have to take shit from someone on my own blog just for the sake of it, or that anyone should. And I have the luxury of being able to do something about it.

      • The CFL =/= the Argos.

        The CFL thrives in other cities, places where the fans love their team and support them with gusto. Here? It isn’t the same. Instead, the Argos are an unloved orphan in this city, standing in the way of more popular entities moving on to better things.

        Maybe the Argos are profitable and just know, like every other sports team, that paying for your own building is a fools errand so why not let some other chump foot the bill? The Argos have zero political clout in this town. If they showed up a city hall to beg for a stadium deal all their own (like in Winnipeg), they’d get laughed at.

        It was a mistake in 1990, you’re right. That was almost a quarter century ago. How long before they can clean up their own messes without ruining a good soccer-only building in the process?

        • Assuming I’m not banned, you may want to consider the following….

          Re:”unloved orphan”

          The Argo averaged 21,844 per game last year. They have a following.

          Re: “The Argos have zero political clout in this town”

          The current Mayor is a big supporter. Considering the city owns the stadium, a Mayor is a good friend to have,

          Re: “That was almost a quarter century ago…..clean up own mess”

          The Argos wanted very much to clean up their own mess in 2004/05, but, check out these quotes from wiki ….

          “However, the Argos pulled out of the stadium after signing a new 15 year lease at Rogers Centre with significantly reduced rent.”

          “The Argos wanted to join Toronto FC at BMO Field, but MLSE, citing budget and time limitations, constructed the stadium such that it was incompatible with CFL football”

          Add those two quotes together and perhaps diverting your displeasure towards Rogers and MLSE would be appropriate, not the Argos.

          MLSE didn’t play nice due to greed of getting a season in, and Rogers made them an offer they couldn’t refuse because they wanted to whore out the dome at the time.

          As for TFC, they are playing at a city facility, that don’t own it. Let me repeat that, TFC does not own BMO. It’s a really fancy park that is owned by the city of Toronto. Just like regular parks, you gotta play nice in the sandbox.

          As for the renos, take a look at what the did at Frank Clair stadium in Ottawa and you won’t be so afraid of the idea.

          • Uh… the mayor doesn’t have a whole lot of clout at this point– not sure if you’ve noticed. And it’s completely absurd for you to attempt to blame Rogers and MLSE for the Argos’ piss poor decisions, as though they were being coerced and didn’t, entirely of their own volition, sign on to continue playing in an ill-suited stadium for them.

            As for the fact that BMO is owned by the city, it’s hilarious that you think this means anything beyond dick all. So any publicly-owned facility is the domain of whichever financially challenged sports franchise in need of a home wants to use it, regardless of what kind of changes will need to be made to the venue and how they may impact the experience of the lead tenant, who the building was specifically constructed for??? So if the Jays were hemorrhaging money and couldn’t finance their own desperately-needed park they too should be gifted a spot in BMO, regardless of the destruction needed to squeeze a baseball field in there? And when SkyDome was still a public building, some franchise should have been able to come along and get them to tear up the place regardless of how it impacted watching baseball in the place? Just beyond dumb.

            Of course, none of that is what’s happening here, but apparently for some reason you’re arguing it anyway.

            You can like the idea of the Argos moving to BMO — there are many reasons why it works — but maybe don’t hit exclusively on ridiculous ones.


            • The current Mayors approval rating is around 42% (thats post ice storm). Like him or not, this guy isn’t going away easily.

              Until a clear alternative decides to run in the city election, logic, not opinion, dictates that as it currently stands that Ford will be have his full abilities as mayor reinstated this fall. Once again, he is a tremendous CLF supporter.

              However, even if Ford is out of the picture, BMO is turning a profit for the city, It would be hard pressed to see situation where the city and it councillors wouldn’t reinvest in the stadium to generate a larger return. Their cost was reasonable the first time around, and remember that PanAM money is floating around these days.

              Remember, BMO was David Miller’s project, so this isn’t an ideological pet project, it was a public/private partnership that was supported across party lines.

              As for your wild scenarios as to the use of BMO, may I remind you that the city took a hammer to the home of the Argos in the 70′s to allow a baseball team to move in. FYI, the Argo’s average home attendance was 45,395 in 1977, way more than TFC btw.

              Now you may say, “yeah, but that was for baseball, not the shitty Argos”, and in a vacuum you would have a point, but there is more to it……

              -PanAm funding opportunity
              -Argo Heritage stuff (the CFL is on stamps, so yeah that does count to some people)
              -Increased capacity to facilitate the success of soccer and other events.
              -Fact that BMO actually generates a profit for the city

              As far the MLSE/Rogers squeezing the Argos in the early 2000′s I ask you to consider this…….

              One of the reasons the Rogers bought the Skydome for a song was that the ACC started to gobble up all of the concert/entertainment dates. Skydome was bleeding money due to the new reality of a shit tone of unused dates.

              Ask your self the following questions….

              If you were MLSE, and your competitions tenant (Argos) wanted to leave, resulting in more weekend dates being available for them to bid against you, (remember, it took a 2 to 3 day turn over to convert the stadium back then), would you be accommodating if you had a say in the matter?

              If you were Rogers, and just bought a team and sports properties that you had a 10 plan to develop, would accommodate a tenant leaving that would help pay the mortgage as you built your sports empire up?

              The Aros were dealing with players way bigger than themselves in the early 2000′s, despite their efforts to fix their situation, there really wasn’t much they could realistically do.

    • That would be kinda nice, too.

    • “total fucking pariah” ???
      Bit much don’t you think?

  9. Glad to hear the Jays are going to let McGowan have one more shot at starting.

    If there is such a thing as KARMA after the injury filled years of past is this the year McGowan is healthy and pitcher he was to become AND Ricky find himself?

    How about Melky being the Melky he was in San Fran and the new hitting coach find something special in Goins and Lawrie?

    Hell just a halfway healthy team would do wonders to the win column so adding one more legit starter and good luck should keep us competitive. Thoughts?

    • I just don’t buy McGowan as a starter anymore. I just can’t get by the risk of injury. Honestly even as a reliever he hasn’t been used in many high leverage situations. I think the jays were scared he would be the next chris charpenter and find success somewhere else. As for the rest I think a full year of Reyes a healthy melky and the natural improvement of our young third baseman makes for an unreal offense. There’s holes of course I’d love even an average bat at 2nd (tho there’s still time to target a frankin or Ackerly) I definitely see reason to be excited for 2014.

      • This last season was his 1st full season back and Gibby was reluctant to insert him into high leverage situations. But he was on the weighted ball programme and because of that maybe he’s a little stronger. I tend to think he needs a little more accuracy but other than that he should be able to go (what?) 120 – 140 IPs.

  10. Unfortunately the Free Agent pitching market looks pretty grim… While Santana and Jimenez are decent they don’t have the youth and supposed “durability” that Tanaka might have… I agree with what Bret was saying that AA has been saving his bullets and it certainly seems that way… In that recent interview with the Fan AA did say that he’sseen their prices going up and down and still changing so I think that if he really wanted them he might go out and try to have gotten them by now. I know most teams may be waiting for Tanaka to be signed but at the same time there must be some teams, still interested in acquiring pitching, that know they’ll be outbid. So I am a little surprised the market is moving this slowly… But what do I know right?

    • Seems to be in those agents’ interests to wait to see whether the teams that lose on Tanaka are willing to reinvest some on their guys, and it’s not likely those teams would be willing to do so while they still think they have a chance at the big fish. Also, durability? Huh?

      “Between the majors and minors, Santana has made at least 30 starts per season every year since 2005, save for one (2009, when he made 26), while Jimenez can make the same claim of every season since 2007, before which he was exclusively playing the shorter, minor league schedule, making at least 25 starts each year since his first year of A-ball in 2003.”

      • I guess durability was the wrong word… Maybe consistency? My thinking might be narrower here as I haven’t looked at these two players in-depth but it just seems like Santana and Jimenez have their up and down years (as most pitchers do) but would those gambles be worth the kind of figures they would surely command? I’m completely spitballing here and I probably should be called out or at least set straight on who would be better for the Jays in their current situation.

        • Consistency is totally the right word. I’m with you on that. It’s definitely not an easy read, gauging whether they can repeat their great performances this year, or go back to how terrible they’ve been, and I would think that’s why the Jays really only value them at a certain price, and don’t see them as at-all-costs targets. Says a lot, considering the state of their pitching. I like them because at least you feel confident getting innings that Todd Redmond or Esmil Rogers don’t have to throw, but there’s definitely a chance those innings are no better than what those type of guys may well provide, too. So much risk evaluation wrapped up in it all.

          • Thanks for the insight! For the record, I like the competition-for-the-ftfth-starter we have in Hutch, Stroman, et al. we might not be so bad off if everyone stays healthy. As well, if we’re talking consistency, we can all agree DJF consistently delivers on quality Jays coverage, keep up the hard work. I can say for sure we all appreciate it. Cheers.

  11. My guess is the Jays would have to spend a total of at least 150M (incl. posting fee) to get Tanaka.

    My question is: for 150M couldn’t we get 2 “mid-to-top” of the rotation starters? Like 2 somewhat proven guys. Diversifying risk. Completely freeing up guys like Happ and Rogers for trade. Maybe making it more acceptable to go into the season with mediocre 2B and C.

    • There are not two mid-to-top of the rotation type starters currently available on the market other then Tanaka. There are a handful of pitchers who might be decent number three’s or four’s in good rotations if everything breaks right. Those guys might have the uspide to be more but also have considerable downside as well.

  12. when was the last time the Argo’s had a crowd of 40,000 people ? (not including a playoff or grey cup game) …

    if they want a big stadium for Argo’s and NHL classics why not just put them in skydome full time?

    sky dome is quickly approaching 30 years old.. why not just build a new baseball only stadium ?

    • That’s a beautiful pipe dream

    • The fact that Rogers bought it for pennies on the public dollar, mostly.

      Grass in there, baseball-only, it will be fine for many more years. Not perfect, but totally fine.

      • Blow up the hotel and have an open view of the city too (impossible I know)

      • Agreed about the grass. Old Busch Stadium in St. Louis put in grass after years of artifical turf and it immensely helped the atmosphere there for many years. If they removed the hotel at Skydome, would you not see more condos? Hey, new name for the ballpark…Condodome…UGH!

      • I’ve thought about this a few times myself.

        The footprint that the dome takes up is worth a mint. There is a decent group of people that sit in import chairs that would love to see the dome gone I’m sure (well not really).

        The dream for me is a park on the water in the east end in the port lands. For that to happen the whole area would need to get developed. A serious bid at the summer Olympics might help.

        I’d also like a troll’s beard or a unicorn’s horn please if anyone has one.


        • Contrary to the unicorn , or for that matter Kaiser Soze, trolls really do exist and they visit this site frequently. I’m sure if you talk real nice to one of them……..

    • the winter classic cannot take place at the dome because there are complications with opening the roof at certain temperatures.

      It was already explored and that’s why the reno to BMO field has taken off.

  13. I’m just curious if there has been any rumblings or suggestions that Jays brass has actually met with or scheduled a meeting with Tanaka or his reps. I would think that it would be quite an important factor for him, to sit down with AA and company, especially if other clubs have done so. I know it isn’t always,necessary in signing someone, but his situation is unique. I would have to assume if no face to face meetings have occurred , then its probably true that the Jays are out, barring a last minute meeting.

    • There haven’t been any rumblings of that nature, to my knowledge, but you’d think that if he were doing so, AA would be keeping it awfully quiet anyway.

      • Agreed. And that’s typical AA. I’m still trying to reconcile the report that the Jays were in “heavily” on Tanaka and that they’ve talked with (or was it scouted?) him a number of times with the rumour this weekend that Tanaka told them not to bother making a bid.
        If that were the case then they would have known it fairly early one would think

        Also, in the Nikkan “report” (such as it was) did anyone notice that Tanaka would be making an announcement Tues or Wed in order to get his medical done before the 24 Jan deadline?

    • I’d be surprised if they didn’t or at least didn’t make the attempt. AA seems to check in on everything. I can’t see them letting a guy with this potential getting away with at least that attempt. Whether Tanaka agreed to meet or not who knows.

  14. Didn’t you (Stoets) make the point last year that more or less the 5th SP job will not make or break this team? e.g. if it was Romero, Happ or whomever?

    So .. let’s nail down one of these FA’s as quickly as possible, send out some depth in either the Bull Pen or Starters (anyone not named Stroman or Sanchez) for something that can be positive at 2B and sit back and pray that Buerhle can keep fooling people and Morrow remains in the rotation for 25 + starts.

    If this happens the Jays well on their way to 90 wins. There are soooo many question marks right now that they need to add a position player .. heck if there was any way to swap out Melky for a more studly hitter I could live a bit more with the question marks that are Goins & Navarro.

    How about a super strong 1 or 2 year offer for Drew to play 2B .. once again its just $

  15. I don’t understand why MLSE would make this hugely publicized commitment to TFC, spending relatively large sums of money to bring in marquee players, only to then bury the stadium in renovations for the next two years, so that it can be a football arena and hockey rink.

    • Also does baseball-specific stadium mean no more monster trucks in the Skydome?

    • you can’t understand why they would renovate a building in order have a longer list of clients willing to lease it out? Seriously? you can’t understand that?

      • Longer list of clients = the Argos, who, just like TFC, cannot fill a 40,000 seat stadium. If you’re using plurals because of The winter classic, it happens once a fucking year, in different cities, that are not in Toronto. Even if BMO hosts it once, it hardly makes the venture worthwhile.

        • and they then have no chance of hosting any other events? Such as concerts?

          or what about when international clubs want to have friendly games in toronto? that happens often enough as well.

          plenty of more options.

  16. No matter what he says, Stoeten will always be one of the owners of the means of production.

  17. MLSE’s biggest goal is pretty clear, and buying the Argos actually gets them one step closer to it.

    Anyway, grass field is supposed to be easier on the players, right? Awesome. That can only be good for the Jays. But what about us poor bastards who have to walk by that concrete eyesore every day? Or have to actually go inside it when we want to watch baseball? The place needs a serious renovation (any building would after 25 years. Hell, i’d say the ACC already looks pretty dated from some elevations).

  18. Let’s pretend the whole Argos to BMO thing happens and the Jays get the ‘Dome to themselves.
    Does anybody know how long it would take to get the real grass laid down at the ‘Dome?
    Like if an announcement came this week, would real grass be feasible by 2015?
    I know it’s not as simple as unrolling some turf, but does anybody have any real knowledge about the process? Just curious is all.

    • They could do it in an off-season, I think. They’d pretty much have to, right? But it might have to be an off-season in which the Argos are already out– so that they can start after the baseball season and not have to wait until the CFL year ends to get going. Just spitballin’ though.

      • I would guess they might need 2 offseasons. I imagine that the Argos/BMO thing wouldn’t be feasible for this summer, so the Argos are in the dome until November. Plus there are probably other events already scheduled for next fall/winter.

        So 2016?

        Also sptiballin’.

        • I would hope that the Jays have done all their research on this so that as soon as the Argos are punted (ha!) they could get shovels in the ground right away.
          I do know that the floor has to be ripped up for drainage/irrigation- that sounds like a November-March project right there.
          I wonder what the prospects of a wonky schedule are if you had the Jays not have a home opener until later in April so all the grass work could be completed.

        • Well, yeah, I mean one off-season with the shovels in the ground. I’d be shocked grass was here by 2015, and 2016 is even pushing it, most likely.

          • You’re probably right.
            I guess there’s no hurry for my “Goodbye AstroTurf” t-shirt then.
            DIBS ON THAT IDEA BTW!

          • Just spitballin but, they wouldn’t have to have a sprinkler system right away. That could probably wait. Additionally the drainage system wouldn’t require a lot of work (because they can always close the roof when if rains) but for the water required, they would have to adapt it to real grass …I would think anyway. As for real sunshine, well some stadiums are already using banks of full spectrum lights on wheels. It’s a project that could be done over the course of a few off seasons.

            • This was brought up in a previous post of Stoeten’s but it bears repeating. The present dimensions of BMO field are 105 X 68 metres OR 114 yards X 74 yards.
              Given that the standard CFL field is 160 yards X 65 yards, the width is ok, but the length (right now) is 46 yards or so short. So they’ll need to figure that out first I would think.

  19. While we’re on the subject of grass at the ‘Dome, has anybody here given any thought to the prospect of actually altering the configuration of the field? (ie: making the outfield deeper or something?)
    I know that the players would have to get used to a new field, but is there anything possible? Any ideas? Keep it the same?
    I think they changed the field at Kauffman in KC when they reno’d and it gave the place way more character.

  20. Wow, sorry I missed such an eventful day. I promise not to say anything about soccer or baseball unless it clearly falls under the varying guidelines of the man himself and his sidekick. Go Jays!

  21. aarrrhooooooooo !!!

    Is it gound-dog day yet?

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