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 MLB.com 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.
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 ESPN.com (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.