Hat tip to Bluebird Banter for this one, as they’ve spotted a report from Montreal’s 98,5 Sports that says a tentative agreement has been set, and that evenko will once again be opening up the doors to le Stade Olympique, as the Jays will face off with Canada’s own Joey Votto and the Cincinnati Reds for two games next spring.
It’s a hell of a bit of great news to come today, on the 20th anniversary of the beginning of the strike that led to the cancellation of the 1994 season — in which, of course, the Expos were running away with the NL East and certain to win the World Series (or whatever revisionist history we allow ourselves to believe about it). This year’s event was positively magical.
It’s also maybe a bit weird, though, given the massive support that Jays fans on the west coast are right this fucking minute showing for the team down in Seattle, as they learn that the hope of bringing spring training games to BC Place has been spurned, at least for another year.
And that’s especially disappointing, I’d wager, since it’s been less than two weeks since reports arose suggesting the Vancouver Canadians were looking into ways to bring a Blue Jays exhibition to the city.
Vancouver Canadians president Andy Dunn, speaking on Team 1040 radio on Thursday, said it’s something the local club is looking at. The C’s are the short-season Single-A affiliate of the Blue Jays, Canada’s lone Major League Baseball team.
There’s one major obstacle, however, at the recently renovated BC Place and that is the new video board, Dunn told the Vancouver sports radio station.
. . .
“We’re going to be sending some guys down there in the coming weeks. We’re actually going to go hit in the place and just find out how big a factor that video board comes into play. And if it doesn’t come into play, hopefully that’s something we’ll definitely be working on and bringing some exhibition games to BC Place.”
One supposes the Jays could do a series both cities — it would certainly be a revenue win, a win for the brand, and it’s not like they’d be leaving behind a palace in Dunedin to do it — but that’s a lot of travel. And if it’s just one that can be done, it looks like Montreal is it, for now.
Hard to blame the Jays, as the 98,5 Sports report says (translated from French), that the Pittsburgh Pirates were in talks about being the Jays’ opponents, and that, in fact, several teams reportedly wanted a part of the action following the success of this year’s series.
Of course, at that time I wrote about the excitement for baseball’s big return to the Big O, while at the same time fearing when “the dubious hand of Rogers starts milking it, year after year, for all it’s worth until it’s fucked to death, like you and I both know that they will.” Is this the beginning of that? Maybe not if Vancouver finds a way to accommodate some games. And even if it is, round two in Montreal next spring? Fucking right, that still sounds awesome!