February 13 2017 01:54PM
Image, as always, by the great @James_in_TO
When Paul Beeston started making noise about retrofitting the Rogers Centre to include a natural grass playing surface it seemed an awful lot like a distraction -- something positive to get the outraged fans at a State of the Franchise event to look the other way and stop complaining about what they felt was a miserable off-season.
Five years later we're still talking about it. Only now what was once an olive branch to fans has become a landmine for Beeston's successor.
It's unfortunate, because while it's a stretch to say that Beeston was always full of shit on this issue, he definitely allowed fans to dream on something that was always going to extremely difficult and extremely costly to pull off. Not exactly impossible, but not quite so realistic as it was sold.
Mark Shapiro is decidedly less full of shit on this issue -- but unfortunately for him, that means telling fans things that they don't want to hear.
February 13 2017 12:57PM
Photo Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports
No list of the best run organizations in North American professional sports is complete without the San Antonio Spurs. The five-time NBA champions are famed for their winning culture, their shrewd acquisitions, and their incredible run of success in one of the league's smallest markets.
True, they've been fortunate enough to land a pair of generational talents in the draft, slam dunk number one picks David Robinson and Tim Duncan, but the way they built around those two players -- especially Duncan -- has been a thing of true beauty. The Spurs have made incredibly smart, under-the-radar pick-ups, like Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili, and Kawhi Leonard, and have made themselves a destination for premier free agents like LaMarcus Aldridge.
If you were looking for a sports franchise to model yourselves after, you could hardly do better than the Spurs. And, holy shit, apparently the Blue Jays think so too!
February 13 2017 12:25PM
Last week, the Blue Jays designated catcher A.J. Jimenez for assignment in order to make room on their 40-man roster for their offseason signings. Now that he's cleared through waivers, the Jays have apparently decided to cut ties with the soon-to-be 27-year-old.
Per #BlueJays, catcher A.J. Jimenez has been released.— Gregor Chisholm (@gregorMLB) February 13, 2017
February 10 2017 07:45PM
Dean Blundell was let go by the Fan 590 as the host of the station's morning show this week. I'm not sure if they're technically calling it a firing -- I think I saw something about his contract not being renewed -- but however he's gone out, the shock jock who never should have been hired in the first place isn't exactly going out quietly. As we can see above.
The idea that Rogers higher-ups might meddle in order to make one of their most visible products look good isn't exactly new. Bob McCown ranted on his Fan 590 show last summer about having been told not to have former Toronto Sun columnist Bob Elliott on his show, largely because Elliott had done some outstanding reporting during the Paul Beeston-Bunglefuck Eddie fiasco.
But that doesn't make this any less of a grenade lobbed at the company and the team and the front office and the station and the credibility of Sportsnet's reporters on the way out the door. Cool guy, that Dean. Smart hiring decision there, Rogers.
February 10 2017 02:33PM
The search for this year's version of Jesús Montero has finally ended, as the Jays have signed José Tábata to a minor league deal. Your boy Cam Lewis has the details below.
Speaking of Cam, he's now running the @theJaysNation Twitter, and though I'm obviously biased, he's killing it. Be sure to give it a follow!
Hey, uh, holy shit: Paul Swydan of FanGraphs looks at Josh Donalson's last four years, in historical context, and... seriously: holy shit. All-time among players (both position players and pitchers) for their age 27-30 seasons, Donaldson ranks 25th by WAR. He's nestled right between Greg Maddux and Mickey Mantle at the same age. Holy shit!