The Rogers Centre’s New Dirt Infield Is Looking Good!


I wish I could say the same for the concrete that’s surrounding it. Or the artificial turf that’s going to be surrounding it this season. But hey, it’s a start. And that infield is looking mighty nice.

The image above was tweeted this afternoon by Steven Brooks — aka @sbrooksbaseball, aka the Blue Jays’ senior vice president of business — and… yep. There it is alright! A big league-lookin’ infield!

Well, the dirt part at least.

As in: the part surrounded by concrete.

Also please don’t ask why the outfield seats are in football configuration (let’s just assume it’s because of monster trucks or something?).

Anyway! “Sand all in and levelled,” says Brooks in his tweet of the picture. Later, when asked how they prevent the lip between the turf and the dirt from becoming dangerous, he added that it’s pretty much the “same as before. Turf 1.5″ higher than lip. Turf extended, covers the lip and is tucked under the clay.”

He also said that having a dirt path from the mound to the plate was “too old school,” which… if that’s a euphemism for something that’s unnecessary and adds cost, um… sure!

So there you have it! Sort of.

  • Nice Guy Eddie

    Stoeten has fuelled the Blue Jays internet fanbase for a number of years. He has grown up here and is a valued contributor. People who are threatening to abandon his site, offering to replace his site, or piling on like RobA who has always seemed to me at least to be a dick, either ignore or forget the significant contribution Stoeten has made.

    I haven’t always agreed with Stoeten. I notice however that he has matured as a writer and he contributes some of the very best stuff written about the Blue Jays. I”m staying right here thanks. Hopefully others will too.

    • Philbert

      People will continue to come here to read Stoeten’s posts, I’m sure. The entire issue is that the commenting format isn’t at all conducive to the type of discussion we generally have in game threads.

      • nocramps13

        I loved the old format too. Because unregistered posters could comment, the trolling sometimes became unbearable. However we had a great moderator and together with the community policed ourselves to some extent. This site is tamer. Expletives…meh. With the upvote/downvote thing you could have a feel for general consensus. Here, I could go up and down the comments anonymously trashing everything if I wanted, so they mean nothing. Still going to lurk here as it has been and will be my top source for Jays content. Other sites are around but Stoeten’s angles on events always seem a little more pointed. Go jays! #cometogether

      • Karl Sagan

        I have upvoted this but I still have reservations. I can’t argue with Andrew’s contributions. He is one of the best and brightest of a new generation of Jays writers. I will always read his posts, period. He is without a doubt prolific, factual and avoids the clickbait and downright trolling posts like some of the others who receive a regular paycheque in this business.
        My problem is that the “home” he built for us was snatched away without warning and replaced with this “unwieldy” (fill in name here). I like to think the regulars here deserve at least a warning, maybe even something asking our opinion. (And now that I mention that there was something about him expanding into NHL blogging a while back.)

        • RADAR

          I guess I’ll wade into this.
          Stoeten, I would imagine, needs to pay the rent and decisions need to be made to allow him to continue his livelihood. He previously had a post encouraging his readership to help promote the blog.He has always maintained that the commenters represent a small fraction of those readers.
          Another example of a blog who has changed stripes to increase revenue,profile and quality content is Blue Jays Plus, who became a ESPN sweetspot blog and , as of today, changed again to become BP Toronto, part of the Baseball Prospectus family.
          Stoeten had mentioned that he now has a budget for guest posts, which should allow for more content.
          I’ve been through many incarnations of Stoeten’s writing destinations, let’s see how this one works out, at least until the next incarnation.

          • Barry

            Yeah, I think any criticisms need to be weighed against the understanding that the move was financial, and not an attempt to troll the site’s patrons. And my guess is that the “financial” does not mean he sold out to find the unlimited fortunes that blogging provides, but rather, the move was meant to provide enough financial security to keep the site going.

            This is free content for us. It’s not free for the people who provide it. Some money goes into it, but a lot of time goes into it, too.

        • RADAR

          He mentioned the Maple Leafs blog in the infancy of ASdotcom. He admitted to knowing little about the NHL but would delve into it if there was demand. I guess there wasn’t the demand from the readership here.

  • For the record, I added Disqus before Stoeten moved over to this site. I had no idea he was moving or that this new home wouldn’t have Disqus. But good try.

    If I really wanted to encourage people to use Disqus on my site, I’d, you know, actually be doing that.

    Also, Stoeten was sick during the playoffs. He wasn’t working on other projects.

  • JasonTrent79

    I don’t comment much, and this site managed to lockout my first registration, but I’ve created another account just to chime in on this thread. With the lack of comments recently, I have come to realize that much of the draw to DJF, AndrewStoeten and now this, have been the comments. That’s not to detract from Stoeten’s articles, which I find more nuanced than most site out there. Even Stoeten’s salty attitude has its own kind of charm – to a point.

    I found myself really turned off when Stoeten responded to a commentator complaining about the integration of RSS feeds by essentially saying, if you don’t like, screw off. I get this is Stoeten’s living, and he gets to choose the direction of where the site goes. Yet there is an implicit partnership between the author/creator and the community that embraces the work. I’m sure when Stoeten looked to move to this “Nation-network” he was able to point at the page count for the previous iterations of the site and say, hey, this is my community, and this is what I can bring over. If we are a commodity, then we should be treated as one. This involves listening to the feedback and making it sound as if we are being heard. Yes there are technical constraints, including having the Nation network be consistent in style across the board. But a little post from Stoeten saying, hey guys, I hear you, we are working on it and just bear with me, would have gone a long way to ameliorate the budding ill-will.

    To those maligning RobA, I ask you, why accept something less than good? There is no denying that this site has a lot of issues. Yes we can keep the comments constructive, but when we are shouting into the wind, at a certain point we let our voices die down. If the comments in particular are not fixed, I am sure a good many of us will migrate to other sites which will unfortunately fracture our community in the process. And yes, maybe we will all flock back once this is done. Perhaps.

    • Philbert

      I actually agree with a lot of this.

      The thing about RobA, though, is that complaining about Stoeten and the site has always kind of been his thing, so it’s really hard to take his complaints seriously when he’s been whining the whole damn time.

    • Warren_

      Yeah, I was the guy he said that to. I’m come to that realization that Andrew genuinely is not very good at this sort of thing, and I sincerely hope he achieves the extremely minimal level of success that this behaviour will get him.

    • Hentgen

      You do realize that the request for changes to the RSS feed was essentially a request to get Stoeten’s work for free, right? How nice are you to people who ask you ways to benefit from your work without paying?

      If you want to make this an argument about commodities and your worth as a reader/commenter, then I’d point out that readers using RSS feeds are worth much less — perhaps worth basically nothing. You talk about a implicit partnership when defending a reader who is asking not to hold up their end of it.

      Stoeten, from the very beginning of the switch, was upfront and apologetic about the transition. Are you really asking with a straight face for him to repeat this apology repeatedly until changes are ready? Just how often does he have to apologize to keep you happy? And is it really worthwhile?

      • JasonTrent79

        This is precisely the type of response that has me puzzled and scratching my head.

        First, if Stoeten needs to make a living and is trying to operate a business (which is commendable by the way) there is this little thing called customer service. Stoeten could have easily replied along the lines of hey, I understand that feature was available on my old site, but we are trying to drive up page views and accordingly we will not be able to implement that feature. Instead Stoeten jumped down the guys throat. The point was meant to be illustrative of a type of behavior rather than arguing the site needs to implement RSS.

        Second, to those that argue that because something is free, don’t complain or criticize, that approach is tremendously short-sighted. The content is free precisely because people are unwilling to pay for content. This is the issue newspapers are struggling with the last ten years. However, instead of charging to view content, there are other revenue models, such as advertising. If we assume that advertising is the primary source of revenue then viewership becomes integral for the continued success. I realize there is a different value ascribed to unique viewers and repeat viewers, but in having a vibrant comments section you bring back repeat viewers who are constantly engaged. If you do not have a comments section, then after reading the one article posted every two days, you do not return until the next article.

        To your final point, Stoeten asked the community for feedback. The community provided feedback and Stoeten has been silent. I am somewhat hopeful given MKToronto’s reply that Stoeten is paying attention to what is going on. I am not asking for an apology from Stoeten – for what? I was hoping for ongoing dialogue from Stoeten indicating that the concerns are being addressed.

        Listen, I admit I am being completely self-serving; I like the community and I like the commentary. If the content and conversation is not here, I will be elsewhere. I am sure I will not be missed. But my pageviews may be.

        • mktoronto

          I can definitely tell you that Stoeten is paying attention and is aware of the problem. He did tell me privately what he’s working on when I asked for his approval of my site so there is change coming but he’s waiting on approval from The Nation people. I suspect he didn’t want to say anything until he had something to offer.

        • Hentgen

          What do you think the purpose of “customer service” is? It’s not just being nice; it’s being nice so people buy your stuff. There is literally no end to the demands for free content on the internet. And those that demand it are seldom willing to pay for it — ever. So what’s the point of patiently explaining why the RSS feed is the way it is?

          I’ve noticed you avoided my question — just how nice are you to people who ask you to provide them ways to benefit from your work for free? While Stoeten’s response was sarcastic, only the truly hypersensitive would feel that he jumped down anyone’s throat. All it’s illustrative of is your unreasonable expectations.

          As to your second “point,” nowhere have I claimed that there isn’t room for constructive criticism. It’s just that asking for ways to consume Stoeten’s work for free is not “constructive criticism.”

          To your final point — do you hear how entitled you sound? This website is what — two weeks old? It also relies on existing infrastructure of a handful of other blogs. Keep your pants on, dude.

          What is the point of an “ongoing dialogue,” exactly? Stoeten promised to address concerns, but he no longer has final say. He has to deal with other people to figure out what can be done and when it can be done. How many times does he need to say “hold tight” for you to be satisfied?

          Ever heard of the maxim underpromise and overdeliver? There’s no benefit of “ongoing dialogue” right now. It will only get him into trouble if people think anything he says is a promise and then get all upset if – for whatever reason – he can’t implement.

          Your need for instant gratification does not need to be catered to.

          • Steve-O

            I’m with Hentgen. There’s been a real lack of patience and sense of entitlement from a lot (not all) of folks here, and it’s seems to be getting worse.

            Chill. Give it time.

          • JasonTrent79

            Since there is no disqus, I have to quote your reply, so that the chain of conversation makes sense. Since there is no disqus, I cannot edit the quote. If you are reading this on your phone, my condolences.

            Really I can limit my riposte to the fact that BlueJaysintheHouse has 575 comments in one thread from yesterday. There’s not really much more to say.

            On the other hand, I can’t tell if you are being intentionally obtuse or if you are completely missing the boat. I’ll give it one more shot, after that, you’re on your own.

            1) Person creates websites for passion of love
            2) Person wants to monetize said website to continue labour of love
            3) Person is unable to monetize said website through subscription based models – there simply is not a demand. Hence content is now free.
            4) Person adds advertising to site to generate revenue through page views.

            Here is where it gets a little complicated, so try to read slowly:

            5) The more page views, the more revenue the advertising model generates.
            6) The less you insult your readership and the more responsive you are to your readership’s interests, the more you increase your readership and your success.

            Listen, I realize I’m coming off harsh here. It’s frustration at those who try to argue “business model (i.e. Stoeten needs to make a living)” on the one hand, and “free content” on the other. If you’re going to run a business, then please for the love of god, run it properly. Imagine Facebook or Twitter tomorrow changes to a different platform and blocks your ability to comment or tweet. Will you still be there, defending their virtue, screaming to all, “It’s free content!”?

            I have been following this site for 6 years or so, which entitles me IMHO to a little perspective and opinion. I hate to see it being driven into the ground. We can go silently into the night and find other content. With the dearth of content and commenting, I personally have visited several other Jays fans sites that I have never visited before, looking for my morning coffee fix. Yet I would prefer to engage in dialogue and bring back a good thing here. In either case, c’est la vie. If you are constantly satisfied with the status quo, I am sure you will be happy no matter what.


    As far as the number of comments being lower than ASdotcom. A short spin around the usual sites suggest it’s not just here but across the Jays blogosphere.
    Even BBB seems to be down.
    Let the season begin.

  • Player to Be Named Later

    It may also be worth pointing out that we are having a successful discussion here — it’s not like this site is so cumbersome that we can’t debate stuff.

    The vulgarity police do suck though. It feels infantile. I mean, the ability to read intelligent vulgarity about the Blue Jays was an epiphany when I first discovered DJF.

    • Philbert

      Discussion is possible, for sure, but it’s possible under any format. I think the concern is that it will be extremely difficult to maintain any level of discourse during games (which often received 1000+ comments last year) and when any kind of big news breaks.

      I mean… ultimately, this is a good time to be working out the kinks since it’s probably a pretty low-traffic time of year anyway (as far as comments are concerned), but it’s hard to follow conversations, particularly those with multiple posters responding.

  • mktoronto

    Like you all, I’ve been missing the community interaction. So I decided to create a place where we can do that. I’ll also be writing opinion pieces.

    I’ve talked to Andrew about it and he’s supportive. I want to point out that this is not in any way a substitution for his work here. Rather, it’s a place to come hang out and chat. Think of it as going to the bar after the game, the game in this case being here.

    He’s also told me he’s near a solution for the game threats so hopefully that will come on line soon.

    Jays in the House

  • El Cabeza

    Dirt infield looks great!!

    I’m particularly excited about the new power porches down the left and right field lines and predict a combined 750 homers out of the big 4 this year.

  • Sammy the Bull

    From the US$0.68 and change level seen in mid-Jan the loonie has jumped to over US$0.75 alongside the bounce in oil prices. On a US$140m payroll that saves our friendly neighbourhood telecom oligopoly ~C$20m.

      • Psmithy

        The dollar will rebound as Trump get’s more serious investors will flock to the canadian dollar. Or it will rebound once Venezuela is bankrupt and then the price of oil will rebound.

        • JasonTrent79

          The dollar will rise, but you likely won’t see it near par with the USD for the next 10-15 years. Similarly, oil prices will stabilize, but you are looking at a range of about $40-$60. Simply put, oil has been in a bubble for the last several years. The current “crisis” is a result of an oversupply of oil. In the past, OPEC would agree to cut the supply and therefore stabilize oil prices. However, shale production in the US has increased exponentially. There is no similar cartel of shale producers, as there are thousands of small producers. OPEC is not willing to cut supply while the US continues to pump out oil at the same rate. With oil prices falling however, banks will stop extending credit to the small shale producers who will be gradually pushed out. That in turn will contribute to a reduction in oil production domestically (US) and OPEC will thereafter slightly cut production. You should see a continued upturn in the market over the next few months. Alberta however, will remain screwed.

          Book it.