Due South

Bmtc_3 TORONTO – It’s about that time. I’ve got one last load of laundry to do before I can finish packing up my bags for my trip to Florida.

I leave Toronto and its freeeezing temps tomorrow morning and am due to arrive at six-week home early evening. It’s been a long offseason and I’m definitely ready to get back to working the ball fields.

As I did last year, I’m planning on toting my camera around camp and snapping pictures for the first couple weeks. I’ll start up a photo album that you can check out similar to last spring. Unlike most of the newspaper beat guys, I’m down for the duration. They tend to send writers down in waves. So I’ll be bringing coverage starting on Feb. 14 through March 27 or so. Toward the end, I’ll be taking a day or two to catch my breathe before Opening Day in the Bronx.

And I’ve been following all the reaction and uproar in the Jays blogosphere on the recent ticket sales situation (opening sales to Red Sox fans for April 5-6 and tigers fans for April 18-21). My stance on the issue is basically that I can understand why the Jays would do it, considering the attendance following Opening Day at Rogers Centre tends to drop off significantly. It’s definitely an easy way to grab some additional dough to pump into the franchise.

What I don’t get, and I’m with you fans on this one, is why would the Jays open sales to opposing teams’ fan bases before single game tix go on sale for Jays fans on March 2? At least Opening Day at the Dome isn’t included in the advance ticket availablity for BoSox fans. But is this going to be enough for Jays fans to boycott buying tickets? I doubt it. Maybe it seems shady, and mainly it’s the principle of the thing, I get that, but there’s always plenty of open seats at the Rogers Centre.

Anyways, enough on that for now. I’m sure we’ll be talking about it more once we get down to Dunedin, where we can ask team prez Paul Godfrey more about the matter when he arrives. Until then, I’ve got some packing and planning to do. I’ll fire up the blog once I get settled in Florida.

I’m interested in seeing what Roger Clemens and Brian McNamee have to say during the Congressional hearing tomorrow. Too bad I’ll be flying when that’s all going down. I’ll have to catch the Sportscenter highlights when I get to Tampa. Talk about a soap opera, huh? Taped phone calls and bloody guaze and needles stored for nearly a decade in crushed beer cans. You can’t make up stuff like this. And once Congress is involved, well, one of these guys is going down for the count when it’s all said and done.

Enjoy this cold weather while I’m gone.

UPDATE — 11:15 p.m. ET: For those of you who are upset with the recent Jays ticket issue, it’s worth noting that single-game tickets are available to fans online on Feb. 15. So, that’s one way to get your paws on tix quickly, and well before they’re available elsewhere on March 2.

11 Comments

Awesome!!!!
I enjoyed your pics from last spring and hope to see more this year!

Keep up the good work!!!

Three more sleeps until the pitchers and catchers report!
I think it’s a great idea to sell tickets to opposing fans, and it would be really neat if they could reserve a block of seats for them. They need to give away fans more lead time to make travel plans, etc., so they need to offer tickets ahead of time. Bringing in a few Boston or Detroit fans likely won’t result in a sellout anyway.

If you go to Baltimore’s website, you will see that they are offering complete travel packages to Spring Training, including airfare, hotel, car rental, and tickets to both home and away games. I think the Jays are missing the boat here.

gnorm,
some great points in my opinion. Besides fans of other teams always add more atmosphere to the Rogers Centre, so I don’t mind that the Jays are doing that. Can’t wait for the season and i’m looking forward to more great work from you Jordan.

Did you guys read the poll on the Jays website? It says “What is the most important issue for the Blue Jays to settle this spring training?” The answers were

B.J. Ryan’s return date

Finding a fifth starter

Settling on a lineup

Or sorting out the bullpen?

I think all of those issues are just about equal in importance. What do you guys think?

Freedom,
I feel that they are all important but the most important is Ryan’s return date. Once that is set it’ll help them sort out the bullpen and possibly allow them to place Jannssen as the fifth starter. As for sorting out the lineup while that is an issue, it’s not a concern. Generally through out the season lineups change based on injuries and who’s hot or cold so to me that’s not as big an issue.

The only ticket issue I have, is the service charges. I was going to buy 2 500 level tickets for opening day, $18 for the seats, grand total with fees and other garbage, $30.50. Thats almost double the price!!! I have decided NOT to buy tickets through the box office, and go through ebay and scalpers for seats. Guaranteed to get a better deal (not against bosox and yankees). I don’t mind a little bit, a buck or 2, but $12.50 is just not right

Saw a nice little segment on Ryan last night on sportsnet, he said he feels right were he should be, and that there has been no effect on his spring training from his surgury. He is throwing 80-90% velocity. Sounds like good news to me. Although he did add, that he wouldnt know exactly how effective he is untill he faces live batters.

Toth,
I saw that very same thing. It makes me a little more optimistic that he will be back by late April early May at the latest.

Can’t wait for your spring training coverage! Just wanted to say that I’m signed up for the Jays Inside Pitch newsletter, and because of it I got to buy my tickets online last Friday (Feb 8th). All set for opening weekend!

Cullum, if you buy in person, the only charge is a 1.50 tax per ticket.

As well, if you are an Inside Pitch Subscriber (which I think you end up being once you register here), you were offered the ability to buy tickets last Friday.

I don’t quite understand selling to those fans before us, since Tiger and Sox die hards will come here anyways, regardless of when and what tickets they get. Better to give Jays fans first dibs on the great seats. All I can say is that if anyone’s complaining, I fully expect to see you at the Rogers Centre, drowning out the visiting crowds.

gsumner where are you.

Looks like we have a good team so far this year I like the changes that they made so far this winter.

Frank Thomas is willing to change his program in the hopes he will have a better start this spring that is a good thing.

If Jansen becomes a starter this year that will be great.

One more thing how many of you think Clemmens is guilty I do.

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