Crossing the border

JaysGameThirdFloor.gifThis photo of my wife and I was snapped during the summer of 2005, back when I was an intern getting my feet wet with MLB.com. Man, what a summer that was.

We lived in a studio apartment on Yonge St., about a mile or so north of the Finch subway stop. Our TV quit working midway through the summer, our air conditioner followed suit around the same time and we slept on an air mattress.

It was basically the ultimate test to see if my lovely wife, Kelly, would stick with me. For some reason, she stayed — and gave me a lift to and from the subway station every day – allowing me the chance to follow my goal of becoming a baseball writer.

Why do I bring this up?

Well, after parts of six seasons as an MLB.com reporter for the Blue Jays in Toronto, the time has come for me to start a new chapter in my life. As first reported by the New York Daily News (kidding, Mark), I will be taking over as MLB.com’s reporter for the Cleveland Indians. The move will be official later this week.

For those of you who have followed along over the past few years, you’ll no doubt realize why I’m making this transition. As a native of Chicagoland, and a grad of Michigan State, I have a large base of family and friends back in the Midwest. With a son now, being closer to family has never been so important for us.

This move to Ohio allows me the opportunity to continue to do what I love, but puts my wife and I a lot closer to family in the process. We enjoyed our time in Toronto and leave with so many great memories. After that first summer, we moved across the street from the ballpark (literally) and loved checking “live downtown in a big city” off our life list.

As a runner, I already miss the lakefront and the Don Valley path. I can’t tell you how many miles I’ve logged along both and I plan on returning to Toronto to complete a marathon in the future (keep it up, Mal). We’ll also miss our trips to the Beaches, the great food all over the city and all the great people we met along the way.

As a reporter, I’ll miss covering a group of players that I watched grow over the past few years. Shoot, I covered Casey Janssen when he was with the Lansing Lugnuts and I was a reporter for the Lansing State Journal while at MSU. I saw a lot of those players go from Minor Leaguers to established big leaguers, and formed some great relationships in that clubhouse as a result.

I also learned a lot from some great reporters north of the border. I’ll miss the late-night pizza hunts with Griffin in New York, stops in Baltimore record shops with Blair, comparing photos with Mr. Lott, making fun of Northwestern to Morgan and quoting the Simpsons with Sandler. Shi, Wilner, Ian, Zoro, Rob, Mr. Elliott, Ruts, Kenny, Cathal, and everyone else in the Rogers Centre pressbox, thanks for everything, guys.

I’ve also enjoyed the bond that was created with readers via this blog and Twitter. It has been fun seeing how interaction with fans has grown in the past few years and I was thrilled to be a part of that with the Blue Jays fan base. There is great passion among the Blue Jays’ loyal fans and social media and blogs has allowed that show.

All this said, you will still see my byline on MLB.com and I’m keeping my same handle on Twitter (http://twitter.com/MLBastian). One small difference is I will be moving my blog — still called “Major League Bastian” — to a new URL. You will be able to find my new blog at bastian.mlblogs.com.

You’ll also continue to see my byline some on bluejays.com in the coming days and weeks, but soon I’ll will be moving camp entirely to indians.com, and passing the torch to a new Blue Jays reporter in Toronto in the process.

Thanks for everything, Blue Jays fans.

–JB

20 Comments

THANK YOU!!!1

Best of luck in Cleveland. I hope they acquire Encarnacion, and you get to use the video again.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XrTK9lvkCQg

A sad day for Jays fans. You will be sorely missed.

This is about the metric system, isn’t it?

^Agreed. The New Guy has some awfully big shoes to fill. All the best in Cleveland.

Geez… First EE, now Bastian! I wish AA would stop letting good guys go for nothing! Bastian’s a great reporter, and I’m sure we could have gotten a number of good pieces in a trade. ;)

Seriously, though, it’s our loss, Cleveland’s gain. All the best in the Midwest, and don’t forget about us when the Jays come to town.

Jordan,
You will be missed. I appreciated your dedicated coverage of the Jays these past several seasons. Something that stood out for me was the quality of your coverage during spring training. The photos you posted as well as the many blog posts and articles on the main site, were the light at the end of the tunnel that is a Saskatchewan winter.

However, despite the excellent job you have done your legacy as the Blue Jays beat reporter will always be, being the guy who was in a doctors office waiting room when the Halladay trade went down:) Thank you for representing the Blue Jay’s fan base well! Best of luck to you and your family in Cleveland!

Ah… So that’s why you asked John Farrell to recommend a dog walker and dry cleaner at his presser. I was afraid that was the case.
Thanks for your great writing and enthusiasm for the Jays and this city. You will be missed.
And on a personal note, thank you for an email you replied to a long time ago about writing for MLB.com.
Now, how do I get the job you’re leaving behind?

hi jordan

thanks for the spectacular effort in keeping us jays fans
in the loop…
we will definately miss your great posts and i just want to say
toronto’s loss is cleveland’s gain

good luck

we will keep an eye on you

daniel

You did great a job for the Jays over the years. Thanks for all your hard work. Good luck!

Good luck in Cleveland Jordan! I’ve really enjoyed your posts, commentary and TV appearances over the past 5 years. You’ve upped the quality of Jays-broadcasting.

Sorry to lose you as things in Jays-land start to get real interesting. Though moving close to family is a pretty good trade!

Wow, seems like only yesterday I emailed you to look out for the osprey at Knology Park. I thank you for your reply then and every word written, text’d, and tweet’d since. Good luck to you and your family. You have a gift – continue to share it. Be well.

Knock ‘em dead in Cleveland, JB, we will all miss you. Toughest part is going to be breaking in a new blogger!

Thanks so much for your writing here.
I’m sure the fans in Cleveland will show you the love too!

Welcome to Cleveland, Jordan! It sounds like you will be missed in Toronto, but we are glad that you are coming to Cleveland.

Wow I never thought if you leaving, and just realized how much I’m going to miss seeing your name on the Jays site. Best of luck of Cleveland!

Good luck Jordan! I’ve very much enjoyed your writings on my Blue Jays. You’ve also inspired my own baseball-writing career and for that I cannot thank you enough.

Have fun in Cleveland, and I hope you don’t secretly love LeBron. They’ll find you there and I’m not sure they’ll be nice.

Travis Reitsma

Sucks that you are leaving. You truly did a first class job.

Family is very important and it is wonderful that you will be closer to your families . Best of luck to you and your family …take care

Good luck in Cleveland Jordan! I will miss reading your articles and your spring training soundtracks! Hope the new guy is PJ fan too!

Thanks for all the kind words, everyone. I truly enjoyed my time in Toronto. Fans like you are a big reason for that.

~JB

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