Geez, there seem to be so many people here using Toronto and
Montreal as prime examples of undesirable places to play ball...
Remember that ballplayers, even Canadian ones, for the Expos and Blue
Jays get paid in U.S. dollars. Fluctuations in the exchange rate can
either save (or cost) these teams a bundle, as they get their gate and
TV receipts in Canadian bucks. I also believe there are certain
arrangements by which players who reside in the U.S. but play on a
Canadian teams can be subject to filing with the IRS rather than
Except for our winters (which aren't much better or worse than most
cities in the northeast or Minnesota), the quality of life ain't that
bad here. Many players (like Mookie) who were originally sent here
kicking and screaming, have admitted they were pleasently surprised and
that they like it here. Unfortunately, since the Canadian minor
ball system is just gaining maturity, few current players would come
here in order to be close to home...
As for the Canadian teams being small markets, I would beg to differ.
Both cities have populations well over 2 million, and presently Toronto
is capable of drawing MLB fans from Buffalo as well. Toronto is in the
position of possibly being sold out for every game this season. I can't
speak for Montreal as well, but in my experience it's a city that
doesn't suffer losing teams very well.
Then there are the TV and radio contracts. Two Canadian networks
show both Jay and Expo games coast-to-coast, to compensate for the fact
that none of the US nets want to cover them unless they're in a pennant
race. Players who are popular on these teams have the opportunity to
make money from country-wide endor***ts (like Tom Henke's Aqua Velva
ads you probably never see in the States).
>>Perhaps California has an advantage because it has five teams,
>>which is three more than any other state. Over time, more free
>>agents will sign with California teams than Illinois teams, just
>>as Illinois teams will sign more free agents than Maryland teams.
>>So what? Does this make it unfair?
>Yes. I said "disproportionate". By your reasoning, the Canadian
>teams should sign just as many marquee free agents (and should lose
>just as few) as the Los Angeles teams. I don't think this is
>currently happening, and I don't see it happening in the future.
>California is currently signing more than its share of marquee free
>agents (even allowing for the high number of teams here).
>I claim that
>free agents will never (at least not in the forseeable future) run to
>Montreal or Toronto, no matter how well-run the teams are.
The Blue Jays built a team through smart trades, a good farm system and
the odd draft pick (like Olerud). Outside Mookie and Flanigan, how many
current Jay players made themselves famous on other teams first?
Playing agressively in the free agent market, to me, is like trying to
buy a pennant rather than shape a winning team. It's hurt those who have
engaged in it as often as it has helped. The Jays appear to (by policy)
be treading very carefully here, and rarely get into bidding wars.
I think they got burned on a few "name" players (Dennis Lamp comes
to mind), and have been cautious since then.
No, Toronto hasn't signed many free agents in recent memory. They
don't need to, if they have faith in their ability to trade for, draft,
or develop quality players. The team's recent performance certainly
indicates that this faith has been well placed.
Why does that unwillingness to sign free agents, the main reason why
it hasn't signed many, make the team "undesirable"?
Evan Leibovitch, Sound Software, located in beautiful Brampton, Ontario
If they call it WordPerfect, why is it on revision five?