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baseball

The Toronto Blue Jays’ Baseball Season Opens with Many New Faces

Toronto Blue Jays Baseball 2013 Jose Bautista

Jose Bautista is back and hoping to lead a bevy of new Toronto Blue Jays teammates to Major League Baseball glory this season (photo: Toronto Blue Jays)

STARTS APRIL 2  There’s a lot of excitement under the dome as the Toronto Blue Jays open what could be a stellar baseball season. Retooled over the winter, the team now boasts a pitching staff headlined by Cy Young Award-winning knuckleballer R.A. Dickey—acquired from the New York Mets—plus ex-Miami Marlins aces Mark Buehrle and Josh Johnson. An already potent offence led by Jose Bautista has also added some punch with speedy Jose Reyes, Melky Cabrera and others. Can all these high-priced players be successfully molded into a dominant club? Head down to the ballpark to find out! Rogers Centre, $14.25 to $216.25; call 416-341-1234 or visit bluejays.com for a complete schedule and tickets.  —Macrina Smart

Toronto Blue Jays Winter Tour Comes to Edmonton!

Fans of Canada’s only Major League Baseball team, the Toronto Blue Jays, will have the opportunity to meet their favourite players at an exclusive stop in Edmonton during their 2012 winter tour – one of only 4 stops across Canada!

Drew Hutchison, JP Arencibia, GM John Gibbons, Anthony Gose, and Colby Rasmus at the Fairmont Hotel MacDonald in Edmonton, January 12, 2013, during their final stop on the Blue Jays Winter Tour.

The Blue Jays Winter Tour is an annual event that re-launched in 2011 in order to bring the excitement of Major League Baseball to fans across Canada:

 “When we re-launched [the tour] we had a  vision of sharing our enthusiasm for baseball with all our fans across the country. The ability to reach out to communities outside of [Toronto] has signified our commitment as a representative for baseball for the entire nation. The reaction we have received from our fans on recent tours is an indication that the passion for baseball and the Blue Jays is alive and well and we look forward to each tour stop with much anticipation” – Blue Jays President, Paul Beeston 

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Take Us Out to the Ballgame—Toronto, Ontario

Every Friday we feature an inspirational travel photo of a Canadian destination taken by one of our readers.

Why we chose it: Major League Baseball season swung into action this month and Canada’s sole MLB team, the Toronto Blue Jays, had their home opener this week. While we hope the Jays attract more fans than in this photo, we love the composition here and unique view of the Rogers Centre stadium seating from above. (more…)

The Blue Jays’ New Insignia, and a Look Back at Logos Since 1977

The 2012 Jays are sporting a new logo that evokes past glories while adding a bit of slick modernity. The latest in a series of visual revamps, its classic appeal could make it a keeper. Check out our slideshow for a closer look at the team’s insignias since 1977. (more…)

Fielding a Winner: the Toronto Blue Jays in 2012

Jose Bautista (photo courtesy of the Toronto Blue Jays)

Ah, spring! The time of year when Torontonians find any excuse to dust off their patio furniture and their hopes for our beloved Major League Baseball team. At Where we’ve been dutifully doing the latter for the past few years—sure, the Toronto Blue Jays may be in the midst of a rebuilding process, but sometimes it seems as though the squad is just one more top player and a bit of luck short of squeaking into the playoffs. (more…)

Hot Date: Blue Jays Play Ball!

Jose Bautista

OPENS APRIL 1 Cautious optimism reigns as the Toronto Blue Jays kick off their Major League Baseball season at home against the Minnesota Twins. The team continues to nurture a number of rising stars—at press time, hard-hitting catcher J.P. Arencibia and pitcher Kyle Drabek were among the promising young talents hoping to crack the lineup—in hopes of being contenders in the difficult East Division. Returning players like southpaw hurler Ricky Romero and home run king Jose Bautista no doubt wish for a strong start, too. They’ll be tested as the month goes on against the New York Yankees, Tampa Bay Rays and others. Rogers Centre, $14 to $73; call 416-341-1234 or navigate here for tickets and times.

Hot Dates: Still Swinging

Jose Bautista

ON NOW The final month of this year’s Major League Baseball season has arrived and it’s a great time to find a seat behind home plate. Although the Toronto Blue Jays are out of the playoff hunt, the young team remains competitive and will be battling to spoil the post-season hopes of rivals like the New York Yankees, Texas Rangers and Tampa Bay Rays. Another reason to cheer: at press time, Jays’ right fielder Jose Bautista is the league’s home run leader. These games will prove decisive if he hopes to clinch the slugging title. Rogers Centre, various times, $13 to $76; call 416-341-1234 or visit here for tickets.

Building a Better Ball Team

The Rogers Centre hosts the Blue Jays' home opener on April 12.

And so it begins. After a promising start turned dramatically sour last year, the Toronto Blue Jays enter the 2010 Major League Baseball season with the lowered expectations of a team in the first tentative stages of a long-term rebuilding process.

Some recent history: Since their wistfully remembered early-‘90s World Series championships, this city’s boys of summer have been unable to return to the playoffs. Despite a few modestly successful regular-season campaigns, the Jays have played a consistent second (or third, or fourth) fiddle to powerful division rivals the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox, as well as the once-lowly Tampa Bay Rays. A stellar 27–14 start to the 2009 campaign proved to be a false fount of confidence—the team was plagued by injuries and inconsistent play, and ultimately finished with a losing 75–87 record. Underperforming stars Alex Rios and B.J. Ryan were summarily released, much-maligned General Manager J.P. Ricciardi was given his walking papers, and in December, ace pitcher Roy Halladay was unsurprisingly traded to the Philadelphia Phillies.

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Weekend Roundup, September 4 to 7

Labour Day on Monday makes for a long weekend, so we bring you a special four-day guide of what to do in the city.

Friday: Vernon Wells and his Blue Jays teammates take on the New York Yankees.

Friday: Vernon Wells and the Blue Jays take on the New York Yankees.

Friday, September 4
Root for the home team as the Toronto Blue Jays take on the New York Yankees in today’s Major League Baseball game at the Rogers Centre.

Howl with laughter at The Second City’s final performance of Are We There Yet?, a sketch comedy revue about families and the summer, shaken up with some improv. Kids age six and older are welcome—and may be invited on stage to participate in the antics.

Move your hips to the mariachi sound of violins, guitars, mandolins and trumpets at the Hispanic Fiesta.

Saturday: Look for local produce at the Evergreen Brick Works farmers market.

Saturday: Look for local produce at the Evergreen Brick Works farmers market.

Saturday, September 5
It’s the opening day of the 60th annual Canadian International Air Show! Peer into the sky to find the Canadian Forces’ famed Snowbirds roar across the blue, twisting and turning in a display of aerial stunts.

Pick up Hot & Savoury pickles, preserved locally in Toronto, from the Toorshi Foods table at the Evergreen Brick Works farmers’ market.

If the pickles aren’t spicy enough for your palate, turn up the fire at the Hot + Spicy Food Festival, where you can purchase a variety of spices, sauces, marinades and dips from the Red Hot Marketplace.

Sunday: See Karen Robinson in <em>The Tempest</em>.

Sunday: See Karen Robinson in The Tempest.

Sunday, September 6
It’s the last night of the Canadian Stage Dream in High Park. Cozy up to your date on a blanket and watch Shakespeare’s The Tempest under the stars.

Treat yourself to Sunday brunch on the intimate patio at Live Organic Food Bar, where you can get dejeuner served up raw and vegan—try the walnut crepes with shaved pear and strawberry compote and cashew chantilli cream.

Unearth some of the best spots for dim sum on the Tour Guys‘ Culture, Cuisine, and Colours free tour of Chinatown and Kensington Market.

Monday: Ride the ferris wheel on the CNE's last night.

Monday: Ride the ferris wheel on the CNE's last night.

Monday, September 7
Recognize and celebrate workers’ efforts and rights at the Labour Day Parade. This year’s theme is “Good Jobs For All.”

Get a glimpse into the indulgent diversions of the affluent people of Zabid in the Royal Ontario Museum’s exhibition, Coffee & Smokes in Medieval Yemen. (Take the kids—each child for every adult gets free admission to the ROM this weekend!)

The Canadian National Exhibition closes today, so it’s your last chance to down a bag of mini doughnuts, catch an illusionist show, and view the sun setting over the city from atop a ferris wheel.

Summer Stops for Families

From the most intrepid of daredevils to the quietest of bookworms, bright summer days bring out the playfulness in us all. To make this the best summer yet, Where Toronto offers 15 exciting ways to craft your own fun in the sun.

There are thrills galore at Canada's Wonderland.

Find thrills at Canada's Wonderland.

ADRENALIN-FUELED ESCAPADES
More then 200 attractions and 65 rides test the truly adventurous at Canada’s Wonderland. This first-class amusement park is home to the Behemoth—the country’s tallest and fastest roller coaster with open-air seating and a blood-curdling 230-foot drop. If riding the rails isn’t your thing, try thrill rides like the toe-curling Drop Tower and stomach-wrenching Psyclone. For more subdued, tot-friendly amusements, head to Kidzville and Nickelodeon Central—kids will get a kick out of Dora’s Dune Buggies and Scooby Doo’s Haunted Mansion. Cool down at Splash Works, a 20-acre water park with twisting slides like the Super Soaker and the Plunge. Adults $51.99, seniors and kids $29.35.

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Back in the Swing of Things—The Toronto Blue Jays in 2009

The city’s beloved Major League Baseball team, the Toronto Blue Jays, steps up to the plate for its 33rd season.

Since the end of the 2008 season, the Toronto Blue Jays have incurred a number of blows—a host of injuries and a decreased payroll among them—proving that not even the big leagues are immune to the rainy days of recession. To top it off, the boys are up against several powerhouse squads in the notoriously tough American League East division: the formidable New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox, plus last season’s unlikely World Series finalists, the Tampa Bay Rays.

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