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Ricky Romero

Where in Toronto: Ghosts of Seasons Past

Jose Bautista leads the Jays into a hopeful new season (photo courtesy of the Toronto Blue Jays)

Ever since Toronto Blue Jays star Jose Bautista graced the cover of Where Toronto’s April issue, it seems as though I’ve been seeing the team everywhere. No—I wish I’d been running into the likes of Adam Lind and Ricky Romero around town; I mean that I’ve started noticing Jays hats, sweatshirts, merchandise in the windows of every sporting-goods store, and, of course, even an entire section dedicated to the Jays in Sears at the Eaton Centre. It might be that I’m just beginning to take notice of our hometown team, or maybe it’s just Toronto getting into the spring swing of things. (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.

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.

(more…)