I am not a doctor (yet), but I think I may have diagnosed the Blue Jays with a mild case of Toronto Raptors syndrome.
This is my first fanpost, so please be kind, but as a Canadian living in the US I think I can speak with some confidence on this subject.
With the recent trade rejections and lack of interest of certain free agents in Toronto, the question I pose is: Do you think a lot of American ball players won't come to Toronto, because it is in Canada? Explanation after the jump.
I think this is especially relevant in the NBA. For many American athletes the glory and lights of Los Angeles, New York, Chicago and Miami are a huge draw for them and they want to play in those cities. Really because in their eyes those places are just 'cool'.
Toronto, a large city in its own right and very, very 'cool', is not really on the map for them (in some instances probably literally). This is why the Raptors have historically scouted and tried to sign international players. This phenomenon may be happening to the Toronto Blue Jays.
I think for someone like Roy Oswalt, Prince Fielder, even Yu Darvish and Uehara. They do not associate Toronto with the glory and history of American baseball. Especially those from the National League who never play in Rogers Centre. But perhaps more accurately, they don't know Jack about Canada. Many Americans are very naive about countries outside their own. I think this is probably because their country is the center of so much media and political attention, thus, their is little knowledge of places like Toronto and how they may relate to US Cities.
So perhaps we are not only at a financial disadvantage, but a geographical one as well. The age of the poor Canadian dollar appears behind us, but perhaps now the Jays are at a 'social image' disadvantage. Toronto Raptors syndrome is a debilitating disease, but it can be cured, perhaps by better advertising of how great the city can be for Athletes of any nationality and better media attention for the Jays in the US. I watch ESPN down here religiously, and I don't think the network knows Toronto has a baseball team.
What do you think? Maybe this is news to no one. Be kind to my first post.