I've been a baseball fan for a long time. As Hugo or Johnny will tell you, I'm old. Which I think is funny because I don't feel any different than I did in my 20's, the only time I think I'm old is when I see how big my kids are or when I think of how long I've been a baseball fan.
Sorry this is long and meandering and it continues after the jump.
When I first got interested in baseball, I was an Expos fan. In the American league I was a fan of whoever might beat the Yankees, which was sort of funny because the Yankees were just become a good team again after a long stretch of being pretty bad. They weren't the Yankees in today's sense of the team, they hadn't figured out how to use free agency to price the rest of baseball out of the game yet.
I followed the Jays but for the first several years they were run so poorly that it was hard to care about them. They wasted draft picks on guys like Danny Ainge. The Expos had an exciting team filled with stars and the Jays had very little that you could get excited about. In the late 80's that started to change, the Jays started to collect some good young players and they started to look like they were run by people that understood baseball.
Bill James started to put out his Abstracts and I become even more of a fan of baseball. It is hard to imagine what a breath of fresh air those books were if you weren't there at the time. Baseball commentators would say the same stupid things they do now, but fans had no way of knowing that they were blowing smoke. Bill James changed that. A commentator would say something stupid and James would study it and show you it was stupid. I, likely, drove my parents crazy talking about Bill James all the time.
In the late 90's Bud Selig and the MLB did everything in it's power to kill of the Expos. It 'sold' the team to Jeffrey Loria and he was given the job of killing baseball in Montreal. He took the team off TV and radio, got rid of the PR departments and succeeded in destroying the team. For that MLB gave him the Marlins and took over the Expos to put on the finishing touches. By this time I'd pretty much changed my allegiance to the Jays. They had won a couple of World Series and, at very least, they were on TV so I could actually see them. They weren't baseball in an abstract from, like the Expos but you could see them and tell they existed.
So, even though I grew a hatred for MLB and Bud Selig, I was still a baseball fan.
And through finding this site and becoming part of it, my love for baseball has grown.
I knew being a fan is hard. Baseball, a lot of the time, seems to hold a contempt for its fans.
So yesterday happens. To backtrack some, last year a few of us went to Seattle to watch a series with the Jays. This year we wanted to go to some games again and Denver was talked about. After a bit of discussion going to Toronto instead sounded like an idea. My summer is pretty booked but I had the week free that Philadelphia was going to be in town and the draw of seeing Halladay was pretty strong. Since the Cardinals are there the series before, I thought seeing Pujols would be fun too. So I decided to go.
Now some of this is my fault. I was leery of the idea of being there while the G20 was on. I may not be young enough to believe in revolution but I do admire people that have the passion to protest perceived wrongs. But I have no urge to be tear gassed. So a couple of emails were sent to the Jay PR department making sure that the games would happen.
To backtrack (yet again), one of my goals, after writing here for a couple of months and deciding that I might do it for a bit longer, was to get some sort of relationship with the Jays front office. So emails were sent to the PR department, introducing myself, explaining the website and asking to be put on the email list for press releases. A humble first step, I thought. I didn't get any replies. I enlisted the help of the PTB of SB Nation. They sent emails on my behalf. They got no replies. I tried bypassing the PR department, sending emails to others in the organization. No replies.
Trying another approach, I got the phone number of the PR department head and tried calling. I couldn't get past the secretary. He would 'call me back'. Never did. I started calling on a weekly bases and one day for some reason, it went straight through to him and we talked a bit. And I started getting press releases.
Since then, every now and then I'll send him a question about something that is happening with the team and sometimes he replies and sometimes he doesn't. I've requested interviews. Sometimes he replies, with 'not at this time, but keep in touch, we'll work something out'. And sometimes he doesn't. I did get a nice note from Alex Anthopoulos, the week he became GM, replying to a note I sent him months earlier asking about the possibility of a short interview. Alex said he'd 'love to talk to me, when things slow down'. They haven't yet.
Anyway, when I was thinking of going to Toronto, I sent a note asking if the games would happen. Yes. Then when I had made the arrangements to go, I sent him a note asking if we could meet while I'm there. No reply. I resent it a couple of weeks later, no reply.
This week, with rumors starting that the games would be moved, I sent a note asking if the rumors were true. No reply. Oh good.
Yesterday I get the press release.
In Paul Beeston's news conference, he mentions that Philadelphia fans that were planning to come to the game may have paid for flights and hotels and said 'I'm sure we will be hearing from them, something will likely be arranged'. So again yesterday, I sent emails to various Jay front office folks, saying a) I'm not a Phillies fan. b) I have a flight, hotel and tickets for the Cardinal series. c) could they help me out some how, maybe helping me get tickets to the games in Philadelphia, I'd be willing to rent a car and drive.
As of now, no reply.
So, at the moment, my love for the Jays is at a low ebb. I want to cheer for them. I'm trying. But I really don't understand why they didn't move the games to a neutral site, closer to Toronto. And I don't understand why it is so hard to get a response from them. Yeah, I know they are busy. I know they haven't figured everything out yet. But how long would it take to send an email saying 'Sorry, we are still working things out, we'll get back to you.' Or perhaps 'Sorry, but we won't do a thing for you, you Cito hating bastard.'
Something. Anything. I mean, I'm a fan. And, you know, I write for this site. Throw me a bone.