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Ticket sales spike after trades, David Price's debut, and other Blue Jays bites

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Jersey and ticket sales after the big trades are making the Blue Jays very happy, it may be more strategic to start David Price on Monday, and other Blue Jays bites.

These things are selling like hotcakes.
These things are selling like hotcakes.
Minor Leaguer

If You Build It...

The addition of two superstars this week has already started to pay off for the Blue Jays, at least on the business side. Since Troy Tulowitzki's trade was made official, the Jays Shop has sold over 200 #2 jerseys, according to Stephen Brooks, the Blue Jays' senior vice president of business operations.

They are basically selling the jerseys as fast as the can make them--even before Tim Langton first announced Tulowitzki's name on Wednesday, they had already sold out of pre-made jerseys and fans had to place orders for post-game pickup. And these numbers exclude the jerseys that have been bought online.

Meanwhile, Jose Reyes jerseys are selling on the clearance racks for 75% off, so replica jerseys are now just $40. Hopefully Brooks won't read this but a bit of creativity and some tape, you could buy one of those on discount and make yourself a David Price jersey. No one would be able to tell...

More importantly, people have been scooping up Jays tickets. Brooks also revealed to Bluebird Banter that ticket sales are spiking, with 15,000 new single-game tickets for upcoming games sold on Wednesday and an estimated 25,000 sold on Thursday. It seems like making two high-profile trades in the middle of a 10-game summer homestand leads to a lot of fans going to the stadium to watch the game and buy concessions. Who would've thought!

Expect huge home crowds this long weekend down at the Rogers Centre, with Jr. Jays Saturday, a Welcome Mat giveaway on Sunday, and a Russell Martin Bobblehead giveaway on the holiday Monday.

Roll Back The Price?

Sunday is the most probable day for David Price to make his debut, with that day lining up with his regular rotation and the day where the Blue Jays need a starter. But is that the best rotation configuration going forward? Let's look at how the rotation lines up if the Jays stick with a strict five-man rotation throughout August (and assuming they don't acquire a new starter):

Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
31 1
vs Royals
Hutchison
vs Royals
Buehrle
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
vs Royals
Price
vs Twins
Dickey
vs Twins
Estrada
vs Twins
Hutchison
vs Twins
Buehrle
Price
@ Yankees
Dickey
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
@ Yankees
Estrada
OFF DAY
vs A's
Hutchison
vs A's
Buehrle
vs A's
Price
vs Yankees
Dickey
vs Yankees
Estrada
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
vs Yankees
Hutchison
OFF DAY
Buehrle
@ Phillies
Price
OFF DAY
Dickey
@ Angels
Estrada
23 24 25 26 27 28 29
@ Angels
Hutchison
OFF DAY
Buehrle
@ Rangers
Price
@ Rangers
Dickey
vs Tigers
Estrada
vs Tigers
Hutchison
30 31
vs Tigers
Buehrle
Price

Here, it is projected that Price will face the Yankees just once and one of his starts would be "wasted" on the hapless Phillies.

Since the Blue Jays are chasing the Yankees for the division (6.0 GB) and the Angels and Twins for the Wild Card (2.0 GB from the second Wild Card, 4.0 GB from the first Wild Card), it may be a good idea to let their ace face them as many times as possible. Winning against the Royals is of course welcomed, but it's the head-to-head matches that are more important.

If the Jays ask R.A. Dickey to start on short rest Sunday and start Price on Monday, Price would get to face the Twins once, Yankees twice, then the Angels. Whomever starts this Sunday, by using the many off days in August, the Blue Jays can skip Drew Hutchison's projected road start on the 23rd and give him a break and, more importantly, five consecutive home starts going forward.

Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
31 1
vs Royals
Hutchison
vs Royals
Buehrle
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
vs Royals
Dickey
vs Twins
Price
vs Twins
Estrada
vs Twins
Hutchison
vs Twins
Buehrle
@ Yankees
Dickey
@ Yankees
Price
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
@ Yankees
Estrada
OFF DAY
vs A's
Hutchison
vs A's
Buehrle
vs A's
Dickey
vs Yankees
Price
vs Yankees
Estrada
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
vs Yankees
Hutchison
OFF DAY
@ Phillies
Buehrle
@ Phillies
Dickey
OFF DAY
@ Angels
Price
@ Angels
Estrada
23 24 25 26 27 28 29
@ Angels
Buehrle
OFF DAY
@ Rangers
Dickey
@ Rangers
Price
@ Rangers
Estrada
vs Tigers
Hutchison
vs Tigers
Buehrle
30 31
vs Tigers
Dickey
vs Indians
Price

With four off days in August, and potential rain outs and other factors, it is really futile to forecast the rotation too far into the future, but it is a fun exercise to see what could be done to maximize the chances of winning the Jays winning as many important games as possible. However, while the latter schedule seems to make sense on paper it might backfire as I believe that, sometimes, being too fancy offends the fickle Baseball Gods.

Corresponding Move

Someone will have to come off the 25-man roster some time today before the Blue Jays activate David Price. One would expect that the Jays to send down a reliever to go back to a seven-man bullpen. Aaron Loup has been struggling and has minor league options remaining, but as a second lefty he may be saved from a demotion. Ryan Tepera looks like the one to go.

If Devon Travis, who had a cortisone shot in his injured his shoulder on Wednesday, has to go on the disabled list, he Jays would need to make a move to call up a backup middle infielder. Ty Kelly and Munenori Kawasaki are both on the roster but from a marketing perspective how can the Jays not call up Mune to a packed house?

No move is needed on the 40-man roster. Even with the addition of Price, the Blue Jays only have 38 players on their roster.

Roster Turnover

Speaking of the 40-man roster, the Blue Jays have had quite the roster turnover in the past 365 days. There are 20 players (I had forgotten one when I created the quiz below) who were on the 40-man a year ago today who are no longer there. Can you name them all? I certainly couldn't!

I do miss making these Sporcles.

Signs from Anchor Bar

The last time I was in Buffalo I went to the famous Anchor Bar for some chicken wings after the game. They have a kitchy decor inside, which included a wall of license plates. I didn't pay much attention to the but something made me turn and look at one particularly closely.

Thank you for the sign, Baseball Gods. I hope we haven't angered you with our discussion on whether to start R.A. Dickey on short rest.