Will Blue Jays success translate into youth baseball popularity
Whether you are still jaded by the proliferation of performance enhancing drugs (PEDs) in pro baseball, or still angry that the league leading Montreal Expos had their hearts ripped out of them in 1994 when the League cancelled the World Series, or whatever your reason for turning your back on the sport ... it might be time to give the sport a second chance.
To use that old cliché (and baseball is full of them), It's a Perfect Storm:
The NHL's millionaires can't figure out how to share their riches, the Maple Leafs haven't made the playoffs since 2004, the Raptors are, well, ... the Raptors, and the NFL isn't coming (permanently) to Canada any time soon. The Toronto Blue Jays are suddenly relevant again.
On a recent visit to Toronto, I was shocked at the number of people wearing Blue Jays caps. More telling was the absence of Maple Leafs wear in a city that bleeds blue and white. What this tells me is that the recent blockbuster deals that Alex Anthropolous made, has people taking notice.
Suddenly a franchise that has not reached the playoffs since 1993, is the favorite my many to win the 2013 world series. Not only are the predictions exciting, but so is the make-up of the team. This might be the most exciting team the Jays have put on paper. The team boasts an incomperable homerun champion (Bautista), an all-out-dynamo Canadian (Lawrie) whose intensity reminds me of Pete Rose in his prime, a 4 time all-star short stop with a batting title (Reyes), a centre-fielder with 5 tool talent (Rasmus) if he can ever figure out how to put it all together, and the strongest starting rotation in baseball (R.A. Dickey, Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle, Brandon Morrow, Ricky Romero).
So will all the hope of a promising season ahead for the Blue Jays, will Canadians start paying attention again? Will children be asking their parents to play ball so they can emulate their new heroes? Time will tell. But in all likelihood, a resurgence of popularity for the Jays will mean a resurgence of popularity for youth baseball.
If you are interested in registering your child in baseball, there are leagues all over the city. Most youth leagues offer online registration in January. To find out which league boundary your child plays in, click on Dist 2 + 6 Map. And follow the league links (on the ride-hand side of the blog).