One full year as a Season ticket holder complete. Will I renew…

Oh the season it was supposed to be…..wasn’t that bad actually.

Last Row of Dome in June of a day game.  39,00 people and still empty seats.

Right after the multi player trade was made, the reports from Vegas came in. Jays 8-1 to go to the World Series… Whaaat! Oh my, this is the year guys. Its 92 all over again.   We built the team up full of Vets and guys we like. We got a new Manager, well sorta new… What could go wrong?

There are plenty of other blogs that go into way more specific details and stats and on what went wrong technicaly.  I am going to sum it up for the purpose of redundancy.  Keep in mind these are just my opinions. I want to stick to my experience as a consumer to the product, The season Ticket purchase.

1.  Chemistry.  Yes all these guys ( or a good lot of them ) are all super talented and came with good resumes, but none of them new each other. I believe Boston tried this the year before and how did that work out for them?  Every Major League athlete is light years above 99.9% of the rest of us in their craft.  Yet there’s only one team that wins it all.  As history dictates over and over again, you don’t have to be the strongest, biggest, fastest, to win.  You have to gel as a collective unit to produce a greater combined result better than solo in team sports.  From the start of Spring Training this wasnt happening.  A few core guys were not even there ( WBC ).  You need that time to learn each other and it rarely takes just 2 months to get it.

2.  Fundamental Baseball.  We saw a lot of sloppy baseball fundamentals going on the first half of the year.  This is one area where I think the coaching could have been a little more whip cracking in.  Defense wins championships…

3. Starting Pitching.  Blogged to death.  All I will say is that you need a rock solid starting 4-5 rotation.  Dont have it, you are in big trouble.

4. Injuries.  Something is up with the Jays in this dept.  Last 2 years now we have seen an insane amount of injuries.  Cant expect to win if you’re A list guys are not on the field.  Even worse if they are your starting pitchers.

5. Stranding runners in scoring position.  That’s just not good.  We led the league in it for a bit…

Quick back story. ( Skip if you know why i got the full season )

Having always wanted to do this, back in Nov 12 this seemed like the perfect time.  It was on my bucket list to have Season’s and I really wanted some of the perks that came with.  I am a big kid at heart and getting to meet some of the players, getting some time on the field, etc was pretty cool.  I don’t sell any autographed balls I get.  They all go into the man cave and are displayed proudly.  The biggest sell for getting a full 81 season games,  is that my insane work schedule prohibits me from ever knowing when and what days Ill have off.  That scratches out any sort of flexpack ticket deal that requires hard dates.  So the only viable option, to get the tickets to the games i want is to work backwards.  Buy the whole season and get rid of the tickets I can’t go to.  Insert friends here____________

Why the 500s???

There are a ton of 500 level seats at Rogers Centre, and they are all priced the same.  It’s very very easy to get these tickets.  It’s not very easy to get the first or second row between the bases.  Most Row 1′s are all scalper ticket or long-term season ticket holders.  If I was going to invest the cash on a full season I would only do it if I could acquire row 1 or 2 and it would have to be between the bases. As luck had it, there were some in row 2! As of now there are no more I was told.   Another reality is that you are going to eat some tickets you just cant get rid of.  Losing $11-14 does not hurt like losing $50-70 a pop.

These seats are probably the best deal in the entire MLB.  You have to keep in mind the confines which we are talking about.  The Rogers Centre is still an 80′s design and built multiplex massive dome, that’s to big for MLB and to small for NFL. Yes they are high up, but Row 1 is not.  Every row goes up about 4ft.  So the first 3 rows are fine.  After that its steep.  They are only a little farther from the field horizontally than the Club seats in the 200s, or back rows of the 100s.

This is from the widest section.  Mine is flush with the 200s

This is from the widest section. Mine is flush with the 200s

The Fans up here.  Yes in the past the 500s were where every drunk college kid could be found.  I was guilty of that from 97-2002.  On a Friday night, it’s always a rowdy bunch. This year though I found it to be toned way down.   I got to meet a bunch of good people from all over who were just true baseball fans up here.  Because its affordable, there are a ton of families coming out to the ballpark, especially on weekends.     I could not get over how busy it was on weekends.  I think every weekend game I went to had over 38-41K tickets sold.  Any promotional give-away was a sellout.

I have sat in every section of the Rogers Centre more times than once except the In The Action seats, ( I don’t have $16,200 per seat to drop on those).  For those you need to know someone to sell you one from their season tickets, and there $200 face value.  Mostly corporate tickets there.  For certain games, its great to upgrade a ticket and sit on the dugout or behind the dish. But there were many times this year that I was down in the 100s, and decided to go up to the 500′s just for the atmosphere.  You can talk base baseball up their way easier that sitting next to a very quite couple whom received the tickets as a gift and are not into baseball much.

My regular season view of the action for Sec 519. For the money, you can’t beat it.

The Experience

The best thing the Jays ever did for everyone  was to open up the whole Rogers Centre to everyone.  The 100s, 200s, and 500s, can all be accessed by anyone, of course you need a ticket to sit in the appropriate section.  Just like most of the newer style Retro parks. Gone are the days of being a second class citizen if you had 500 Level tickets.  I hated that so much, I would not go.  I’d rather driver to see the jays in other parks.  Why is this so good?? Options!

You can go watch BP, then leave. This give you a chance to get autographs, catch BP home runs from the outfield, get toss ups from players and brings the level of intimacy back to the best sport for it.  Everyone and especially the kids get something special from being down at field level where they can interact with the players.  Even if they are not sitting there for the game.  Just knowing that you were down there, and now watching from a different view makes you feel more part of the whole experience.

Food Choices.  Gone are the days of eating only whats available in your specific section.  Now I can go to watch BP, grab a Tim Hortons Coffee , and a hot brisket sandwich and take it up stairs with me.  I love that.

The 200 level porch.   Again, everyone with a ticket can go checkout the view from just above the batters eye.  This is a great place to meet up if you are with a big group  who is not sitting together.  Also great to Chirp the away teams Center Fielder.

200 Level Porch with the restaurant on top in the 300 Level. No more windows.

Season Ticket holder Special Events.

State of the Franchise meeting- It was nice to actually meet the front office.  There was complimentary food and drinks. I got to meet the front office. Paul Beeston, Alex Anthopoulos John Gibbons, Buck Martinez, and Jack Morris, all whom were very nice and took a lot of time with us. Wish I brought a baseball for Mr Morris to sign.

Season Ticket Holder Appreciation day.  Getting to meet the Jays was AWESOME.  I wanted a Jose Bautista signed ball in 2013.  That was the goal and I got it.  I wish I had known what to expect or I would have a lot more signed baseballs for the Man Cave.  Yes it was busy, but hey, it was great.  Playing catch in the outfield was great too.

Batting Practice.  This was actually a let down.  I really thought the Jays would interact with us a bit more. Ive seen other times where players come over and sign or take pics.   It could be that they just came out of a meeting and were probably not in the best mood.  I respect that. I did get some great pics, but some players came over to people next to me they knew,  i mean right next to me, and would not even acknowledge us.  I wish we could have stayed to watch the visiting team also.  I ended up going over to the LA Dodgers dugout where I got Yusiel Puig, Andre Either, and Don Mattingly to sign some balls.  That was awesome!  Big fans off all three.  I was quite surprised that the Dodgers were more approachable to the Toronto fans than the Jays were that day.

Jays Clinic, No clue, didn’t do it.

My 2013  Highlights

- Opening night was cool having never been before. I know its more of a Toronto social event but it’s still fun in your own seats.

A Massive Flag for Opening night.

- The Return of John Farrell night had one of the loudest crowds I have heard in the Dome.

- Taking friends from around the world and around Canada to games was great.

- Seeing the SF Giants and the LA Dodgers and getting some autographs was awesome, ( I am a NYC baseball history nut).

- Having my one of my favourite Jays of all time, Roberto Alomar on my flight was epic.  Again, such a nice down to earth guy, ( total fluke but ill take it).

- Watching Kawasaki, pretty much all the time.

Kawasaki getting dunked after a walk off vs BAL

- The 11-0 run was great while it was going.

Lawrie smacking a line drive

- Meeting the Bautista, Reyes, Dickey, DeRosa, Lind, and more Jays

Jose Reyes and Adam Lind signing

- Getting to know other ballpark chasers who travel to all the other parks was a wealth of knowledge.

- Going to Target Field (one of, if not my favourite park so far) and finally watching the Mets Citi Field

-Eating a Shake Shack burger at Citi Field. Thx Mav.

Put the diet aside, and get one. They are only 480Cal for a single. Best Burger in MLB and pretty much the world

- Catching an in-game foul ball from Chris Ianetta of the LA Angeles

- Finally waiting till the Jays Care Garage sale to get my new Henderson Alverez Authentic jersey the day he throws a No Hitter ( I miss ya Henderson ) for $75, proceeds to charity.

- The biggest highlight was getting a BP Ball that I caught minutes before having it signed by legendary Yankees Closer Mariano Rivera was beyond words.  This was to be the last game he will ever close in Toronto and he the Save that night.  It was surreal.  Only time I was happy the Jays lost.

About to get signed by the greatest Closer of all time.

Signed Mariano Rivera

With everything listed above, plus a great birds eye view of the whole Stadium I had a great 2013 season. I ended up eating 5 games that went unused.  I even tried to give them away for free. Still 5 out of 81, not bad.  Because of all the support from my friends who came through to take the 51 games I could not attend, I will be able to renew my subscription for the 2014 season.  If we can follow in Boston’s footsteps it should be a great year.

 

Thanks to the Jays staff for answering my questions and to all the players, fans, and support staff that makes Baseball awesome.

Pre Game

Stay Tuned for More Blogs. Apologies for the delay.

Blogs and Photos to come for:

Durham Bulls Game and park review

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Victory Field ” Indianapolis Indians” Review, had the ballpark to myself.

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Target Field 2, awesome seats.

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Whats up with the Jays 2013

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Citi Field, Queens

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LA Dodges Meet

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and various photos of the 2013 year that was not so good…

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Opening week 2013. Not what we were hoping for….

I was able to get to three of the 7 games, of the two series that constituted opening week.  Unfortunately I didn’t get to witness any wins yet in 2013.  What went so horribly wrong?…They were not supposed to lose a game all year….right?

This team is being overhyped like crazy by Rogers, since the mega-trade.  Rogers owns every type of media and the team. If you live in Toronto, you know that since the fall, the Blue Jays are everywhere, print, radio, TV, billboards, internet.  You cant get away from it, and really, after AA assembled the lineup he did, why would you want to?  The Buzz in this city is awesome for a baseball fan. Season ticket sales soared (the Jays made it very attractive to us ). It is like 1993 all over again except  I am 35 now and can buy my own tickets, and write this blog on this internet thing we have these days.

Robs what went wrong list:

Opening Night  vs Indians  L

1. Over hype as stated above.

2. J.P Arencibia’s struggles catching R.A.Dickey resulting in multiple passed balls.

3.  Big-Bat production problems.

4.  Stranded runners on base.

Second Night   L

1. Too little too late in the runs dept.

2. Stranded runners on base.

3. Infield issues

Third Night W!

1. 2 for 7 RISP

2. Thats about it as the Big Bats proved they where here.  A nail biter still, it was nice to see the first win.

Boston Series 

Pedroia smacks one deep.

Game 1 L

1. Three Errors by 2B

2. Pitching

Game 2 W

1. Happ pitched great. The only guy no one thought would even be here, played great.

2. Jays only made one error

Game 3 L

1. Giving up 7 HRs and getting beat 13-0.  Pretty much nothing more to say.

Notes:

Bad:

-J.P, had to start Opening Night.   Blanco caught R.A. in NY and is R.A’s catcher of choice, but opening night after an off season like J.P.had ( about a 12354323. AVG ), and the fact that he is the starter means;  You play your starter on Opening night.

- Brett Lawrie is out and needs to be back at 3rd base.  He hits like a champ, and is great in the field.

- Jose Bautista was out for 3 games

- The infield errors have to stop.

- Worst in the league and stranded runners.

- Our starting four need to be better and find their stuff. We all know they have it.

Good:

-J.A. Happ is pitching great and looks like a champ.

-Bret Cecil has been pitching great in the Bullpen and for the most part the bull pen looks good.

-Jose Reyes is playing great and super fun to watch.

-Eventually they will find their chemistry and settle into their new digs, and all will be right again.

Cecil getting it done.

Opening Night 2013

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The day is finally here! Time to head down to the ballpark and see the Show. The Home Opener is not only the kickoff to the Jays season but a Toronto social calendar event. Every year the Home Opener sells out and the outfield seats in the 500s are full. The next day, the attendance usually drops by 30,000. This year, I think it will be different, but more on that later.

I was super excited to get to the Rogers Centre to see the new changes. For the first time ever, fans are able to walk entirely around the 200 level. The windows, that were Windows restaurant are long gone, and the area is now a common use patio for all. Last night though, it was sectioned off for a Rogers Event. Go figure. You can see the new section in the photo above.

It was nice to see fans in all blue as I made my way to my seats. Upon approaching my section, I was pleased to find washrooms, food, beer, and a shop just outside my entrance. This season is gonna be sweet.

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Sitting in my seats for the first time was awesome. I have sat in a ton of 500 seats over the years, but the fact that these are mine all season is fantastic. They are right where I like to be, between the pitcher and first base. I can see all the action.

The opening night celebrations started off with a tribute to legendary Jays commentator Tom Cheek, followed by R.A. Dickey and Mark Buehrle’s Golden Glove awards. Then came a Jayscare foundation recognition ceremony. The anthems followed. The massive Canadian flag was a nice treat to see. The first pitch was thrown by a long time season ticket holder and fellow Torontonian Geddy Lee, the lead singer of Rush.

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The player introductions were awesome and hearing the Star Wars Imperial March theme while Dickey warmed up set quite the tone.

With R.A. now on the mound, the players in the field, and forty-nine thousand fans waving our blue and white pom poms, it’s go time!

It didn’t take long to see that everyone seemed a little jittery. With the kind of expectations set upon this team, it’s almost impossible not to expect some blunders. R.A.’s Knuckleball was moving around a lot, and you can see that J.P. was having a hard time getting it into his glove. Still, they made it out of the mid first without giving up a run.

Jose Reyes first appearance was a walk. Cabrera lined into a double play, and Bautista singled off a ground ball to left field. Encarnacion got hit by a pitch and Lind struck out swinging….ugh.
In the second the Tribe had 2 runs on passed balls over Arencibia vs the Jays 0. In the third with the bases loaded Lind grounded into a double play, but Cabrera scored from third. Fourth inning the Tribe smacked a 2 run HR that looked like it was going to be a fly ball…..but it wasn’t. The rest of the night was a non event. Arencibia doubled late in the bottom of the ninth, but Rasmus stuck out leaving him stranded and the Jays with their first loss of the season.

It was not the outcome Jays fans wanted to see, or expected. The hitting was not there, the passed balls were too common, making up for fifty percent of the scoring total, and Dickey’s knuckleball was dancing a little too much. Let’s all remind ourselves that this is game 1 of 162. Mistakes are going to happen, nerves and first time kinks need to be ironed out that can’t be addressed in Spring training. Only real game time will sort these issues out. Let’s hope last night was just one of those nights.

Tonight, the media pressure is off, a more traditional pitcher takes the mound, and all should settle in nicely.

On a final positive note, I thought Bullpen looked solid. Both Cecil and Santos looked great. All in all it was awesome to see the Jays back in business and baseball back in season. Here’s to Morrow and Tomorrow.
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Windows removed at Rogers Centre. Step in the right direction again!

The tweet went out this week followed by a pic, that the windows of Windows are being removed at Rogers Centre. Why? Because the 90′s are long gone….

A new opened up concourse in the centre field part of the 200 level will be there instead of the closed down Windows restaurant / Hard Rock Cafe that sat empty all last year. Paul Beeston was on Prime Time Sports today confirming that it will be a multi use open area for ALL fans to enjoy, be it 500 guys like myself or field level In The Action Seat fans.

I really like what PB’s is doing. He seems to get what fans want. I was so happy to here him say this today. I LOVE this idea. In fact, I have been saying that this is what they should do for a long time.

The Dome is not going anywhere anytime soon. Rogers purchased it for 4% of its building cost twenty years earlier ( little bit of a steal I’d say ). So why not try and upgrade it. It did not happen overnight but the Rogers Centre of now is a lot different to the Skydome of my youth. After hearing PB speak about personally to all the fans at the State Of the Franchise, and kept talking about it on the PTS today. It’s nice knowing that they are trying hard to make it relevant for todays MLB stadium experience.

I am super critical of the Dome if you read my previous posts. I have been guilty of arguing that if Minneapolis has an outdoor park then Toronto can handle it too. At the same time, I like wearing my Jays jersey sans coat and toque for the home opener. I have learned that a lot of players like the Dome. The more I think about it, the more I think that with the right planning and designs, the Rogers Centre would be the ideal place to reno. The Argo’s will be out of it soon enough. I say that because deep down both MLB and CFL fans know it’s best.

It still may be a while before we get real grass in it, but for now, I welcome the latest plan to bring more of the stadium to the people. All the newer parks have an area like this. Now us Jays fans have one to.

As much as I rip on the place form time to time. Its where I spent many of nights as a teenager watching games, dreamed of hitting homers out of, told people about it back in the day, watched my team win 2 World Series, and bought my first season tickets for my MLB team. So long Windows, the view will be ever clearer now.Image

Season Tickets Arrive!

There here! There here!

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I was away at work when my wife texts my a pic of a UPS package, the sender address containing Bluejay Way in the title. “Should I open it?” She says texts. Yes, I reply. As she starts the stream pics I get more excited to see the next.

First pic:

A nice shiny box with simple logo and 2013 Season Tickets embossed on it. Score!

Second pic:

Opening the cover revealed what looks to be a big massive full colour special opening night ticket made of plastic and my Jays STH’r card. This massive ticket is awesome. This will be framed for sure. At first I didn’t think it was real. Hope there’s one more in there.

Third pic:

Money shot! I have been really curios as to see the graphic layout of the tickets this year. Last years looked great. I always try and get a hard season ticket to any game I go to. It’s my favourite souvenir and something that you can’t just buy after the fact. My goal in my Mancave is a framed set to every MLB park. I’m up to 6 so far. One day ill spring for an unused 1977 Jays opener ticket via eBay.
The tickets are horizontal this year vs last years vertical. With fan shots and player pics on them. They look great. I was concerned as last years were very nice, it might be hard to top.

Fourth pic:

Two lanyards for the opening night ticket, schedules and slips for tickets you get rid of, paperwork telling you about different events and STH’rs policies.

Way to make a guy jealous. Ill have to wait till I get home to see for myself. Lets just say I’m stoked and I feel like a kid at Xmas morning.

So here’s what comes in the awesome box in one pic all layer out. This was once I got home. I am so pumped! Now the task of managing ST’s.

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First Spring Training Game

The Jays Spring training facilities in Dunedin FLA is 2:40 hrs away from where we stay in Florida. After a quick look at the Spring a training map it was clear to me that the only team near me was the Nationals. The Nats train in Viera FLA about 25 min from where I stay. I suppose it was fitting as I go to Nats games when I’m in DC, and they are the old Expos. I guess there starting to be my NL team of choice, yet I’ve always liked the a Giants and Mets.

The match up was against the Miami Marlins, the them that the Blue Jays cleaned out in the mammoth multiplayer trade over the off season.

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I wanted a good seat for my first ST experience but after looking at the team site all the decent seats were gone. Stubhub time. I found a single field level box seat for $16, hit print, off I went.

Having been to Space coast stadium earlier that week, I knew the lay of the land. I joined the heard of cars to be parked in file on a massive grass filed. It was very well organized.
I made my way up to the gate and had my print out ticket scanned. once you enter you arrive right at the top of home field. My seats were in between the third base dugout and home plate.

I could not get over the lax personal vibe. Everything is so close. If you chirped a player, they’d here it. You could ask for an autographs, and get them. It’s like watching little league in you neighbourhood park but with big leaguers.

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In the 4th inning I experienced something that I only experienced once back in 1987 at my first MLB game at Exhibition park, a rain delay. Time for food. I had a 1/2lb burger that was quite good. After an hour or so it was back to baseball. Most of the starters didn’t come back in the game. The game ended in a tie in the 10th. I had made my way over to the Nats dugout where I caught my frost baseball!

Defiantly a great way to spend a Saturday. I saw Zimmerman and Harper play, and some new young talent.

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Washington Nationals Spring Training

While on vacation in Florida, I keep looking at my iPad to keep up on the Jays latest talks. I’m on the opposite coast of that the Jays are on. I’m about 3hrs away from Dunedin. Glancing at the Grapefruit League map I was surprised to see how close to the Washington Nationals practice facility and Space Coast stadium. I was about 20 min drive on the border in Viera.

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Having never been to any Spring Training before, I really had no expectations one what to see or expect. After all this was just a shot in the dark go see kind of thing.

I came upon the complex and drove into the first Nats logo driveway I saw. A girl who seemed to be affiliated with the team informed me that I could park my car and feel free to wander around. I asked about the team members doing drills and hitting in the cages. She said they were the AAA players as the National take BP and practice in the morning.

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After watching the guys hit for a bit I ventured over to the main complex, Space Coast Stadium. There is also a team shop and nice walkways. There was a gate open so I popped my head to see if I can see the field. Jackpot! The gate that was open was right behind home plate allowing me a great view. What a nice park. About 8100 seats. There was a photo shoot going on in the outfield. I didn’t want to overstay my welcome so I snapped a few pics and left. A grounds keeper said the gate should have been locked, but was nice and didn’t seem to mind. If this was at some MLB parks or other sports I would have been chased out.

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There was a BP on another field. These were the Wounded Warriors servicemen who are having a game coming up. These guys are really something and should be honoured. Until someone told me, I thought they were AAA players working on other drills.

I would have loved to stay a while, but I had to be somewhere. Seeing all the baseball going on really got me pumped for the season. I can’t wait to head over to Lakeland and see the Jays play the Tigers on Sat!

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2013 Jays State of the Franchise

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The first taste of being a season ticket holder came in the form of a letter with two attached tickets to the 2013 Bluejays State of the Franchise. It was held at the Rogers Centre. The doors opened at 5:30pm. With all the buzz being generated over the off season, the number of season ticket holders has risen, and with that the turn out at last nights event was the largest ever.

Not knowing what to expect, a friend and I showed up at 5:30pm. As we walked in the Gate 9 doors, we were greeted by Jays staff and handed a program of the nights events. As we entered the 100 level concourse, there were hostesses serving complementary beer, wine, and other refreshments. All the main food concessions in the concourse were open and serving everything from Asian flair to hotdogs, complementary as well.

The Jays shop was open and offering 40% off everything. The small shop and main shop filled up fast once the word got out about the discount. When I went in the main shop there were six people in the store main store. By the time I left I was 20 in line to cash out and the rest of the store was 80% full. You would think there was a game going on. It was really nice chatting with other season ticket holders in line and hearing there stories. Defiantly a very cool vibe going on.

After the spendings it was on our way to the fancy seats to start the evening. There were four chairs set up on top of the Jays dugout. We sat in the 100 level seats along the third base line with the Jays dugout as center stage. The field was set up in baseball configuration and then lights were dimmed with the ” Jumbotron” lit up as the attention piece. It will always be called that in my mind.

The MGMT team was introduced to applause coming from a packed two sections of the 100 seats. Manager John Gibbons, GM Alex Anthopolos, President Paul Beeston, and TV/Radio host Buck Martinez took to their seats atop the Jays Dugout.

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I missed the first few minutes of the introductions and formalities. Five minutes in, I was sitting off to the right of the four, one row back. Paul and John were about to get right into a video following some of the Jays winter tour highlights, but not before telling us they had a surprise for us. They introduced former World Series pitcher and Blue Jay, Jack Morris, as the newest voice of the Jays broadcasting team. I like what happened last time Jack came to Toronto!

The video showed us highlights of the Jays winter tour throughout Winnipeg, Saskatoon, and Edmonton. You could really see how this is Canada’s team. Watching Colbey Rasmus drive a tank at -33C was humouring.

Then it was Q&A time.. In order to speed up the Q&A part of the evening, all questions were submitted prior via email. There was a good mix of questions by long time season tix holders and a lot from new ones like myself. I did not submit a question. Being so new to this I thought I’d see if any questions I had, were had by other people. Turns out, there were. Here’s a few of the questions. I’m giving you the summed up answers and who answered them. Nothing to long and nothing verbatim.

What’s the rotation?

John Gibbons

1. R.A. Dickey
2. Marrow
3. Buehrle
4. Johnson
5. Romero

Who’s starting Opening night?

John Gibbons

R.A. Dickey

Will we get real Grass?

Paul

They are trying. Argos being a shared tenant of the Rogers Centre makes it more challenging. Also, where do you store it?

Will Season ticket prices rise?

Paul

Trying not to for the next 2-3 years but we will see.

Who’s playing 2nd?

John Gibbons

Won’t know till Spring Training. Going to be a battle. Either Maicer Izturis or Emilio Bonifacio

What about depth in our farm system and prospect development, since we traded a lot away?

Alex

Most 25 man roster players are on multi year contracts giving 3-5 years for development.

Who is our closer?

John Gibbons

Casey Jansen for now, Santos maybe once he’s up to speed.

There were other questions as I don’t remember all of them, but these where the ones multiple season ticket holders asked. The STH who’s questions were read got to come up to the dugout and pose with the four for a photo op.

After the Q&A the food and refreshments were re stocked, and began a meet and great with other owners. Here was the best part. I thought that the MGMT team would leave. NOPE! Every one of them stayed and chatted with the STHr’s the rest of the event. Photos, signings, chatting, and more questions, all the top brass stayed and mingled, even Jack Morris. I got to meet every one of them. I had bought my daughter her first jays jersey and had it crested ( 40% off remember ). I thought it would be cool to get a pic of each of them holding the Jersey, and making a 4 frame pic. Not only did everyone of them gladly pose, they ask me questions, and thanked me for being here. Meeting other fans and STH was a great pleasure. I was quite impressed with the Jays organization. Not every Major League big city sports team will do that.

In closing, it was an awesome night. The food was great, the beer was cold, and my questions were answered. It exceeded my expectations and got me even more pumped to be a Jays fan in 2013. Shaking hands with the new Manager and the MGMT staff was just awesome.

Enjoy some pics I took from the night.

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Target Field

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In the spring of 2011 I changed equipment at work. The last three years, the plane I flew had taken me to such MLB cities as Baltimore, Pittsburgh, and Cleveland quite regularly. The plane I fly since then takes me to way more MLB cities. One of the first places was Minneapolis, where I got to take in a Twins game, at the new Target Field that was not even two seasons old yet.

I’m at the mercy of public transportation when I’m on the road, so to find out that the last stop on the Hiawatha Light Rail Line was Target Field was great news. I had started my rail ride at the Mall of America, the other end of the line based on direction of travel. They have a baseball event special that’s $4.00 return. The trip takes about 40min, and that’s the entire line.

Halfway along the rail trip the cars began to get packed with Twins fans. By the time we arrived at Target Field, it was a sardine can. What’s really cool is that the Target Field stop is Target Field. The train pulls into the outfield concourse and you are on the property.

I didn’t have a ticket, and didn’t see any scalpers, since I was on the property. Off to the box office I went to try my luck. The divisional Chicago White Sox were in town and the Twins were way out of any playoff contention so I’d assume there would be a lot of seats left. After the ticket official scanned the seats there were only a few field level seats left. I grabbed one for a whopping $60!
I always assume I may never be back to any park when I’m there for work, as destinations changes without notice. That said I normally by a field level ticket. I wish I would have studied the park layout before I showed up. I ended up with a ticket behind home plate, but three rows from the last row. In retrospect I could have bought a $20 outfield ticket and stood 15ft from my $60 seat. Oh well, my fault. As it turns out, being a really nice new stadium has season tickets for the Twins sold out. There is even a waiting list.

I entered the stadium through the field level outfield and headed up to the upper decks for my usual run around. Target has a really cool mezzanine level. It’s not club level, though there’s one of them too. Nationals Ballpark in Washington has the same sort of thing going on and I love them. Along first base line in the middle of the dugout on there mezzanine decks is where I’d want my season tickets.

The outfield is great. Some high unique seats in Center filed in contrast there are large patios with shallow bleacher seats. The park itself is very big. This is not PNC or Fenway. It felt like Yankee Stadium. Still even for its size, the fact that its a true ballpark makes it far more cozy than the Concrete monstrosity Rogers Center in Toronto or Old athlete rivers Stadium in Pittsburgh. The upper outfield also has a Budweiser restaurant / patio overlooking left field.

As the game began I took my seat. Since I was so far back, the over hang of the second level blocked my view of the score board, something I never considered. After a few mediocre innings I decided to grab some food. Lots of good Brats and Dogs to be had. The Food Network even sponsors a certain kind of sausage.

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Around the top of the 7th I decided to head out for another stroll around the park. It was very busy and the outfield, as usual seemed to be the most fun part of the park. After the the top of the 9th I decided to leave and beat the rush to the train. Good idea. The lineups are long and the number of people exceeds the trains.

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All in all I ally enjoyed Target Field putting up in my top 5 parks so far.

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