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Today on, that question is asked at length by Enrique Rojas, a reporter and columnist for and

Oddly, Rojas seems to bookend the story with an additional "And who is this Vernon Wells character, besides?" theme. It's a story, essentially, about how Toronto ballplayers don't get noticed by the American baseball fan public.

Rios, to his credit, professes not to care. So the question to you is ... can (or should) anything be done in this regard?

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Mike Green - Monday, June 26 2006 @ 01:52 PM EDT (#149777) #
Winning usually gets their attention.

There's a great shot of Rios accompanying the article.  It's easy to see that the new-found power is no accident.

Maldoff - Monday, June 26 2006 @ 02:14 PM EDT (#149779) #
"Who is Alex Rios?" He's the guy who breaks bats over his knee when he strikes out!!!!
iconoclast37 - Monday, June 26 2006 @ 02:54 PM EDT (#149784) #

As an Expos fan from their inception, this is definitely deja vu.  From Rusty Staub, through Cromartie-Dawson-Valentine, to Vladimir Guerrero, outstanding baseball talent seems to be ignored or overlooked simply because they play on the (perceived!) wrong side of the border.

Why is this?  Were the Expos (and are the Jays) some kind of second-class, AAAA-franchise, the red-headed stepchildren due to the accident of geography?  Or is it due to haughty arrogance on the south side of the border?  Or is it due to the woeful lack of television exposure in the US of Canadian teams?  It is, I suspect, a combination of these reasons, and others, as well.

What can be done to correct this?   As Mike Green accurately points out, winning will get their attention.  They still remember Roberto Alomar, Joe Carter, Dave Stieb, and Tom Henke, I'll wager ...

As a counterbalancing argument, I feel constrained to point out that there's not an abundance of affection flowing from the CBC or TSN for the Carolina Hurricanes.  Bias can cut both ways, I'm afraid.

Joanna - Monday, June 26 2006 @ 04:30 PM EDT (#149791) #
The complete lack of attention from south of the border annoys me.  Perhaps it shouldn't bother me, but I believe teams should be followed and respected because of the way they play, not for where they play.  The Jays are never on Sunday Night Baseball and are rarely featured on baseball fluff shows like TWIB.  TWIB featured the sad Orioles last week, for God's sake. Are they more entertaining than the Jays? Probably not.  Something about the potent offense here or there.  Do a feature on Vernon Wells, ESPN.  Talk about Halladay and Burnett, what they give each other.  Something, anything.
Pistol - Monday, June 26 2006 @ 04:32 PM EDT (#149792) #

I see it frequently around here, but I don't think there's any Canadian bias in the US media, related to baseball.  If there was you wouldn't have seen half the coverage of the offseason that the team got.

The Jays have simply been a mediocre team since 1994.  Those kind of teams don't get much attention.  Winning teams, or controversial teams, get noticed.

CaramonLS - Monday, June 26 2006 @ 04:37 PM EDT (#149793) #
When was the last time the Jays played on Sunday night baseball?
Ducey - Monday, June 26 2006 @ 04:58 PM EDT (#149795) #

I don't think there is much anti Canadian bias.  You don't see a lot of media attention for players of most teams outside of New York, Boston and California (and maybe Atlanta).  Think your average baseball fan pays much attention to or hears about Jason Bay, Johan Santana, Ichiro, or a guy like Johnny Gomes?  If they played with the Yankees we would never hear the end of them.

Anyway, media attention seems to do as much harm as good. 

VBF - Monday, June 26 2006 @ 05:37 PM EDT (#149801) #

Before we condemn the U.S. Media, I think we should look at the nuissance of the CRTC as the first dilemna. Why would ESPN give more exposure to Canada's only Canadian team if Canada won't even broadcast their television network north of the border? What could possibly be gained?

Canada needs to open their arms to the U.S. sports media before the U.S. Sports media decides to give the Jays any more coverage than they usually do.





Flex - Monday, June 26 2006 @ 06:17 PM EDT (#149804) #
I've covered the TV industry, VBF. Whether a channel is shown in Canada makes little if any difference to the programming on that channel, because they're still programming for the 90% of viewers who live below the border, not the 10% who live above it.

VBF - Monday, June 26 2006 @ 06:42 PM EDT (#149810) #

Well the 10% of those north of the border is still better than the current <1% that currently do. You can justify more Jays coverage if you have a potential market of 30 million people instead of the current zero (except those with satellites).

I don't think anyone expects to get hugely significant coverage of the Jays if ESPN was available to Canadians. All most of us are asking is the odd ESPN game, or the odd feature on the Jays. Certainly something like that could be justified if the 95% of Jays fans in Canada actually got the channel and could watch it.

As long as ESPN  is unable to be viewed in Canada, there isn't a sniff of hope that the Jays will ever be featured in a Sunday Night Game or any high profile game. When ESPN has Sunday Night Baseball, they need the ratings of both teams on the field. And if 95% of one team's fans doesn't get that channel, the ratings will be cut in half immediately and the opportunity cost will be great.

It's much more profitable to showcase two American teams in the same timezone, which is why we so often see WhiteSox/Indians/Yankees/Red Sox.

Ron - Monday, June 26 2006 @ 06:58 PM EDT (#149811) #
ESPN owns part of TSN.

I doubt we will see ESPN/ESPN 2 in Canada. The CRTC does it's best to protect Candian content. The sport fan in Canada already has 3 dedicated 24HR stations to get their sports fix (TSN, Sportsnet, The Score).

BTW the Jays do appear on ESPN. I know last years Cubs game (Doc vs. Mitre) was on ESPN. I believe AJ's first home start vs. the Red Sox was on ESPN this season.

The Jays have gotten a lot of attention South of the Border whether it be tv shows like Baseball Tonight or through the e-media like,,, etc...

VBF - Monday, June 26 2006 @ 07:04 PM EDT (#149812) #

ESPN owns part of TSN.

If you've watched SportsCentre on TSN, it clearly doesn't show--as 12 straight hours of Live NHL trade deadline coverage can attest.

I'm not even sure if I'm amongst the group that is complaining, as the Jays have been on ESPN the odd few times in the last year. But clearly if there is a problem, it begins with the CRTC's blockage.

Jim - Monday, June 26 2006 @ 07:14 PM EDT (#149813) #

When was the last time the Jays played on Sunday night baseball?

Few things are worse then Sunday night baseball.  I don't know why anyone would want to be on, the games don't end until the middle of the night.  If you have ever been to one, you certainly wouldn't want to repeat this experience.  This isn't college football where you need exposure to move up in the polls, all you have to do is win.

As a resident of Bristol, Connecticut I can tell you that in this area the Blue Jays have gotten more media and fan attention then they have since 94.  Mike and the Mad Dog considered the Mets' trip to Toronto to be the beginning of a challenging trip through the AL East.  Red Sox fans have become increasingly frustrated with their difficulties with Toronto.  Just today in the gym a Red Sox fan told me that it was a good thing that Josh Towers is having the season he is having or the standings would be that much tighter, and most intellegent fans are starting to realize it might be a single representative from the AL East in 2006.

It's only been 75 games, if the Jays are there in September they will get their credit.  3 months of pretty good baseball isn't something that should generate hard feelings because the press clippings aren't positive enough yet.




AWeb - Monday, June 26 2006 @ 07:20 PM EDT (#149814) #
Maybe the content is Canadian, but the look of TSN sportscentre (remember Sportsdesk?) completely changed to ESPN-lite when ESPN acquired a piece of them. It annoyed me very much at the time, as I liked the old TSN look much better. Plus the announcers started to sound more like ESPN, i.e. morons and self-promoting. Then I got Rogers Sportsnet, had to suffer through 50 minutes/hour of leafs coverage (or 45 minutes/hour of Canucks while on the west coast), even when they had the night off. Eventually I got rid of cable altogether, because I really couldn't stand either anymore...
Dave Till - Monday, June 26 2006 @ 07:35 PM EDT (#149816) #
My favourite Alex stat: he needs two extra-base hits, four walks, and eight RBI's to match his totals from last year. As you may have noticed, it's still only June.

I like that the Jays aren't being noticed. It means that other teams might not try as hard when they play Toronto. Besides, we notice them, and who cares what other people think? :-)

js_magloire - Monday, June 26 2006 @ 07:43 PM EDT (#149817) #
I like that the Jays aren't being noticed.

I thought that being unnoticed might allow us to fly under the radar. Less pressure on players. But I was thinking of an advantage too - some players maybe feed off of media attention, making that player gain confidence, momentum, whatever. The Jays have been a mediocre team for 10 years, overshadowed by The Badda Bing's and the Badda Boom's; while it may help to go unnoticed, when your a crappy team that gets no attention I'm sure frustration mounts and players start to play for themselves, to inflate their stats, etc.

Of course the opposite could happen, a player could get A-Rod treatment, get booed for not being good enough when they're still pretty good. Hopefully he goes crazy and cracks under the pressure...Laces out! Laces out!
iconoclast37 - Monday, June 26 2006 @ 09:49 PM EDT (#149825) #

I notice that Ozzie Guillen has selected John Gibbons as one of his two All-Star coaches, along with Eric Wedge of the Indians, saying , "I have lot of respect for Eric Wedge and John Gibbons and what they have been able to accomplish with the Indians and Blue Jays.  Every time we play those teams, it's a battle for the White Sox."

This illustrates two points to me.  First, the profrssionals are fully aware of, and have respect for, the Jays, as opposed to large slices of the US sports media.  That's what really counts:  the respect of the opposition.

Second, old Ozzie is capable of saying something once in a while without offending someone ...

Leigh - Monday, June 26 2006 @ 10:05 PM EDT (#149829) #
I think we should look at the nuissance of the CRTC as the first dilemna. Why would ESPN give more exposure to Canada's only Canadian team if Canada won't even broadcast their television network north of the border?

I suspect that, without the CRTC protecting Canadian content, there would be far less Jays coverage available to Canadian consumers.  ESPN could devour the Canadian sports television media.  That would be bad.  I hate hockey, but I hate gentrification even more.
Ron - Monday, June 26 2006 @ 10:22 PM EDT (#149833) #
I believe having ESPN/ESPN 2 being available in Canada would have little impact on TSN, Sportsnet, and The Score.

Hockey is the most popular sport in Canada by a landslide. ESPN/ESPN 2 pretty much ignore hockey. Hockey is what delivers ratings in Canada.

Heck if I'm not mistaken, I believe CFL games outdraw Jays and Raptors games.

Paul D - Tuesday, June 27 2006 @ 10:52 AM EDT (#149845) #
I'm not sure where to post this, since there wasn't a game last night.  But here's some fun speculation

That the O's might trade Tejada.  There's speculation on primer that the Jays might make sense.  (Well, one guy said that, and I thought it might be fun to talk about it here)

ryan_the_canuck - Tuesday, June 27 2006 @ 11:32 AM EDT (#149849) #


Maybe you don't remember the Sportsdesk days that well, but TSN's ALWAYS had annoying and self-hyping announcers with ridiculous catchphrases.  Mike Toth, during his brief stint, comes to mind, as well as the Michael Landsberg/Brendan Connor combination from the mid-90s.

AWeb - Tuesday, June 27 2006 @ 12:17 PM EDT (#149851) #
Brendan Connor? That brings back memories....along with Vic, Mustache guy (who switched networks, Jim wasn't it?), Teresa, and the rest. Landsberg was gone when they gave him his own show, which was good (not the show, but that he wasn't doing highlights anymore). I guess a lot of them were trying to be clever and zany earlier, but they were bad at it in an endearing way, to me anyway. Toth was horrible in every way. Is really still working? He was the first announcer I would actually refuse to watch on sportsdesk/centre.  My favourite sportsdesk was always when Vic Rauter had to do them, because he called highlights like he was calling a game live, excited and descriptive. No stupid catch frase or "clever" play on words ready to go every time something happened. It's probably just  the joy of having an all sports channel (!!!) that made it easier to take in the beginning.

On sports anouncing in general, though, straining attempts at funny just don't do it for me. It's sports, and sports highlights really aren't  that funny (except for bloopers sometimes). So when announcers force humour into them anyway, with puns and silly nicknames, it annoys me. Cracking 50 jokes and having 5 funny ones doesn't make you funny, it makes you (or your staff) a bad writer. Just my preferences though...

On the other thread topic... to get Rios noticed in the american media, I suggest he do something stupid, like hit a homerun, round the bases, and then go onto the pitchers mound with his arms raised to celebrate. Maybe off of Randy Johnson or something....Short of acting like a complete moron, breaking alltime records, or playing in NY, LA, or Boston, the US national media won't notice. ESPN asking why an athlete isn't famous in the US is just silly. They could make Aaron Hill famous by next week, if for some reason they wanted to.

But wanting them to notice us reminds me of a high school dynamic, where there were the "popular" kids. Never mind that they weren't actually popular, because most people disliked them. Or that most people had groups that were just as large, and were therefore just as popular. These kids had the loud car stereos and the expensive stuff, and so some wanted this group (often the football/cheerleader crowd) to validate them, assumably because movies and TV had shown them that this was the way to go. Nothing against the group in general (they weren't always terrible people like in TV and movies), but if they don't want to "hang out" with Blue Jays stars, I guess we'll have to be content with our own group, which is quite large, but just doesn't own much national media. Outside of this country that is.

John Northey - Tuesday, June 27 2006 @ 12:28 PM EDT (#149852) #
Tejada would not be cheap.  Ignoring the budget issues what would he cost?

Given they state the Orioles want 2 ML pitchers now plus another piece I'd figure we'd be looking at (since they'd want young guns) a combo of two of Casey Janssen, Ty Taubenheim, Gustavo Chacin, plus one of Francisco Rosario, Dustin McGowan, Josh Banks. Plus they'd want more, probably going for Hill but accepting Adams.  IMO that is the starting point.

Now, I'm not high on Chacin or Janssen as both have mediocre K/IP numbers, and we could easily give up on Adams if we got Tejada but I really think the Orioles would demand a lot more and I don't see the Jays giving up much more than that as it would drain the farm and ML of cheap talent.  I'd love to see Tejada here but the price is the big question.
Geoff - Thursday, June 29 2006 @ 09:21 PM EDT (#150000) #
to get Rios noticed in the american media, I suggest he do something stupid, like hit a homerun, round the bases, and then go onto the pitchers mound with his arms raised to celebrate.

I guess Alexis took your advice, because he's making headlines now that he's infected after knocking a ball off his shin.
laurenpark - Monday, July 17 2006 @ 06:41 PM EDT (#150826) #
Alex Rios is the sexiest guy ever!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ahh i love him, not to mention how great he is at baseball! ABSOLUTELY JAW DROPPING!!
Leigh - Monday, July 17 2006 @ 07:38 PM EDT (#150827) #
Great post Lauren.  Well thought out.

My advice to male Bauxites:  when using the time-tested "think about baseball" method of coital climax delay, be careful to stop your mental recitation of the depth chart before it gets to rightfield. 

Should you not follow this advice, you run the risk of the method failing - spectacularly - which will cause some serious introspection. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

SP... C... 1B... 2B... 3B... SS... LF....CF... STOP!
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