CSS Button No Image Css3Menu.com

Baseball Prospectus home
  
  
Click here to log in Click here for forgotten password Click here to subscribe

Futures Guide 2014 is Now Available in Paperback and Three E-book Formats.

Premium and Super Premium Subscribers Get a 20% Discount at MLB.tv!

<< Previous Article
Fantasy Article Fantasy Beat: Value Pi... (03/04)
<< Previous Column
BP Unfiltered: From MI... (03/04)
Next Column >>
BP Unfiltered: Spring ... (03/06)
Next Article >>
Premium Article Collateral Damage: Mis... (03/04)

March 4, 2011

BP Unfiltered

Trying To Awaken A Sleeping Giant

by John Perrotto

DUNEDIN—The Blue Jays were one of baseball's biggest surprises last season, going 85-77 and winning 10 more games than in 2009. So how do the Blue Jays build on that success?

"That's a great question," Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos said after a recent Grapefruit League game. "We had so many things go right last year. We had a lot of guys, who if you look at their projection lines going into the season, exceeded our expectations. A lot of our key players stayed healthy, too. It was really a year where a lot of things fell into place."

Though Anthopoulos is only entering his second year on the job, he knows the game well and understands that the tide could turn against the Blue Jays this season. Furthermore, his team is playing in the American League East where the Rays, Yankees, Red Sox and Orioles should all be more than formidable competition. A potentially very good team could finish last in the division this year.

"We're just not able to go out and sign someone like A-Rod to a huge contract like the Yankees, so we have to go about things a different way," Anthopoulos said. "For us to truly be successful, we need to build our base around scouting and player development. We took a good first step last season but we need to continue to take steps forward before we get where we want to be."

Ideally, the Blue Jays would love to get back to a spot where they were in the early 1990s when they won back-to-back World Series in 1992-93 and twice drew four million fans to SkyDome (now Rogers Centre) in a season. Despite their surprising success last season, the Blue Jays were just 12thin the 14-team American League in attendance, drawing just under 1.5 million.

Anthopoulos, a Canadian, understands that winning the fans back is a difficult task. The Blue Jays haven't been to the postseason since that second World Series in '93 and only the Royals and Pirates have had longer playoff droughts.

However, he also knows that the Blue Jays are the proverbial sleeping giant. Toronto is the seventh-largest market in North America and Rogers Communications, which owns the team, is one of the largest corporations in Canada.

"Toronto is a great baseball team but we need to give the fans a reason to come to the game and the biggest reason is winning," Anthopoulos said.

John Perrotto is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see John's other articles. You can contact John by clicking here

1 comment has been left for this article.

<< Previous Article
Fantasy Article Fantasy Beat: Value Pi... (03/04)
<< Previous Column
BP Unfiltered: From MI... (03/04)
Next Column >>
BP Unfiltered: Spring ... (03/06)
Next Article >>
Premium Article Collateral Damage: Mis... (03/04)

RECENTLY AT BASEBALL PROSPECTUS
Premium Article The View from the Loge Level: Ode to Joe
Premium Article What You Need to Know: July 25, 2014
Premium Article Transaction Analysis: Kendrys Redux
Premium Article Skewed Left: The Mismatched Incentives of Dr...
Premium Article Notes from the Field: What's Wrong With Appe...
Premium Article The Call-Up: Chris Taylor
Premium Article Raising Aces: Shelby Miller's Fall From Grac...

MORE FROM MARCH 4, 2011
Prospect Profile: Brett Jackson
Premium Article On the Beat: Rays of Sunshine
Premium Article Collateral Damage: Missing the Meniscus
Divide and Conquer, NL Central: Wait Till Th...
Fantasy Article Fantasy Beat: Value Picks in the Rotation
Baseball ProGUESTus: The Impact of World Ser...
Fantasy Article Fantasy Beat: Some Love for E5

MORE BY JOHN PERROTTO
2011-03-09 - BP Unfiltered: Peavy On The Way Back
2011-03-07 - Premium Article On the Beat: Red Sox Reboot
2011-03-04 - Premium Article On the Beat: Rays of Sunshine
2011-03-04 - BP Unfiltered: Trying To Awaken A Sleeping G...
2011-03-03 - BP Unfiltered: Finding The Right Spot For Mc...
2011-03-02 - On the Beat: Can Bautista Repeat?
2011-03-02 - BP Unfiltered: Duensing Is Done Swinging
More...

MORE BP UNFILTERED
2011-03-07 - BP Unfiltered: 2011 Internships Available
2011-03-07 - BP Unfiltered: Houston's Backstop Problem
2011-03-06 - BP Unfiltered: Spring Training with Baseball...
2011-03-04 - BP Unfiltered: Trying To Awaken A Sleeping G...
2011-03-04 - BP Unfiltered: From MIT Sloan: Mark Verstege...
2011-03-03 - BP Unfiltered: The Undecider
2011-03-03 - BP Unfiltered: Finding The Right Spot For Mc...
More...