Blue Jays for MLB games in London? Why not?

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NEW YORK — The Blue Jays have long had coast-to-coast appeal in Canada — a marketing and ratings success story for much of the franchise’s history.

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But is it time to try to extend this reach to the seat of the British monarchy?

As Major League Baseball announced this week that it is committed to playing regular season games in London in 2023, 2024 and 2026, don’t be surprised if the Jays find themselves in contention for one of the road trips. transoceanic cruises currently underway. foreseen.

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The process began with the commissioner’s office soliciting preliminary interest from league teams before a schedule was established and participants selected.

The Blue Jays will keep details of their intentions to themselves at this stage, allowing the process to unfold, but there are already indications they are interested.

And it wouldn’t be a surprise if the team submitted a detailed proposal to be part of an initiative that has the power to improve the global appeal of the sport and the teams involved.

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While MLB tends to favor teams from larger markets for its flagship events, the Jays will bring a lot of thought to commissioner Rob Manfred. The promotional value of the league’s only Canadian team is strong enough thanks to the historical ties, but the emerging star power of the Jays roster wouldn’t hurt either.

Imagine Vlad Guerrero Jr. hitting bombs from the stadium in London?

The Yankees and Red Sox played a pair of games at the venue in 2019 and they put on quite a show, racking up a combined 50 points. The St. Louis Cardinals and Chicago Cubs were scheduled to resume the series in June 2020, but those games were postponed due to the pandemic.

“All aspects of MLB’s first games in London have been a resounding success,” Manfred said in a statement this week when the multi-season series was announced. “It was clear that sports fans in London had a big appetite for baseball.

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“We are confident in our long-term commitment to London and look forward to returning to the city with more MLB games, special fan events and more opportunities to play and watch the game.”

It will be interesting to see how MLB handles a pitch in Toronto for an appearance in London. Typically, the team is also sought after for such initiatives due to the league’s general indifference to the Canadian market.

But with the natural colonial ties and a team whose recognition is growing around the game, now may be the time.

ORDER, ORDER

Has Jays manager Charlie Montoyo thought about shaking the top of his roster to get the most out of his team’s offense?

No.

“If you start changing things, it’s a panic,” Montoyo said Tuesday ahead of the first of two games against the division-leading Yankees here in the Bronx. “The formation changes all the time downstairs, but I have my best hitters upstairs. There’s no reason to move it.”

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Much of the reasoning is based on comfort. Leading hitter George Springer — who started the game Tuesday with a first home run — doesn’t want to be anywhere else and has proven to be one of the most effective hitters at the top of the order. During spring training, the Jays played Vlad Guerrero Jr. at No. 2 for a number of games, but the young first baseman made it clear he preferred to hit No. 3.

“I have the best first hitter in baseball in mind,” Montoyo said. “Bo (Bichette) had a great year last year finishing second. The guy who hit third was almost MVP and the guy who hit cleanup won a Silver Slugger.

CATCH UP

Starting receiver Danny Jansen, who missed 28 games with oblique strain, is closing in on a return.

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Jansen reported to Dunedin on Monday and was in the Class A Blue Jays roster on Tuesday to begin a rehab assignment. He had a brace in two at bats in Dunedin’s game against Tampa.

The Jays are not setting a timeline for the return, given the sensitive nature of the injury. But while he was with the team in Cleveland this weekend, he was throwing and leading the bases.

Meanwhile, in Jansen’s absence, the Jays have been impressed with the continued growth and development of backup Alejandro Kirk, who was the team’s designated hitter on Tuesday.

“I really like (Kirk) behind the plate,” Montoyo said. “Every throw feels like a strike and that’s good. It’s a compliment to him.

“He’s still a kid. His blocking was really good. Throwing to the bases was good.

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AROUND THE BASES

The Jays certainly had a solid mission again on Tuesday against a Yankees team that was 13-2 in its previous 15 games and had an MLB-best record of 20-8 … The Yanks, meanwhile , run through what the Jays just released. – a 23-game-in-22-day streak without the day off… The Jays wrapped up a 20-game streak in 20 days, going 11-9 in what is their longest scheduled streak without the day off this season… Although Blue Jays’ 4-3 loss at Cleveland on Sunday wasn’t a deal breaker for Jays starter Alek Manoah, he’s still tied for the MLB lead in wins with four and allowed two or fewer earned runs in his six starts this season…Jays closer Jordan Romano on his busy opening 30 games, in which he had 14 appearances and 12 saves (both MLB highs): “I’ve held up pretty well physically . When you throw a lot, you get a little tired, but nothing out of the ordinary. I got my days off when I needed them and I’m good to go.

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