Blue Jays Morning News: Grass & Awards


Jays Journal brings you the latest news and links about the Toronto Blue Jays. This edition looks at natural grass, award winners and more.

One thing is for certain: with very little in the way of roster move rumors or reports, Blue Jays fans will certainly get themselves talking about other things with just as much fervor. Let’s take a look at what’s been going down in Blue Jays Land.

Toronto Blue Jays
Toronto Blue Jays /

Toronto Blue Jays

Grass Not Needed– One of former president, Paul Beeston’s final initiatives before departing into the sunset was to commission a study on the feasibility of installing a grass playing surface in Rogers Centre.  It was met with much praise. We were even told that the major upgrade could happen as soon as the 2018 season. Whether that seemed realistic or not, we got excited about it.

Now, new president, Mark Shapiro has spoken on the matter and may have  put a damper on the enthusiasm. John Lott of the National Post tells us that the natural surface is not a priority for the new regime: “In short, he said real grass would be nice to have. But he said the current AstroTurf surface plays well and does not “detract from the game.”

While we may initially see this as yet another slight to Blue Jays fans on the part of the new boss, perhaps we could take a step back and see his point. When you take over for someone, you want to make sure you really look into whether things that have been started make sense in the context of your vision. While the grass study will continue, we should remember that Beeston was looking at the feasibility of grass. It was an investigation, not a promise. It might have taken on that form, but it wasn’t set in stone.

Shapiro is simply trying to make sure that the club uses its resources efficiently. With the Rogers Centre needing major renovations, perhaps the potentially $400M price tag of grass isn’t such a priority. Besides, will any of this matter if the Blue jays repeat their 2015 success?

Blue Jays Awards– The Toronto chapter of the BBWAA picked their choices of Blue Jays’ award winners. Shi Davidi breaks it down for us at There we find out that Josh Donaldson was named the team’s player of the year. And, what else did we expect? If the guy wins AL MVP, it would be difficult to choose someone else, woudln’t it?

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Marco Estrada was named pitcher of the year. How many expected that this time last year? But, his 2015 season was certainly a major reason why the team won the AL East pennant. He was rewarded with a 2 yr/$26M deal for his efforts. Roberto Osuna was named rookie of the year. This would have been a more interesting choice had Devon Travis remained healthy for the season. But, as it is, Osuna impressed by taking the closer’s role and running with it. So much so that some are questioning whether he should be moved back to the rotation as was the original plan.

And, former GM, Alex Anthopoulos was named the recipient of the John Cerutti Award. The honor goes to “the person associated with day-to-day workings of Blue Jays baseball who displays the goodwill, character and co-operation exemplified by late left-hander.” Steve Simmons tells us that AA also won the George Gross Award as Toronto Sun Sportsman of the Year. The really interesting part of Simmons’ piece is the conversation that saw AA shed some light on past moves…or attempted moves. He discussed how he was trying to land Troy Tulowitzki last summer and almost got Ben Zobrist. Or, the time he tried to sign Aroldis Chapman, or trade for Scott Podsednik

Mexico Calling– Nick Ashbourne of tells us that the Mexican national team is looking for permission from the Toronto Blue Jays for Estrada, Osuna and Aaron Sanchez to play for them in the World Baseball Classic qualifying. The tournament is set for 2017. This might be an interesting story to watch in that each of these 3 are pitchers. Will the team be willing to risk injury?

Coaching Kids– Former Blue Jay, Homer Bush has taken on a position with the Texas Rangers organization. According to Evan Grant at, Bush will take the role of Director of Youth Baseball Programs.

Next: Putting Bat Flip HR in Context of Toronto Sports Moments

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