Blue Jays: The crucial investment needed in this rebuild

TORONTO, ON - JULY 09: The oronto Blue Jays play an intrasquad game at Rogers Centre on July 9, 2020 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Mark Blinch/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - JULY 09: The oronto Blue Jays play an intrasquad game at Rogers Centre on July 9, 2020 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Mark Blinch/Getty Images) /

As the excitement grows around this Blue Jays rebuild, there’s another crucial investment that needs to be made by the organization.

We’re just days away from the start of the MLB regular season, and the Blue Jays will open the schedule on the road against the Tampa Bay Rays. Hopefully by the time they’re supposed to play their first home game on July 29th, they’ll know where those games are going to take place.

In case you missed it, the Federal government denied the Blue Jays’ exemption request in order to host their home games at Toronto, which posed all kinds of problems with opposing teams crossing a border that’s currently closed. With that development, the club is now looking at several different options including Pittsburgh, Buffalo, Dunedin, and on Monday even Baltimore was banded about as an option.

While the Blue Jays have next to no control over decisions made by the Federal government, this development has highlighted another problem for the franchise. Their home field at Rogers Centre isn’t very good at all, and it’s time something is done about it.

More from Jays Journal

Don’t take my word for it, just have a look at some of conversation around the idea of the Blue Jays playing their home games at another park. The overwhelming sentiment is that it could be a very good thing for this young team to get to play on an upgraded field, and it almost doesn’t matter where they end up for that to be the case. The more I read around this discussion, the more I believe that the Blue Jays need to deal with this with sense of urgency, especially if they actually want to build a sustainable winner.

The biggest issue, and one that is talked about on an annual basis, would be the artificial turf. At one time it sounded like the franchise had an upgrade on the radar, but that narrative has really quieted down over the last few years. That would require a large-scale overhaul of the Rogers Centre and a massive investment, but with an empty stadium this year, what better time to make some upgrades?

Chances are pretty slim that they’re going to make a massive upgrade like that right now, but I would argue that it should least put some balls in motion. They’re already displaced in 2020 and it’s possible that could even bleed into 2021, so they’ll be well practiced and hopefully better prepared than they were this time around on short notice. Again, that should be especially the case if the front office truly wants to build a sustainable winner in Toronto.

The most effective way to attract free agents is to build a winner, and I truly believe the Blue Jays are on the right track in that regard. However, whether it’s trying to bring free agents to Toronto, or even eventually retaining their own homegrown stars, the little things really add up. Whether it’s the clubhouses, the facilities, the lighting, or other factors, it all matters. I’m not suggesting that these players need to be pampered any more than a professional athletes already are, but I don’t like the narrative around the Rogers Centre right now, especially when I look at this team through a long-term lens.

Next. There's no place like home. dark

The franchise already made some important strides in this direction with their minor league facilities in Dunedin, and hopefully they’ll move in the same direction with their big league home sooner than later.