The excitement to start the 2011 regular baseball season is ramping up. Even with a fresh dusting of snow over Toronto last night, the morning sport's shows have filled the airwaves with concerns about Aaron Hill's Grapefruit League debut and the opening day sell-out.
Is this ramped up interest warranted? Do we live in a snow globe in Canada, so desperate to have relevant baseball in September that we begin viewing "our team" through rose coloured glasses?
On my arduous drive into the office today, I listened to yesterday's ESPN Baseball Today's podcast. It was obvious that people living in Canada are not the only ones excited about this young Jays' team.
When asked about which team had made the most improvement over the past year, Keith Law of ESPN explained that although Kansas City may have the most amount of prospects due to years of losing, the Toronto Blue Jays have done the best job at piling up prospects and shedding invaluable assets. He went on to say:
"...they are a really fun club. If I was a Blue Jays fan, I wouldn't mind watching that club 150 times this year."
At least for 1 game over 50,000 fans will be watching as bluejays.com reports:
"The Blue Jays will open the 2011 season on April 1 at Rogers Centre in front of a sold-out crowd."
Though we know from past years that the next game's attendance may drop as low as 20,000, there is a genuine buzz on MLB message boards, Facebook, Twitter, baseball podcasts and local sport's shows that the Jays are an exciting team with the ability to do some real damage in the AL East.
As the season gets under way and the news reports start piling in about the increased attendance for this exciting team, it could become exponential.
If this Jays team is even remotely in the hunt come September 1st, I think it will start to feel like 1989-1994 again when a sell-out crowd wasn't news... it was expected.
Maybe 2011 will see Ricky, Brandon and Brett be our Morris, Key and Guzman. Maybe Bautista and Edwin will be our Bell and Barfield. Maybe Lind will be our Olerud and maybe Farrell will be our Gaston.
It's funny how much growth a team can have when they get a whole city or COUNTRY behind them. These Jays are ready go and now the only question is... ARE YOU FANS??!!??