Toronto Blue Jays Home Game in Philadelphia a Bad Idea

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Toronto Blue Jays Home Game in Philadelphia a Bad Idea
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

If anybody should be upset about the Toronto Blue Jays playing a home series in Philadelphia in June, it should be Jim Haslett.

Haslett, who is currently the defensive coordinator for the Washington Redskins, was the head coach of the NFL's New Orleans Saints from 2000-2005, including the season in which the city of New Orleans was rocked by Hurricane Katrina.

While New Orleans was healing and rebuilding, the hometown Saints were finding new places to play, which included three games at Houston's Alamodome and four games at LSU's Tiger Stadium.

But perhaps the most controversial "home game" was the one played in New York.

While the New York Giants were supposed to travel to New Orleans, it ended up with the Saints going to the Meadowlands and being declared the home team, but playing in front of a Giants dominated crowd.

Basically, the only home field advantage New Orleans had was not calling the coin toss at the beginning of the game.

The Giants blew out the Saints 27-10.

A similar situation happened in 2008. A game in which the Chicago Cubs were supposed to travel to Houston to play the Astros was moved due to Hurricane Ike. But the game wasn't moved to Wrigley Field.

It was moved to Miller Park in Milwaukee, a supposed "neutral" site, but one which is home to the division rival Milwaukee Brewers and the hometown of MLB Commissioner Bud Selig.

It resulted in Cubs pitcher Carlos Zambrano no-hitting the Astros, making it the only no-hitter at a neutral site.

It was announced this week that the June 25-27 interleague series between the Toronto Blue Jays and the Philadelphia Phillies will be moved from Toronto to Philadelphia due to security issues during the G-20 Summit.

Toronto will be declared the home team. Toronto will bat last and the designated hitter will be used, just like if Toronto were at Rogers Center or any American League park.

But if anybody thinks that Toronto will have any sort of home field anything playing in Philadelphia, they have another thing coming.

Philadelphia has the reputation of having the most rabid, unrelenting sports fans in the history of the world. 

Not to mention that the Phillies have won back-to-back National League Pennants, including the World Series title in 2008.

So why not move the series to a neutral site like the Chicago-Houston series in 2008?

In my opinion, this would be an excellent opportunity for baseball to expand its borders and expose Major League Baseball to markets that normally wouldn't have the opportunity to watch a live Major League game.

Despite the Montreal Expos franchise moving to Washington, the former home of the Expos, Olympic Stadium, is still in use. I know it is not as appealing as playing a game in Philadelphia, but Toronto is Canada's team now.

Baseball may not be as popular in Canada as other sports, but there is a sort of national pride in still having a team based north of the border. Why not have the Blue Jays exposed to other regions of Canada?

During the Expo's fading years, they played a couple of their games at Hiram Bithorn Stadium in San Juan, Puerto Rico. This would be a familiar venue to the Blue Jays, as they played the Texas Rangers in the 2001 season opener here (Vernon Wells is the only remaining player from that team).

Mexico's Estadio de Beisbol Monterrey would also be a good choice. The stadium is currently the home of Sultanes de Monterrey, and has seen several Major League games, including a 1996 series between the New York Mets and San Diego Padres, as well as the 1999 opener between the Colorado Rockies and San Diego Padres.

Although Major League games have been played in Japan, it may be tough to schedule games there. Toronto would fly from St. Louis to Tokyo to Cleveland. Philadelphia would fly from Philadelphia to Tokyo to Cincinnati. The Jays would travel 12,900 miles, while the Phillies would travel 22,330 miles.

An MLB game in Europe has never happened, but it is too late to schedule a game in Europe.

Oh, and don't forget the other netural sites that won't be using their MLB stadiums during those three days: Washington, Arizona, Minnesota, Cleveland, San Diego, Detroit, Houston, Seattle, St. Louis, Colorado, Pittsburgh, Boston, New York Yankees, and Chicago Cubs.

A reasonable neutral site would be Detroit or Cleveland, as they are both reasonably close to both Toronto and Philadelphia.

Basically, what I am saying is that the game should be played anywhere but in Philadelphia.

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