This 2010 season has turned from a season full of supposed heartbreak and misery into a season chock-full of optimism and some diehards whispering about playoffs.
The Blue Jays, even without Roy Halladay, have vaulted themselves to a 31-23 record, but only good enough for third in the division.
Yet for the most part, the Blue Jays have been playing in front of sparse crowds at the Rogers Centre, and all the fans across Canada are wondering why nobody shows up anymore to games.
The product is better than previous years, minus Halladay, and it seems like this team is never out of it.
They hit home runs like mad, and you'd think fans would enjoy a power show, but nothing seems to be bringing them back.
It seems Toronto sports fans have been subject to a lot of years of poor sports teams in the past five years or so.
The Leafs have not made the playoffs since pre-lockout, while the Raptors can't seem to keep any star players (Chris Bosh, Vince Carter, Hedo Turkoglu, Antonio Davis, Tracy McGrady, etc.), and they also can't do anything in the standings.
Now the Blue Jays, who are in the very tough AL East, will probably never see a playoff appearance until MLB implements a salary cap, switches the divisions and teams around, or expands the playoffs to eight teams per league.
Either way, there's no motivation out there for fans to come see the game.
Doc Halladay was quite possibly Toronto's greatest pitcher of all time, and now with a perfect game in his back pocket, he can vault himself in with some of the game's greatest pitchers.
Halladay on average drew about 2,500 to 5,000 more fans every time he started in Toronto, and on most days, this was a guaranteed win. Now with Halladay gone, that guaranteed win has vanished.
The Jays seem to have forgotten all about their young stars and are failing to market them at all.
The likes of Adam Lind, Aaron Hill, Ricky Romero, Shaun Marcum, and Brett Cecil have not seen any face time at all...anywhere. How can the casual fan get to know these guys?
Also, families have a hard time going out for a ball game midweek with work, school, and other priorities that are ahead of watching the Blue Jays.
It seems every year the Blue Jays can boast a good team, they always still end up playing second fiddle to another team.
Another important thing is with the scheduling in MLB, forcing division rivals to play a minimum of 18 times a year, it leaves the Blue Jays no room for error when going up against teams from the AL East.
This season they haven't played the AL East much but have earned a 9-8 record against them.
In the coming weeks, we will see what these Jays are made of because the AL East comes at them in droves.
The fact of the matter is, the Jays can't afford to go out and buy countless free agents to win. They have to develop their players and hope they pan out.
The Yankees and Red Sox can just pay their way to the top because they play in front of large home crowds, and they get extra revenue because of making the playoffs.
In today's world, the economy has hit almost rock bottom. People are losing jobs, people are working fewer hours and making less money, and lastly, people are spending less money, which in the case of the Blue Jays is very important.
The Blue Jays have not done themselves any favors by raising ticket prices prior to this season. By all accounts, they believed this team would have a difficult time winning 75 games this year, so why on earth would you raise ticket prices for an inferior product?
Now, they have also moved quite possibly their biggest moneymaker, the Phillies series against Doc, to Philly, avoiding the G20 summit in Toronto. This angered a lot more fans than the Blue Jays brass believe.
Lastly, the lowest ticket price at a Blue Jay game is $14 for 500 level seating. A family of four, counting concessions and parking and dealing with traffic and stuff in downtown Toronto, will need to spend a minimum of $100 to take their family out to the ball game.
For a decent seat, which runs anywhere between $35 to $65 a seat, that price is at least tripled. The All You Can Eat section seems to be always filled up when that is running—you'll lose money running that every day—but why not lower prices for concessions?
The Jays should be running $5 ticket nights, lowering ticket prices, and lowering concession prices if they ever hope to get fans back to the Rogers Centre.