Blue Jays consider Canadian exhibitions

Blue Jays consider Canadian exhibitions

TORONTO -- The Blue Jays are open to the idea of eventually playing exhibition games in Montreal and various cities across Canada.

Toronto president Paul Beeston said his club would consider playing games on the road at the end of Spring Training. He thinks it would be a way to showcase not only the Blue Jays, but also the sport.

"I think it's good for us, I think it's good for baseball in Canada," said Beeston, who added he does not have a timeline for when this initiative might take place.

"Everyone forgets the number of quality players that are coming out of this country right now, and the more that we can expose professional baseball across the country, I think, the better it is for getting people to play the game."

Toronto has been down this road before. When the club first came into existence in 1977, and through the early 1980s, there were times the Blue Jays traveled across Canada for exhibition games.

In the past, the Blue Jays have played at the end of Spring Training in cities like Vancouver, Ottawa and even a failed attempt in Saint John, New Brunswick, that had to be cancelled because of snow.

Montreal would appear to be the most realistic possibility this time around, because the city has Olympic Stadium. The Expos played there for 27 years before moving to Washington. While the stadium hasn't been used for baseball since 2004, it's possible some modifications could be made.

"Even the concept of Montreal being talked about as some type of game being played is exciting," Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos said. "Even that it came up as a scenario is exciting, and hopefully it won't end there. There are other places that can get talked about."