Notes: Blue Jays head north
GM has reasons to take team to Memphis, Louisville
MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- The Blue Jays will head north for a few days with games here in Memphis on Friday and in Louisville on Saturday before opening the season back in sunny Florida.General Manager J.P. Ricciardi said there were many reasons to make the trip. "One, we wanted to break up the monotony of Florida, and knowing we were going to be opening in Florida, we didn't want going over to St. Petersburg to feel like an extension of Spring Training," Ricciardi said. "I think just trying to get these guys together a little bit more, get used to travelling, playing in a different place, in some different weather, just change it up a little bit." There's also the financial windfall two Major League games in minor league parks bring. Ricciardi said the Jays will clear somewhere in the neighborhood of $200,000 for the two games. But some players were grumbling about the trip north. One player, who preferred not to be named, wondered aloud, "What if someone gets hurt. Is that worth it?" The fears were a result of a wet, damp afternoon in Memphis and a forecast of more wet weather in Louisville. Jays catcher Gregg Zaun believes even the naysayers will look back at this trip as a good thing later in the year. "I think it's a good idea, because we are definitely saying this is where Spring Training ends and this is where the regular season starts," Zaun said. "Even if it's just a short little trip like this. "I'm sure we have some guys who will be wondering why we need to do this, but I think when they look back, they'll see a definite line drawn. Spring Training was over and the regular season had begun." Jays center fielder Vernon Wells agreed.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.