A statue of the late media mogul Ted Rogers was unveiled outside of the Rogers Centre before the start of Tuesdays Blue Jay/Dodgers game. Among being the man behind the Rogers Cable conglomerate, Rogers was also the majority owner of the Toronto Blue Jays from 2000 until his death in 2008; as well as the owner of the once called Skydome, now called the Rogers Centre.
One cannot deny the impact that Ted Rogers has made on the Toronto Blue Jays in the past decade. Under his ownership Rogers helped increase payroll with the hopes of making the team competitive once again, and perhaps even return to post season play. Unfortunately despite the increased payroll the Blue Jays continued their streak of mediocre finishes culminating in a 2nd place finish in 2006.
With all that being said… Ted Rogers DOES NOT DESERVE to be the first Toronto Blue Jay player, employee, or owner to have a bronze statue made out of them. It’s similar to Springfield building a statue of Jimmy Carter. Not that Ted Rogers is historys greatest monster in anyway… well unless you are a Rogers customer.
Ted Rogers was the owner of the team FOLLOWING an era that saw the Toronto Blue Jays rise to prominence in the AL and with back to back World Series titles. Under the Rogers regime, the Blue Jays have finished a collective 1044-1061 from 2000 until 2012. It should be noted that Rogers did do everything possible in order to make the Jays a winner again. It does not mean that he should be preserved in Bronze.
I cannot understand WHY they decided to erect the statue to Ted Rogers outside of the Rogers Centre. Yes, I understand that he did own and name the building, as well as the on field product. But why erect it RIGHT beside the Dome?! Why not enshrine Ted Rogers outside of the ROGERS BUILDING which is located at ONE TED ROGERS WAY?!?!? The statues that should be built beside the Dome are ones that should honour the Blue Jays proud past and their World Series winning teams.
I have always made the case for TWO statues to be built. The first being Roberto Alomar celebrating his game tying home run in the 1992 ALCS against Dennis Eckersley and the Oakland A’s. The Alomar blast capped off a 5 run comeback in Game 4 and allowed the Blue Jays to come back and win in the 11th and take a 3 games to 1 lead against the A’s. In defeating the A’s, The Blue Jays were headed to their first World Series in franchise history.
The second statue is no surprise. It should commemorate the most defining moment in Blue Jays baseball, and perhaps one of the best in baseball history – Joe Carters World Series winning, walk off Home Run. Can you honestly think of a better statue than that of Joltin’ Joe jumping around the bases (making sure to Touch ’em All) after blasting a 2-2 offering from Mitch Williams in to the LF bullpen?!!? How this has not been commissioned is an absolute shame.
What makes it more surprising that the Blue Jays/Rogers organizations decided to build the Rogers statue instead of honouring their celebrated past is the fact that both 2012 and 2013 mark the 20th Anniversaries of their ONLY two World Series titles. It would be like The Yankees building a statue of George Steinbrenner ahead of building a statue of Babe Ruth. Owners DON’T win the games or titles! Yes they do play a large part in getting those wins by providing funds, but at the end of the day they are the people who sign the cheques, not get the W’s. When you visit Fenway Park you don’t see a 12 foot statue of Tom Yawkey or John Henry.. NO you see a 12 ft statue of Teddy Ballgame! Thats how it should be! Statues outside of ballparks and arenas should be their to honour the players, coaches, and even announcers… not owners.
If the Jays/Rogers wanted to honour an executive or an “employee” why not Paul Beeston, Pat Gillick, or the late Tom Cheek?
Beeston was the FIRST employee hired in Blue Jays history and is still the President of the team. Pat Gillick was the architect behind those power house Jays teams of the mid to late 80’s as well as the man who built the World Series winners in ’92 and ’93, he was also inducted into the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown last year. What about Tom Cheek, the voice of the Blue Jays? The man who broadcast 4306 consecutive games and is FINALLY being recognized with the Ford Frick award… why not him?
At the end of the day I understand WHY a 12 ft statue of Ted Rogers was built outside of the Sky..er Rogers Centre, I just believe that they could have built said statue at a different location OR waited until they honour players and team employees before rolling out the bronze bust of Ted Rogers. Ballparks are for the players and fans… Put it this way, as a Jays fan who are you looking to tell your kids about… Robbie Alomar, Joe Caarter, Carlos Delgado, and Roy Halladay? or the late great Ted Rogers?