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The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Toronto Blue Jays confirm interest in leaving Dunedin



The Toronto Blue Jays will pursue an opportunity to share a two-team spring training stadium with the Houston Astros on Florida's east coast and see if it pans out before talking to Dunedin about a contract renewal, Mayor Dave Eggers said he learned Friday in a phone conversation with Jays president Paul Beeston.

Eggers' conversation with Beeston came a day after news outlets in Houston and Palm Beach wrote that Astros officials said the Jays were "committed" to moving with them to Palm Beach Gardens.

He said Beeston confirmed that Palm Beach Gardens is a "serious" option for the Blue Jays but that "they're not committed by any stretch of the imagination." Beeston also told the Toronto Star on Friday that "there's nothing firm. If it works out, it works out. If it doesn't, we'll consider other options. ... We could go a lot of different places."

Still, Eggers is frustrated that Dunedin could lose the team because the city can't compete with Major League Baseball's growing preference for "the shinier and newer toy," as he put it, over tradition.

The news comes amid frustration by Dunedin officials over their inability to get information or even a call back from Beeston following March news reports that the Blue Jays might be negotiating to join the Astros. Dunedin has been the Jays' spring training home since the team was founded in 1977.

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[Last modified: Monday, July 15, 2013 4:09pm]


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