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The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Toronto Blue Jays try to get deal done with Dunedin



After meeting with city officials last week following a ‘Welcome Back’ breakfast, Toronto Blue Jays President Mark Shapiro says his sights are set strictly on Dunedin.

He said the team is not currently searching anywhere else for a for a place to call its spring training home, but rather focusing on the city it already does and has since its inception in 1978.

“Our priority is to figure out a solution in Dunedin,” he said at team workouts last week. “There are so many good things both in the tradition and in the pride of having been here, yet we need to balance that with what’s best for the Toronto Blue Jays.”

Shapiro said the team needs a yearlong home that is “state-of-the-art” to be competitive against other teams. He said the current facility simply lacks “modernization” and “resources that allow (players) to achieve their potential.”

“There are realities that may be charming about our current situation, but that charm is not going to bring wins,” he said. “We need to be in a situation where we modernize our facility and have the ability to ingrain a culture that is player-focused and player-centered.”

He said he thinks the city understands the team’s needs, but did not give a time frame as to when more negotiations will take place or when decisions will be made.

“(The city) has been very receptive, and we’re going to work hard and work together,” he said. “I’m optimistic that will happen.”

Times correspondent Jeff Odom contributed to this report.

[Last modified: Monday, February 29, 2016 5:04pm]


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