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Angst-ridden Jays fans get their day to vent

Toronto Blue Jays fans yell while sitting amongst empty seats at the Rogers Centre during MLB baseball action between the Blue Jays and the Oakland Athletics in Toronto Wednesday, April 6, 2011.


Okay, Toronto Blue Jays fans: Monday night is your opportunity to put up or shut up.

It's the annual State of the Franchise address where the club's executives make themselves available to the season ticket holders to tell them what went wrong – or right – during the off-season.

Full of angst that the Blue Jays came up short in their bid to land Japanese pitching sensation Yu Darvish?

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Grab a free beer and a couple of sliders at Rogers Centre, sit yourself down and fire a couple of loaded questions at club president Paul Beeston or general manager Alex Anthopoulos and try to find out why.

Oh, wait a minute.

The Blue Jays won't even admit they were involved in the bidding process for Darvish, as was widely reported.

Better make that two beers, then.

Upset that Prince Fielder landed with the Detroit Tigers for the princely sum of $214-million (U.S.) over nine years rather than in Toronto, where his big stick would look mighty fine providing protection for Jose Bautista in the batting order?

Hold on again. We forget.

Beeston is not a big fan of lengthy free-agent contracts.

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Best head over to the concession stand to see if there are any more hoagies left. That's probably what Fielder would do.

"It isn't a matter of spending, it is a matter of spending wisely," Beeston opined lately.

We're all for that.

But after almost 20 years without so much of a sniff at the post-season, wouldn't it be nice to see the Blue Jays actually open up the coffers and – wisely, of course – add a high-profile player or two?

Throw the fans a bone, at least make it appear that they're in the game.

It's not that Rogers Communications, the team owner, can't afford it.

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The Blue Jays did make a couple of moves this off-season, bolstering a porous bullpen with the addition of new closer Sergio Santos and setup man Francisco Cordero.

Those are probably good moves.

But does anybody think that Santos and Cordero will be the difference in the Blue Jays challenging for the post season in 2012?

Anthopoulos has maintained that landing another starter for the rotation was one of his priorities during the off-season.

It could still happen with the crafty Anthopoulos always on the prowl for a deal, with a bevy of highly regarded minor-league prospects as his trading cards, not to mention a Travis Snider or two at the major league level.

The GM also has to be concerned about keeping Bautista happy.

With very little backup in the batting order, the slugger has still managed to whack 97 home runs the last two seasons to lead the Majors.

The prodigious output has caused Major League Baseball to drug-test Bautista on 16 occasions the past two years to make sure his totals haven't been artificially fuelled.

At least someone is paying attention.

So if any of this is sticking in your craw, Monday night is the perfect opportunity to get things off your chest.

Or at least add to your cholesterol level.

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