Beeston: Grass not in short-term plans

February 15, 2012, 1:00 AM

Paul Beeston doesn’t envision the Rogers Centre becoming a baseball-only stadium in the near future.

The Toronto Blue Jays president said the organization is not discussing adding grass to the Rogers Centre at this point in time.

“We’re not contemplating it at the present time,” Beeston told Bob McCown and Stephen Brunt on Prime Time Sports on Tuesday. “We have a relationship with the (Toronto) Argos and the Argos are here.”

Ideally, Beeston would like the Rogers Centre to become a grass field but says in the present, the issue was blown out of proportion and doesn’t see it happening any time soon.

“We have looked at grass over the past two or three years to find out whether we could put grass in here and play on it,” Beeston explained. “The answer is yes. It would make it a baseball-only stadium. But, this is a multi-purpose stadium. It’s not only used for baseball. It’s used for the Argos, it’s used the NFL, rock shows, conventions and car shows before. So we have to take that into context but it can clearly get done.”

Beeston said that a lot of veteran players do not prefer to play on the turf and it might have hurt the team’s chances of signing veteran free agent players such as Carl Crawford and Carlos Beltran.

Currently, only two stadiums in Major League Baseball have synthetic grass fields — the Blue Jays and the Tampa Bay Rays. Beeston said the team has discussed alternative methods such as adding grass during long home stands but in the end, they determined that it wouldn’t make much sense because the Jays would lose their homefield advantage.

With regards to the current roster, the Jays will not be signing free agent slugger Manny Ramirez. The team did their due diligence but determined the enigmatic outfield did not fit with the club’s current plan.

Beeston is happy with the current roster and doesn’t see Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos making any major moves before the start of the season.

“Were pretty close to where we’re going to be for Opening Day,” Beeston said. “You don’t see too many moves in spring training.”


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