Immediately, I nearly need to recuse myself.

This is a Google-mapped, Wikipedia-searched, and late night-compiled piece. But I believe it’s valid enough to be written and so here it is.

Personally, I have no stake, other than an unpaid phone bill. Chances are I would have stayed home and watched the games remotely. Yet there’s still something that perturbs me. 

The whole state of affairs regarding the upcoming G-20 summit, and its required relocation of a Toronto Blue Jays-Philadelphia Phillies series, begs questions. Screams for them. Dig deep enough and I’m sure that Area 51 is involved.

The unsatisfactory response of the Jays’ ownership, Rogers Communications, has given at a minimum, merit to the fact, that they simply do not care.

About fans. About sentiment. About anything but the bottom line.

It’s a notion that gains steam when you consider that Rogers avoided any re-routing of the games within Canada. The Blue Jays are hardly Canada’s Team, though they fancy themselves it. Having a series anywhere within the country could open up a new market, tap into new interest, solidify a fancied fanbase.

Yet they passed on that. Decided that there were no viable sites, and perhaps there weren’t, and passed on it.

It seems like something to get the whole affair over so they can move on. And maybe that’s what this organization wants, to just move on and make everyone forget about this situation.

Maybe there’s some validity and valid questions left to be asked.

Consider this, there has been more than one G-20 summit. Actually, there’s been several. And, as I pause for dramatic effect, a summit has even been in a baseball town.  

On Sept. 24 and 25, 2009, Pittsburgh played host to two events of equal magnitude: The Pirates played games against the Reds and Dodgers, and the G-20 Summit took place at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center.

Shockingly, the Pirates played those games. And they played them (according to Google Maps) five minutes from where the G-20 Summit took place. I’ll hold my outrageous accusations until the end, and I suggest you do as well.

The Bucs and Reds played a 12:37 start on the Sept. 24. Across the Roberto Clemente Bridge, protesters clashed with police outside the G-20 Summit. The police responded to this (illegal) protest with tear gas, stun grenades, and a sound cannon.

Pittsburgh lost the game 4-1, and 20 people were arrested in connection to the protest.

Granted, Canada came out of this global recession looking better than most countries. But, is it inconceivable that some people have a riotable gripe within them still? However long the shot may be, it could still happen.

The attendance for the Pirates’ game was nearly 16,000; not too shy of what a Blue Jays game at June’s end may be. Perhaps the establishment just wants to avoid mixing potential protests with semi-soused Jays enthusiasts.

Then again, Pittsburgh played that game, and one the next day. After a day of actual rioting, the Pirates hosted the Dodgers for a 3-1 victory. Either it was too late, or they just tapped into their inner privateer and manned up.

Then again, hosting baseball and world leaders together could be a geographical issue. PNC Park is separated from the David L. Lawrence Convention Center by the Allegheny River. The Jays-Phils series and the G-20 Summit are almost on top of each other. Unruly mobs of protesters and unruly mobs of repeatedly-burnt Pirates fans at least needed to hustle some to clash with one another.

Reported chants of “Let’s go Steelers” , suggest it could have happened (a reach). But they still had the games; and it’s not like the G-20 showed up overnight demanding convention centers and couches to sleep on. Fair warning was given to all.

Taking their cues, perhaps, a Pittsburgh Penguins’ pre-season game was cancelled during the 2009 summit. Maybe the Blue Jays are taking a similar, proven, path.

Toronto FC is due for a game during the G-20 summit, and the team intends to play it. Geographically, it makes more sense, as BMO Field is further from the summit than the Rogers Centre is. Like the Pirates, FC is going to exploit this distance.

Here’s where we delve into some conspiracy theories.

The main focus of this summit is going to be helping the international market recover. Part of this, according to a statement from Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, is opening up free markets .

This includes opening up Canada to foreign investment in, say, telecommunications.

In response to this, Rogers CEO Nadir Mohamed wants the government to be fair with it and its possible incoming competition.  If Canadian businesses are going to be taxed, so too should these newcomers. And that’s more than fair, but it might also hinder foreign investment.

Eliminate all geographical factors and you have a telecommunications company that needs something from the Canadian government. And, this company actually has some control over the quality and quantity of person that will be near a summit dealing with free markets. A summit which is hosted by a government who, one would assume, would prefer not to have thousands of people streaming past potential protests.

On one hand you have a city that played baseball and had riotous protests near its G-20 summit. On the other, you have a city that will not play baseball in order to avoid riotous protests near its G-20 summit.

There’s enough worry to justify the move Toronto made. For all the disrupted travel plans, there is a very real chance of trouble, trouble that can be avoided by moving the games.

There’s also enough to worry that either the Jays moved their games to avoid a potential loss on ticket returns, or because Rogers needed to go along with the Canadian government’s plans in order to get along with forthcoming policy changes (another reach).

Or maybe Roy Halladay just doesn’t love us anymore. If that’s the case, I would have just preferred a phone call.

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