Bulls and Bears: Blue Jays hotter than ever, Jets same as it ever was

 

 
 
 
 
Toronto Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos speaks to the media regarding his recent trades before the Jays play against the Kansas City Royals during an AL baseball game in Toronto on Friday, July 31, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
 

Toronto Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos speaks to the media regarding his recent trades before the Jays play against the Kansas City Royals during an AL baseball game in Toronto on Friday, July 31, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

Photograph by: Nathan Denette, THE CANADIAN PRESS

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Sorting out the major winners and losers of this week — with a bottom-line twist — in the world of sports.

BULLS OF THE WEEK

It might be tiresome for non-believers and fans of other teams, but it’s been yet another week in which the Toronto Blue Jays have clearly been the most bullish sport business in Canada — and among the hottest franchises in all of North American professional sports — on the strength of their second double-digit winning streak of the Major League Baseball season.

The proof is in robust ticket sales (more than a quarter-million already sold in the Troy Tulowitzki era), ballooning attendance (netting out north of 44,000 per game this homestand after averaging 26,500 “pre-Tulo”), skyrocketing TV ratings (about twice the season average all week on Sportsnet) and merchandise sales reaching franchise-record levels.

The heat will rise even more post-Labour Day weekend when the prospects for a berth in the post-season for the first time in 22 years get real. Worth watching is the impact of Blue Jays franchise valuation in 2016: They’re at $870 million, according to Forbes.com, but could come close to $1 billion by next season, joining only the Toronto Maple Leafs and Montreal Canadiens as Canadian teams at that plateau.

At least the Blue Jays have some company this week in our bulls of the week in the form of the Cinderella story that is Bournemouth FC of the Barclays English Premier League. Making their debut in the Premiership last weekend after being promoted from the ranks of the English League Championship, Bournemouth FC will be eligible for somewhere in the neighbourhood of $200 million in new revenue streams. That’s nirvana for a franchise that was broke less than 20 years ago. Now they’re home to the best-value soccer tickets in Europe, playing in the smallest venue in the Premiership (11,700-seat Vitality Stadium) and refusing to jack up ticket prices by more than 10 per cent in all price categories. That’s nothing considering the product gap between the second tier of English soccer and the chance to watch Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester United and Manchester City come to town.

BEARS OF THE WEEK

The New York Jets were the New York Jets this week, making tabloid-style headlines when quarterback Geno Smith was sucker punched by now-former teammate Ikemefuna Enemkpali in a reported dispute over $600. The result: Smith is out up to 10 weeks after surgery to repair a broken jaw and Enemkpali is now a Buffalo Bill after being given a second chance by former Jets’ head coach Rex Ryan. As is typically in issues of leadership and conduct — and toxic team culture — there is plenty of blame to go around in the soap opera that is the Jets franchise. Only time will tell whether the soap opera rubs off on the Bills, but let’s just say New York-based NFL franchises have had better weeks.

Listen to The Sport Market on TSN 1040 AM Saturdays, 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. Bulls & Bears airs at 9 a.m., followed by Weekend Extra with Sun Sports at 9:30 a.m. Follow Tom Mayenknecht at: Twitter.com/thesportmarket

 
 
 
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Toronto Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos speaks to the media regarding his recent trades before the Jays play against the Kansas City Royals during an AL baseball game in Toronto on Friday, July 31, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
 

Toronto Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos speaks to the media regarding his recent trades before the Jays play against the Kansas City Royals during an AL baseball game in Toronto on Friday, July 31, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

Photograph by: Nathan Denette, THE CANADIAN PRESS

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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