Tag Archives: Paul Beeston

Making a demotion just that

The Edmonton Sun is reporting that Edmonton Oilers owner Daryl Katz wants to buy a PCL team and move it to the Alberta capital. The team he’s reportedly targeting? Toronto’s Triple-A affiliate, the Las Vegas 51s.

Of course, Pacific Coast League president Branch Rickey Jr. is denying everything. But “Edmonton Oilers president and CEO Patrick LaForge says that’s OK, that’s what he’s paid to say.”

By all accounts, Edmonton’s previous Triple-A team, the Trappers, were a success. Both on the field and in the stands — moving only for political and geographic reasons.

Personally, I hope Katz is able to pull this off. It’d do wonders for baseball in Canada and specifically for the Jays. Toronto likes to market itself as a Canadian team and this would go a long way toward proving that they are in fact Canada’s team. Hosting a series in Vancouver and/or Montreal would help as well, but I digress.

I know Toronto’s contract with Las Vegas expires after this season, but if the 51s move to Canada, the affiliation’s got to continue. Geographically, it’s not great, but it’d be too much of a marketing opportunity for someone like the Beest to pass up.

Speaking of the minors

Kyle Drabek, the key to the Roy Halladay deal, threw a no-hitter the other night for the New Hampshire Fisher Cats. Here, via Go Jays Go, is video of the final out.

(Two things to look for: The amazing sky in the background; and how quickly Drabek works. Love it.)

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Hoping The Plan doesn’t affect Doctor Moose

Right now it’s Saturday morning. The general managers meetings begin on Tuesday in Chicago. As of yet, Anthopoulos and Beeston have not yet unveiled The Plan. This concerns me.

Look, I know that the general managers meetings are not like the winter meetings. Free agents aren’t available yet and trades are typically not done at this time. But you can’t tell me that, at the very least, some laying-the-groundwork type of discussions don’t take place at these meetings, and how can the groundwork be laid if the team doesn’t know where they want the road to go?

The Plan could be announced any time between now and the start of the meetings, and I hope that it is. After the awful season this team put out, the off-season hasn’t been much better yet. I’m not going to pull crap like this idiot, but I could use some encouraging news.

UPDATE: Immediately after posting this, @MLBastian tweeted (twittered? twitted?) Anthopoulos will be speaking to the media later today. The plan may be unveiled. It may not be. Nobody knows. Or, more correctly, I don’t know.

Catching up after the Cito depression

Phillies win

Why are people congratulating the Yankees? Did advertising lie to me again?

• Ever wonder how Roy Halladay got to be so awesome? Turns out it has nothing to hard work and dedication. It’s because he is a moose.

Dave LaRoche, pitching coach for the Las Vegas 51s, has a wife. His wife writes a column for the Fort Scott Tribune. The Jays’ recent coaching shakeup inspired this column of hers. It’s not particularly well written, and it does devolve into religious pap near the end, but if you’re one of those people who think that those involved with sports teams are not normal people it might be worth looking at.

• Some twerp over at Bleacher Report is already talking about how Doctor Moose will lead the Yankees to a repeat next year.

• I know its old news now, but Vernon Wells is having his wrist worked on again. Upon hearing the news, my reaction was “right, that’s why he sucked so hard this year.” But I was being stupid. If the wrist was the problem, why was his OPS 146 points higher on the road? Maybe all the booing goes straight to his wrist?

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Search for Jays’ president ends in Beeston’s mirror

Paul (The) BeestonCall me crazy, but I’m pretty happy that Paul Beeston has signed on as president and CEO of the Toronto Blue Jays for the next three years.

A quick look through Jays blogs seems to show a general lack of enthusiasm for Beeston’s no-longer-interim position. The main arguments against him appear to be that he didn’t do enough to help the team this year and that this all but guarantees the return of Beeston’s good buddy, The Cito Gaston, as team manager next season.

Personally, I’m willing to give Beeston the benefit of the doubt on what happened with the team this season. I’m going to assume that he really was searching for a new president and that all questionable moves he may have made ($80-million payroll instead of $100 million?) were in an attempt to get affairs in order for the new person whenever he started.

The Cito thing does scare me. The Cito, as is well established at this point, is not a man who can hack it in today’s game. He can’t communicate with the players. He can’t manage lineups or make in-game decisions — unless you count doing nothing as a decision. But maybe Cito staying isn’t as set in stone as it might seem to be.

Jerry Howarth was just on the Bullpen with Mike Hogan (where’d the Tother go? Could it be??) and was asked what Beeston’s appointment means for Cito. The audio’s not up yet, so I can’t give you his exact quote, but it was along the lines of “Cito’s future is far from decided. That’s got to be the toughest decision that Paul and Alex Anthopoulos have to make this off-season, especially after what happened with the players at the end of the season.”

Not that Howarth knows exactly what’s going on in the Jays’ offices, but I’m willing to bet he has a better idea than I do — not that that’s a hard feat to accomplish.

But back to giving Beeston a pass on this season. Or, more accurately, why I’m willing to. When I look at Beeston, I see a guy who’s dedicated to winning (or at least gives the impression that he is), a guy who, of anybody, seems most likely to convince Rogers to loosen the purse strings in terms of payroll and, possibly most importantly, I see a guy who might be able to bring Pat Gillick back to Toronto.

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It’s the economy, stupid

You know how the Blue Jays’ whole “retool or rebuild” debate is based almost entirely around whether Rogers is willing to loosen the purse strings a little? Well, there’s a good sign on that front.

I don’t much care for economics (I understand there’s a recession, and I understand the sub-prime crap and all that, but did the money really just disappear? How can that happen?) but I do know that when the Canadian dollar goes up in value, it means good things for sports teams that are based in Canada. Well, the dollar’s gone up in value, and Reuters is going on about how great this is for Canadian sports teams!

“If there’s a 10 percent move upward in the Canadian dollar versus the U.S. dollar then that effectively reduces their payrolls by the same percentage,” said Marc Ganis, president of Sportscorp Ltd, a Chicago-based sports consulting firm.

Experts say a prolonged rally means teams not bumping up against league salary caps can offer lucrative contracts to big name players. The NHL and NBA have salary caps, while baseball does not.

I just hope that the bump from the dollar is not the only bump the team’s payroll gets. If the article’s right and a 10 per cent increase is in order, I don’t think an $88-million payroll is going to do much. Now if we assume the payroll is allowed to go to $100 million, as Beeston suggested before this season, then $110 million looks quite a bit better. But for real pie in the sky stuff, let’s hope Rogers has already agreed to a $120-million payroll and is now willing to go to $132 million.

Hello? Is this Jason Bay? Have I got a deal for you…

Worst call ever?

How can only one of these guys be called out?

How can only one of these guys be called out?

Hot on the heels of Phil Cuzzi’s unbelievable favouritism being on display for the Yankees, Tim McClelland has made a call so unbelievably awful that Big League Stew is calling it the worst call ever. I’m no fan of instant replay, but if the umps are going to keep on blowing calling like this in the playoffs — and especially if they’re going to keep doing it in favour of the Yankees, a team honestly doesn’t need the help — I’ll accept instant replay to get it right.

Let’s just hope that Bud Selig uses some common sense and doesn’t put McClelland on the World Series crew.

Bringing back my childhood

Jr Jays MagazineBack in the 90s, the Blue Jays were awesome. Not only were they fun to watch on the field, they did awesome things like produce Jr. Jays Magazine.

I remember one day this magazine showed up in the mail with my name on it. Up to that point I had no idea it existed. My parents didn’t order it for me (or at least said they didn’t) and no one ever claimed responsibility. So thank you, random person, for a subscription to a really fun read when I was a kid. And thank you, Torontoist, for telling the story of a great magazine.

This is news?

The Star just published an “article” consisting of nothing but Leafs jokes. this one caught my eye:

What do the Toronto Maple Leafs, Toronto Argonauts and the Toronto Blue Jays all have in common besides being based in Toronto ?

None of them can play hockey.

When did the Star become the Sun?

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The Jays have money? I’m confused

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After an off season of the Jays infuriating and befuddling fans by not going after free agents because they can’t afford it, Paul Beeston has basically admitted to all of that being a lie.

Here’s a little bit of hope Toronto Blue Jays fans can cling to during what might potentially be a long, trying summer: The money for a payroll boost to US$120 million will be there, good economy or not, when the team feels it’s ready for a serious run.

“I don’t think there’s any question about that,” interim CEO Paul Beeston said Thursday, adding that he’s not sure when that will be but that now was not that time. “If I said the money (should) have been there this year it would have been there, I just didn’t believe it in my own mind.

“If I’d say, ‘We should do this, we should spend that,’ I just didn’t believe that one or two new players were going to put this team where we want it to be. And if we believe in our farm system, why would we want all these long-term contracts?”

I am a fan of Paul Beeston, basically of anyone who was involved in either of the ’92 or ’93 seasons, but this is pretty bad. It’s almost as if J.P.’s “the fans can’t handle the truth” attitude rubbed off on Beeston for a little while.

Seriously, Paul, if you had come out early on and said, “our team is good, but with the injuries to our pitchers, the question marks in the lineup and our youngsters not being quite ready yet, we’re going to hold off on any big spending for now and re-evaluate for the 2010 season,” people would have believed you and maybe even agreed with you.

Instead, we were treated to this:

what we’re trying to do is run it on one set of books and trying to run it on a profitable basis, and put ourselves in position where we can actually grow the revenue so that we can be a big player with the big teams. And as I work this out, that’s doable. Is it doable next year? Not in this economy, not without winning– you have to have both of them.

And then we watched as players who could help the Jays signed ridiculously low-money, short-term contracts.

Thing is, I agree with Beeston latest assessment of the situation. Take at least one season, let the youngsters mature, assess the vets with problems (Rolen, Overbay, Wells, etc…) and let the pictures heal. If the kids get better and the pitchers get healthier, buying a few players to fill the holes will make a better whole.

But agreeing with the assessment doesn’t mean I agree with the delivery. Paul, you’re better than lying to the fans, right? That’s why you came clean, right?

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Dear John

Dear John Tory,

Now that you don’t have a job anymore, please don’t make a trip down to Blue Jays Way proclaiming your desire to be the Jays’ team president.

Sure, you’re about to “leave a party that is in much better shape financially than the essentially insolvent organization” you inherited and yes, in this economy, that’s nothing to be sneezed at. Hell, it might even be a bonus in the eyes of Jays management, but please stay away from the team.

Look, I’m willing to put aside my politcal preferences. I’m even to willing to avoid cheapshots like “why would we want a proven loser running our team? We need to win!”

OK, I guess I didn’t have to spell it out. Sorry about that. But you’re tough — you’d have to be to propose some of the crazy things you did — so I’m sure you can take it.

Anyway, really, it’s nothing personal. I’m sure you’d even do an acceptable job if you were in the post. But listen, things are good right now. Sure, you wouldn’t think that if you just followed what the media and the majority of the fans are saying, but this city seems to, overall, have a real problem being positive. I mean, if the Leafs were to somehow miraculously win the Stanley Cup this year, a good chunk of the city would likely be upset that they won’t get a good draft pick this year.

But I digress.

Look, John, what it boils down to is that we’ve got Paul Beeston at the helm right now. Paul frickin’ Beeston!

Sure, he’s got an interim tag on his presidential title, but it sure seems like he’s in it for the long haul. And that would be a very good thing. Beeston understands money — he’s an accountant by nature — and he learned baseball from Pat Gillick (!) while the two were building world championship teams together.

Need proof that he’s good for the team? The man is putting an emphasis on draft picks — and paying for the good players!

This is getting too long, I know. So John, I guess what I want is say is, even if I don’t agree with you on basically anything, good luck.

And stay the hell away from the Jays.

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