When Paul Beeston joined the Toronto Blue Jays as their very first employee in 1976, he did so without the need for a contract. For the first 21 years of his time with the Blue Jays, Beeston held many positions, working his way up from Vice President of Business Operations to the role of Chief Executive Office, earning a spot in the Blue Jays Level of Excellence and delivering two World Series titles along the way.
And he continued to do so without the burden of a contract.
“I’ve never worked under contract before, other than this one,” Beeston said in the report. “I don’t buy into contracts, if I do my job, I do my job, if they want to get rid of me, they get rid of me, if I want to leave, I leave.”
And leave he did, when Major League Baseball came around and hired him away from the Blue Jays in 1997 when he was named President of Major League Baseball, a position now held by Bob Dupuy.
However, Beeston rejoined the Blue Jays in 2008 and upon returning to Toronto, signed his first ever contract with the team. So, with a expiration date of his current deal approaching at the end of the month, it comes as no surprise that Beeston is not that concerned.
But just for the sake of formality, the Blue Jays are expected to sign Beeston to a 2-year extension before the deadline, keeping their team president and CEO in house for what they hope to be the turn-around that he and Alex Anthopoulos have been working toward. Whether that can be accomplished in a two-year span will remain to be seen.
But while the product on the field has not been as tangible as Beeston would have hoped through this point in his second tenure, at least he can write home and say that he accomplished a few things important thing; he got the Blue Jays to go back to their old colors and ditch the black uniforms, strengthening the team fan base in Canada by doing winter tours and summer baseball clinics, and ridding the team of J.P. Riccardi.
Those things alone are worth a two-year grace period to get the Blue Jays back to their rightful place again, even if the contract is just a mere formality.