In a season that has seen the Toronto Blue Jays finally playing meaningful baseball in August, there are no shortages of stories, opinions, and controversy. At Jays Journal we feel it is our responsibility to inform our fans, so we decided to put together an opinion based series. This series will select baseball/Blue Jays hot button topics or stories that we feel deserve some more attention.
Today, Ryan Mueller (@MuellerRyan11) and I (@JaysFromCouch) thought we’d take a look at Paul Beeston’s recent comments about Rogers on Sportsnet’s Fan590. We came across these comments in a piece by William Wilson of Tip of the Tower entitled “Paul Beeston Defends Rogers”. Essentially, Beeston is saying that Rogers is a wonderful ownership group and they will support the Blue Jays 100% and are committed to blah, blah, blah. You get the idea. Here’s what we think:
Mueller: I will be the first one to admit that I think that Paul Beeston is a bigger problem for the Toronto Blue Jays than we think. I believe that his mouth is writing cheques that Rogers doesn’t want to pay. He is the guy that went on record in 2012 with this bold statement in 2012, “I would expect that in the next five years, we would be in [the playoffs]two to three times.” I feel that if was this statement that forced Alex Anthopoulos to deviate from his original plan. What was his original plan? I believe it was to build a farm system that would build a contender while managing payroll, until the system had the horses to make a prolonged run at the playoffs.
Doyle: I think you hit the nail on the head. “Rogers doesn’t want to pay”. They don’t want to. Paul Beeston may be out of touch with reality here. He says that money is NOT a reason why deals aren’t getting done. Really? So players volunteer to defer their salary all the time? Come on. I’ll bet teams who aren’t afraid to spend never have players volunteering to defer money. He says that if a deal isn’t made, it’s because Alex Anthopoulos didn’t think it was a good deal. Boom. It’s very clear Beeston is building a little dog house in the back yard and is in the process painting the letters “Scapeg…” on it. He’s paving the way for AA to be blamed for failure, if necessary.
Then he says that people state money as the reason for losing. Really?! Is Beeston really that unaware? We don’t blame spending habits for Ryan Goins hitting into yet another ground out to the second baseman. We don’t blame money for having Munenori Kawasaki take up a bulk of at bats when guys are hurt. We blame money on why these are the only players we have. The on field performance from players has nothing to do with money. The players who are on the field to perform does. Period. Beeston should stop trying to blame AA and the players. We have to remember that Beeston is a MLB guy. These guys are in bed with ownership. It’s actually that simple. MLB brass are always catering to ownership. Beeston is clearly no different.
Mueller: I really have zero issue with not throwing money at free agents to fill holes. I think the Alex has been solid when it comes to signing his own free agents and forming a solid core to build around. Alex is an Expos guy and understands your team is only as good as its farm system. I think Beeston misses this point.
I really hope you are wrong in your assessment of Beeston setting Alex up to be a scapegoat. I don’t think AA should be in jeopardy of losing his job…at all. He showed that he has the organizations best interest in mind by NOT making a trade. Even in the face of criticism from both media and fans. That took big gonads. The money issue will sort itself out in the offseason when the time comes to re-sign guys like Melky Cabrera , Colby Rasmus, and Casey Janssen.
Doyle: I agree AA is operating with the organizations best interests. My issue is the interests that this organization actually has. I don’t think AA SHOULD be fired for the job he’s done. In fact, I agree that he has done an amazing job stocking the farm system, not once, but twice. It would have been very easy for him to buckle under media and fan pressure and open up the cheque book and then face Rogers’ wrath. The ticket sales, etc would have silenced them…maybe. But, he didn’t do that.
The question is: Why? Is he following his own ideas? Or, is he so handcuffed by a higher power(s)? Is Beeston right that AA is running the show and making deals on his own? I don’t think so. Remember that AA needed a lot of permission to make the Miami deal. He always talks about going to ownership for this and that. Does he do that because he HAS TO, or because he chooses to?
Mueller: AA goes to ownership because he has to, but not because of an organizational hard cap. Every team operates under their own predetermined budget. If you are going to add salary then it will and should be authorized. I can guarantee that if there was a trade that Alex didn’t go to Rogers to DFA Sergio Santos with the hopes of another team claiming his contract.
The issue here is that Beeston is putting Alex in an unenviable position by….well opening his mouth. When I was growing up children were to be seen and not heard. Paul Beeston’s position with this organization should be the same.
Doyle: I agree that he must get the OK from ownership. I’m more concerned with just how hard it is to get that OK. Beeston tries to say the right things to fans, but actions speak louder than words. Right now, the silence is deafening.