There was some interesting, if prickly, discussion in the comments on our post about Richard Griffin’s earlier piece on the Santos deal, which related back to the Jays’ budget– a concept Alex Anthopoulos actually acknowledged for the first time this afternoon, referring to certain “payroll parameters.”

The fact that revenue sharing has changed under the terms of the new Collective Bargaining Agreement, moving from a payroll-based to a market size-based system, led some readers to believe that the Jays will rein in spending now that they, as a “large market” club, will no longer receive revenue sharing cash.

Washington Nationals blog Federal Baseball provides a lot of background on the changes, which will similarly impact the Nats– another club in a large market operating like they’re in a small one. “If the revenue sharing plan rewarded big market teams spending like small market teams in the past it won’t in the near future and the Nationals and other teams listed above will have to find other ways to replace that revenue,” they conclude.

One way to replace that revenue, of course, would be to spend even less, I suppose, but that’s a bit of a zero-sum game. Winning equals revenue growth, and refusing to spend is obviously going to be a major obstacle for any club that wants to win, especially in the AL East. Plus, the Santos trade is more a win now move than keeping Molina would have been, and it adds to the payroll– no, not as much as signing a free agent closer, but the deal can hardly be viewed as one of a club looking to compete on a far away timeline and on a shoestring budget. A team like that would have kept Molina. And why would the Jays start acting like that, with a second Wild Card team opening up the playoff races and the opportunity to exciting, stadium-filling baseball throughout the season, and with the incentive to spend like a small market club going away?

So no, I’m not terribly worried about the odd messages being sent this afternoon, but just to be safe with those who were, club President Paul Beeston commented briefly on the issue earlier in the evening.

“The CBA has not changed anything,” Beeston said, according to a tweet from Shi Davidi of Sportsnet. “We’re still capable of going to the US$120m payroll once we start drawing the people,” another tweet continued. “The formula hasn’t changed.”

And make no mistake: that formula hasn’t changed. Beeston has, to my view, never indicated for a second that the club would be willing to put the cart before the horse– that they’d spend to win, rather than spending from revenue generated by their winning.

Yes, it’s curious that the club has chosen this time to start acknowledging that their budget isn’t unlimited, but if I had to guess, I’d wager it has more to do with tempering expectations about big signings than a shrinking of the already-shrunk budget that’s about to have a whole lot of surplus cash moving away from the draft and international free agency– especially with none of the usual big market suitors looking at Prince Fielder right now, giving the Jays an easy excuse to miss out.

Then again, it’s Rogers. I do want to believe they’re genuine about where the money is, and I don’t for a second believe the ridiculous reasoning that say just because they haven’t gone pissing it around yet they never will. But… it’s Rogers, the swine who blackmailed vast swaths of fans of the club they fucking own into creating a demand among cable companies to add a shitty, unnecessary additional channel. Bullying for bucks is the order of the day. On that level I wouldn’t put anything past them.

Comments (59)

  1. Just what I needed. A pic of Beeston that tempts me to walk to Rogers Center and punch him in the face.

  2. He´s one ugly son of a bitch isn´t he  ??

  3. When will he name a team president?

  4. You forgot so…..there’s that.

  5. I’m gonna be a d-bag and re-post my post from the other thread since it’s more relevant to this one…The disturbing part about Beeston’s last comment is that we all know the Jays TV ratings are way up.  If you take $40 million as gate revenue, I’m thinking the TV revenue could even be close to double that.  The old deadspin leaked Texas Rangers financial statements showed that TV revenue was at least 1.5 times gate revenue if i recall correctly.  Also, throw in 500,000 viewers at $10k per spot (36 spots per game x 162 games – don’t know if that price is right) and you get $60 million.  Compare that to the 300,000 ratings they were getting before and that’s probably $20 million extra…. coincidentally Prince’s likely salary!

  6. Wait we’re still believing a word Beeston has to say?  Uhh, why? 

  7. For the new CBA to  impact team spending, they would have had to be spending in the first place. And they don’t. They never have.

    “And make no mistake: that formula hasn’t changed. Beeston has, to my view, never indicated for a second that the club would be willing to put the cart before the horse– that they’d spend to win, rather than spending from revenue generated by their winning.”

    Not true. Beeston’s insinuated for years that they would spend when “the time was right” or “the right deal to push them over the top.” To any observer, now is the perfect time for such spending, but they’ve instead decided that they need revenues to rise significantly first. It’s the usual excuses that we’ve come to expect from this organization and their cheapskate owners.

    Apparently Stoeten hasn’t read the Rogers Wall of Bullshit:

  8. I’m sure that idea would thrill the bean counters and shareholders.

  9. I’m trying my best to remain “cautiously optimistic”… but even I, a borderline (?) AA/Beeston apologist, can only drink the kool-aid so long before it tastes like day-old bathwater (what?).  

    It’s become a complete chicken vs egg case here:

    Beeston: “We’ll spend when the fans come out”
    Fans: “We’ll come out when you spend.”

  10. Blue Jays will increase spending when more fans show up.  More fans show up when Blue Jays become competitive in the AL East.  To become competitive in the Al East Blue Jays need to spend money.  What a paradox.

  11. It’s interesting to go back and read the Crawford rumours a year later knowing how things have shaken out. I’m sure you could do it for other big names as well.

    You see stuff like: “Theo Epstein and the Red Sox are reluctant to dish out long-term deals,
    meaning it’s unlikely they’d make Crawford an eight-year offer.”

    and then he gets 7 years.

    Or just the fact that the Angels were extremely vocal about wanting Crawford, and then ended up losing.

  12. here’s the AA interview on the Fan:

  13. totally! I’ve always defended AA and the Beest…but the truth is if they got someone like Fielder, they fans WOULD show up. Just getting him would create revenue… I can’t conceive that they don’t get that. If you build the team…the fans will come.

  14. Exactly. Beeston is just a complete bullshitter. Beeston and Rogers know the fans will show up when they field a winning team. For them, its just an excuse not to spend money.

  15. Jon Rauch close to deal with Mets according to New York Daily News.

    If they get a pick out of him then AA is back!

  16. Randy, your math is way off. TV commercials charge anywhere from 10 cents to 20 cents per viewer. So for 500,000 viewers, that’s 50 to 100K per commercial. Plus from what i remember, aren’t there 4 commercials every half inning? That’s 72 times 50k, or about $3.5 million a game. Times 162 games … about 500 million. Even at 36 commercials its $250 million.

    Beeston might as well say that Rogers will spend $250 million when “the time is right”, because that time will never, ever come. Until they prove differently, we as fans have the right, if not the obligation, to call them cheap fraking bastards.

  17. Also, I dont really think players “dont want to play in toronto” is as much of a factor for the jays as it it is for the raptors who play in the winter and who regularly suck due to bad mgmt. So the media should stop bsing us with “no way Fielder comes here”. He will if the Jays offer the money and reasonable length

  18. The Beeston payroll line…

    They’ve been throwing us the $120 million payroll figure for months/years now. Need to realize that the team has been in rebuild mode for several years, where is the sense for the $120 payroll?

    2011 payroll was $63 million, theoretically we have ~$60 to play with.
    Now, if they were to spend 60 million immediately, would we get a playoff berth? Yankees won the division with 97, tampa won the WC with 91. Jays were 81/81, spend $60 on FA immediately and you might get 12 wins (Dave Cameron’s $5 million a win, minus inflation) with huge gambles. That MIGHT have gotten you the WC this year, most likely not.

    So where are we? We’re still in the rebuild. Jays have numerous question marks still. Is Lawrie a legit superstar or was this year a SSS outlier? Is Alvarez a top of rotation guy or bullpen guy? Will Drabek’s shrink teach him to throw a curveball for a strike? What in the fuck was wrong with Morrow? Will Colby Rasmus’ dad shut the fuck up? What is Snider after all? Whats the other Travis going to end up doing in the majors?

    Those questions will/should be answered in 2012. If those guys hit their ceilings, the money will be available to sign them to extensions. Lawrie and Morrow extensions would be big money particularly. The money will be available to add the free agents that makes sense.

    Sign Fielder + Darvish this year ($20 aav for each) bumps payroll to 100 million, nevermind arb raises and other things. Would those two get you to the division title? Second WC spot? They would if all the other pieces work. Quite the gamble there and limiting what you have available to resign those young players that do turn out to be superstars.

    I do agree that there is a problem with this timing; if the Jays use 2012 and see their younger stars blossom, there isn’t a true free agent in 2013 for them to blow their wad on. Deal for Votto, sign a 9 figure extension? Who knows. 
    But this whole building process and and timing seems like a Starcraft 2 game to me. That awesome moment when you unload your marines at the back of the Zerg’s base as your stim research finishes and he just reached lair? AA is timing everything down to a tee.

    P.S. sign Darvish.

  19. Wow, is everyone about to fold their tents and go cheer for the Yanks?

    I’m sure that when the Jays become the team the Rays have been for the last six years, attendance will pick up significantly, same with viewership, and same with payroll… that has been the plan all along… it has never been about going out and signing free-agents.

    Quit winding yourselves up.

  20. I think everyone is missing what is REALLY going to happen here. Hometown boy Joey Votto is a free agent next year and all this BS is just leading to them making a big push for him next year. Think of the marketing with the whole Canadian players thing.

  21. FWIW I met Beeston last week in the underground path approaching Union Station. He dropped some papers near the SBUX @ the TD Canada Trust tower. He had dropped some papers, so looked a bit confused. I went up to him & said i was a partial season ticket holder & thanked him for the new uniforms. He was pleasant & I joked with him by asking if the papers was a contract offer for David Ortiz. He laughed & went on his way. He is very friendly & looks somewhat rumpled with his jacket & red tie. Beeston has to stop the double talk on Rogers will spend when the revenue is there. It drives fans nuts.

  22. Is that a cold soar on his upper lip? God I fucking hate that piece of shit haha.

  23. The sad truth is that Toronto IS a small market. For baseball at least. Unless you’re selling Leaf tickets, Torontonians are too cheap to cough up major league prices.

    In fact, listening to the whining on this board, Torontonians are too cheap to cough up 99 cents to watch games on SN1.

    Forbes 2011 team valuations ranks the Blue Jays among the least valuable franchises. It gives a $/fan measure for each city, by dividing revenue by area population. Toronto is second last at $19. Other small markets which haven’t competed for years like Pittsburgh and KC are about twice as much. So is Tampa or Oakland. Every US city virtually has more than twice the revenue per area resident.

    Toronto may be ‘big’ but it plays small. As a basic rule of thumb, and this is what killed the Expos, 1 Canadian = .5 American. Unless its Leaf tickets.

    Now that revenue sharings dead, Toronto baseball ‘fans’ will try to mooch off Rogers. They’ll whine about how Rogers won’t spend 5 times gate receipts on salary, or spend as much on Fielder as they receive in gate receipts. They’ll claim they’d actually buy a ticket but Rogers didn’t buy a playoff team. They’ll blame everyone but themselves, just like in Montreal, when the owners finally give up and move the team.

  24. I don’t think it is… I used the going rate of $50,000 per million viewers that occurs on US network tv.  Assumed a Canadian/Home Hardware saturation/cable discount to get to $10,000 for the 500,000 viewers per game.  You might be right on the spots but I don’t know if the $50,000 is per minute or per 30 seconds.  $10,000 x 9 innings x 4 spots per inning x 162 games.  I’d think the revenue would be closer to the $60 million that implies than $250 million.  I’m thinking that Home Hardware was probably at least 10% of the commercials during Jays games last year… can’t see them shelling out $25 million

    The Score only did $47 million in revenue in the last year to August.

  25. All this talk of spending parameters is very disturbing.  It is very curious that they would trade for Santos if they weren’t thinking of competing sooner than later.  You would think that Beeston is aware of the whole attendance/spending paradox as well the fans.

  26. Jays revenue numbers are misleading. Other teams have TV deals in place that inflate revenue numbers. Only Rogers know how much the Jays make from TV.

  27. Yes, gate revenue is about 40 million which is pretty low. The big money for the jays is in advertising revenue.

    A pennant race in august & sept would send ratings through the roof.

    Attendance for the sept weeknight games would skyrocket. You could have 30K on a weekninght instead of 10K.

  28. You are right Fullmer, but I have heard several interviews with Beeston when he talks about increasing revenues leading to increased spending.

    Mccowan never calls him on that statement. he is a buddy of Beeston so I am sure he doesn’t want to embarrass him.

  29. No, to YOU the time is right, not to any observer. There are lots of people out there who think it would be a Vernon Wells-sized mistake to spend on the big-time free agents out there.

    There’s also the fact that those guys probably aren’t going to come here anyway, until “the time is right,” i.e. the club is winning and fans are coming out.

    Oh, but did a guy whose primary job is PR for the club say some nebulous stuff in the past? Stop the presses!

  30. For comparison, the score’s average audience in prime time is only 63,000… but the $47 million includes subscription revenue.

    For what it’s worth… total “specialty” (not sure if Sportsnet falls under that) revenue for 2011 to August 31 was like $1.2 billion.  Doubtful the Jays make up about a quarter of that, but I suppose possible.

  31. But if they can generate that same revenue anyway by creating a winning club, only doing it on a different timeline by a year or two, it becomes a lot harder to justify spending $150-million to do it right now, does it not?

    Which isn’t to say I don’t totally think they should go and sign Fielder this second. I’m all for it, honestly. But these are, principally, business men you’re talking about. There are costs and benefits to analyse, and just because they do so and act prudently, conservatively, and are protective of their own money, it doesn’t mean that they don’t share the same goal that we all have for the club, or that they’re just being cheap cocksuckers who aren’t even trying.

  32. Those numbers are high. No way Jays get 250 million in ad revenue. Lots of ads are repeated for free if the jays don’t get a certain ratings target for the advertiser.
    There is lots of free time, that’s why you see so many repeated ads & Jays sportsnet ads.

    Toronto is hungrry for a winner, so a jays pennant race would drive ratings in august & sept.

  33. i guess the rays’ success had nothing to do with top 5 picks that produced crawford, upton, price, and longoria (to say nothing of the other busts and loss of josh hamilton)…

  34. Just absolute fucking horseshit.

    Do you realize what the dollar was worth for most of Montreal’s death throes, you fucking moron? Do you realize the exorbitant amounts Torontonians pay for all kinds of non-Leaf things, again, you fucking moron? This city is not and cheaper than any other city. The baseball team has a massive perception problem, which is fuelled by the reality of the division they play in, baseball’s playoff structure, and the years of mismanagement they’ve been plagued by: people think it’s hopeless. If they didn’t, they’d come out. It’s simple– kinda like you, I suspect.

  35. A big problem for the jays in 2011 was that Bautista was left alone when Lind faltered.

    Fielder or Ortiz provide protection for Bautista. He needs to see more fastballs.

  36. douoble post

  37. Rays were a bottom place team for 10 years, got a bunch of top draft picks & with a creative manager like Maddon & they get 3 playoff appearances. I doubt they do it in 2012

  38. Why do I have a feeling AA is going to trade for Gaby Sanchez the MINUTE Pujols’ contract is signed with Miami?

    The Marlins seem to want a lefty to join their rotation. Brett Cecil anyone?

  39. Crawford was a second rounder. And the Rays did so much that was so fucking smart that you just cannot say that they’re entirely built on high draft picks. They had a GM who, instead of trying to hit some attendance target and pretending his team was in a race, actually sold off players at the trade deadline for prospects, for example. They do so much right it’s scary. And newsflash: you can acquire high-end talent outside the first five picks in the draft– this isn’t the NBA.

  40. He sounds like he works for Rogers in the accounting department. Typical bow down before the mighty shareholder bs.

  41. i’m not saying the only reason they succeeded was futility and high drafting, but to deny that their core has been built by drafting high and holding on to prospects that thanksfully for them happened to pan out ignores the proportionately larger role that had for them.

    aa said something today i thought was good: there is no one-size-fits-all model for a successful team. the plan he has laid out is crafted based on the ‘parameters’ he is working within. that’s good to hear.

  42. Money talks in professional sports (see the Marlins). Always has. If Rogers wants to spend to win, they could easily choose to do so. They just don’t want to take that risk.

  43. The Forbes figures are for 2010, when the CDN $ was with more than the US $. Pittsburgh, KC, Oakland, Tampa etc all have the same ‘perception’ problems, yet their area residents, like Americans everywhere, spend twice as much or more at the baseball box office as do Canadians.

    It’s not pleasant to hear (which is probably what caused your embarrassing bout of name-calling), but unless Torontonians get off their self-entitled, cheap asses and buy tickets, there’s not going to be a team to whine about after 2016.

  44. “there’s not going to be a team to whine about after 2016.”


    I’m sure Rogers is eager to sell the baseball team that is pulling 500K viewers 162 times a year on their revamped all sports network, and play in their downtown sports facility.

    Maybe Rogers hasn’t spent like crazy on the team, but they’ve never given indications of giving up on the team either.  And with the way the team integrates into other Rogers properties, there’s no reason for them to.

    The stuff you wrote about Toronto as a baseball city was horseshit.  They haven’t been in a playoff race in 20 fucking years dude.  I don’t know if you follow sports, but teams tend not to draw too well after a stretch like that.

  45. This article will give you an exact idea of what Rogers makes on Blue Jay broadcasts.

    CBC walked away from a contract paying $150,000 per game to Rogers. That means that Rogers is unable to sell the advertising time to another network for $150,000. In addition, it costs $50,000 per game for production costs.

    Even if Rogers is able to sell the $150,000 in advertising themselves (which they can’t, thus the repeating Rogers ads) less the production costs that leaves $100,000 per game, or $16 million per year.

    Add to that 16 million the 34 million from the gate, the 30-40 from revenue sharing and the money they get from MLB for TV, and equalization and you see why no one but internet clowns are whining about Prince Fielder.

  46. It’s incomprehensible that Stoeten is STILL defending Rogers after today’s quotes.

    He’s right about one thing though : the formula HASN’T changed. They’ve been cheap fucking bastards since Beeston replaced Godfrey. It’s only taken the majority of you 3 years to figure this out.

    The idea that Beeston meant all along that payroll could rise to MLB average after the fans fill the fucking stadium is a god damn joke, and a new level of apologist I didn’t think even Stoeten had in him. We needed Beeston to let us know that should revenues ever soar through the roof, they’d invest an acceptable amount of money (read: somewhere close to MLB AVERAGE) on the team? Thanks, Paul. 

    The media absolutely has to take Beeston & Rogers to task for today’s nonsense.

  47. That was at the heart of the economic crisis.  $100,000 per game is probably not what the marginal profit per game is in 2011.  If anything, the $16 million is a benchmark to compare to when looking at how much sportsnet’s revenue has gone up

  48. If Loria didnt own the Expos who knows what would have happend that place was booming back in the day just like Toronto.

  49. I want to side with Stoeten on this, but the article JB pulled up is quite telling. I too was under the impression Rogers must have been raking in money from telecasts, but that does not appear to be the case.
    And I understand where the team would be coming from. The last time Beeston got the franchise to open the cheque book for a marquee player, he was arguably the best player in baseball and attendance didnt move an inch.
    People on here assuming a Fielder signing would mean more asses in seats and revenue from jersey sales are smoking more weed than I can handle.

  50. This was explained to you the last time you spewed your nonsense.

    MLBAM : 35m
    Ticket sales : AT LEAST 45M (not the 34m # u pulled out of thin air. 45m multiplies their attendance by their average ticket price, which doesn’t include all the money generated by the premium In the Action seats + luxury suites).

    It’s not 30-40m from revenue sharing AND MLB.TV. It’s 35m from, and another 30m or so from the central revenue fund that teams each put 33% of their profit into.

  51. As a presidnet of a ballclub you dont tell your fan base that they have to come to spend money.
    I mean you can but that might turn off some people.
    Knowing that they will never take a risk like Wells ever again.
    One bad contract destroyed this club on trying to get people who would only come to the ball park for a big name is dissapointing.
    I will still go but alot of people that are only maple leafs fans and hockey fans have been talking alot about the blue jays this last week and only becuase of the possiabilty of Fielder.

    Certain fans that arent blue jays fans just sports fans sometimes need a risk for them to come out and pay for this club.

    Winning helps but media attention does alot as well and with the media attention going to go away it hurts this club to the casual fan.

  52. If there was anything to your post other than froth, it might merit a reply.

    Mr. Furious is furious that the team must have revenues before it madly jacks up payroll. That’s like being furious because Wednesday follows Tuesday. Except for teams tring to fill a new stadium like Miami, teams normally don’t go on mad spending sprees with revenue they don’t have.

    Mr. Furious though is entitled to more, and Rogers and Paul Beeston are depriving him. Mr. Furious is entitled to lay home answer watch a winning team on TV (and none of that 99 cents per month for SN1) Mr. Furious is entitled to his games for free. Rogers owes it to Mr. Furious. And if they weren’t bad, dishonest people they would realize their debt to him and make good.

  53. The team has revenues. They exceed costs.

  54. Then why did you reply, just wondering.

  55. These kids today don’t seem to realize that it’s their frothing at the mouth for rock star players that has doomed this team time and again, starting with Roger fucking Clemons all the way through to a geriatric Frank Thomas. You add the mega FA contracts when you’re knocking on the door of a championship, and not a moment sooner. You’re all delusional if you think that that’s the case with the Jays as they stand right now. De-fucking-lusional.

  56. I disagree because the team probably had the highest revenue in the early 1990′s. Sports properties are more valuable for advertisers now than in the 1990′s because most people don’t DVR a sports game. They like to watch it live. A competitive team would make the 162 games very valuable. There was no need for sportsnet 1 because of all the cheap programming with darts etc that they show on main network

  57. It’s beeston’s fault for making all the statements that Fullmer mentioned. Don’t say the money’s there when it isn’t there. It would have made more sense for AA to argue that long term contracts usually don’t work & it doesn’t make sense to pay Fielder 140 million etc. Beeston should not keep making statements about the payroll. Don’t say paramaters in the middle of the winter meetings.

  58. Adding Fielder to a competitive team that puts you in a pennant race is not delusional.

    Having a one man show with Hallady or Bautista & no one else is delusional

  59. Prince Fielder doesn’t guarantee a penant race. In fact, take away any combination of Grienke, Marcum, Weeks, Hart and Braun and I’d wager that the Brewers wouldn’t have made the post season in either ’08 or ’11, even in one of the weakest divisions in baseball. We have Ricky Romero, Jose Bautista and maybe Lawrie and Escobar that approach that kind of talent and they’re playing in the AL East. Fielder would be awesome, but right now he’s simply an upgrade on Lind and nothing else. The rebuild is a full season away from elite FAs. At least wait until July to see if we’re in reach. 

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