As always, when I embark on a Today in Morons piece, I’m loathe to send links in the direction of pieces that are lazy, or disingenuous, or otherwise completely miss the mark– especially when, as in this case, it’s really fucking long, and it features a good old straw-manning of a misinterpretation of something I’ve written– but there’s just so much juicy fucking wrongness in the debut diatribe from The Five Tools, and so much that gets repeated by his or her (or, let’s be honest, his) ilk that I can’t not tackle it, even if it’s going to take about fifteen billion interjections.

You see, folks, the Five Tools is worried. Worried that there “is a growing disconnect between the opinions of some in the media in this city and the sentiments of a fan base clamouring for the team’s corporate owners to spend money and bring in the kinds of players that can compete with the Curtis Grandersons, the CC Sabathias and the Adrian Gonzalezes of the world.”

Oh heavens!

What he’s not worried about is that he’s going to mangle a half-assed application of his first year liberal arts major’s understanding of Noam Chomsky about 5000 words into this sucker, and pretty much everything else along the way.

He’s also not worried about kicking things off with a bang, impugning the objectivity and professional ethics of Jeff Blair, Mike Wilner, Bob McCown, anyone who works for a Rogers-owned company– and, now that they’re in cahoots with BCE on the MLSE deal, anyone who falls under that group as well. “Concerns that they might be slinging propaganda for their bosses have been voiced by fans,” he writes– failing to add “who are fucking morons”– “in various forums.”

Wilner certainly seems to have a favourable view of what the club is doing, but has this guy ever actually listened to Blair or McCown? Where is this nonsense possibly coming from, except perhaps the mind of someone who has decided– y’know, if we’re speaking about biases– what he wants to conclude, and objectivity be damned, he’s gonna get there. The media is in cahoots with the theives!

“The purchase of MLSE by Rogers Communications and Bell has created a situation that is really without comparison or precedent in professional sports,” he writes. “These two conglomerates are the poster children of media concentration here in Canada and the vertical integration of the sports franchises with the news media reporting on these properties ought to raise concerns for fans of these teams. Rogers and Bell have a stranglehold on the sports media in the Toronto market, through specialty cable channels Sportsnet and TSN, radio stations Sportsnet 590 The Fan and TSN Radio 1050, and print the new Sportsnet Magazine. Bell also owns CTV and the news programming on this station, while Rogers runs CityTV, an important source of local news for the GTA. Bell and Rogers are also this country`s largest Internet and wireless services providers, which are quickly becoming the new frontier in sports content distribution. It is of great importance then that we understand how Rogers manages the Blue Jays payroll going forward, to ascertain for ourselves whether the corporation`s investment into the team is a good faith attempt to field a winning team.”

Wait… what???

Shitty thing is, he was going somewhere interesting there, and then tosses up an absolute unnecessary curveball at us. Yes, the oligopoly that controls sports teams and the media that covers them in this country is a pretty interesting subject for exploration– not that I’m exactly comfortable talking about it in terms that make it sound actually, y’know, important– but how the fuck does it follow that it’s of “great importance” to determine if Rogers is acting in good faith on the Jays?

And let’s stop right there for a second, because there is an implication within the question that I think is false. There is a horrifically naive conception of “payroll” that some fans have, where it’s expected that it can rise and fall absent of external factors. “We need a bigger payroll!” fans shout. OK. How are you getting from here to there? Who are you spending it on? Who are you going to convince to take your money over someone else’s– over a club with a chance to win, closer to home, a better environment, freer travel? How does the increase in payroll now impact what you’re going to want to do in the future– when some of the young players you’ve been meticulously cultivating start needing arbitration raises and extensions? Will dollars committed from ownership rise as needed, or would positioning ourselves closer to the payroll ceiling simply be limiting our future flexibility?

The answer to the question of why the club didn’t spend this off-season is far more complex than “because Rogers are cheap motherfuckers.”

The Five Tools continues on with another series of canards.

“The idea that the Blue Jays will be able to become ‘perennial contenders’ in the American League East, which Anthopolous has consistently stated is his goal for the team, with a payroll of 70-80 m (projected) is simply unreasonable,” he asserts. That’s probably true, but that’s not what the Jays are attempting to do. Already their payroll is at about $85-million, reportedly, and due to see almost $8-million in raises for 2013 for Ricky Romero, Brandon Morrow and Sergio Santos, not to mention raises through arbitration for guys like Colby Rasmus and Brett Cecil.

More importantly, the 2013 Jays will see young, cheap, talented guys like Travis d’Arnaud, Drew Hutchison, Anthony Gose and Adeiny Hechavarria start to make their way to the big leagues. Is the club being cheap by letting those young potential stars take up spots and not finding someone else to pay to fill out the roster, or are they being completely, inarguably responsible?

These are questions that, apparently, shouldn’t get in the way of a good conspiracy-laden rant.

The Rays

Next we get treated to the old saw about how “yes, the Tampa Bay Rays have a payroll of $41 m, but they’ve only been competitive in the last three seasons after a decade of abject futility. It is true that Andrew Friedman is an excellent GM, but Tampa Bay’s recent successes are mostly the product of being the single worst team in the league for close to a decade.”

We then get the list of high picks who’ve helped Tampa succeed over the last several years, and– of course– no mention of anything that deviates from the hypothesis. Ben Zobrist? James Shields? Matt Moore? Jeremy Hellickson? Wade Davis? Desmond Jennings? Carl Crawford? The 2008 bullpen? Casey Kotchman? Carlos Pena? Edwin Jackson? Matt Joyce? Kyle Farnsworth?

Who are those guys? Everybody knows the Rays are Longoria, Price, Upton, Niemann, and whatever is left from trading Delmon Young.

Apologists

Our long-winded friend then gets to the real nut of his argument, titling his next sub-section “The Apologists,” referring again to Wilner, McCown and Blair– who inex-fucking-plicably gets stung with this tag because of something Paul Beeston said while being interviewed on the radio.

You see, if you’re not criticising Rogers, you’re apologizing for them– the implication being that you know full well that what you’re doing is dirty and wrong and smothers babies to death in their sleep, but you do it anyway, because… because… because you’re a shill for your employers, or just a big meanie.

“Apologist,” the calling card of the twat who’d prefer it if you don’t use your brain to see how someone else’s ideas differ from his own! (OK, so maybe “moron” is a similar pejorative, but at least I’m trying to air this guy’s actual “arguments.”)

The contrast to the “apologists” are the Toronto Star and Sun writers who have questioned management’s willingness to spend. Sportsnet personalities are the only ones getting access to Beeston and Anthopoulos, we’re told, because long-form interviews are all that count, apparently, and the numerous media scrums and conference calls in which these reporters all participate mean dick all.

Sigh…

Oh, look! Horseshit!

“There are no more Moneyball inefficiencies to be exploited,” we’re told. “GM’s don’t discount walks any longer and they all employ nerdy statisticians compiling esoteric and exotic mathematical formulas to assess the value of players.”

I think someone needs to re-read the definition of inefficiencies!

“And the last CBA has all but eliminated Anthopolous’ other two strategies of gaming the compensation system to pick up extra sandwich picks in the draft and his high risk strategy of paying over slot money for difficult-to-sign draft picks,” he adds, which is true, and which was planned for, and which was never meant to be a strategy Anthopoulos employed in perpetuity. But hey, good line! Stick it to ‘em!

We’re then given some misinformation about the international free agent market (there are limits there in the new CBA too, champ), and reminded that the Jays could have got Michael Pineda for Brett Lawrie, but that he was too important an asset to part with, so the Yankees swooped in with their offer of Jesus Montero. “The Yankees don’t need Montero’s bat because they already have a $100 m in bats in their lineup,” we’re told.

Right. But… in what world does that demonstrate that expendable assets are only created by giant payrolls? No, the Jays aren’t there yet in terms of asset acquisition, but like so many frustrated fan diatribes The Five Tools is making the ridiculous error of assuming that something that isn’t true in the present will never be true in the future. Sure, statements like that ring hollow after all these years of contention being just outside of the club’s grasp, but it turns out fans are actually allowed to use their brains to think about all the reasons why, in this instance, that statement might be true, instead of instantly tuning it out as their minds fill up with inchoate rage.

The Sky Is Falling

Still going! Next up we’re told to contemplate the absolute worst possible disasterfuck of a season. The club is .500, prospects stop developing, Lind and Snider and Thames bust, every starter’s shoulder explodes, we have to face the prospect of trading Bautista?

GEE FUCKING WHIZ, COULD SURE USE A $200-MILLION UNTRADABLE PISS IN THE OCEAN NOW, AMIRIGHT?

“And if you’re excited about the talent on the farm,” we’re admonished, “I would remind you that in the mid-1990’s the Jays had Carlos Delgado, Shawn Green, Michael Young, Roy Halladay, and Chris Carpenter all coming up together through the Jays minor league system. Why didn’t we win with this group?”

Um… because they pissed away three of them?

Wait, no! It’s “because the development curves of prospects are notoriously fickle and if you add in the propensity of pitchers to blow out their elbows and shoulders, it becomes positively a crap shoot.”

Well, good thing the current Jays have more than five prospects, right? No! Because “if you`re looking to Drew Hutchison or Noah Syndergaard, Deck Maguire or Chad Jenkins to put this team over the top, it likely won`t be with the current core of players. And if we are watching these pitchers trying to develop at the major league level as the core of our starting staff, it`ll mean that we`ve just suffered through another half decade of painful mediocrity.”

Because, y’know, Romero and Morrow (and Alvarez) aren’t already there. And because young pitchers always take forever in developing. And because, since they haven’t spent on a big free agent pitcher yet, they obviously never will!

Jesus fuck!

The Budget

And then we get to the budget– including another stop in horseshit land, which is the Jays’ supposed $70- to 80-million payroll, and whether this is an acceptable number, regardless, as always, of what additional money could have been wisely spent on– and bullshit about market size, bullshit about TV broadcast rights money.

“Rogers can frame the accounting of the revenues they derive from the Blue Jays to say pretty much whatever they want and the company hasn’t been forthcoming about the team`s finances and likely never will,” he writes. “If you consider, however, the market size and the ratings numbers for Jays games on television and radio, when you factor in all the cheap programming Rogers is able to create around the Jays broadcasts, the national audience the Blue Jays have access to, when you consider the value add of free streaming of all Blue Jays games for Rogers Internet subscribers, when you add to the ledger BlueJays.com, or count all the traffic this team generates for Internet properties like Sportsnet.com, Fan590.com and so forth, you don’t have to be a forensic account to see that Rogers is making out like bandits from the Blue Jays.”

It’s not an unfair conclusion. It’s just… so what? Yes, Rogers has money. Yes, they make money on the Jays. Yes, you want them to spend it. Problem is, you want them to spend it in some kind of fantasy world vacuum where money goes in and a great baseball team comes out the other side and nobody has to worry about what happens if Anthopoulos Ricciardis the money into bad assets and Rogers won’t let spending spiral out of control to fix it.

Worst case scenarios are only good for putting apologists in their place, apparently.

The Cart and the Horse

Ahhh, and we finally get to me. (And let’s be honest, that’s all this was really about anyway, right?)

“Andrew Stoeten of Drunk Jays Fan fame, unabashed imbiber of beer and writer of a profanity laced and oft entertaining Blue Jays blog, has come up with a rather curious analogy to refer to management`s logic on spending and attendance, referring to the problem as ‘putting the cart before the horse.’

Go on…

“In this analogy, it is the fans, apparently, that are the horse pulling the ‘cart’ of the team, or as he put it ‘the revenue horse driving the money cart.’ In other words, arguing that the team should invest to improve the team is like putting the proverbial cart before the horse.

Um… no. Thanks for playing. Nice try.

For one, I don’t know where I said “the revenue horse driving the money cart,” but a Google search of that quote turns up nothing. Regardless, the notion is far more complex than what’s being presented, because the notion of “revenue” when it comes to the Jays is, as we’ve discussed, complicated. It’s not about waiting for gate revenue, that’s for sure, because it’s just not that big of an income source. The idea behind using the idiom is to suggest that it’s unwise to start asking Rogers for huge outlays of cash without a roster in place that can ensure ownership’s money is well-spent. If Rogers spends $200-million on a player and it doesn’t get the Jays into a pennant race, doesn’t fill the Dome from mid-season onwards, does that not impact the company’s willingness to spend further later? Does that put a rope around Alex Anthopoulos’s neck– perhaps sooner than he needed to? Does it not immediately make the near-term his focus, at the expense of the long term strategy he’s employed to this point?

Maybe in the fantasy world where Rogers is the club’s benefactor and not the primary shareholder it does, but that’s about it.

“Apparently, according to Mr. Stoeten, the fans of this city have to collectively decide en masse to start spending their hard earned money to attend Blue Jays games in order to give Rogers the wherewithal to improve their product.”

No, they’ll do that naturally as the club gets better– as it has been, immensely, under Anthopoulos. Just because they haven’t improved at a fucking crybaby-approved rate of instant gratification doesn’t mean they’re not far better than two years ago and still on the rise.

“Even when Rogers fields a team consisting of the likes of Jayson Nix, Corey Patterson, Dana Eveland and Jo-Jo Reyes? Really Mr. Stoeten? Even if the team has no real chance of making the playoffs? Even when the franchise hasn’t sniffed a playoff or division title since 1993?” According to this logic, we can expect before long for Rogers to start berating the fans for forcing the company to put a crappy team on the field.

Oh, fuck off.

“Alex Anthopolous expressed similar sentiments in his January 12th interview with Bob McCown in which he confirmed that more money would be put into the payroll once the teams starts winning. But doesn’t this only bring us back to the same fundamental question – how do we start winning without spending?”

By being patient you fucking mope!

Big Words, Little Logic

Mr. Stoeten is also of the opinion, for some inexplicable reason, that the fans should not expect Rogers to reinvest their television revenues into the team simply by virtue of the fact that Rogers purchased the team:

“ it’s hopelessly naive to expect Rogers to undermine the entire point of their ownership by handing the Jays a cheque comparable to ones being given out by regional TV networks south of the border.”

So by this logic, a person could purchase the New York Yankees, reduce it to a Triple A team roster, and pocket all the profits simply because he owns it? Owners owe nothing to the fans or the city? There is no ethical obligation on the part of Rogers to reinvest earnings into the team and make a good faith effort to win? Is this because Rogers is a cable company and cable companies possess some innate right to make obscene profits? And why precisely would it be hopelessly naïve to think so? What prevailing business logic is Mr. Stoeten alluding to here that the rest of us are apparently unaware of? Or is it that Mr. Stoeten has simply been given a privileged glimpse into the ruthless mendacity of the business culture at Rogers and is merely sparing us the futility of expecting Rogers to behave like a responsible corporate citizen?

Good lord. First of all he’s missed a crucial point, which is that I didn’t say it’s naive to expect Rogers to reinvest TV revenues into the club, I said it’s naive to expect them to hand the Jays a cheque equivalent market rates for broadcast rights.

Second of all, holy shit. For someone about to start pulling Noam Chomsky out of his ass, The Five Tools sure doesn’t have a handle on how corporations work. I’m no economy talkin’ guy, but no, there’s no ethical obligation for Rogers to put a winning fucking baseball team on the field. Their obligation is to the bottom line of their business. You don’t have to like that, but it is what it is– and it ain’t rocket surgery.

Also: bravo to the shit dribbling out of your mouth in the form of that last sentence, my friend. Bra-vo.

“Manufacturing Consent”

“Andrew Stoeten isn’t in the employ of Rogers (he works for the Score) but his bizarre defense of Rogers’ management of the Blue Jays is revealing of the lengths one is forced to go to in order to justify this team’s current payroll.”

Air. Tight.

Never mind that I actually think Rogers should spend more, and was in favour of signing Fielder in a perfect world. But sadly, that world is one where if the contract turns sour ownership will be loose enough with payroll to not let it inhibit future spending, and like the skeptic that I am about Rogers, I’m not ready to believe that world exists, and I certainly can’t kill Anthopoulos and Beeston for not being ready to believe that world exists.

Yes, friend, I too have massive doubts about Rogers’ willingness to do right by this franchise in the long-term, which is why I can get behind a strategy that insulates the club’s operations from relying too greatly on Nadir Mohamed giving the thumbs up or thumbs down to doling out more investment capital. The thriftier they are, the more prudent they are, the more strongly they build up the core of the franchise, the more likely it will be that, a) they will become competitive via a Rays’-like model, b) free agent players will want to come here, and will do so without huge overpayments, and c) Rogers will be willing to spend the money, and spend more still when it doesn’t work out.

Upping the ante now, bringing on genuine internal pressure to start seeing results– not bullshit posturing fan and media pressure that will evaporate with the next string of victories– isn’t really in Alex’s best interest or the long-term interest of the project he’s embarked on– the one he sold Rogers on when he took the job. Sure, it’s in the interest of the fans who want to see as good a club as possible as soon as possible, but those interests don’t necessarily have to overlap, not because anybody is making excuses for Rogers being cheap pricks, but precisely because we’re concerned they’re going to be down the line– especially if they’re asked for a huge outlay of cash at this point in the process and get discouraged by the return on that investment.

Is it possible that the journalists are beginning to behave like their nightly news counterparts, manufacturing consent as it were, doing their masters bidding while the parent company packages us, the fans, together like so many flocks of muttering sheep, to sell to their advertisers, reaping untold profits?

Um… no?

And… ya, he goes on, gets a bit wistful, talks Leafs and Raptors, before finally wrapping the damn thing up. And… holy shit, I can’t do this anymore. My post is as massive as his– and frankly, it kinda makes me respect the effort The Five Tools put in, even if I would have preferred my position not be misconstrued and to have been given something more than the typical off-season furious commenter blather.

Comments (135)

  1. If you think the $34 million they got in gate receipts is their number one source of revenue you’re off your rocker.

    The fact is and the fact will remain for the near future that TV revenue is the end all of all revenue whether it’s on a national or local scale. Go back to your Sports Business Daily and have another look. Have another look at why the Dodgers are being valued at the rates they are and why teams like Angels and Rangers can sign deals like they did, why sad sack franchises like the Nationals are about to triple their current deal.  Sure having some competition for the rights helps but in the case of the Yankees, Sox and Jays it’s totally irrelevant when you own the rights in the first place.

    It’s not even just the advertising revenue that’s generated during the game that makes the TV deals so lucrative. Go back and look at what the business sports journals say about that. It’s about the shows they tie into the ones broadcast before and after. It’s the content that draws subscribers to buy their pay per view stations and other channels on a monthly basis even when it’s the off season. The Jays have a unique market unlike any team in the majors. 5th largest metro area in the league. National market of 35 million+.

    Last of all, why the fuck do you think MLB finally changed the revenue sharing formula to one of market size if there wasn’t money and profits there? They know far better than anyone that it’s all about the TV deals.

    As for the fact that Rogers doesn’t have to spend their riches on the Jays, your totally correct. It’s entirely their prerogative to do whatever they like with their money.

    As for returns on sports teams, they’ve never been better. All you have to do is open your eyes and look at what a fucking idiot like McCourt is set to walk away with after all his bungling. From a purchase price of $430 million in 2004 to a 2011 Forbes valuation of $800 million which we all know is not even close to what it’s going to sell for.

  2. Thanks.  Not exactly an overwhelming bunch of free agents.

  3. Don’t think the question was directly answered.  While national rights (FOX, ESPN) are put into a pot that is shared equally, the teams local rights belong 100% (or at least a significant percentage) to the team.  That’s why the Angels could sign Pujols and Wilson with the certainty that they have 3 billion dollars coming over the next 20 years.

    The Jays don’t get that direct boon due to being owned by their primary broadcaster, which makes the Jays a nice profit maker for Rogers while also somewhat artifically reducing team revenue.

  4. Not shared directly. Put into the pot for revenue-sharing calculation purposes, unless you opt-out, as the Jays have.

  5. “As for returns on sports teams, they’ve never been better.” – Indeed, entertainment which is close to peoples’ hearts is often counter-cyclical; audiovisual comfort food…

    Re revenue sources and TV: the largest individual revenue source for a typical baseball team (i.e. one that does not own its own broadcaster) is a flat fee per year (a la Rangers). Advertising, monthly subscriptions, etc are sold by the purchaser of those rights. Those ones are also the ones who benefit from the peripheral content. When a team owns the broadcaster (i.e.  Yankees, Red Sox, others), the margins on those additional activities are essentially added to the team’s revenue pool.

    When the broadcaster owns the team, as in the Jays, it is the other way around, sadly. There are a very large number of accurate ways to describe something as nebulous as a corporate strategy, but it is not wrong to state that: the POINT of owning the Jays is to spend less of their TV revenue than the Raners do on the team.

    What to the Rangers is “windfall” and to the Yankees is ”growth”, to the Jays is “synergy”.

    My attitude towards all of this can be summed up as follows: Go Jays!

  6. You can argue all you want about which direction the revenues go but TV is the largest source of revenue which was the point and what I was responding to.

    I also never said the Jays were the ones to receive the direct benefit of the other stuff like subscriptions and tie-ins from other shows. I was referring to the deals themselves. It’s why people like Fox and Comcast can afford to pay what they do and still make a profit. All it does in this case is further illustrate the benefit of having programming like the Jays and what the actual value would be if the Jays were not owned by Rogers. The content draws the subscribers and advertisers which is why it’s so valuable.

  7. Your arguments absolutely garbage! The Cardinals added that monstrosity of a contract in Holliday, their team was in basically the exact same position we are in. They did this to augment Pujols (our Bautista). Without him they don’t make the playoffs. If you can’t remember they made it on the last day, just squeaking in.  So, yes they were put over the top by a large free agent signing!

    The Giants, granted didn’t add a big contract to put them over the top, but they also missed the playoffs the FOLLOWING YEAR. I thought this was about sustained success? Isn’t that the reason you DON’T spend on big free agents, because it doesn’t allow for this mythical sustained success formula. Well the Giants didn’t have it! Why compare to a one year blip?

    Now the Jays of the late ’80′s… man what a terrible argument you make. So the team consistently makes the playoffs but can’t win a championship UNTIL they signed some free agents to put them over the top. What if, instead of standing PAT, he made those moves earlier, adding that big bat (Molitor/Winfield) and front end starter (Cone), after the first failed attempt, wouldn’t they have won MORE championships. If they had added “prime years” bats for 9 years instead of “twilight years” bats for 92 and 93, what would the difference have been? Unsustainable success? Well guess what – we haven’t made the playoffs in since then!!!! Why is the ’80′s model this holy grail for you? Why not the team that makes the playoffs every fucking year, with a hand full of championships to show for it, the Yankees?

  8. Very good points. The biggest problem with Rogers offseason is they allowed expectations to get too high.

    AA has confirmed the low bid on Darvish, which he must have known he had no chance in getting.

    It is a ridiculous PR move because Rogers wanted to cash in on the excitement of being associated with a Darvish bid,but knew they wouldn’t succeed.

    Perhaps they thought they could fool the fans into thinking they were serious about Darvish and just missed getting him.??

    Stoeten has to admit that is was ridiculous to allow Beeston to say that the 120 million payroll is conditinal on fans showing up when most of the revenue is growing from non gate receipts ( TV, internet etc) .

    Roger is under no legal obligation to put a competitive team on the field. They could strip this team & play with scrubs & career AA players.

    However, overall revenue would decline at sportsnet, & attendance etc….

    Rogers isn’t stupid. They know that tanking for 10 years like the Rays did would not work in Toronto because sportsnet would lose ratings.

    The issue of an albatross contract is a good one.

    The Jays ave seen homegrown talent like Rios & Wells bomb. Free agent signings bomb, like BJ Ryan etc…

    They are probably reluctant to commit funds without a strong core.

    I assume if AA gets to 88 wins plus with the CORE, then Rogers will allow additional spending.

  9. Bingo. The team is on an an upswing now with the young players, but if it becomes apparent that Rogers doesn’t want to upgrade this team next year, then fan interest will wane. This won’t be good news for basebaall related business such as your blog.

  10. I read through his post & it is a pretty good analysis of the situation. Rogers has to stop playing games with the fans. If Rogers wants to force fans to show up in the stadium before they invest in the team, then it will backfire. Even ifattendance doubled, it would only generate 40 million per year. Also, why would twicw as many people show up out of guilt for Rogers?

  11. I assume AA would make better moves with a 120 million payroll than JP

  12. There is no moral obligation for fans to show up.  Rogers is in the entetainment business. Put a good product on the field & people will sow up.

    Rogers improved the pre game show with Gregg Zaun & Jamie Campbell. They also have a mini post game show & stop talking about hockey in July.

    The improvement helped ratings. 

  13. Agreed. Fielder should give the Jays 5 more wins than Lind which at 90 win makes watching the Jays exciting through septemeber.

  14. It is interesting to note that Parkes rarely gets more than 50 comments per blog post with the backing of the score whereas this blog is getting 150 plus comments regularly.

    It seems that Stoeten is more popular than Parkes.

  15. Very good points. Has it been confirmed that the Jays withdrew voluntarily from collecting any revenue sharing money to avoid scrutiny from the MLB?

    Rogers would be terrified of fas finding out what the true FMV of broadcasting rights are, because if MLB said it was 1.5 billion over 20 years, then they would lose any excuse for not spending.

  16. 85 wins is the consensus on this board because of the upgrades of Lawrie, Rasmus & the banishment of Jo Jo Reyes.

    Fielder would get the buzz going, Darvish would be even more exciting because no one knows what to expect from him

  17. Does anyone know if the free agency /arbitration rules were diffrent back then? It seems that you have to have a shorter time frame with free agency in 6 years etc, arbitration after 3 years.

  18. Lind was a mess on offense this year from July onwards. There was no one else that Farrell wanted to use in the cleanup spot.

  19. It would be interesting if AA decided to quit Rogers after 5 years of 80-90 win teams & go win a World Series with another team that cares about winning.

    Would Stoeten & Parkes bash AA?

    I think 2012 will be avery interesting yearfor this team. They are finally going to play their own prospects like McGowan, Alvarez, Thames, Snider etc….

    If the team bombs, then we know the rebuilding will take a long time.

    If they succeed, then we have a pennant race.  

  20. Five tools brought up a good point about the effect of having MLSE & Rogers control all sports teams in Toronto.

    It would take a lot of guts for a young & upcoming blogger to attack Rogers or Bell.

    Look at the silly things that Buck Martinez has to say or Jamie Campbell or Sam Cosentino, or that little guy they allow on the field for Rogers, Darren???, can’t remember his name.

    They are patsies for the team.

  21. The team chemistry argument is a good one. One concern I had about Fielder or Darvish showing up would be if any of the current players got upset at a new man in charge.

  22. The problem with your approach is that leaves a hardcore of 15-20 K, 10K in April & May at the Rogers Centre.

    Hopefully, Rogers has learned that they can’t fool the fans with empty promises about competing etc..

    If they get honest with the true finances of the club, then fans will believe them.

    Rogers crying poor & demanding gate receipts when they make a forune on TV revenue & voluntarily opt out of revenue sharing shows their true colors.

  23. I am surprised that Rogers & AA haven’t defended their approach more forcefully. They should explain to the fans that in their view free agents are usually busts etc.

    They should argue that they prefer to invest in their own home grown talent etc…

  24. Very good point. I doubt AA would turn down a 120 million payroll. Beeston has to stop saying that fan attendance will be the sole determinant of payroll. Non gate receipts are 3 to 1 vs gate rceipyts.

  25. Suppose Jum Balsille of Rim owned the Jays & let the broadcast rghts go to the highest bider between TSN, Rogers & the CBC. Wouldn’t he get more money for the broadcasting rights?

    Rogers purchased a stadium that cost 600 million to build for 25 million. Even with renovations, it is the best deal going in the MLB.

    Rogers could not build their own stadium in Missisauga for under 400 million today.

  26. None of the world series winners would get out of the AL east.

    Put the Jays in any  other division other than the AL east & they could win the world series with a flue playoff run.

  27. Bingo. First rule in politics is to never acknowledge your opponent by name.

  28. Very true. Rogers could make a fortune by upgrading the team for a few years, & get hem competitive for a playoff run, then sell 50 % to Bell & merge it with MLSE>

  29. You’re the one who called me a moron, fuckknob. If you don’t like the comeback, then don’t fucking post here and use names. All I did was point out the obvious. If you don’t like the comparison, tough shit. Politics exists everywhere, and the order of “distracting politics” is a conservative mainstay. It isn’t “sky if falling” conspiracy theory. Rogers has a shitload of money. They make a shitload of money off the Jays by owning their TV rights. They do not spend that money on the team. That isn’t a conspiracy, it’s a fact, and it gets tiring to hear fans apologize for a multi-billion cooperation as if they’re fucking paupers. Why not offer Kuroda 12 million? No, that isn’t money spent “wisely”. Bull shit. We’ve been on the same train for twenty years. The previous owners spent more THAN ANYONE IN THE LEAGUE. and THAT”S why we won 2 World Series. AA is doing what he can with a cheap ass owner, and at some point fans need to stop sucking Roger’s giant dick and realize they’re getting screwed.

  30. Spending money for the sake of spending money guarantees nothing. Just spending for the sake of spending is stupid. Signing bad contracts hurts and handcuffs the team in the long run (see: Vernon Wells, Alex Rios, etc). Because of those contracts AA actually had to spend his first season making us worse before we could get better….

    You analysis that becasue we spent more than anyone in 1993 and won the world series is fatally flawed since you seem to be ignoring the fact that from 85-91 we drafted and developed players and built a consistent contender….as I recall we had a guy named Beeston behind the scenes calling the shots then too? Sound familiar? If we had been out blowing wads of cash in 86 because we had a good young team in 85 do you really think the championships would have come any sooner? We spent the money when it put us over the top. The yankess did the same thing in the early 90′s when they sucked from 89-95 they didnt blow tons of cash in 92 or 93, instead they drafted and developed people like Jeter, Posada and the like

    The argument can be made that Rogers is actually willing to spend the money to repeat what happened from 85-93 since, you know, we blow everyone away in spending on minor league singings and scouting and thats turned us from the 28th ranked system in the bigs to the 1st in just 3 seasons. But unless we blow our load on every Hiroki Kuroda that comes along fans like you arent satisfied.

    Your the same kind of fairweather fan that if we did sign a Darvish or Kuroda for crazy money and they totally sucked you’d be the first ones bitching that we cant sign anyone else because we wasted so much money on shitty free agents. You’ll never be satisfied.

    I want the team to win now just as much as you do and I like the things that AA is doing much more than what Riccardi did (he spent money and lots of it by the way, i’m sure you think he was horrible still even though he did what your asking AA to do)

  31. Why don’t you marry Fullmer Fan.  Or better yet, start a blog and invite him to write it for you.

  32. I don’t think I’m stupid but I also do not see the connection.  Try explaining it logically: Harper is to big business like Rogers is to ?.

  33. I think an arguement could be made that prospects are more likely to be busts than free agents are.  In a free agent you have a better idea what the floor and ceilings are in terms of performance.  ‘Bust’ generally means that the player didn’t perform up to the money they made, but not that they didn’t perform at all.  In a prospect, ‘bust’ generally means that they don’t make it to, or stay in, the big leagues at all.  The money isn’t factored in because it is so low.  But money shouldn’t be the only factor in calculating risk.  It’s extremely risky to bet on a high-schooler to be great in 5-7 years.  So really, in that sense, free agents are safer bets than prospects, they are just WAY more expensive if they don’t work out.

    I think what AA is selling is that he would rather place a lot of really cheap, high-risk, high-reward bets than 2-3 expensive, medium-risk, high-reward bets. 

    Obviously Rogers is in favour of this because it’s a low-cost, high potential  return investment, which any business would love.

  34. After re-reading this, wow what a moron.

    Also hey! Almost everything in that worse case scenario actually happened!

    Next up we’re told to contemplate the absolute worst possible disasterfuck of a season. The club is .500, prospects stop developing, Lind and Snider and Thames bust, every starter’s shoulder explodes, we have to face the prospect of trading Bautista?

    Sound familiar?

    Also this struck me as another major flaw in his argument, something I hear waaaaay too often as both a Jays and Leafs fan.

    I’m no economy talkin’ guy, but no, there’s no ethical obligation for Rogers to put a winning fucking baseball team on the field. Their obligation is to the bottom line of their business. You don’t have to like that, but it is what it is– and it ain’t rocket surgery.

    Well I am an economy talkin’ guy, but it certianly doesn’t (shouldn’t) take one to see how a winning team does affect the bottom line. Winning is immensely profitable, hello playoff game revenue at inflated prices, hello big time tv ratings, advertising money, not to mention all the life time fans you gain when you put a winning team out there who contribute $$ well beyond the current year. When you factor in the ownership of the broadcasting, radio, print etc the profits Rogers (& Bell with MLSE) is astronomical and if anything provides a greater incentive to field a winning team.

    But as Stoeten said, why ruin a perfectly good conspiracy theory with logic and reason?

    Fuck sakes.

  35. Manufacturing takes turns under all types of economic systems. In a free market economy, manufacturing is usually directed toward the mass production of products for sale to consumers at a profit. In a collectivist economy, manufacturing is more frequently directed by the state to supply a centrally planned economy. In mixed market economies, manufacturing occurs under some degree of government regulation.,..-’

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