On most days around the time I intended to have this published, I’d be tossing up an Afternoon Snack post, but let’s be honest, today there were really only two things in the Jays-a-verse worth discussing, and everybody’s already been talking about them: Ricky Romero’s continuing struggles, and the talk Alex Anthopoulos gave to assembled reporters before last night’s game. So I’ll focus in on those. I began earlier with last night’s tales of Romer-woe, and continue here with AA’s talk…

Alex Anthopoulos spoke with reporters prior to yesterday’s loss to the Mariners, which naturally led to a number of stories in the local papers– for example, John Lott reviews the chat’s highlights at the National Post, Mike Rutsey has it covered for the Toronto Sun, and Brendan Kennedy provides a handy digest at the Toronto Star.

Here in the online world, however, space isn’t at the same– or any– kind of premium, meaning that Kennedy, in the Star, as well as Gregor Chisholm of BlueJays.com, at his North of the Border blog, have been able to provide full transcripts. That not only means that everyone can read the entirety of what was said, but that other sources– like yours truly, for example *WINK*– can pull out whatever they feel was most interesting. And, indeed, there were some nuggets.

On Romero

“Ricky works so hard in-between starts, off-season, you wonder if it’s a matter of maybe learning to pace himself a little more,” the GM said, quite possibly making some sense. “Roy Halladay needed to scale back his off-seasons and bullpens. It’s just learning to work a little smarter. Maybe that’s one of the solutions, I don’t know. I’d still like to see how these next starts play out to have a more definitive answer.”

Later, in a much less satisfying grope for answers, Anthopoulos compared where Ricky is now to where Brandon Morrow was last season. I mean… sure, it’s true that Morrow was probably worse than we remember– over 24 starts from mid-May to mid-September he posted a 5.50 ERA– but the issues weren’t nearly so ethereal. He struggled from the stretch, couldn’t get a double play ball to save his life, and battled inconsistency– in 13 of those 24 starts he surrendered three earned runs or fewer.

Romero on the other hand has posted a vomitous (and not just because it reminds you of dousing your hours-old hot dog with nacho cheese and Robert DeNiro before puking it all into the snowbank, Luke) 7.11 ERA over his last 20 starts. And even though it’s miraculously been eight times this year that he’s allowed three earned or fewer, a couple of those have been in fewer than five innings, and that number includes last night, where he was undeniably not good.

I get where the GM is going, though. His general point is that Morrow looked like he was steaming towards a… uh… steaming turd of a season last year, turned it around in three September starts, and then hit the ground running like a fuckin’ ace in 2012. Likewise, Romero can theoretically still be salvaged. But not even the team knows for sure.

“There’s no manual on this stuff,” Anthopoulos cautioned. “A lot of it is trial and error and you just take in as much information as you can. So if you’re getting clues or hints– maybe that extra day of rest led to New York, that outing. Maybe he is fatigued and doesn’t realize it. We’ve talked to our trainers and medical people, sometimes players are fatigued and they don’t even realize it. I’m not sitting here saying that’s the reason, maybe it is. We’re trying some things to see if it might work.”

 

First Base

Perhaps the most immediately newsworthy information to come from the GM’s talk was the fact that he actually admitted that Adam Lind’s hold on a full-time job is tenuous, at best, and that there are a few spots where the club is open to making upgrades.

Of course, not a whole lot of this really matters– the fact that the GM said his starters were “entrenched” at every position but left field, second base, and one of either DH or first base, hardly means that JP Arencibia can breath easy that he’ll remain in the organization. Nor does it mean that Lind, David Cooper or Moises Sierra definitely won’t be in the lineup on Opening Day. (Note: Ugh.)

In fact, Anthopoulos said as much himself, reminding reporters that such entrenchments “might change in the offseason if we make a trade or we sign a free agent.”

Still, at the very least the GM gave hope to those of us who feared that Lind may return simply by default: by virtue of the fact that he is still under contract, that he is not far removed from being a supposed franchise cornerstone, and that he potentially– thanks to injury derailing his season after he came back from the minors and looked almost, kinda, relatively rejuvenated– could have flown into next season’s starting lineup on yet another unicorn of lame excuses.

“I can’t sit here now after the last year and a half and say, ‘I know what Adam’s going to do next season.’ Obviously I’m hopeful, I’m optimistic, but I don’t know that we can sit here and plan and say this guy is going to be our cleanup hitter the following year, I just can’t,” the GM said. ”He’s already been sent down at one point and he’s been hurt, so I think it’s fair to say if we feel someone else can do the job, we’re not going to be afraid to do that.”

But not so fast, David Cooper! Anthopoulos didn’t go anywhere near touching the possibility of anointing Cooper as the man to take over for Lind. He just wants to make the club better, and he’s not sure he can count on Lind to do so.

“It all depends who’s available, what comes up in trade,” he says.

Nails!

 

Payroll

Here’s the area where the GM’s comments, I think, really demand the most scrutiny, as Anthopoulos was maybe not as candid about the club’s payroll as we’ve heard him, but as willing to stick his neck out on the possibility of signing free agents as I think we’ve seen.

“Yes, our payroll is going to go up, no doubt about it,” he said, making a statement that he surely knows will be tattooed on his forehead for the next year-and-a-half if he’s unable to coax free agents to sign here this winter.

He also said all the right, usual, double-talky things about anything and everything being a possibility, if not always realistic.

“As of right now I would say that we haven’t talked about any changes,” Anthopoulos said of Paul Beeston’s hamstringing policy of limiting free agent deals to five years in length, “but I don’t know that I’d ever say it’s set in stone. Things change all the time.”

Payroll, he says, isn’t set, and a number isn’t requested by the club, it’s merely “discussed collectively” among the front office and ownership.

“Depending on circumstances, players, it can vary,” he explains. And “obviously there’s always talk about it climbing to astronomical levels and like I’ve always said, I don’t think that’s realistic, but again it has climbed each year and it will continue to climb.”

That variation happens because, he explains, payroll is based on “a combination of things,” including “what our sales department’s doing.”

“We can have dialogue about anybody at any given time, but we do have a target to try to be around.”

Now, as any regular reader will tell you, I’m no Geoff Baker or some irrationally moaning Rogers-hating fanboy. I fully understand the difficulty in getting free agents to accept money being offered by the club here in Toronto without gross overpayments, and that pissing around cash on the MLB payroll like it’s going out of style isn’t the one true path to championships– or necessarily always a better option than cheaper, internal solutions.

I get that it’s a near certainty that Anthopoulos sold himself to Rogers with a plan to grow payroll slowly– and, conversely, that Rogers probably saw value in hiring a young GM who wouldn’t demand excess spending in the way that an established GM might have. I get that there’s under-the-hood spending that isn’t accounted for when most people discuss the “cheap fucks” who own the club– like the approximately $30-million budget increase for the draft and international free agents in AA’s first two years. Most of all, I totally grasp that Anthopoulos has no choice but to work within Rogers’ framework, to viscerally fear the spending missteps that undid his two predecessors, and I recognize that for fans to hope to get anywhere by pissing and moaning about ownership not lavishing money on the club is as hopeless an enterprise as pissing and moaning about your outrageous cell phone bill.

But holy shit, stuff like this still really fucking gets me:

“To what level does it end up climbing?” Anthopoulos asks, rhetorically, of the payroll. “That remains to be seen. But it does climb and I think it’s climbed a good amount each year. Maybe not by $40, $60, $80, $90 million like everybody else but it climbs and I think if our payroll continues to climb we’ll be in a pretty good area.”

“Maybe not by $40, $60, $80, $90 million like everybody else,” he says!!?!

Now, clearly he can’t be saying every team in baseball has seen this kind of payroll increase, so perhaps we need some context on who he means by “everybody else”– maybe he’s saying that unlike he, who is happy, “everybody else” thinks it should increase by those kinds of amounts– but ultimately, however you read the statement, the question you can’t help but ask is… um… why the fuck shouldn’t it have???

And why the hell should we continue to give Rogers a break by even talking about it as “climbing”?

Payroll was at $76.9-million in 2001, according to Cot’s. By the figures on USInflationCalculator.com, that’s $99.5-million in 2012 dollars– and Rogers was already running the team by that season, as it was again in 2002, when the payroll was essentially the same.

More recently, it was at $98-million in 2008, and it stands at $83.7-million this year.

So… unless you mean “climbing out of the hole ownership intentionally put it in,” that’s not really an accurate statement.

Yes, I understand that there are reasons it may not have been prudent, or necessarily possible even if they wanted to, for the club to have been spending more over the last three seasons. And very obviously the cheapness slag shouldn’t be laid on the Baseball Operations department, who would be lying through their teeth if they claimed they couldn’t better compete with more resources. But… do you think that maybe the value of the franchise– the value of the TV rights that only exist in some nebulous world of internal accounting– has gone up since Rogers ran $100-million-equivalent payrolls a decade ago, or again five years ago?

Even if I don’t have the context of AA’s comment entirely right, it’s the fucking pre-emptive defeatism that truly jumps off the page– the apparent crushing of the faint hope that, y’know, rather than having merely not spent last winter, maybe they consciously saved money to be spent later on, and truly intended to invest in the club in the way they need to this year.

Sure, there’s a still a lot of potential if you’re saying spending will rise by somewhere between zero and $40-million, and maybe I shouldn’t complain or am getting worried for nothing, but… any kind of thinking about this stuff gets infuriating real quick. And if this was at all a hint from the GM that, in some capacity, the club, despite the size of the market and the national TV audience and the swell of support this spring and the jerseys and hats flying off the shelves, is being told that it supposedly can’t have its payroll keep pace with the rest of the sport… that’s fucked.

It’s totally fucked. And while I don’t doubt in the slightest that Anthopoulos is doing the best he can within Rogers’ framework, and I’m certainly not asking him to turn into a whiny late-era-Ricciardi figure, it’s just… it’s fucked. And I have no idea how Rogers could possibly expect anything but disaster for this little experiment of theirs if the front office is forced to once again explain next spring how they weren’t able to land enough talent to make this club a contender.

Wait another year and they’ll be truly backed into a corner– and we know how well that went for the last two GMs.

 

Miscellaneous

We’ll leave off with a few other tidbits that didn’t quite require such a broad category or discussion…

- Anthopoulos was reluctant to say anything negative about free-agent-to-be Carlos Villanueva, but he admitted that it’s not an easy call to re-sign him, largely because of concerns about his durability. “I don’t know if Carlos could tell you if he could pitch 200 innings. Would he make 34 starts? How would he perform over that period of time? We don’t have anything to base that off of. . . Off the sample that we have, he’s been great.”

- He hit the nail right square on the fucking head when asked about the improbable success of the A’s and Orioles this season, noting that if “you look at Arizona last year, they had a great year, Kirk Gibson was the manager of the year. I think they brought back basically the entire team and they added guys like (Trevor) Cahill and some other guys where things didn’t go well. ”

- Essentially he’s saying that one run magic is sometimes just that. But one way to capitalize in close games– as Baltimore has done this year– is by having a fantastic bullpen. “That’s something I’ve started to value more this season. It’s not to say I didn’t value it, I just felt like the team in 2010 and 2011 had more issues to address first. I felt like we could have waited a little bit to address the bullpen. Now it’s definitely a priority for us,” he says. “You can say you have the best closer in the game, the best setup guy in the game, but if the remaining five guys aren’t getting the job done it probably isn’t going to work.”

- In an ideal world, it sounds like Anthopoulos would rather have Gose and Hechavarria in the minors next year– as he brings up the fact that Gose didn’t “dominate” Triple-A this season the way that, say, JP Arencibia did in his final year in the minors, which was a repeat season in Las Vegas. His preference is to “have the prospects more sitting there as insurance until you know 100 per cent they’re ready. Because like I say, they almost all get optioned, almost all the time, and if someone fails or someone gets hurt, you’d like to have them as depth rather than start to integrate three or four kids at one time.”

- Asked, then, what he might do at second base, given that the market seems so thin, he says that “the landscape changes so fast.” He then notes several players who’ve been moved recently– Adrian Gonzalez and Hanley Ramirez as prime examples– who nobody thought would have been available prior to the season starting. OK… but what if it doesn’t?

Comments (144)

  1. Yo Ricky, lemme give you some tips **cough-excuses ‘n cliches-cough** to get you through your next 13 starts

  2. This is the apparent reaction of CV to Anthopolous’ comments (above) on his from Tony Ambrogio:

    “If he doesn’t feel I can hold up for an entire season that’s what he feels like.”

    “Carlos Villanueva also said in response to AA: “I definitely don’t love the adversiting of that being put out there.”"

    “Its a little disappointing. Everyone is entitled to their opinion.”

    “I know how I feel. Hopefully I do get a chance to start 30 games. Its more motivation to show myself.”

    (http://twitter.com/SNTonyAmbrogio)

    • Sounds like Villanueva is gone.

    • I fucking hate Ambrogio, just sayin….

    • If you read his full comments on MLB.com he comes off as pretty rational about it even if he is irritated by AAs honest-but-negative assessment.

      Depending on the price (i.e. 2/10 with two club options or 3/12 with one club option for a potential total of 4/20 or so) it’s worth exploring.

      However, THERE IS NO WAY IN HELL Carlos should be guaranteed a rotation spot the way John Buck was guaranteed to be the starting catcher, for example.

      He can be promised the inside track on competing with Happ for the 5th spot or something along those lines but that’s about it. And if he isn’t cutting it in the rotation then he’s back to the pen.

      I have no issue guaranteeing CV $5 mill a year for two years or $4 mill a year for 3 years as long as he is not given a promise that he’s a starter…because he can earn that money in a swingman role.

      If CV goes back to his previous commments, where he wants to be paid like a starter but understands he isn’t guaranteed to be a starter, that’s fine.

      On the other hand, this isn’t a guy with an electric arm or anything. Nobody is giving him more than a $10 – $15 million guarantee and it could be less than that.

      • I liked your comment that he doesn’t have an electric arm. I think you’re dead on – if this was a guy with the skill set of a Morrow or McGowan, I think I’d be more willing to invest the capital. But with his stuff, no – not so much.

      • I like you’re thinking. I’d be pretty comfortable with a competition for the 5th spot between those two, and the loser gets the swingman position.

      • Yeah assuming we get one quality top of the rotation starter (and AA has as much as said this) then CV has to beat out Happ or Alvarez. Both guys look to have way better stuff.

        Plus you never know about McGowan. And you will have Drabek back and Hutch later next year.

        Not to mention the Lansing 3 – would any of them be September call ups next year?

        I like CV and I hope they sign him. But if he thinks he is getting more than 3 or 4M for 2 or 3 years, I’d rather add that money toward a top of the rotation guy.

        We have one #1 starter (Morrow) and like 6 guys who might be healthy and good. I’d rather have three #1 starters and let Sierra and Matthis pitch the other 2 days.

        • Not to be a pessimist, but I don’t think we can rely on Drabek at all next season. Hutch maybe late in the year, if at all. McGowan is a plus if we can get anything out of him at all. Again, I’m not holding my breath on those 3

      • I think we need to take both their comments into context. CV is a guy with so-so stuff. We’ve seen that he has great pitching acumen, but like AA says – and every GM knows – while CV has done great for us, he’s not an established starting pitcher.

        And by simply reminding everyone of the vast difference between “could potentially” be a successful starter and “has consistently been” a successful starter, AA is setting the starting point for CV’s contract discussions.

        Another way to look at it is that after a good year, Carlos is now 7-5 and looking for a big contract. A few years ago, Brett Cecil went 15-7 before landing a contract as a starter. And we all know how good that turned out.

        • Exactly. I’m far more interested in 2 big inning eaters. Even Morrow tends to miss some time every year.

          2 big new names + Morrow + 2 of Romero, Happ, Alvarez.

          CV is a legit long relief/6th man type. That just isn’t worth more than a couple mill.

    • I see what AA is doing trying to drive the price down for CV, but it is not a very classy move on this part. Very atypical AA. I know he is usually honest and forthcoming with info, but not at the expense of someone like this. I wonder if they are in heated negotiations right now??? Maybe he is asking way more than is reasonable.

      • CV shouldn’t be using the media in negotiations. ie “I wanna be paid like starter”

        I suspect that AA felt he had to do this.

  3. Two Rogers / Jays’ announcements that I want to hear this offseason that will comvince me that Rogers is committed 100%…

    Buffalo announced as the new AAA affiliate, and

    Real grass being installed in Rogers Centre along with some sort of new facelift to the barn that may make it “Camden Yardsier”…… more old school. Something…anything!! But definitely grass.

    That would definitely earn some goodwill from the fan base.

    • There’s no drainage. This has been said many times. Grass is not feasible.

      • I don’t think its an insurmountable problem, at least not technically.

      • Drainage systems could be installed, but it would be costly. The real reason they won’t seriously consider it right now, is because real grass would limit the use of the facility for non-baseball things. They’d also have to tell the Argos to hit the road.

        But if they were dead serious about doing it, it could be done.

      • Drainage can be added… At the right price.

        Given that grass would eliminate the Argos from the facility, and that the Argos are hosting the Grey Cup, if such a thing were to be, I wouldnt imagine an announcement to come until after the GC so as to not rain on their parade.

        With that being said…. I wouldnt hold my breath on that one.

        • They won’t be putting in grass until the lease with the argos is up. Maybe after next year…

          • what other teams have stadiums that are still multi-purpose facilities? and i don’t count stuff like when teams like the Nats or Mets have Bob Seger concerts or whatever it is they do.

            at some point (now, hopefully), the Jays will look at the sweetheart deal they got on the stadium, and be thankful that adding grass, even if it costs close to the (25-30? million) money they paid for the whole thing would be better than trying to get Gravy-conscious Toronto to get in bed with them in financing a new build.

            as others have said, adding drainage is probably not that hard. Not being an engineer, architect, or financier, i’m not sure i have the expertise to say how much it would cost, but neither do most of the naysayers. let’s get someone with the skills and know-how to put in their $0.02, rather than the baseless rantings of pessimists. what WOULD it cost? how much did it cost to install that new track at varsity stadium? it isn’t grass, but i know it required better drainage be installed anyway…that might give a good idea of how much it costs in this city to do that kind of project in an already built area…where in case we were checking, the skydome is already connected to water and sewage contrary to the opinion that it would be really hard to dig down or whatever stoeten said last week. again, i’m sure a consulting firm, engineers, architect, or even Beeston – who said he was looking into it, would be better sources for info on how costly it would actually be.

            ps, i guess everyone who thinks the jays should spend this winter, will probably look back to last year as a missed opportunity. as many pointed out at the time that they’d likely find themselves in precisely this situation.

            pps: anyone see the game yesterday? the jays are fun to watch again even if the games are “meaningless” there is much to be excited about.

          • Beeston looking into it means, Beeston said something and then never thought about it ever aagain until someone calls him on it again, and then he’ll be “looking int it” again. If Beeston said the sky was blue on sunny days I wouldnt believe him

        • Don’t some stadiums in the U.S. host both football and baseball, yet use a grass surface? Why couldn’t their methods be adapted for the Dome?

  4. This is going to be one of the bigger off seasons for this club in quite some time as far as I am concerned, I’m just not sure where the bar can be set fairly in order to measure what they do this Winter.

    • This will be THE biggest off-season for Alex so far. Fans are coming back, at the same time there’s legitimate fear of his grand building plan starting to show some cracks in the foundation.

      The unwritten pact between sports teams and their fans is that you pay to come to our games, and we will do what we can to win. So fans, rightly or wrongly, become angry when they hear about payroll parameters, or language meant to lower the bar of expectations.

      That doesn’t mean you have to add $80 million dollars to the payroll in one winter, but it also means not pre-dismissing as absurd that it could jump by $40 million or more in the right circumstances.

      As Stoeten points out, they are already playing fast and loose with the numbers when they claim that payroll has been steadily climbing.

      • I wouldn’t sign any of the top FAs this year. Can you say that any of them are better risks than Prince Fielder was last year? I especially would not do it in order to appease a fickle fanbase, many of whom have been following the team for about the same amount of time Brett Lawrie has been playing for it.

        • Hey Einstein, acquiring guys in trades with higher contracts than the guys they’ll be replacing also leads to the payroll going up. Better not trade for that perennial allstar cause his contract is too high, give me a break.

      • .+2

        Fans did their part in2012

        No more excuses from rogers or Aa

        • as if they didn’t know they were selling tons of tickets and merch last offseason? opportunity missed. really, the FA pool is not one that has anything that would be a nice big splash target. is grienke worth $150million? i don’t know that i think he is, and i don’t know that you want to put that much pressure on him when his teammates wonder why he’s making so much and they aren’t. but of course, basic management tactics don’t matter to the sabr set. it’s not like shae hillenbrand ever did anything in toronto.

  5. So if we want to see the prospects start in AAA, who are we going to see start next year at 2B? I really feel that Johnson has worn out his welcome in T.O.

  6. I would say Rodgers bought the Jays out of some type of sponsorship or civic duty motive. They now run the club as a non profit organization who can only spend as much as they take in. The return on investment has to be zero so I wouldn’t hold my breath for any more spending that hat sales and a few extra tickets has created.. And Toronto by population large market, Toronto by # of baseball fan small market. Accept it, they will never win by spending, it has to be done slowly through draft and smart trades. They are on the right track just give it time. I know 19 years but this time in has a chance.

    So I,m saying there,s a chance

    • -Rogers annual profit derived from Jays ownership. Absurd.

    • It’s a nice theory, but live event rights are crazy lucrative. They’re one of the last properties whose audience is virtually guaranteed to be on non-DVR’d TV (until MLB.tv stops its blackout policy, at least), which is a big deal for advertisers. Given the scope of the audience for the Jays across the country, and the numbers they pull in for broadcasts, if it were possible for them to actually have the networks bid on their rights, instead of being gifted to Sportsnet, they would be well in the black, once you add in ticket sales, stadium advertising, MLB-wide TV deals (the one with ESPN beginning in 2014 works out to $23-million per team), and other revenue streams.

      If there’s any sort of good faith in the accounting between the Jays and Sportsnet for such centrepiece content, I just don’t see how the Jays couldn’t possibly generate money. Big if, though.

      • One of your best comments Stoeten.

        IMO, if I take off my fan hat and put on the business hat, Rogers is making the transition to maximizing revenues across various platforms through the Jays.
        It wasn’t that long ago when not all of the Jays games were televised.The renewed interest has created a content goldmine for the SN properties.
        Without going into a long diatribe concerning the Jays.From a business angle,what happens if the casual fan loses interest and ratings decline dramatically due to a non improving product?What if viewers were to drop from 600k to 250k?Is SN going to fill up air time showing cricket instead?
        For the cynical,forget the civic duty, love of owning sports team and follow the money.
        The question is. How much profit, for Rogers, is created by investing in the Jays and perhaps making a 90 plus win team?
        I would guess a lot.But I’ve been wrong before.

      • stoeten is exactly right… the TV rights are huge money… google the recent TV deals that are fueling the recent texas and LAA expenditures. the dodgers deal is expected to dwarf both texas and LAA. now consider that the blue jays ‘local’ TV rights encompass the entire country.

        i stongly suspect the blue jays are well into the black before they sell a single ticket or overpriced beer.

        • The key difference: the enormous value of the TV rights in LA and Texas are sold to outside bidders and results in actual cash that is a massive windfall for the private ownership groups that own those franchises.

          The enormous value of the TV rights of the Blue Jays is intended to be a massive windfall for Rogers Media, not necessarily actual cash reinvested in Rogers Sports and Entertainment.

          That’s not to suggest that Rogers is just taking the money and running. Certainly, like any other business, Rogers will invest more in Rogers Sports and Entertainment should it yield a likely possibility of increasing the value of the TV and radio rights, however, it’s not quite as cut and dry as it is for a private ownership group that exists solely to own a baseball franchise to reinvest in the baseball franchise.

          Please don’t interpret this as a “Rogers is cheap!!!!!!!!” post. I’m merely suggesting that Rogers has many interests outside of the baseball franchise that other ownership groups do not have.

          • suggesting that having a winning team isn’t the best or even only way for rogers to make money off the blue jays…? sounds like a rogers is cheap post to me. or perhaps even an oligopoly apologist post…ok, j/k

      • +1

        Every team in MLB is getting more money from tv revenue.

        Rogers can play whatever accounting games they want but someone is collecting the extra ad revenue

    • Notably absent from MLB’s new competitive balance lottery are your Toronto Blue Jays, which means that the team does not reside in the bottom third of the league in either market size or revenue and yet they’re in the bottom third in payroll. This is where the usual “of courses” come into play. Of course, the payroll hasn’t ranked in the bottom third of the league during the entirety of Rogers’s reign of error and they’ve recently spent more on the draft and taken on shitty contracts in order to make trades happen and so on. All of which is to say that there’s no “civic duty” aspect to this at all. The Blue Jays are a money maker and Rogers will spend what is necessary to make and keep the team competitive and nothing more. The payroll will rise but they’ll never hand out massive long-term contracts to attract free agents. And that’s probably a good thing.

      As far as AA is concerned, he’s not going to say anything hysterical fans (looking in mirror as I write) can hold him to in the future. It’s called managing expectations. Let’s just wait and see what he does over the winter. As far as Beeston is concerned, everything he says is bullshit but we all know that already.

  7. so Jays hang another beating on King Felix. For the last two years, the Jays have handed Hernandez his worst two outings of the season (also 7 ERs last year but in 6 innings), and tonight is probably his worst start since 2010, when the Angels hung 7 on him in 3 and 1/3rd.

    pffttt, yeah, nice job Mr. Perfect Game – the Rays SUCK!!!

    • Well, the only way for Hernández to avoid more beatings like that is to become a Blue Jay. I will assume the request has already been made to Mariners management and its only a matter of time.

  8. the best thing about this is , the guy who doesn’t have a guaranteed spot next year bats clean up.

    • The problem is whether he will be healthy or not. 1B isn’t that demanding yet he can’t even take it for more than a week. Plus that guy Jose is injured, don’t forget.

  9. AA and ownership must be fully aware of rising fan resentment and expectation that this winter will bring change. I see that AA openly states that “payroll will go higher” …. but this is not news – it has to given arb-eligible players.

    Looking at the free agent class, I just don’t see the Jays going that route to add payroll and players. The players that fill TO gaps don’t seem a fit (except for Scutaro at 2b..that would be a nice solution for 1-2 years); I see him taking a different tact; I could see him taking players that are overpaid (not on the Wells/Beckett level) or redundant in current organizations in return for a discounted prospect package. AA always looks for the latest inefficiently and this approach seems a possibility at a time that organizations have become so reluctant to let go of prospects despite their true talent at the MLB level.

    • I’d like to raise the comment I made back in September in relation to The Trade. Prescient?!

  10. But it does climb and I think it’s climbed a good amount each year. Maybe not by $40, $60, $80, $90 million like everybody else but it climbs and I think if our payroll continues to climb we’ll be in a pretty good area.”

    Stoeten, I think you are missing a third possibility by what he means by this…

    first he states “its climbed a good amount EACH YEAR”

    the next line he says “maybe not 40, 60 80, 90 million like everybody else”

    So perhaps he’s not putting a cap on the overall increase in revenue, just the amount it might rise in ONE year

  11. The Canadian dollar was worth something like $0.65 USD in 2001. So that’s closer to $100 million USD in 2001. Using the Inflation monitor above it equates to $129 million USD today.

    I’m no mathematician, perhaps there’s a logical failure here, but is this not correct?

    I say this as someone who, generally speaking, does not want to sign hamilton or grienke this winter. I love Grienke but even at 5/90 or 5/100 … not worth it in my opinion..

    • That is a fair point you bring up. Now granted revenue sharing started up in 2002, and in that case the Jays received a good chunk of their revenues in American dollars.

    • I believe that all MLB teams work in the USD, and report all figures in USD. So the original calculation would stand.

      • I believe the point was that the Jays pulled off that payroll with their crappy Canadian dollar revenues.

        • yeah, so there revenues must be a lot higher now and yet they aren’t spending more. rogers is treating the Jays as a cash cow. :(

        • Yes,, they take in revenue i CAD, but pay their salaries in USD. The paid about $130 million CAD (accounting for inflation) in 2001. Today the dollar is more or less at par, so their current payroll is approx. $80 million CAD.

          This doesn’t count the increases in player development, scoutig etc., things I love and value. But it’s still no where close.

  12. Would signing two pitchers really be too hard? I don’t even care if we add a DH, LF or 2B. Our offense is fine. Put Hech on second, Sierra in left, and let the defense provided by them help out our pitching.

    All we need is a not terrible pitcher or two and we would be nearly a lock for the playoffs. Would it really hurt Rogers pockets so much to sign an Anibal Sanchez and Edwin Jackson? Sign two guys for $10 million each and you have a much more stable and consistent rotation than paying $20 + million for Grienkie.

    A rotation of Morrow, Sanchez, Jackson, Romero, Happ/Alvarez is definately at least above average. If one or more of them gets injured then we have Drabek coming back in June/July and Jenkins/McGuire/Carreño to hold spots until Hutchison is ready.

    Is two decent starters too much to ask?

    • I’d go for them both, but I don’t think you’re getting either on a $10m one year pillow contract.

      • Agreed that they wouldn’t sign a one year contract but I could see either of them going for something like 3/30. I’d be surprised if they got past the 5 year limit that Rogers/Beeston/AA/whoever has put out.

        • Beeston’s limit is 3 years for pitchers (Romero was an exception and he’s doing a lot this year to demonstrate why Beeston thinks that way). Both Sanchez and Jackson can probably get more than that on the market.

          Rogers won’t sign any FA starters (unless you count a Laffey type, they’ll probably pick up a couple of those).

    • I was thinking more along the lines of Brandon McCarthy and Shaun Marcum. Roll with Alvarez in the 5 hole and trust that 2012 was a building year, devleopmentally speaking.

      Sign David Ortiz for 2 years and 28 million with a 3rd year option.

      Use your trade chips to land another impact OF’er, say Justin Upton. Failing that turn your gunsights to dealing for a pitcher and including Alvarez in that deal or send him to AAA if he’s not one of your 5 best rotation candidates heading into 2013. Using dollars instead of prospect capital allows your to go out and trade for that big piece without fear of having to decimate your system in order to plug every hole in your lineup.

      • I would go with Happ over Alvarez – give Alvarez a year in the minors to focus on developing an actual 3rd pitch.

        • A competition is a more likely scenario. No one should be handing Happ anything. Same goes for Alvarez.

  13. how insanely good is Felix – in the last four years he had 130 starts and in 84 of those, he allowed only 2 runs or less (65%) – so, good game Blue Jays

    and we are a week away from the MOST IMPORTANT SERIES OF THE SEASON – Tampon Rays – end the Losing Series as Visitor streak – these are the only games that mean a damn – do not start 2013 worrying about breaking the dubious record held by Royals vs. Stankees.

    • Is referring to a baseball team with a female hygienic product meant to be derogative? If so, fail.

  14. I still trust in AA

  15. Sure, yes, our payroll is going to go up, no doubt about it. I think our payroll has climbed each year. Obviously there’s always talk about it climbing to astronomical levels and like I’ve always said, I don’t think that’s realistic but again it has climbed each year and it will continue to climb. To what level does it end up climbing? That remains to be seen. But it does climb and I think it’s climbed a good amount each year. Maybe not by $40, $60, $80, $90 million like everybody else but it climbs and I think if our payroll continues to climb we’ll be in a pretty good area.

    That’s the full quote from Alex. I’m still not clear who “everybody else” is. I thought it was referring to the Ash then Ricciardi payroll bumps- but who can tell from those words strung together?

  16. Maybe that 90 million is reference to the Dodgers. Don’t know who the 80 million would be then or even the 60.

    2012- 75 million
    2011- 62 million
    2010- 62 million

    It went up 13 million. That’s really nothing when you’re still in the bottom 10 in spending…

    This team needs to be adequately funded. I’m not bent out of shape if Villanueva wants to get paid. The Jays crushed Milwaukee in that trade. However, I want Alex to have the money to get the players he wants. Other teams’ owners are investing in their product because they know they need to be competitive.

    a

  17. there are probably many of these lists floating around, but this may be a helpful link for what FAs are available this winter (it is not for the subjective “rankings” that I link this, and there are an additional 2 pages of names linked to this page):

    http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/2012/09/07/2013-top-111-free-agents-nos-50-1/

  18. First off, I love the direction the Jays are going. I love the farm, and have got caught up in the prospect porn. I’m especially excited to see what Jake Marisnick becomes in a few years after hearing/reading all the 5-tool scouting reports. I also took AA’s comments about the payroll as a huge positive. Yes he was vague but it was the first time he has actually stated that the Jays would increase payroll for a given season. I take it as a good sign. Now what I see as the bad…

    I don’t agree with the comparisons being made between Morrow and Romero for the possibility of an equal bounce back season. Morrow struggled with his control just as Romero is doing now but the big difference is Morrow could reach back and dial up 98 when he wanted to. Rickey does not have that luxury. Even when Morrow was shitting the bed, he grouped together innings, even whole starts where you watched in awe, and knew if he found the zone he’d be a premiere pitcher. Rickey doesn’t just need to improve his control, I’d argue that control needs to be his best quality. He undoubtedly has great stuff (curveball, changeup) but throwing those pitches for strikes seems like the moon to him. I want him to find the zone in 13 but I’m not hopeful. For those that argue it’s not a mental issue, (Stoeten amongst others) Rickey, the Jays, and their entire staff of Doctors and trainers say its definitly not a physical issue so thenthe question begs… what the fuck is it?

  19. The thing about Gose and Hechavarria is, that eventually, you’re going to have to make room for them, or lose them at below market value.

    I know many of us have thought about putting Gose in RF or LF, but what if the plan is to hold him until you’re sure Rasmus is or is not the answer in CF? Cause where will we be if at the end of next season Rasmus puts up another slash line like he’s done this season? We’ll be ready for Gose to take over, and by then Gose will (hopefully) be ready.

    Eh, truth be told, AA’s probably not too concerned about position battles, and is more worried about creating the most value, irregardless of position. If someone’s ready and there’s an incumbent too good to bench, AA can make a trade.

  20. A common sentiment on Fangraphs is that fWAR is better to measure pitchers for the current year, but Baseball Reference’s version is better in the long run because if a pitcher is over/underperforming his peripherals over his career, it’s probably because of something that fWAR cannot capture.

    It’s merely a 3 year sample, but Brandon Morrow’s ERA-based WAR is 1.5 (2010), 1.2 (2011) and 2.3 (2012 thus far). He has had trouble performing up this his peripherals the 1st two years and had an injury this year.

    Expecting 200 innings of ace-calibre pitching out of Morrow seems ridiculous if the Blue Jays intend to contend next year. A more reasonable expectation is as a #2 starter.

    If Ricky Romero was a free agent after this season, what would he get on the open market? Maybe 1 year at $8-10 mill?

    As a former #2 starter who has pitched like a #6 starter this year, what is a fair expectation for next year? Anything more than a #4 starter seems ridiculous for a team that wants to contend.

    I have a feeling the price for free agents is going to spike considerably this year as many team’s have shiny new TV contracts and less teams than ever are in full rebuild mode due to the 10 playoff spots.

    Teams like Milwakuee that look like they should consider a short term rebuild/retool are going to be going after the same pitchers the Jays want and there are probably 20-25 teams that would gladly pay Jackson or Sanchez 3 years and over $30 million.

    All of this is to say that if the Jays have the inside track on signing Carlos Villaneuava to a reasonable contract with a club option or two (i.e. 2/10, 3/12 with an option or two) and DO NOT have to guarantee him a rotation spot if he does not perform well enough to keep one, they would be foolish not to explore this.

    Beggars cannot be choosers. At the moment, the Blue Jays would be delusional to believe they have anything more than a #2 (Morrow), #4 (Romero) and a few options for the #5 – 7 slots in Happ, Alvarez & Laffey.

    Adding CV to this mix, if the price is reasonable, seems like a better bet than hoping to land two #2/3 starter through free agency and trade.

  21. by my loose estimation, there should be lots of money avail to spend

    frasor 4mil
    cordero 4mil
    cv 3 mil
    teahan 5 mil
    kj 6 mil

    that’s 22 mil avail + linds 6 mil next year

    that should be enough to get you a starter, dh and 2b. add in a payroll increase and maybe you get another starter.

    • oops but now we have to subtract edwins 10 mil

      • Now take out arbitration awards for Colby and Happ, scheduled salary increases for Ricky and Morrow and repeat after me; “organic payroll growth.”

    • You have the right amount in terms of leaving contracts, but have not taken into consideration 2 things:

      1) Singed Raises: 4M (Morrow) + 2.5M (Romero) + .25M (Davis) + 1.9M (Janssen) + 1.75 (Santos) + 0.9M(McGowan) + 4.5M (Encarnacion) – 1M (Oliver) = 14.8M

      2) Arbitration Raises (Estimated): 0.5M (Cecil) + 1.3M (Rasmus) + 1.2M (Happ) = 2M

      So a net of about 5-6M remaining, in terms of salary from this year, to fill 2 starters, 2B, and DH for next season. This is why AA is confident that payroll will increase in the offseason, because he only needs to sign one or two 10M contract to have it quite a bit higher.

  22. my targets are scutora/keppinger 3mil and upton 5mil

  23. Basically AA is negotiating with Carlos on his potential next contract through the media. Its sort of a cold blooded move because he is trying to reduce the potential value carlos would have as a free agent by letting other teams know that HE himself is not confident in Carlos.

    Its all gamesmanship. If Carlos was under control for the next three years, we would be hearing about how Alex “has no doubt Carlos can handle the extra work as long as its done smartly..and Carlos is in the best shape of his life”

    Now Im not saying other GM’s wouldnt have their own doubts about Los’ durbility but Alex is just trying ot make the appearance of doubt loom larger.

  24. Enjoyed the post, it captures AA perfectly…its long and says very little. AA showa how little authority he has with his payroll is going up, we won’t spend a lot, look before you leap, he who hesitates is lost routine. After reading this I expect that the 2013 BJ train will crash about the same place as it did this year. If you want it to change then speak with your walett. Lets get going Rogers!

  25. At least if Villanueva does not resign, I can unstitch the letters from his jersey and use them to spell out two regular lengthed names

  26. Well its going to be interesting this winter one way or another.

  27. I don’t get the “having to dominate AAA” line for Hech & Gose. There are plenty of good major leaguers who were so-so in AAA, just as there are tons of guys who look like hall-of-famers in AAA and stink in the majors.

    I’d much rather see Hech at 2nd next year than whatever mediocre guy will be there next year (if he isn’t Kinsler, Cano, Phillips, Kendrick – the rest are about the same) and barring a major signing in LF, I’d rather see Gose there 140 games

  28. Stoeten, that was an excellent post!

  29. Holy crap, there’s love in the comments section – for AA, the Jays, even Stoeten! I must have died in a fiery car crash on my way to the office this morning. If Parkes wrote a San Fran Giants post that received lots of love, I will try to walk through a wall.

    Anyway – the whole thing about how much payroll may or may not increase in a year can give reason for pause, but I think the $40 million figure is an interesting starting point. I think AA realizes the importance of increasing payroll by, let’s say, $30 million, but we have to break it down a little:

    There was the contract extension to EE which kicks in next year, paying him about $6-7 million more than he’s making now.
    There are contracts coming off the books for players that do have options, like Rajai Davis and Darren Oliver. You’re looking at about $8 million there.
    Colby Rasmus is in arbitration, or might even get extended (note: awesome). I’d bank on around $5 million for him.

    So, if you already lock up $20 million right there (assuming a payroll commitments for next year of about $60-$65 million I believe I’ve read) you’re already at $80m. Will salary continue to climb from the current level of $85m, or will it climb from the guaranteed contracts for next year? That’s the big question.

    I’d like to see them sign Nick Swisher, David Ortiz, Anibal Sanchez and Edwin Jackson, or perhaps Shaun Marcum. Either way, you’re looking at about $50 million in payroll right there. And, if you pay Swisher $13 million a year, will Bautista want to renegotiate his contract as well?

    • That’s a tremendous point. I’m very worried that this whole ‘payroll increase’ thing is just going to mean that payroll went up because of existing commitments. In addition to the ones you mentioned, Morrow and Romero are both due for significant guaranteed raises.

      Five million for Colby is a bit of a stretch though.

      • One of the key aspects of AA’s regime is whether or not they are willing to keep our great players through resigning. We need to see this commitment especially if any of our prospects turn into good-to-great players.

        We do not want to become a farm team to the rest of the MLB.

  30. Wiser clap for Stoeten’s. Post

    It’s good to bring up the jays spending in 2001 at 100 million adjusted used which equals 140 million CDn .

    Now the team spends 84 million CDn.

    Using CDn dollar is relevant because gate receipts and Rogers. Tv revenue is in CDn dollars.

    The team needs to upgrade starting pitching dh and 2b.

    Media and fans wont accept another year of inaction.

  31. “So… unless you mean “climbing out of the hole ownership intentionally put it in,” that’s not really an accurate statement.”

    Hahahahaha….that’s gold. Yeah, Paul Beeston stood up at the Gala wayback and didn’t even blink as the words ’120 million in the near future’ left his mouth. As if it was the most obvious and natural thing in the world. So all this hand-wringing about having to spend a lot more money to seriously compete in this division is somewhere between incredibly naive and completely disingenuous.

    “obviously there’s always talk about it climbing to astronomical levels and like I’ve always said, I don’t think that’s realistic”

    Ok, yeah…clearly lies. Why I believe anything being told to season ticket holders I don’t know.

    • “I mean, we keep being told that 2010 is the year they’ll be competitive, so then why, if they had this money, weren’t they out there signing cheap two- or three-year contracts this off-season, with an eye to next year? Do they think that it’s going to be even more of a buyers’ market next winter? Well, then, you know, maybe say so. I don’t know, maybe it’s just that I’ve got a head full of cold medication, or maybe I’m just so jaded from all the years under Paul Godfrey, but I just can’t help but think we’re still being lied to here– only by much, much better liars.” – Andrew Stoeten of DJF on Beeston’s BS and how supposedly 2010 (lol) was going to be a contending year, 04.03.09

      Beeston said that the Jays have a “huge budget for our free agents this year,” but that does not mean Toronto will spend for the sake of spending. “Rogers buys into what we’re trying to do. If we get a free agent that we think can help us there’s not even a question we would go out and get him. Top free agents won’t want to come here until the Jays start winning again.” -Paul Beeston, 01.28.10

      “We should be able to support a $140 – $150 million payroll and that’s the direction we’re headed.” -Paul Beeston, 1.27.11

      I don’t know when we’re going to do it. It could be this year. It could be next year. It’s going to be when it’s the right deal that’s going to put us over the top.” -Paul Beeston, 10.10.11

      “We’re not there yet, we’re not going to go out and buy a team.” -Paul Beeston, 12.01.11

      “We’re still capable of going to the US$120m payroll once we start drawing the people. … The formula hasn’t changed.” -Paul Beeston, 12.06.11

      After the Jays don’t spend a league average amount in 2013, what’s the excuse going to be next?

      • this team is a joke, I honestly wish somebody else had bought this team. what’s wilner’s excuse going to be next year

      • +1

        Beeston has been lying to the fans for years.

        This is a put up or shut up year for the jays

  32. The thing that almost put me in a frothing rage about the AA comments was talking about how he’s not worried about second because “the landscape changes so fast” – look at Hanley Ramirez. Well why the FUCK didn’t you look at Hanley Fucking Ramirez when the Marlins were giving him away for a song? How about that fucking tailormade for Rogers Center power hitting second baseman?

    Like holy shit, listening to him talk about the kind of player he would like to target then using Ramirez as an example when he’s actually the exact fucking player that he’s talking about is enough to give me an aneurysm. If you didn’t pull the trigger then (or for Darvish, maybe the perfect example of ‘market whateverthefuck’ but that’s a rant for another time) then why would I ever in a million years believe you’d pull it at some other mythical ‘time is right moment’? Having said that I would still rather have AA than maybe all of the other GMs in MLB. The guy’s smart, he just thinks he’s so much smarter than everyone else – I blame it on hearing him through the media, people he actually is much smarter than.

    Also, Torii Hunter. Look up his statistics, look at the number of outfielders the Angels have and tell me its a bad idea.

  33. Am I the only one who thinks Yunel and JPA should be moved and roll with hech TDA/Mathis next year??? A catcher with power potential and an above average shortstop should net at least one starter or a high ceiling lf/2ndbaseman via trade…there’s no sence in negating the top tool of hech by moving him to 2nd where his bat likely won’t play…and Gose to start at AAA as 5th outfielder/first injury call up…

  34. This is probably a dumb thing to say so I’ll say it and then wait for the cat-calls. But seriously, where is the incentive for Rogers to spend more money on this team? They own the broadcast rights. There is no other Canadian team to watch on any other rival network. The team plays in the AL East, so there are plenty of occasions for fans to watch and either hate or root for The Yanks and the Sox. As long as the Jays provide content, why should Rogers spend anything to improve? The team hangs in around the middle most seasons. It has had up until now a very watchable player in Bautista and now maybe EE. Attendance is important but I can’t believe that attendance is where the real money is in a franchise. Surely that must lie in tv advertising revenues etc. If Rogers is not itself invested in fielding a winning team, then why on earth would they allow enormous amounts to be spent.

    When Labatts had the team, they were a beer company selling machismo and guys drinking at great sporting events etc. I can see where owning a winning team would be important to their brand. I don’t see where owning a winning team is important to the Rogers brand who are in a very different situation with a very different image. Winning is important to us as fans, but as we have seen, the fans who love baseball will come out anyway. And Yankee and Sox fans also come to the stadium. I really wish I thought that Rogers cared about winning, but if I look at it from a business point of view I don’t see where fielding a highly-priced team in an attempt to compete gets them. After all, the Rays are not a big-budget team and neither are the Orioles and they are both in the mix right now. A pennant run would add to tv ratings for sure, but a pennant run could happen at any time if the stars are right, just look at the O’s. It would not surprise me if the ‘we’ll spend money when the team tells us it’s ready’ will continue to be a mantra until either the Jays really do get lucky or the fans get so upset and fed-up that they just walk away not just from the stadium but also from the tv. If that looks like it’s happening, then Rogers will either spend the money or sell the team. I would love to know if the well-known Ricciardi spend-fest came after a trend of lower tv ratings for the Jays games.

    • Yes, I’ve noted that for years…there just isn’t any real incentive to spend more. Rogers is already making a ton of money off this team through owning those cheap and incredibly lucrative TV rights and taking on any additional risk in the form of large contracts at the chance of building a winner just isn’t worth it for them. Not when they’re still making steady profits off mediocrity, anyway.

      And really, it’s been like this for over a decade since they made the Jays acquisition, why would anybody think it’s going to change any time soon? We’re likely just going to have to hope that AA and his team know what they’re doing with the farm system and that we can build something similar to what the Rays have. Because we pretty much know that Rogers isn’t going to ever treat the Jays as the large market organization that they actually are.

      • WAHHHHHHH!

        “I’ve noted this for years.” Hahahaha. (Which isn’t to say you haven’t, mind you, just the smug self importance is fucking hilarious for its… well… because OF COURSE you were going to be smugly self important here. Hahahaha.)

        • It’s always a tad ironic when you talk about other people exhibiting a sense of “smug self importance.” Perhaps you should re-read your blog from the last six years.

          But hey, at least your finally opening your eyes about how Rogers has run this team. It’s taken a while, but you’re on the right truck.

    • Good points, but having a better team means more eyes on the TV, theoretically, so I don’t think I could say that it’s that they don’t care. Rather, it seems they feel a major investment isn’t worth it, and if they’re patient enough they can strengthen and grow the brand to where they want it anyway, without the kind of massive up-front investment– and risk that comes with it– that it would take to instantly change things. The cost/benefit, in their calculation, is obviously low.

      So, I’d say there is incentive to win– look at the attendance, ratings, and revenue generation the club was capable of in the early 90s– but it’s more that there isn’t as much incentive to invest massive cash to get there now, as opposed to a slow and steady build.

      Only thing is, I don’t think the slow and steady build is a guarantee either, and surely they realized this during Ricciardi’s tenure, which is why they eventually did start to open the purse strings a bit. I suspect they’ll do the same thing again, and hope for better results with better people in charge.

      • I’d have to go back and check, but if I remember the Great Ricciardi Spend-Off he spent $$$$$$ on BJ Ryan and then even more $$$$$$ on AJ Burnett. I don’t remember who else he signed that off-season. It seemed to kind of come out of nowhere, so looking back I have to wonder why that happened.

        No matter what went on then, I agree with what you think is happening now. Rogers will keep the money down and hope that players develop that can bring the team to a winning position. It’s not that they actively want to lose but I don’t think they are as invested in winning as a non-corporate owner would be. And, yes, the winning Jays teams were financially very rewarding for their owners. But that was almost 20 years ago and the landscape has changed so much that I don’t think we can look at what happened then and extrapolate the same level of return now on a winning team.

        • Do you remember how exciting it was to be at Burnett’s and Ryan’s first games. The atmosphere was electric. I would live to see that kind of excitement this spring, if the Jays do snag a #1 or #2 starter and say an Ortiz. The gate would be pretty significant, particularly if they stayed in the hunt until September. Toronto isn’t Tampa; the fans will continue to come out if there’s are compelling reason to watch.

        • The Jays also traded for Troy Glaus that off-season, who was already banking some decent coin. That was a huge off-season for the Jays – shame it didn’t pan out as well as we thought it might.

          • It panned out pretty well…the 2006 Jays were the best team they’ve had since the playoff years. It just wasn’t good enough to beat out the true elite in the division.

      • From my understanding,one of the most desirable and profitable regional sportsnetworks is YES.
        Is it possible that Rogers is building a variation of that?I think so.
        In a day and age that TV channels and networks are losing viewers,Sports networks are growing because of their content.
        Rogers has already proven that IF they improve the interest in the Jays, the ratings will go up and thus revenues and profit.
        But in creating a winning team things don’t always turn out as planned and adjustments have to be made.
        Do you really think Farrell was chosen for his tactical genius or how well he gives an interview?He may turn out great but his media presense makes him valuable also.
        Follow the money.

    • Getting exclusive access to the content is just one step. There’s no point in having exclusive access to the content if you don’t have quality content. People aren’t blindly going to watch Jay games no matter what’s on the field. From a consumer perspective, there are plenty of substitutes for Jays games.

      Monopolies don’t just start cutting costs and resting on their laurels as soon as they own the entire market. They work to leverage their market domination by improving the quality of their product to draw more customers/consumers.

      It’s not fair to say Rogers has no incentive to spend, unless you believe that the Jays are maximizing their profits right now (a pretty absurd statement).

      • It’s not that they have no incentive to spend at all, it’s just have no incentive to take any large risks when they can continue to make easy money off the Jays without doing so.

    • @isabella

      the jays are an asset and if you spend money on that asset you increase it’s value. Rogers would rather just sit there and let other teams spend money and reap the benefits of higher across the board franchise values. Rogers has already doubled their value by doing nothing. Imagine what it would be if they actually invested.

      You can’t just look at profit/loss. Spending more money increases the brand value, which means higher ad rates, more cable sales, more internet sales, more cell phones. There are too many synergies that the jays can easily run at a loss and be a net benefit to rogers. Otherwise why did rogers even buy the jays? Not sure what their game plan is but it seems they’re following the RIM playbook.

      • I should also point out, look at what steinbrenner did. He bought the yanks for a few million and turned it into a billion dollar empire. Same for the cowboys. Imagine what the jays could be worth if rogers just spend even a little money on it.

    • From investing point of view sport franchises are high risk investments. When you’re winning you can make a shit load of money and when you lose you lose big time.
      So the question is that is it worth it for a giant like Rogers to invest on a risky asset when there are better opportunities out there? With the oligopoly in communication industry I’d say spending on a sport franchise which is pretty much hit or miss is not worthy.

      • Then why did they even buy the jays. Give me a break. What baseball team has been sold at a loss to the owner? What did the dodgers get 2 billion?

    • Thanks Tom. A frightening assessment, that the team is now a new version of the Expos.

    • It’s interesting to see just how far the Jays have come in two years. Attendance was up 200,000 last year, and this year we’ve already surpassed last year’s mark with 10 home games still to come.

      Two years ago the Jays were mostly devoid of hope, and now we can legitimately believe there will be playoffs in the next few years.

    • It should be noted that this is out of date as it was published in 2011. There is nothing to see here folks. Move along.

  35. I know this is a scary thought, but assuming he doesn’t pick his game up, how long into next season until we start to view Ricky as the new Lind?

    • 3 shitty starts

      • they absolutely need a pitcher who is not only clearly and universally recognized to be better than Rickie but who is capable of leading and inspiring RR once he is free of the Ace anchor around his neck.

  36. The 77m Rogers spent in 2001 was worth 115m in Canadian dollars, and that’s before you factor in inflation. Payroll is nowhere near where it used to be and you’re a fool if you think the Jays can’t operate comfortably with a payroll over 100m while still posting healthy revenues. All the accounting figures you read are straight up lies.

    • Of course they are.A neccessary lie for Rogers to collect 30 mil a year in revenue sharing.
      And back in 2002, when Rogers acquired the Jays, it’s well documented that the Jays were “bleeding money”. That’s why Godfrey hired JPR,who promised to cut costs.
      But the climate has changed and so will the parameters that the Jays operate under.
      Interesting that Beeston and Gillick left when Interbrew wouldn’t invest in the team but did Beeston decide to take the job fulltime because he was assured that Rogers would spend when needed? Otherwise he’d be in the same place as when Interbrew ran the team.It’s not like he couldn’t find another job.

    • In 2001 the Jays pulled 1.9 million fans.
      In 2008 the Jays pulled 2.4 million fans.
      This year the Jays are on pace to pull 2.0 million fans for the first time since 2008.

      Kinda puts into perspective how much damage was done to the franchise in Ricciardi’s last years.

      • It wasn’t ricciardi, it was rogers gutting the payroll again. attendance moves with payroll

    • Bingo. It’s pretty incredible to think about how much Rogers is reaping off this franchise right now.

  37. Also, just a friendly reminder that while it may be shitty for the rest of the county, it’s good news for the Jays that the dollar is now creeping up to $1.04 American. In 2001 the loonie would buy a robust $0.65 American

  38. Thanks buddy, it was almost a distant memory!

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