I’ve always been quick to roll my eyes at Jays fans who get so unabashedly steamed at the possibility that someone running a huge brand and television property operated by a major arm of a multi-billion-dollar company, with a payroll over $100-million, might not always be entirely truthful, or that figures who have so often demonstrated themselves to be, above all else, company men, might be massaging the message to spin things in a positive light for their employers, and for the viability of their product at the turnstile and as compelling content on the TV network owned by the parent company.

People want to hold Paul Beeston, Alex Anthopoulos, and their ilk to a higher standard, I think, because what they represent is, to a lot of us, more than just a brand or a product or content. It’s not a soft drink or a car or something that can be distilled into some shallow pitch-line, it’s the passion that unites us — *Ehrm* — except… well… it really is a whole lot like those things when you get right down to it, and guys like Beeston and Anthopoulos really are just middle-managers, doing what’s right for the company and the bottom line when it comes to the P.R. aspects of their jobs.

We understand that. It’s OK.

Or, it is to me, at least.

The club is going to do what it’s going to do, regardless of what they say or what we think. The injured players are going to be healthy when they’re healthy. What we’re told about it, to me, matters not one iota, and those who get themselves all worked up about it are kinda hilarious. If it gives the club some any kind of competitive advantage, even better.

I’d even go as far as to say that’s all true except when that competitive advantage is gained in the form of budget increases procured by selling false hope to fans, but at this point that’s a losing proposition anyway, isn’t it?

Like, at this point does anybody even bother trying to believe Paul Beeston when he goes on the Fan 590, as he did this morning with Brady and Walker (audio here), and shovels us the same platitudes about the club’s finances?

I’ll set the record straight,” he tells us, “because we’ve never gone to Rogers for money and asked them for anything that we haven’t got. They’ve been very, very generous with us. They took our salaries up from $90-million to $125-million, then they’re up this year. They will be up next year, there’s no question about that. They’ve been very supportive. And so, when we lose, all of the sudden it’s because of finances — it’s because of money — and that’s really not fair to Rogers. That’s because of decisions we’ve made, or because of injuries, or because of the way we’ve played. It’s nothing to do with the financial part of it. And when we get into this, when I hear last week that we didn’t make decisions because we didn’t have the money and there was a hockey contract, it’s just flat out wrong. It’s patently false. We’ve got what we need to do, and if there wasn’t a trade that was made it was made because Alex and the baseball people didn’t think that they wanted to part with the players that they could get back for who they could get. It had nothing to do with finances.

Aren’t the words so transparent that they don’t even register? Don’t we all see through the well-worn line about Rogers never saying no when they’ve asked? Don’t we all fully understand that the reality is that they know enough not to ask?

Do we bother getting our hopes up when he says the big league payroll “will be up next year, there’s no question about that”? When earlier he said that Melky Cabrera is “a player you just want to have,” and that he and Colby Rasmus “are two players that are critical for the future”?

Would it matter?

We know how a team that has money would operate — we see it even with us in the standings in the form of the New York Yankees. A team with money to spare, as full of warts as a Martin Prado or a Chase Headley or a Brandon McCarthy might be, doesn’t let the team chasing them load up with potential upgrades that cost nothing in terms of the game’s most valuable commodity: talent. A team with money to spare doesn’t balk at a Prado out of fear of blowing their opportunity to re-sign Cabrera. There are plenty of legitimate baseball reasons to have not made stronger plays for those guys, but that’s not what a team making decisions that have “nothing to do with finances” does.

Does it matter whether Alex Anthopoulos is lying or not when he says, as he did this afternoon (as per a piece from John Lott of the National Post), that even though Adam Lind wasn’t scheduled to play a rehab game today for the GCL Jays because of tightness in his back — a wonky back that, according to Baseball Prospectus, kept him out 24 games in 2011, 29 in 2012, five in 2013, and 20 more earlier this season — the club’s decision-makers “don’t think it’s much of anything”?

Does it matter that it’s reasonable enough that he says they felt, “why even push it?” 

Does anything that we do or think change the timetable? Do these guys even bother to blush anymore when some of the things they’ve said in the past are thrown back at them? Or does the media understand so well how their hands are being tied from above that they don’t even bother to push it to hard — to grind them down and get to the truth?

Would it matter if, more often, they just said the truth we already know? Would it change anything?

I’m honestly asking!

Comments (72)

  1. No it wouldn’t but Roba would keep saying everything the jays do is spin

    • Yeah cause those are the words of a straight shooter right there *eyeroll*

      Stop being a tool.

      • Stoten is a straight shooter, gets me between the eyes and in my mouth all the time. Yum Yum Yum or Cum Cum Cum!

    • He’s (RobA) probably one of the more realistic people who comments on here than others. I can see myself that he tries his best the critically analyze scenarios and question the norm, which is a whole hell of a lot better than some of what appears to be the mindless sheep following dribble or utter nonsense that some people post – it shows intelligence.

      Simply calling him out as a moron, makes you look like the bigger the moron, as you can’t come up with a sound rebuttal. If you’re going to do, do as some of the people on here suggest, and go comment on the boards for TSN or Sportsnet. Or lay off the coke, whatever floats your boat.

  2. It is prety shitty IMO, just because we’ve gotten used to it doesn’t make it not shitty. There are giant companies that don’t take thier customers for granted and franchises that try to win while making money instead of only focusing on the latter. It seems so incredibly shortsighted to not consider the warm post-coitus glow the fanbase (diehard and casual) would have if the Jays won a division, a playoff series, a league championship or (my heart aches just thinking about it) a World Series. So I don’t just hope for honesty, I hope for a championship horny baseball ownership group, failing that honesty would be nice.

  3. It kind of matters to me, in a vacuum. I mean, this is a team that I support with my own money, by going to games and paying for cable channels that its owner ultimately profits from. It kind of matters to me whether or not I can believe what the front office says when it talks about money being available, and talent being the most important thing to protect because the owner has the flexibility to augment a young core with smart free agent pick-ups and contract extensions.

    It also matters because most fans have an emotional investment in their team. Like Stoeten said in one of the Baltimore game threats this week, we ARE emotionally invested. Honestly and sincerely emotionally invested. And it stings that such honesty is repaid by what seems to be 100% corporate spin about many of the big issues facing this team: who it can “afford” to keep, whether the current, very talented roster will be prematurely dismantled because of “payroll parameters”, and so on.

    But in reality? No. Doesn’t really matter. I think about my life, and probably most of lives of the commenters on here, and I realize that it doesn’t matter a bit. I’ve got a family, I love my job, I live in Canada, a pretty safe place with a very high standard of living. It’s all good, and groaning about a baseball team and its (probably) dishonest owners is really just petty.

    But that kind of argument is a pretty big fallacy. Not because a baseball is actually important, but because, objectively, each individual thing ought to be measured against similar things. And similar things to our Toronto Blue Jays, including the Yankees Stoeten referenced, believe that it’s important to be honest with their fan base. Look at the Cubs: when Epstein and Hoyer took over, they promised Cubs fans a bad team in the short term and a perennial contender in the long term. Knowing that, fans were able to align their priorities. Attendance may be down, but so are payroll costs, and the die-hard fans (like us) hang on because they know that the Cubs will be monsters in a few years.

    When I lay it out like that, I can ignore the lack of gravity that baseball itself has in reality, and I can understand myself getting very upset at the front office for telling us that money is available, then doing nothing to prove that statement true.

  4. I’m starting to get over all the lies and just accept it for what it is. I’m just hoping that others feel the same way and it reflects on their bottom line.

  5. Think about another entertainment industry, say music, if the record label refused to bring in top notch backup singers or buy better recording equipment orsome such thing to supplement my favourite band so that their finished product would be better I would expect the producer (AA in this metaphor) to say so and that he wishes he wasn’t so constrained even if he understood and sympathized with the business case.

    • Nonsense.

    • Of all the “real world” analogies you could have chosen and you came up with that steaming pile of shit?! I’d ask if you were drunk but you would probably just lie.

      • Quite the vitriolic reply, it didn’t seem like that terrible an analogy to me. Obviously, since I took the time to write it down. But you’ve never heard bands complain about their studio experience or the sound guy or how the product was rushed out the door? It happens and it can make the band look bad if they don’t get the behind the scenes support they expect especially during recording.

  6. I’ve thought this for a long time – why do they owe us honesty? Honesty results in two things – both consequences are not realistic, nor do we want them to be in.

    They either give away their strategy to let other teams take advantage of their position, because they’ve told everyone ‘WE HAVE TO HAVE A STARTING PITCHER.’ Or ‘we are not trading any farm depth.’ Those statements weaken their position, I don’t want them to be honest.

    The other you can call the JP Ricciardi lesson. You do not shit on your boss. No matter who you are, where you work, what you do – if someone asks you publicly about your boss/manager/owner – you shine up that turd and tell them how great it is.
    JP shit on Rogers finally for no money, and was gone in 3 mos.
    That’s why these guys aren’t goin anywhere they are protecting Rogers, the great masters.

  7. Andrew Stoeten isn’t for me, but that’s only because he’s fucking terrible.

  8. Everything you say makes sense Stoeten and it’s true, but I mean if that’s the attitude then what’s even the fucking point?

    I get pissed when the front office fucking lies all the fucking time because I’m a Blue Jays fan and I really really really want to see them win. So when Alex makes it sound like we’re going to be big players on Yu Darvish I get stoked because Yu Darvish is fucking awesome – and in the end we probably weren’t even close to coming close to his price point.

    And the real problem with any of that isn’t that my wittle feewings are hurt because I’m happy to live with a mediocre team for 162 games at the end of the day.

    • And to extend your product analogy, if Rogers came out and said that they were working towards airing TV with no commercials and then did absolutely dick all towards actually accomplishing that goal, all the while talking about how nothing’s standing in their way in their efforts to accomplish that…

      Well I feel like some people might get pretty pissed about that. And I think it might hurt their bottom line.

  9. Can we just fast forward a few years to when a former employee finally spills about the AA years…?

  10. It doesn’t matter to Rogers that I haven’t spent a penny on the product out of single-minded protest because it doesn’t matter to others and my pennies don’t matter. That’s a horrible feeling for a fan, I suppose.

    So maybe it does matter. The team is as close as they’ve been in two decades and I don’t give a shit because they don’t want it as much as I do.

    • You are here.

      You are commenting.

      Yet you dont give a shit?

      My head hurts.

      • Used to give a shit but now that Rogers doesn’t give a shit, Todd no longer gives a shit. When they want it as bad as Todd, he’ll give a shit again. Clear?

      • no wave dave the sportsnet apologists are very transparent, ask dirk Hayhurst no stadium “Rogers” love.
        . it’s always about Rogers first jays third or fourth.
        2 days ago Dan Shulman questions the turf issue, asking how many home games do the Argos play vs the jays. And mentions mlb’s perception of the turf as crap. This morning Snet spews more AA useless dribble re the injuries and turf. AA’s transparency is just sad.. But we will Always have that amazing statue to adore as baseball fans..

  11. To be honest, I’d rather they not say anything.

    It seems to me that the only reason we’re getting these warbles on payroll parameters is damage control. When respected baseball reporters inside and outside of Toronto were saying other teams told them the Jays couldn’t take on salary in a trade, and Beeston and AA are saying the exact opposite while talking to Rogers owned properties, what it does is it hurts their credibility. And since we’re trusting them to run our favourite team, yeah, it’s annoying.

    Pissing on my head. Telling me it’s raining. That kind of thing.

    • Yup. If possible say nothing. If you have to say something unpleasant or unwelcome, lie if you have to.
      I think they’re lying but not because their worried about fan reaction but because they’re worried about how the clubhouse would take the news.
      Employees can be the biggest bunch of whiny bitches when the going gets tough, do what you have to in order to keep them focused.

    • i’m with teddy, i’d rather they just say nothing.

  12. Just watch (or listen) to the games and enjoy – or not!

  13. “because we’ve never got to Rogers for money and asked them for anything that we haven’t got. ”

    Is that even English ? We’ve never asked them for something we haven’t got ? Did he go to the Yoda school of cryptic speaking ?

    When you break that sentence down .. It basically states that every time they spent money , Rogers gave it to them . Vastly different than saying ever time they’ve asked for money it was given .

    • Looks like I typed “got” instead of “gone” in my transcription there. So… that helps.

  14. “It’s not a lie if we know the truth.”

  15. I more or less agree with what your saying. I certainly don’t think the FO owes us an inside track or anything. AA seems to go overboard on the snow jobs tho, to an unnecessary degree.

    • I’d never expect any “inside track” but some basic honesty would be nice. Do we have at least have some semblance of a right to that? I think so for those of that spend money on the product.

      But whatever, I’ve just started ignoring most of what AA says. Easier than getting my hopes up and being disappointed.

    • Who cares if he gives a snow job, gm’s lie all the time

  16. If you believe it’s true, it’s not a lie.

  17. It’s just another example of the unaccountability in today’s society, be it in finance (bank bailouts), politics (when’s the last time a politician went to jail or had their pension taken away), sports (we didn’t ask for the money but technically, Rogers didn’t say no).

    Political correctness and fear have made everyone scared to say the truth.

    yes, it would matter if people were honest because it would be easier to spot a bullshitter. Right now, we’re all bullshitting

    • Banks and politics aren’t fair comparisons. They are required, often by law, to tell the truth.
      It’s like people that compare a false trade rumour to Watergate. Like the journalistic standards of The Washington Post and ESPN.com need to be the same, when clearly they are not.

      • My point (badly made by me) was that, in today’s society, everyone is bullshitting, even the politician who is required by law to tell the truth. Laws, regulations, mean sweet fuck all; public image and spin mean everything.

        The question is: if we know he’s full of shit when Beeston says “it has nothing to do with finances”, why doesn’t any reporter try to hammer home the fact that we know he’s full of shit? I guess because in the end, it doesn’t matter. He needs to keep his job and Rogers need to keep on Rogering jays fans.

    • Bang on. Yes I expect the front office to be straight up with me. As I expect Rogers, Bell or any other company to be straight up. Holding people like this accountable is almost a civic responsibility. The reason why this shit is happenening in the first place is because we (as consumers) allow it. Stoeten preaching apathy, who’d have thunk it?

  18. I don’t think they have any responsibility to tell us things about injuries, pay roll, or anything else. None at all. And I have no expectation that they won’t lie.

    That doesn’t make any of their glaring inconsistencies any easier to swallow though. For me, it starts and ends with the hat passing story from the off season. Once that was allowed to be true, any residual faith I had in the organization was lost. I mean — can you actually picture a fucking professional sports team asking players to chip in on the salary of another player??? It’s about as appalling as it gets. So to say that money is there if they want it is obviously a lie. Because if money was there, they wouldn’t have done that.
    It is easy to think that Rogers has said “don’t come asking us about a player that will cost more than X dollars”. Then, AA and Beeston don’t ask, and they are able to say “Rogers has never turned us down when we’ve asked for money”. See what they did there?
    When I was a kid I knew not to ask my Dad for extra money. So I guess he never turned me down….

    • Do we even know how something like that went? Did the enthusiastic latino mafia offer to do this guessing that it was money blocking what THEY wanted? I have no idea. If we had got ES we may not have had Hutch and so on … Everyone wants a narrative that they like these days and some guys in here invent crazy shit fast as they can that makes them feel terrible. Baseball used to be and still is for some of us, a spectator sport that you don’t imagine you control, but imagine what you would do if you did AND there IS a difference. You play and I suspect players and manager play all kinds of speculative fantasy games within the game. It’s fun, but you don’t believe it and get bent out of shape about it. Pat Gillick didn’t have to answer a 24/7 nanosecond news cycle like AA does. I think he does a pretty good job of keeping his cards “close to his vest” … no one really wanted to trade Sanchez or Stroman and I suspect they were what every other team wanted. Solarte was a brighter chip than most in here give credit for and the Yankees probably had to think 3 times before parting with him. It’s not just playing baseball that’s hard. The GM job is a LOT harder, more risky and far less certain. While I’m here, let’s say that those who don’t lie get to criticize lying in others.

  19. Sometimes I wish AA and Beeston would act more like someone such as Bill Belichick (sp?) and just say nothing. We’d all be pissed that they weren’t giving us anything, but at least it wouldn’t feel misleading or disingenuous.

  20. If the jays are winning, this doesn’t matter.
    When they’re losing… huge story

    • If they’re winning, there’s less talk of this, it isn’t entirely gone. But you’re right about the point of losing, and the talk about this increasing.

      Every team is looking for ways to improve, whether they’re in first place or last.

  21. I dunno, there’s massauging the message… and then there’s giving the message a happy ending. I expect them to lie but I’d like it if they at least made a decent effort at it… unless Beeston expects us to believe that AA didn’t ask Rogers for money before having to pass the hat around to the players for Santana. If he expects us to believe that then I’m a bit miffed… not at the lie but his low opinion of our intelligence.

  22. If Rogers is constraining management financially, that sucks.

    If management is lying about those financial constraints, that’s annoying.

    Whether or not our anger about either of those facts can change them is immaterial, but both absolutely ought to piss us all off.

  23. Knowing the Financial truth would help us evaluate our GM more fairly and let us have more interesting conversations about the roster and the decisions we think should be made…so ya I think it matters – that shit is fun.

    • Good point.

      As long as we’re kept in the dark about what’s really going on, we can keep giving AA a pass because we really don’t know and it’s easy to say “cheap ass Rogers”

      Frankly, he could be a fantastic GM. Or he could be the worst. And we really wouldn’t know.

      • You’re in the dark but not because there isn’t light. You refuse to see the truth. AA and Beeston have told the truth. What they refuse to do is provide an easily digestible narrative that’ll you’ll accept as the truth.
        It’s ironic that their honesty is what gets them accused of being dishonest.

  24. more importantly, does Gibby realize that Valencia hits .200 against RHP?!?!?!?!?


    • Yeah, kind of weird.

      I’m a pretty huge Francisco hater, but even I’m pretty preplexed. He’s not bad vs. RHP, certainly better then Valencia.

  25. It matters because we all want sports to give us a relief from cynicism, not more of it. Cynical is an easy, basic emotion but it’s not very positive, fulfilling or uplifting.

    We want sports and other escapes (movies, music, hobbies) to give us less of that than the real world, not more. Rogers running of the team has rewarded that cynical side of fans almost unilaterally, with the exception of the big splash prior to 2013. And we are sick of it.

    That’s why it matters, IMHO.

  26. so in the end, is anything ok to critique with this team laden in playoff runs over the last 20 years?

    it is such a serious question I expect nothing but ignorance and bullshit in response

    • Nope. Critiquing anything means you are either:

      a) a negative suckhole
      b) a flat out moron
      c) an unempoloyed 50 something who lives in his moms basement
      d) all of the above

      Here at DJF we like our Jays fandom to be stoic, banal, emotionless and utterly boring. Being passionate and giving a shit are for the squares, mannnnnnnnnnnn.

  27. No.

  28. Timetable with Buehrle/Reyes/Dickey/JJ trades was 2014. With injuries and JJ’s complete failure timetable pushed to 2015. Beeston’s payroll increase will be for resigning Melky and possibly Janssen, plus arb elig player raises. Expect salary stagnation until Romero and Buehrle come off the books.

  29. We had a wild card walking into the trade deadline and now the team has taken a virtual nose dive while the other teams we’re now chasing are getting a bump from the new people adding life to their lineups. Coincidence? I think not…

    This was the absolute worst time to stand pat. If the Jays don’t make the playoffs, AA and Beeston should be dismissed for sitting on their fucking hands when they should have done something.

    That was their moment to make a splash and they didn’t have the courage to step up. Joey Bats was right to be pissed, this team clearly have the minerals to do what it takes to win.

    It’s time to fire AA and end this bullshit. I’m tired of his excuses.

  30. I work for an airline that used to be all about the employees. (Yeah go ahead and guess, it’s not that hard to figure out)

    They empowered the employees (the players) to go out and be themselves, to go the extra mile because they evil always be backed by the top. By this business model, to take care of employees, they would take care of the passengers(the fans), and this they would take care of the share holders(the owners)

    Problem is, recently, corporate style America leadership and their greedy ideologies have cancered the product (the team). And, whatever they dream up, the team comes second and making money comes first.

    There are lots of lies too, but it does matter because what make this company great(the team) was it’s willing to win, is being lost on the backburner to short term execs not far off from resembling Gordon Gecko, Bernie Madoff, or Conrad Black.

    So, remember the crassness and horseshit than owners such as Ted Turner and George Steinbrenner churned? At least they wanted a winner and gave their employees the trust and tools to do so.

    Rogers is strewn with a bunch of suits driven on corporate greed and what this team does in the winning department is secondary. The irony is that my airline sponsors the team too. Some parallels…….. oh yeah.

    • Every company has a culture and yours used to be pretty damn good. The Jays management and players can’t help but be affected by a bad corporate culture. Sorry to see what happened to my company happen to yours and the Jays.

      • Yeah. It just shows you that a job is really just a job, that helps you pay the bills and enjoy your family time. Gone are the days of company pride when they piss in your face and ask you to work harder for less. I felt like Bautista and Jansen……….

  31. So I hoped things would be going better than this. Last time I checked in they were second behind Baltimore.

    I don’t think it matters what the front office say. I think there is a pretty good chance they are going to be the ex-front-office by the start of the off-season.

  32. Anyone here a Rogers customer? They treat you like shit, under deliver, poor service and tell you it’s the best available. Any wonder they treat their baseball team like shit. There’s a Staue of Ted Rogers outside the stadium not Roberto Alomar! Everyone in baseball knows they don’t have ownership support; they own the sport’s reporters for fuck sakes. Your not going to hear the truth from them either. You got half of the Buffalo Bisons playing here. The Yankees lost 3 from the starting rotation and they went out and signed all the players you couldn’t. Oh and by the way they just passed you in the standings. We’ve been lied to since last fucking December and now you choose to see it. Great!

  33. Honesty does matter. I don’t see Billy Beane, for example, filling A’s fans’ heads with horseshit promises, equivocations, prevarications, double-speak and excuses. Of course a team has a right to keep some information to itself (who we’re looking at trading or acquiring etc.), which some might call the lie of omission, but that’s not the same as knowingly and deliberately misleading the fans who pay your salary. I try to be honest in my personal life and have a hard time cheering for people who don’t make the same commitment to me. I am losing respect for AA daily and have come to actively hate Rogers with a passion.

  34. Personally, I don’t care too much what management says. It doesn’t matter to me. In the end, winning makes them more money and makes us happy.

    I feel like management will do the best they can to win and what or how they tell us about their plans for that doesn’t matter to me. If they make a move, i’ll hear about it after it happens and that’s okay.

    Maybe i’m just living in a happy place in my head, or maybe I just believe that these people who manage a baseball club for a living will make their decisions just fine with having to take a twitter poll from fans like me.

    I really don’t think it matters.

  35. I care less about whether they lie to fans and more about whether they’ve lied to the players. It sounds as though the bigger names on this team that made long term commitments at perceived discounts were told that the club would make a heavy push when ready to contend. Certainly the Marlins/Dickey trades of a couple years ago must be factored in. However, if players are feeling slighted or annoyed by the team not making, what in their opinion is, a concerted effort to win at present then I have to imagine that will have consequences. Just add “unsupportive ownership” to a list of cons to playing for the Jays that includes horrible turf and playing in Canada.

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