Archive for the ‘Paul Beeston’ Category

beestonStCatharines

Oh lord. Here’s what I’m sure is exactly the way the Jays were hoping to spend a love-in of a day with baseball returning to the city for a new year, full of new hopes and a small sense of optimism pulled out of the fire thanks to a Drew Hutchison, Mark Buehrle, and the people of Montreal: Payroll Parameters!

But, of course, thanks to last night’s report at Fox Sports from Ken Rosenthal, it’s no longer avoidable, and Paul Beeston sure didn’t do much to stop the story’s momentum when he joined the excellent Matt Galloway on CBC Radio’s Metro Morning earlier today.

You can hear the full audio here, and it’s worth a listen, as he rambles into bizarre territory about the necessity of building the farm system and having young, controllable, cheap talent on the roster (sort of like the kind that the Jays traded away last year in what we now see as a feeble and suddenly-unsustainable push to become competitive), and also addresses the craft beer situation in purely myopic, short-term, capitalist terms, after first trying to make the suggestion that Labatt and Budweiser (majority owned by Belgian-Brazilian multinational Anheuser Busch-InBev) should count as locally brewed. But it was the budget stuff and the deferral scheme that provided the money quotes.

“There was discussion about that, Matt,” he said when asked about the deferral report. “And to be very honest with you, I think if it had gone that way it would have been fine.”

Let’s not mince words: that Beeston was aware of this is insane. That it went to his level, and that he didn’t say “I’ve heard of that report but I can’t speak to it, I know nothing about it,” bends the mind just a little bit. Or at least brings up thoughts of Alex Anthopoulos in his office, smacking himself in the forehead as he listens. And that he didn’t bother to clarify whether the suggestion came from the club or the players? Just… wow.

It also maybe plays into the speculation I was indulging in the previous post about the front office perhaps wanting this sort of thing to get out there, but realistically, they’ve got six months of the season left to do a thing like that, and I’m preeeety sure this isn’t what anybody down there wants to be talking about on a day like today. Unfortunately for them, though, Beeston — who, I must concede, may be more shrewd in all this than I’m about to give him credit for — continued.

“Well, we’re a business!” he exclaimed when asked if the club’s budget has been capped. “We’re a business. So the answer to that is we have a budget. So the answer is it’s not ‘capped,’ because we can increase our revenue, we can increase our expenses, but we run it as a business, Matt.”

It was at that point that Galloway asked him what that means for the club as a business when other teams have continued building and the Jays have already spent their money last year — a point which Beeston tacitly conceded, before diving into an explanation about building through other means, such as trades and the draft. Beeston then slipped in a statement about money not being a problem, before talking about building a system with guys like Marcus Stroman and Aaron Sanchez (and evidently not Noah Syndergaard, Henderson Alvarez, Justin Nicolino, Travis d’Arnaud, Jake Marisnick, etc.), who are the kinds of players, we’re told, that you need to integrate into your organization. “You need a mixture of the players who are at the minimum together with the ones that are your stars,” he lectures.

So, in essence, we’re back to square one with this crew. Also: stars and scrubs, everyone! Always works!

Ugh. And it’s just… you get the sense that in a different era, before the internet — which he doesn’t use — exploded and the fans learned all the minutiae about this club that they could stuff into their brains, maybe Beeston would be able to get away with this kind of stuff and not come off like a hopeless bullshit-fanning old hack. It’s like the difference between Rob Ford speaking to people who are even just mildly interested in the details of whatever paint-by-numbers talking point garbage he’s trying to slam his way through on, and him speaking to people who are still swept up by all the hollow narratives and reductive populism.

Beeston could be the mayor of the Jays equivalent of Ford Nation, in other words, but when people are actually paying attention to what he says and does, it gets kinda tricky.

beesttattoo

The Pearl Harbor Gift Shop is, according to its website, “a traditional tattoo parlor” in Toronto’s Kensington Market neighbourhood– with a pretty sweet-looking location, which those of you who’ve been by it on Kensington Ave. will know.

The site also has a photo blog that shows off some of their always impressive new and in-progress work, which… you’re totally not even reading what I’m writing at this point are you? You’re mesmerized. Lost in the eyes of that beautiful Beest, wondering what sublime creature is out there in the world, walking around with this image etched on its leg.

Yes, it’s magnificent.

beestonStCatharines

I can’t blame Jays CEO Paul Beeston for doing his best to shine up the turd of a season his club has turned in so far this year, nor would I ever expect him to publicly regret the team’s big off-season wheelings and/or dealings– which is exactly what he did and didn’t do on an appearance this morning on Jeff Blair’s show on the Fan 590.

Slightly less expected– I say slightly (it is Beeston, after all)– was him laying down the pointless crazysauce quote of the year. Here it is, as reported by Ben Nicholson-Smith over at Sportsnet.

Beeston says it’s just a matter of time before the Blue Jays’ plan works and the losses turn to wins.

“If we don’t win this year, we win next year,” Beeston said. “ If we don’t win next year, we win the year after.”

No, really. He said that. Though… if the photo above, which comes by way of the St. Catharines Standard, gives us any kind of window into his mindset, maybe we shouldn’t be surprised by the comment, or… y’know… if we one day hear that he spends most of his free time in a dirt floor basement ravenously gnawing on bugs and chicken bones.

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When they’re discussing stats, or strategy, or closers, or pitcher wins, or clubhouse issues, or indulging Zaun Cherry, the baseball talk on Prime Time Sports tends to get a little bit unbelievably insufferable. But there are certain areas that are right in their fucking wheelhouse over there, and Bob McCown and Stephen Brunt hit on one during the 4 PM hour of Wednesday’s show this week (audio here), discussing strife between Paul Beeston and the ownership group at Rogers, and the incredibly tricky position the club finds itself in heading into the winter.

It’s a scene, man.

“For some weeks now, people have been whispering to me that Beeston is going to be done with the Blue Jays, suggesting somehow that Rogers may not be happy with him– that Beeston may not be a good fit with this ownership,” begins Bob McCown. “And I have steadfastly resisted that notion and argued that I have not seen anything that suggests that. Now, I’m not in meetings between Pelley and Beeston– I don’t know exactly how they get along. But I’ve never seen anything that’s suggested to me that Beeston wouldn’t continue, unless he’d decided he’d had enough.”

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Shi Davidi of the Rogers-owned Sportsnet reports that Rogers is expected to sign a two-year extension with Paul Beeston in order to keep him around as president and CEO of the Rogers-owned Toronto Blue Jays.

Initially reluctant to take the position on permanently, Beeston said Tuesday that he’s “committed to seeing this thing through,” although he refused to put any sort of time frame on that.

“We’re in discussion, but if there’s something to let you know, I’ll let you know,” said Beeston. “Honest to God, I’ve never worked under contract before, other than this one. I don’t buy into contracts, if I do my job, I do my job, if they want to get rid of me, they get rid of me, if I want to leave, I leave. Simple as that. It’s on a day-to-day basis, and I expect to be here Nov. 1.”

That’s some hilariously charming Beeston-esque thinking right there. Less hilariously charming: pretty much everything Beeston has said in the last two years.

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From the Belly of the Beest

Literally the second we got out of the studio from recording yesterday’s podcast, which ended off with a lot of talk about Paul Beeston, his apparent sequestration from the media, and the poor job he’s done in general with respect to managing expectations, and there was his ruddy face on the screen of the TV above my desk, as he was, at the very moment we were dumping on him, whipping up expectations in a conversation with guest crew Jeff Blair and Paul Jones on Prime Time Sports.

The talk also included segments about Ricky Romer-woe and the questions about system-wide medical practices and pitching mechanics that have come up in the wake of the club’s injury disaster this year, but, obviously, that’s not what anybody is going to be talking about– least of all, us.

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 Get your very own fucking awesome Paul Beeston Hall of Fame PhotoBall here!

I’d like to say that this week Stephen Brunt of Sportsnet made the long trip up a couple flights of Rogers Campus stairs to have a little chat with ever-optimistic Jays President and CEO Paul Beeston, but… it turns out the both of them were in Dunedin. Brunt still managed to sit him down for a Q&A though, and while there’s still a lot of typical Beeston PRspeak, a couple comments did stand out– even if, y’know, they don’t cover much ground that hasn’t already been mined to shit.

Firstly, Beeston admitts that the Yu Darvish situation got out of hand on the club, and that they should have handled it differently.

“We have to be a little bit more transparent than we were,” Beeston tells Brunt. “Alex and I probably have a minor difference of opinion on what we should do. Alex doesn’t tell anybody anything. He believes that’s a competitive disadvantage, playing things out through the press, and I tend to agree with him. That said, with the Darvish situation–and that was the real killer– they said he went over to Japan to look at him and then all of a sudden we were supposed to sign Darvish.

“It doesn’t make any sense that just because he saw him, we were going to sign him. We let that thing build over a period of five days and then we got hammered. We should have said we’re not in, or we are in. We just kind of went rope-a-dope. I think we could have handled that a little differently, and I think we will in the future. And then the Prince Fielder thing happened.”

Beeston is right here, in a way. It doesn’t make any sense that, just because they saw him, they were going to sign him. But it did make sense when coupled with the fact that so many obstacles to making a big free agent signing didn’t exist when it came to Darvish– having negotiating exclusivity meant that the Jays wouldn’t have to worry about making a competitive offer yet still being spurned because of things like the division or the country they play in, or the turf they play on– and the club’s unflinching failure to extinguish the rumours.

Later in the interview Beeston also sort of endorsed the notion that any publicity is good publicity, in a way, so it’s hard to know just what to make of his comments, except as being the most prudent thing for someone in his position to say– which, when you think of it, is basically what his whole job is.

And he keeps with when asked about the much-debated notion of “payroll parameters,” and statements from Alex Anthopoulos this winter that fans need to come out before the club will put resources in– which he says were misinterpreted.

“The fans can count on Rogers spending the money,” he says, “because we’ve had the discussion with ownership. But at the same time, we’re running a business here. It’s not saying the fans have got to come out and then we’ll spend money. That was misinterpreted.

“The fact is, we’ve got to win to make the fans come out, and then we spend the money. But we have to give them the reason to come out. That got lost in Alex’s comment that day. It was that we win, you come out, we’ll spend the money–it won’t be money we put in our pocket; it will be money reinvested in the team.”

He also notes that while Tampa is trying to keep their salaries down, the Jays are looking to take theirs up, long-term.

It’s easy to get cynical about this stuff– especially when it comes from Beeston– but I tend to think that’s all basically correct. They build the club to win on a lower MLB payroll, like Tampa or Texas (who were in the $55- to $68-million range from 2004 to 2011), and then they continue to spend to keep their top players, rather than following in the Rays’ footsteps of losing or divesting themselves of guys like Crawford and Garza.

It really does make sense. Not that, y’know, we didn’t already know all this.