Archive for the ‘Paul Beeston’ Category

beestonfence

When following the Blue Jays these days, it’s important to remember that Paul Beeston has a job to do. It’s also usually impossible to forget that he does, because boy, does he ever shamelessly hump that notion hard sometimes.

That isn’t to say that he isn’t good at the P.R. aspect of what he does, or not capable of pulling hope rabbits out of every hat, sleeve, and orifice. It’s just, one sometimes needs to pay some pretty careful attention in order to avoid actually paying attention to whatever the latest blather he’s bringing us is.

Does any of that make any sense?

Actually, it doesn’t matter, because neither did much of the aural application of lipstick to a pig we were treated to on this morning’s Jeff Blair Show on the Fan 590, on which Beeston appeared.

Ben Nicholson-Smith has an excellent roundup — with the full audio included — over at Sportsnet, but I suppose I ought to go through what was said in my own special way, eh?

Here are the highlights:

- Beeston hasn’t signed a new contract with Rogers. He admits he’s in the last year of his contract, but “I’m here for as long as Rogers wants me here,” he says. And at the point when they don’t, or he doesn’t want to be here, he expects they’ll work together on “some kind of organized phase out.”

- “I think that you can read into that,” he says of the idea that Anthopoulos and Gibbons will both be back. “I can say for a fact that Alex is back, unless, you know, he’s leaving,” he added, meaning leaving of his own volition.

- “We were trying to build something that was sustainable. We may have fast-started it by the 2013 moves, but nevertheless, when you start looking at what we did then, it was to give back to the fans.” Awwwww, bae.

- He doesn’t want to blame injuries, because everybody has injuries, but… um… about all those injuries we had! [Note: the Orioles say hi.]

- Blair pointed out that the TV ratings were quite strong this season, even though attendance at the Rogers Centre fell. But Beeston says the fact that it didn’t fall a whole lot is actually impressive, given all the advanced sales they had in 2013, the terrible season that turned out to be, and (with a little nudge from Blair on this one) the traffic mess Jays fans were faced with much of the year. Can’t actually disagree with them here.

- “It’s been escalating,” he says of payroll. “It went to 90, it went to 125, it went to 137. And you know it’s going higher next year,” he added emphatically, likely so as to drown out the laughs. Sounds great, though. I’ll believe it when I see it.

- Blah blah five year plan blah.

- “You’ll have to ask Alex that one,” he says when asked why Melky Cabrera wasn’t signed mid-season.

- The Jays are getting new turf for next season, and “we want grass for 2018,” he says. After some talk about the technological difficulties, Blair asked about the possibility of getting the All-Star game once the stadium playing surface isn’t dogshit, and Beeston said their plan, while not formalized yet, is to try to get it.

- Beeston calls new commissioner, Rob Manfred, an excellent choice, and points out that he was the one who hired him back when he was working for the commissioner’s office. The fact that he initially didn’t vote for Manfred at the recent papal conclave, he says, won’t carry any repercussions, as it was a “no win” situation, and he had to vote for someone, but felt both were great candidates. Beeston’s son works for Tom Werner, the losing candidate who Beeston initially voted for, so maybe this passes the smell test.

This was probably my favourite part of the whole affair, though:

Hmmmm. Yep.

So… there’s that.

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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