Jeff Blair has a theory that certainly is worth discussing:
“Could it be that we are on the verge of a seismic shift in Toronto’s sports landscape, one that will eventually lead to the marriage of MLSE and Rogers, either through an amalgamation or one of them buying out the other? Know this: because of Ted Rogers’ age, succession issues must surely be among the most prevalent topics within the company, and I have to think an army of tall foreheads and big-picture guys and accountants are trying to figure out how the hell whatever transition needs to be made is made smoothly.”
To be fair, when a sports writer starts writing about business, alarm bells should go off. However, given the landscape in Toronto, perhaps Blair is on to something.
“First, if Beeston’s responsibility is to help guide the search for a new CEO … well, why couldn’t the out-going CEO, Paul Godfrey, do that? I have to think his list of names would probably match Beeston’s. And while any time anybody trots out Beeston’s name for a job – head of Ontario Hydro or whatever the heck it’s called now, head of a committee that was supposed to help Toronto recover from the SARS scare, CFL commissioner, NHL commissioner, Premier, whatever – the response is usually: ‘Ah, but Paul enjoys his life the way it is right now. He doesn’t need the aggravation.”
This is true, everyone always says with respect to Beeston, he loves being retired to much to take a job with a sports team… One does have to wonder why, Godfrey, who is employed until years end can’t come up with a successor….
“I just think that Tuesday’s move is about much, much, more than who will turn the lights on and off at the Rogers Centre for Blue Jays games or who will be signing or trading baseball players. I think this is going in several directions, including a new stadium. That would be a tough ship for Godfrey to navigate, given his attachment in the public mind to the Rogers Centre. if you were going to pick a guy to pull off the biggest sports play in the history of this country, let alone this city, Beeston would be the man. Few people can travel as softly in as many powerful circles, and be greeted as warmly.”
When the Leafs talked about a new President to lead MLSE everyone seemed to suggest that the Leafs should try to move heaven and earth to get Beeston. Perhaps this is the start to big changes in the city. You know Wilbur would just love the Leafs/Raptors and Jays living under one roof…. I would be in favor if Beeston where at the helm…
You can read Blair here..