Tag Archives: paul beeston

As Bad A Night As I Can Remember

Wow- something is in the water today? No no, not the Leafs, a good game and a shutout loss…too bad we picked up a point. The Raptors? Hell no, the way I figure they are going to be right in the thick of the John Tavares lottery. Once again I am totally puzzled by the media… It’s like one big Seinfeld episode, except I don’t care for many of the characters, actually the only similarity is that their articles are about nothing… NOTHING…

First, Berger writes a totally useless article about Matt Stajan wanting more noise at the ACC. This is news how? No really, has any player ever not wanted that? The fact that team isn’t that strong at home has nothing to do with the fans. It has everything to with character. That isn’t a shot against Stajan. It’s the whole group. The team that Sundin, McCabe, Tucker lead wasn’t very good at home either. It’s not easy playing here in Toronto in front of the home crowd, it takes character to do it well. When a player messes up he hears about it. Sometimes unmercifully . So to hear that one guy would like more noise is totally irrelevant and not the least bit newsworthy. To write an entire blog about it????? Come on Howie, how about a review of the All Star Official uniforms, I gave you everything you need. Hell, as a member of the media you can probably get a preview too- you got the scoop on the 3rd jerseys after all.

What’s worse then Berger writing about Stajan asking for more noise, Paul Hunter of the Star writing the EXACT same story…. Complete with the same predictable Dave Winfield analogy. Tomorrow, whichever station books Winfield to talk about asking for noise wins the prize. Come on folks…this is really pathetic.

Then, Hunter’s buddy Damien wrote a totally useless article about Luke Schenn. Let’s see, he thinks, maybe, Burke wouldn’t have kept Schenn up had he been GM at the beginning of the season. Wow! How interesting. Funny, because I don’t think Burke would have resigned Ed Belfour after the lockout if he were GM back then either. Oh yeah, and under the same relevance theme is my favorite, Pat Quinn wouldn’t have yanked Toskala in favor of Joseph for the shootout like Wilson did earlier this year. The usual Damien anti-leaf article is, about, n o t h i n g. A new reader wrote a funny post about LT’s post today being both the argument and the counter-argument…Damien did the exact same thing here:

“the decision to keep the 18-year-old defenceman in the big leagues this season has certainly not been a disaster. In fact, in a season that has become increasingly gloomy, Schenn has been one of the bright notes all year. ” He likes him…..

“What will never be known, of course, is what it has cost the Leafs to keep Schenn in the NHL this season rather than returning him to Kelowna of the Western Hockey League for another season of competing against his peers. ” He doesn’t…

“Perhaps nothing, and it’s true, Schenn has rarely looked outclassed in the NHL this season, and the manner in which he shrugged off a 12-game absence due to a knee problem was a sign of maturity. On Wednesday night he was paired with Ian White most of the night and out against Boston’s tricky line of David Krejci, Mike Ryder and Blake Wheeler, a challenging assignment against the Eastern Conference’s top squad. ” He likes him….

“At the same time, particularly for a player drafted fifth overall, and one for whom the Leafs traded away first, second and third round picks in order to position themselves to get him, there haven’t been many signs of offensive potential. ” He doesn’t

“What the Leafs don’t know is whether this is the Luke Richardson story all over again. Richardson was the seventh overall pick in 1987 and played for the Leafs as 18-year-old, actually potting four goals in his rookie season.The club maintained over and over that, like Schenn now, Richardson had offensive potential that he’d shown as a junior in Peterborough. But it never shone through in the NHL, and Richardson never managed more than 21 points in a season. ” Ummmm, he doesn’t like him…

“Would the Leafs be happy if Schenn turned out to be Richardson? Somewhat, but it wouldn’t be the kind of home run they’d hoped to hit with such a high pick. He’ll never be a bust, it would seem, and the Leafs can only hope he might one day be an all-star.” He likes him

“Schenn hasn’t been eaten alive by the pressure of playing on a weak team in this hockey-mad city, and that’s a good sign. There’s obvious poise, and a willingness to play a physical game and even stand up for teammates, commodities in short supply on the current edition of the Leafs. ” He Likes him

“The older Schenn boy, meanwhile, is still learning as he goes in the world’s top hockey league. He was solid for two periods Wednesday night, but with less than seven minutes to play he was schooled by Bruins blueliner Dennis Wideman on a rush, then was caught napping when Marc Savard hit Zdeno Chara with a goalmouth pass to tie the game 3-3 and create overtime.” He doesn’t…

“He’s a big kid finding his way in a tough league. Whether he should have been in the league so young or not, no one can argue he’s a big part of the Leafs’ future.” WHAT- That’s it???? That’s the conclusion??? Talk about 3 minutes of my life I will never get back… What kind of crock this is. The headline is Burke Likely Would Have Sent Schenn Down..there is no quote from Burke, it’s Damien’s hunch. I know, Damien didn’t write the headline… Talk about an article about NOTHING!!!

Then, to top it all off, the guy I think had really been rising to the top wrote a totally useless article. Jeff’ Blair’s piece in the globe is about 19 segments too long. I actually think I captured the gist in 1 paragraph in a post yesterday. Blair wrote an entire page on the losing records of our teams! An entire page. Complete with quotes from Beeston and Burke. Get this:

“”One of the problems the city has right now is that nobody’s excelling,” said Blue Jays interim chief executive officer Paul Beeston, a committed Toronto booster.” Ummmmm YA THINK???? This from a guy I REALLY like (Beeston)….This from the guy who has “just about finished the Blue Jays President job description”….. What I think Beeston meant was, that the problem is the teams in cities not named Toronto score more points then those teams from Toronto!

“When will the bulls run rampant again in the Toronto sports market? Not soon. Let’s be honest. Of the current crop of Maple Leafs, it’s hard to imagine general manager Brian Burke wanting anybody other than Luke Schenn around in two or three years.” Ok, I am waiting for something I don’t already now…..

“The Raptors have, what, three legitimate NBA starters (four when Jermaine O’Neal’s healthy) and a bunch of guys who wouldn’t be a first option off a contender’s bench? Andrea Bargnani looks to be developing the way general manager Bryan Colangelo expected, but the Raptors have always seemed a day late and a dollar short, and that sometimes happens when you just give away a franchise player such as Vince Carter.” Uh huh, and????

“The Blue Jays’ window of opportunity — created when the late Ted Rogers made his famous three-year commitment — turned out not to be as wide as anticipated because, with the game’s revenue explosion, a $90-million payroll didn’t buy as much as it once did and the Blue Jays didn’t have enough high-calibre young players to fill in when injuries hit.” The part with the news, the actual original thought is coming right?

“Those are some of the reasons for the drought. The good news is no cause is lost, as is clearly demonstrated by what’s happened in Boston since the Patriots won their first of three Super Bowls in 2001. The Red Sox — the Red Sox! — ended the Curse of the Bambino and won their first World Series in 86 years and the Celtics won the 2008 NBA title, and don’t look now, but the Bruins, who haven’t won the Stanley Cup since 1972, are leading the NHL Eastern Conference.” TIME…that’s what you got Jeff? TIME, so this drought will end because the coin that has landed 1 million straight times on heads will eventually fall to tails????? Because it just has to???? Sorry, I had hoped you could do better then this ending:

“Mostly, though, it’s a hungry market. Kicked in the pocketbook, its psyche battered, and tired of having to go through it all again after the TSX closes. Hey buddy … got a win?”

So the Leafs lost in a shutout, earned one too many points, but that is ok. The Raptors got shelled…stick a fork in their season…the TV show Lost started and I am confused as ever….and I am going to bed disappointed by 4 brutal articles… Here’s hoping tomorrow’s a better day 🙂

Berger is here
Cox is http://www.thestar.com/Sports/Hockey/article/575293
Hunter is here
Blair is here


This Could Get Ugly..

No, very few expected the Tampa Bay Rays to be as good as they were last year. No, very few expected the USA to elect an African American as President. Surprises do happen, occasionally. I am willing to bet that next to no one had the Cardinals and the Steelers as the teams in this years Super Bowls. When it comes to sports surprises do happen, not that often, but they do. Money, also doesn’t guarantee you winning. There doesn’t appear to be a direct correlation between championships and payroll. However, in a sport like baseball, where teams can spend freely it surely helps. When our beloved Blue Jays were 2 time championships they were also leaders in the payroll department. No, money doesn’t guarantee a championship, but it certainly, if spent properly goes a long way to putting you in the position to win. So the Yankees being over 400 million doesn’t mean they are going to win the world series. If I were going to bet on a team, I would wager on the Yanks ahead of our Jays. So yes, every major player could have shit seasons with the yanks, or suffer season ending injuries, so too could each Blue Jay starter win 20 games. Hey it COULD happen..Likely? No, I think not, and so do most of you.

The Blue Jays brass met with 400 season ticket holders last night. Following in the footsteps of the Maple Leafs the Jays have lowered expectations for the upcoming season. They haven’t come out to the same extent as the Leafs, but to be honest they don’t have too. The Jays have a very easy excuse to use as the reason for their inactivity this off-season, the economy. When the Leafs started the season, they had an interim GM and everyone knew or hoped that once a permanent GM was hired the building could begin. The Jays have an interim President and a GM entering the final year of his contract. I think we would feel a lot better if the roles were reversed. Imagine they had let JP go, or he had decided to move on and say Pat Gillick was the interim GM, then the wait till next year song would sound a hell of a lot better then it does right now. Most Blue Jay fans aren’t overly enamored with JP. With the exception of the real die hard, he hasn’t done much to excite the average fan. The average fan doesn’t know who is on the farm team and who may be coming up. The average fan knows who is on the team now and may know a name or 2 based on what Elliott, Griffin or Blair has to say. To the average fan, JP was brought in as the boy wonder who was going to turn water into wine. He had the difficult task of bringing down payroll, drafting well and then building up to a championship. Of course things aren’t under the GM’s control, and that works both ways. Success or failure falls on his shoulders. Is it his fault they haven’t won, yup. In the same he would take the credit for winning a ring. Fair?? Nope.

“There’s a little bit of a setback this year with A.J. Burnett not coming back,” said Paul Beeston, the Jays’ interim president. “The rest of the team is back. Hopefully we don’t have too many injuries. We think we have the wherewithal to take the team forward to play some competitive baseball.”

Ouch! This is not the Maple Leafs. The TED is not filled every game regardless of outcome. As goes the team so goes the attendance. As goes the team so goes the sale of sponsorships and luxury boxes. Ask a fan of the Montreal Expos to tell you how the story goes and this is starting to look familliar.

“We’re really not looking back. We’re looking forward,” Gaston told reporters after an hour-long question-and-answer session with fans. “We’re looking at the next five to 10 years, and not just one year.” “You’re going to see in the next few years baseball that is very, very exciting,” Beeston said, while raving about the talent in the team’s minor-league pipeline.”

We Maple Leaf fans know all about looking at prospects through blue and white colored glasses. We all know this, a prospect is just a prospect until they arrive and perform. Baseball America and similar publications haven’t rated this “pipeline” as anything exceptional. That’s not a slam on any one player, its a comment on the group as a whole. If any publication has rated the Jays farm system as being in the top 5 in all of baseball I haven’t seen it. Could the experts be wrong? Of course.

“You increase your revenue at the same time as you increase your salaries. The salaries are a function of how much revenue you’re bringing in,” he said. “You cannot sustain losses forever. … As we go forward, we raise revenue, we raise our salaries and we take it to the level we want it to be at.”

That is why this could ugly. There is no real reason to think that revenues are going to go up. Ticket sales are off from last year. A lower payroll doesn’t mean higher revenue, it means lower expenses. GM, the biggest sponsor is gone. The CBC didn’t renew their television contract. No one is stepping up to the plate to fill that void. Revenues are going down. Salaries are going down, this reeks of preparation for a sale. No one wants to buy a team with expenses far outweighing revenues. What’s the answer, slash expenses because it is a hell of a lot easier then raising revenues…

As for JP, he sounds like he as already left the building. ” “I’ll be honest,” he said. “My two boys are growing up (in Worcester, Mass.) without me. It’s a tough thing when I leave the house and they’re both crying.
“My No. 1 priority is to be a father. I love being a GM, I love being a part of this team. But in two years, I’ll sit back and assess where I am.” Doesn’t make you feel all warm and cozy, for the Jays sake does it? Don’t get me wrong, I hear what he is saying, as a father of 2 I really do. I have no problem with him saying Boston or bust, my family comes first. Just as long as he is sincere about it. If it is a Toronto thing, then say it.

Everyone including my dog knows the Jays need a bat. ” One fan wanted to know, and legitimately so, why it wasn’t possible to bring in a big bat, such as Jason Giambi, to fill the team’s power void, even on a one-year contract. “We just feel it’s going to take at-bats away from Travis Snider and Adam Lind,” Ricciardi said. “With the uncertainty on our pitching staff, we feel like it’s a chance to get those two guys established.” That just doesn’t make me want to run out and buy tickets. I am the Jays target audience. A father of a family of 4, with 2 kids under 18. Why? Well, if they can get my kids interested now, they will be fans for life. Kids in this city don’t have baseball in their blood, so they have to be wooed into baseball.

“It’s going to be a shootout in spring training,” Ricciardi said. “The only safe bet is Doc as No. 1.” Why they aren’t trading this guy to speed up the rebuilding is beyond me. For years we bashed the leafs for being in no mans land. Not good, and not bad enough to get good. All the times they could have moved valuable assets like the Flyers and they never did. The Jays have the rare gem. The one guy that could bring back cornerstones and they don’t. Forget what they owe Roy. Forget what he owes them. Do the right thing. If you are rebuilding, REBUILD. If the Jays trade Roy and get studs back, there is a chance i will take the kids to see the young studs. To go watch one guy pitch surrounded by question marks, why bother? They jays are trying to be half pregnant and I for one am not buying it. Could they pull a rays?? Of course they can. Is it likely? Nope… Baseball fans, this could UGLY this year.

quotes were used from the globe, star and sun

Kaberle, Modano, Hull, Avery, Rentals, Caps & Raps… Oh My

I love this quote from Bruce Arthur. Can’t you just picture the scene in the Leafs locker-room, all the regular’s are gathered around Kaberle’s locker, they ask him about his NTC:

“”We haven’t spoke about anything, and obviously my status stays the same,” Kaberle said with an air of finality. “We can talk about tonight’s game if you guys want to.”

After a pause, one sharp reporter said, “Not really.”

That is right out of a SNL skit… whom do you think the “sharp reporter” 10:1 Howie 5:1 Jonas

Oh to be on the Dallas Stars next flight with Modano and Brett Hull… Let’s see, sitting in 11 a is Mike Modano, here is your boarding pass and in 11 C is Brett Hull, here you go…

“”I think we would have analyzed (the signing) a little bit more over the summer before you go into the free-agent market. Do a little more homework and detailed analysis (and get the opinions) of players who have played with him, or how guys feel about it,” said Wednesday the 19-year veteran.
“It could have been avoided, I think, but I think (co-GM) Brett (Hull) felt having him as a teammate (while with the Detroit Red Wings), he saw something in him. “Talent-wise, he’s a very skilled kid. But I think character-wise and his personality didn’t blend with the criteria that we’ve always had as Dallas Stars. Since Bob Gainey was here, we implemented a kind of personality and character-figure in Tom Hicks. That’s kind of where it went off and tail-spinned, and got corrected.”

One word…. Ouch…Gotta love when a guy like Modano suggests that maybe, just maybe it would be a good idea to do some , ummmm, what’s the word for it, oh yeah HOMEWORK before signing a player…. The fact that he references Bob Gainey is even more classic.

Good job of accumulating a list of rental players from Kevin Allen in his USA Today hockey blog:
Jay Bouwmeester (Florida)
Keith Tkachuk (St. Louis Blues)
Mathieu Schneider (Atlanta)
Andy McDonald (St. Louis)
Nik Antropov (Toronto)
Doug Weight (New York Islanders)
Bill Guerin (New York Islanders)
Gaborik (Minnesota)
Maxim Afinogenov (Buffalo)
Sean O’Donnell (Los Angeles)

Another great quote: “Citing declining sales, the CBC has pulled out as a carrier of Toronto Blue Jays telecasts.” William Houston, Globe and Mail. There is no surprise that the CBC balked at a rate of $150k per game to broadcast the Jays games. “Beeston said 145 of the Jays’ 162 games will be televised, 125 on Sportsnet, which is owned by Jays proprietor Rogers Communications, and 20 on TSN.” By the way, did anyone else here this gem from Mr. Beeston while on with Pad Thai (Watters) and Brady ” I am almost finished writing up the job description for Blue Jays President.” Please, someone tell me just how long that should take and what Mr. Beeston (whom I am a huge fan of) has been doing since he took the job???? I guess with the rate of signings and trades he realizes there is no rush to do…..ummmmmm, anything

A subject that drives Howard Berger nuts seems to have been resolved in the media’s favor in Montreal:

“Growing weary of widespread rumours and gossip surrounding injured players, Canadiens coach Guy Carbonneau on Wednesday said anyone sidelined indefinitely will now have the nature of their injuries released to the media. No longer will the team report such players have upper- or lower-body injuries.Carbonneau said the decision was reached following a meeting between himself, general manager Bob Gainey, vice-president (hockey operations) Julien BriseBois and the team’s communications department.”

I have heard the arguments from both sides. The anti-reveal argument is if you reveal a player’s injury the opposing teams will attack that injury every chance they can. The pro-reveal argument is simply, we have a job to do and you shouldn’t hide information from us. If the former is true then the injuries shouldn’t be revealed, the hell with the latter.

Tonight’s shows on both stations were the worst I have heard since I have been pre-viewing/reviewing the drive home radio shows on both the Fan and 640, The interview with Steve Nash was pretty dull and almost unlistenable seeing how Nash sounded like he was in an aquarium for it. Kudos to Mccown and Kelley for interviewing an athlete (they rarely do) and for admitting that they taped it earlier (not that it would have made a difference to any of us listening), which they also rarely do. Those who preceded Nash and followed were equally as uninteresting. Over on 640 the lineup with the exception of Dean Lombardi was really dull. Perhaps it was the cold weather, but it seemed to be a night when both stations should have punted. Here’s hoping tomorrow is better.

You know the old saying about a sucker being born every second…
“Sources say the team is expected to be sold within the next two months with current owner Jerry Moyes retaining as much as 20 percent.” That according to Darren Dreger, speaking on the issue of the Phoenix Coyotes. With all the issues facing this team, most importantly a 30 year lease with brutal terms (no parking revenue for the team AND a share of each ticket sold being shared with the city) it’s hard to phathom who would buy the team. That is not to suggest that the team isn’t valuable. Truth is many would leaf fans would gladly change rosters wth the Yotes in a heartbeat… Why someone would buy this team is beyond me…especially right now…

Hats off to Jay Triano for finding Andrea Bargnani’s game. Man, anyone else see him put up 31 tonight in another loosing effort?? Quite an impressive showing for the Big Euro.

If you are a hockey fan, you had to watch, with a smile on your face the play as the Caps defeated the Pens 6-3 tonight. Way to go AO and my adopted 2nd team the Washington Capitals!

Have a good night all

Toronto Sports Radio Tonight

Wanted to get this out early as 640 has a great lineup:

510 Paul Beeston

540 Ron Wilson

440 Bob Mckenzie

610 Dreger/Morrison

Trying to confirm who is on the Friday night round table at the Fan.

Toronto Radio Tonight~ Updated

On the Fan:

McCown takes calls from 4-5
Rob Becker
Daniel Kaplan (Sports Business Journal)
and maybe Paul Beeston

On 640:
Alexei Ponikarovsky, Leafs,

Derek Roy, Sabres

Christine Simpson, NHL Network

Scott Morrison/Darren Dreger, Inside the NHL

Sean Baligian – Fantasy Football Expert

Nuclear Winter For Jays Fans

The Consensus is in, this is going to be a long, hard winter for Blue Jays fans. Everywhere you turn these days we are seeing signs, evidence that the econodisaster is going to result in less money for JP to spend which equates to fewer changes to the Jays roster. No matter the publication the story is the same and no matter how you dice it, that’s bad news. 2 things strike me as odd, 1. With little to no buzz to build on, how are the Jays going to sell tickets and 2. If this is the case why would Beeston agree to take this job.

First number 2. Paul Beeston has been happily retired for some time. He needed this interim Jays gig like he needed a hole in the head. Friends tell me they see Beeston enroute to the Ted as early as 7:00am. I can’t imagine that he would agree to take the reigns (even if on a temporary basis) to be the mastermind behind a cost cutting operation. The guy pretty much went out on top and if this team is as bad as many predict why would he want to be associated with that. Lastly on this point, how is he going to find a quality president when the payroll is being slashed? All questions that don’t make a ton of sense…

As for number 1, Absent a few moves Jays tickets are going to be in less demand this year then in a LONG time. Yes they finished well with Cito. Problem is, if AJ leaves and is not adequately replaced the media is going to be all over the jays from every negative angle possible. This will have a devastating effect on ticket sales. The vicious cycle will begin.

Griffin, Elliott et all have all chimed in on this. From where we sit right now things look bleak, very very bleak…I am still holding out hope for the Beeston factor….

Could Manny Ramirez Be A Blue Jay?

In talking to a colleague today, I posed the question, if Ted Roger’s said, this is the year, go for it, how much do you need and what do you spend it on?

The Colleague said he needed an additional 20m, to take the payroll to 120m.. He would secure Burnett at 18m and then add the bat he needs which he figured he could get Jason Giambi for around 5 and then get a mid level starter….

Interesting banter for sure, especially (with all due respect to my colleague) my us two idiots…

What is more interesting is that the good folks at SI this evening are running a story about the Jays being in the thick of the hunt for Manny Ramirez. When I saw the headline I was stunned. Last night I had read that the Dodgers had offered almost $50m over 2 years. Remember, I am an idiot so I assume that means this was a done deal. Not so fast says SI:

“The Dodgers’ two year-offer to Manny Ramirez — believed to be for about $45 million — is very unlikely to lead to a quick deal between the sides, or perhaps any deal.”


That’s for me….

“The sides are so far apart that the Blue Jays, Orioles and perhaps the Yankees and other teams likely have moved ahead of the Dodgers in terms of their chances to win the services of the mercurial superstar. Those outside teams aren’t eligible to make offers until Nov. 14, but the Dodgers have thus far failed to get a jump start on the others with a proposal so far below Ramirez’s asking price that Manny is likely thinking more seriously about outside options now.”

That is hard for me to believe…. But wait…there is more…

“The Blue Jays, Orioles and Yankees might be feel better about coming closer to Ramirez’s wish of a at least a five-year deal since they could eventually utilize the great right-handed hitter as a DH. Toronto badly wants to upgrade its offense, Baltimore appears serious about becoming a player for multiple free agents (they’re also looking at Mark Teixeira and A.J. Burnett) and the Yankees are expected to be the biggest free-agent force this winter.”

Done deal? Nope….but certainly something to keep an eye on right?

Just a thought. If Beeston would only take the job to help build a winner and that meant the ability to increase the payroll, curious what would happen if the Jays said to AJ, hey, sign with us for 15m, we are going to get Manny…Think that makes him change his mind????

Meanwhile, over in the Metro- Marty is talking about toys:

“But Milton Bradley is a brat with a bat, a pretty productive bat, and there’s a good chance it’ll be in the heart of the Blue Jays’ order next season.Sources tell Metro that Canada’s MLB franchise has decided to diligently pursue Bradley as a free agent.“We need offensive help,” a front-office source with the Jays confirmed, “and Bradley won’t be nearly as expensive as Manny Ramirez or Mark Texeira (other big-name batters on the free-agent market). Obviously, we know Bradley’s reputation. We know what he’s like. He plays angry, for whatever reason. But we think the pros outweigh the cons with him. Just look at his stats.” Bradley, 30, has been with five major-league teams since starting his big-league career with the Montreal Expos in 2000. He has a .280 career average and 103 home runs in 2,832 at-bats. Last year, with the Texas Rangers, he hit a career-high .327, with 22 homers.”

By the way:

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You can read SI here
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