After an off season of the Jays infuriating and befuddling fans by not going after free agents because they can’t afford it, Paul Beeston has basically admitted to all of that being a lie.
Here’s a little bit of hope Toronto Blue Jays fans can cling to during what might potentially be a long, trying summer: The money for a payroll boost to US$120 million will be there, good economy or not, when the team feels it’s ready for a serious run.
“I don’t think there’s any question about that,” interim CEO Paul Beeston said Thursday, adding that he’s not sure when that will be but that now was not that time. “If I said the money (should) have been there this year it would have been there, I just didn’t believe it in my own mind.
“If I’d say, ‘We should do this, we should spend that,’ I just didn’t believe that one or two new players were going to put this team where we want it to be. And if we believe in our farm system, why would we want all these long-term contracts?”
I am a fan of Paul Beeston, basically of anyone who was involved in either of the ’92 or ’93 seasons, but this is pretty bad. It’s almost as if J.P.’s “the fans can’t handle the truth” attitude rubbed off on Beeston for a little while.
Seriously, Paul, if you had come out early on and said, “our team is good, but with the injuries to our pitchers, the question marks in the lineup and our youngsters not being quite ready yet, we’re going to hold off on any big spending for now and re-evaluate for the 2010 season,” people would have believed you and maybe even agreed with you.
Instead, we were treated to this:
what we’re trying to do is run it on one set of books and trying to run it on a profitable basis, and put ourselves in position where we can actually grow the revenue so that we can be a big player with the big teams. And as I work this out, that’s doable. Is it doable next year? Not in this economy, not without winning– you have to have both of them.
And then we watched as players who could help the Jays signed ridiculously low-money, short-term contracts.
Thing is, I agree with Beeston latest assessment of the situation. Take at least one season, let the youngsters mature, assess the vets with problems (Rolen, Overbay, Wells, etc…) and let the pictures heal. If the kids get better and the pitchers get healthier, buying a few players to fill the holes will make a better whole.
But agreeing with the assessment doesn’t mean I agree with the delivery. Paul, you’re better than lying to the fans, right? That’s why you came clean, right?