Cito Gaston Following Cliff Fletcher & Ron Wilson

Well, it worked for the Maple Leafs, why not the Blue Jays? I can give you one big fat reason. MONEY and the lack of it. You see when Cliff Fletcher and Ron Wilson say the team isn’t going to be very good, Maple Leafs fans are relived that for the first time in a long time we aren’t being fed a pile of bullshit. Cliff and Ron could say it and back it up because there are no financial consequences. There has been no negative impact of essentially writing off this season as being non champion competitive. Not one less ticket will be bought, not one less advertising dollar earned. The Leafs viewership or audience on tv and radio won’t slip either.

However, when Cito Gaston comes out in December and waives the white flag on the upcoming season, it will have ripple effects through all of those areas. Maybe not immediately, but eventually. No the Jays radio deal or tv deals aren’t going to shrink this year (and a Roger’s entity owns major players in the areas anyway) but it will effect what advertisers may be wiling to spend when the manager has written off the team before Christmas.

Don’t get me wrong, I have no problem with Cito saying at best we are going to be a thorn in other teams sides, but wait till the year after. He is saying what most people feel. That my friends, will not sell season tickets, or luxury suites, or advertisements. The Jays aren’t the Leafs when it comes to business. If the Jays lost as much money as the guru’s claim they did in the past, wait till what a down economy and a written off team does to sales. The good news from that perspective is that the payroll is being cut. If the cut is as dramatic as expected, from around 100m to 80m that will help shave the losses. Who, however is going to shell out the almighty tight buck to see the wait till next season team?

Let me throw this out there for discussion. I am willing to bet that the true Jays fans would be a lot more supportive if the Jays weren’t trying to be half pregnant. I mean if they were throwing bodies overboard and getting prospects back and admitted they were going to rebuild then I would be willing to pay for tickets and go see them a few times. The Jays aren’t doing that, or at least aren’t saying that they are going to do that. They appear to be trying to be half pregnant. We aren’t going to spend money to improve, instead we are going to spend less, but we are going to do that by not resigning some players. This is just a theory of mine and I am not sure if I am right. The question is, will you support a Jays team that is asking you to just wait for next season when this season isn’t nowhere close to beginning. Or, in the alternative, would you prefer to support a team full of younger kids and prospects who were laying a foundation for something fantastic.

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December 11, 2008 11:31 pm

It doesn’t matter what Cito says bro. Did anyone think the Rays were going to win the AL East? Did anyone think the Twins were going to contend in the Central? No. Everyone thought the Rays would be the Rays, and that the Tigers would be the class of the Central. The Twins promoted in house (they traded Johan Santana and Matt Garza, so their rotation took a hit) and look how well they did. They won 88 games. Right there until the end.

We can talk all we want about “waiving the white flag” on 2009, and the economy messing with the Jays. And while I think the economics – the Jays cutting payroll – really does hurt, the baseball games still need to play. Who knows, maybe Brett Cecil and Ricky Romero are ready for the show.

We’ll know in April and May, not now in December.

December 12, 2008 2:06 am

Fire JP before it’s too late!

December 12, 2008 11:18 am

Did you see Elliot’s column today that it looks like the Jays are being primed for a sale? Post coming soon.

December 12, 2008 11:26 am

What happens on the field will happen regardless you are right. I firmly believe that when Cito (the new face of the Blue Jays) talks will directly effect ticket sales and their ability to land corporations. Like it or not, the Jays have always been about winning in this city. When the Jays were winning the dome was filled. When the Jays were winning even the Ex was filled. Toronto fans, love em or hate em won’t support this team through thick or thin. When the manager says wait until the next season, it will have a direct reaction to what corporate canada does. GM, the number one corporate sponsor of the jays (besides rogers) already bolted for economic times. Corporations who are laying people off are going to have a hard time justifying spending money on a product with that type of image. Of course if the Jays go on a tear out of the gate and put together a season like the Rays did all bets are off. If I were a betting man I would bet heavily against that happening. Griffin today writes that the Jays need to trade Holilday and Elliot has the team prepping for a sale….Not great times for sure.

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