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.