What Rogers Should Do With Blue Jays Is Clear

Mike Wilner had a pre-pre game show tonight on which he asked the best question of his listeners (me) that he has asked all year:

“Have you given up on the Blue Jays? If so, what do they have to do to get you back?”

Now I have to admit, when I heard Wilner ask the question, I laughed uncontrollably. Seriosuly, I chocked. Is he kidding, I asked myself. There is only 1 lone blogger out there who hasn’t given up on the Blue Jays. The rest of the world is mired in apathy towards Canada’s baseball team. The season started with a manager telling us to wait until next season and it’s ending with us wanting to put a gun to our heads. Have we given up???? Who the hell hasn’t????? I am not sure there is a player on the team who hasn’t given up, and for once I am not sure anyone blames them. Wilner admitted that the previous night it was “very difficult” to get people to call into the post game show. Hell, I didn’t even know they were playing a doubleheader that’s how apathetic I am about them right now.

The funny thing about the Blue Jays team is that the apathy is not based upon the fact that they suck this year or that they are way out of it. This one is squarely on ownership. It’s one thing when you cut payroll or blow things up to start again, but to do so in complete silence without ANY announced plan?????? If you can’t be bothered to sell it, I certainly am not gong to be dumb enough to buy it. So, to answer your 2nd question Mike, here is what Roger’s needs to do:

1. Fire JP
2. Announce that either Beeston is staying or going as of ____ date
a. If Beeston isn’t staying on as President, hire a new one
3. Announce team payroll for next season/intentions for the team
4. Show that you care in the team and the fans

All of those go together in one word- COMMUNICATE. Funny, the mother ship’s corporate name is Roger’s Communications, or at least it used to be. Yet ownership does a real shitty job at communicating. Do you know what the most powerful thing on earth is and the most dangerous? The most powerful thing on earth is HOPE, the most dangerous thing is apathy. Because ownership is sitting on their hands with their collective mouths shut, I don’t know a single person who would think of buying a ticket to a single game the rest of this season or next. By saying nothing, they have created a completely apathetic fan base. Not only don’t we care that they are losing, we have no interest!

Roger’s needs to send someone, hell it can Beeston to get in front of a microphone and announce that JP is gone, that he Beeston is staying on, that he will announce a new GM asap, and that Rogers has promised to give him the payroll he needs to compete. If that were to happen, I would take my kids to a game or two this month (something I haven’t done all year). Hell, I would buy a couple of pairs to give away on this blog. Why? Because I would have some degree of hope that maybe, one day this team will be exciting again. When ownership doesn’t care enough to speak, I don’t care enough to support. Give me hope, and I will participate.

So, Mike there you have it. Have I quit on the Jays? Hell yes, the same way ownership did. Can they get me back? Yessir, it’s pretty easy. Make a plan, announce a plan and sell it. otherwise, good luck with your 2010 budget projections. Next year will be uglier than this, I guarantee it.


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September 3, 2009 8:40 am

JP needs to be fired because he has mismanaged the resources he was given by ownership after the rebuild. Too many inflated contracts to too many bad players for too long. His termination should have been completed prior to this season and should now be done no later than the end of the season.

Beeston has hamstrung the organization with his inability find a president and his unwillingness to commit to staying on in his current capacity. He is in part to blame for the whole Halladay mess. If the Jays had a real president then there is no way JP would have been allowed to handle that situation the way he did.

I sincerely hope both of them are gone by November.

September 3, 2009 12:05 pm

hey TSM

i can’t comment on what you are hearing but:

1. whatever good PR Rogers got from getting Beeston back is gone now, given the team’s failures. The worm is turning for Cito as well.
2. Begging a guy to stay by making it impossible for him to leave is a rather dumb strategy.
3. hiring a guy to get the best man for the job and then nixing his suggestions is pretty dumb, or, basically in line with how Rogers runs it operations (see the iPhone data plan debacle, for example)

as many have pointed out, the complete absence of any indication about what is going on with the direction of this team is embarrassing and is also killing interest in the team among its fans. Beeston is part of that problem, in my estimation, because he is still here under the interim tag long after he said he would be done.

September 3, 2009 1:20 pm

I agree with most everything written above. I have Jays season passes and I can barely bring myself back to the Dome to watch this squad. Wilner writes this morning that Scott Rolen couldn’t f’n wait to get out of Toronto and who could blame him?

As a fan, I’m completely frustrated with the product on the field but my frustration extends nearly everywhere off the field. From front office to gameday operations, Rogers is running the Toronto Blue Jays like it runs every other business it has – nickel and dime, package/bundle, cross-promote and call it “added value.”

I just came back from a two week trip on the West Coast where I saw 7 very different major league ballparks and 7 different ways to sell the game. You don’t necessarily need a winning team but you need ownership with a winning approach. Rogers isn’t interested in Jays fans, its interested with making the Jays make sense to its shareholders. I’m not confident both can be done.

So here’s what I’m doing: switching to Bell. I’m almost looking forward to my 40 minute conversation with customer retention, I’m going to draw up a cohesive list of my gripes with Rogers, air it out and record the call. I’ll let you know how it goes.

September 3, 2009 2:14 pm

A lot of people shit on the interest level of Jays fans – but to be honest, I actually it’s pretty impressive considering. this team has been mediocre with no success since 93! Add to that how bad this year has been – Halladay trade talk, dumping Rios and Rolen, loss after loss.

they’re still somehow getting good tv numbers and 24,000 a game for this godawful team after years of ineptitude. imagine what it could be like if they were really in a sept playoff hunt? or if they were a team that was a legit contender for a few years? it would be huge. absolutely huge.

rogers is wasting what this team could be from a business perspective. invest some money in the team, rogers!

September 3, 2009 2:28 pm

I hate to say this, but MLSE might be the Jays last hope.

September 5, 2009 9:49 pm

Are you a Jays fan, TSM? I kind of had the feeling you dislike the Jays and Raps.

I agree with you about Rogers. They have a tenant for the RC, they have something to put on their cable channel, and to air on their sports radio station. Plus ratings are good, and attendance would turn around if the team actually had a chance. Also, I think revenues for the Jays have actually gone up this year due to not giving out any more free tickets and lowering payroll.

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x