It was with great interest that I read this quote last night from Steve Buffery of the Toronto Sun:
“What worries me about Bell and Rogers joining forces to buy the majority stake in MLSE is Rogers. They’ve owned the Blue Jays since the end of the 2000 season and in that time, 11 straight seasons, the Jays have yet to make the playoffs.
Why? Because Rogers has refused to spend the money necessary to challenge for a playoff or wild card spot in the AL East.
And now Rogers owns a stake in Leafs and Raptors. Yes, there are salary caps in the NHL and NBA, but you have to wonder about Rogers’ commitment to winning.”
Maybe it’s me, maybe the truth hurts, maybe I am alone, but I find that statement to be both unfair and too simplistic. Winning is hard and if it were only as easy as being willing to spend money then lots of teams who have similarly failed would be champions. Admittedly I don’t have all the numbers in front of me, but I don’t think it’s as simple as bashing Rogers ownership reign of the Blue Jays as an unwillingness to spend to win. Have they been at the top of the payroll list? No, they haven’t. I admit that. While I suspect that many a GM would say that they could always do with having more payroll to work with, I just don’t think it’s that simple.
Compare that quote with the following potential development:
From the NYPost
“Having made a posting bid above $40 million and possibly close to $50 million, the Blue Jays are the favorites to land the negotiating rights to Yu Darvish.
There is a belief the Cubs also made a large bid on the right-handed pitcher but a number hasn’t been attached to their bid.
The Yankees made a bid Wednesday night, but it’s not expected to top what the Blue Jays submitted. The Rangers are also believed to have bid.
According to several sources with knowledge of the situation, the Blue Jays made the monster bid on orders from owner Rogers Communications.
Add that estimated $40-50 million posting fee to the five-year, $75 million deal Darvish is supposedly going to seek and you have a $115 million to $125 million price tag for a hurler who has never thrown a pitch in the big leagues and has gotten fat against over-matched hitters in Japan who aren’t as good as those he’ll face here.”
So, I assume we should all breathe easier if the story is true and Rogers has backed up the cash truck at chateaux Blue Jays right? Who cares if the signing works out, as long as they spend the money.
Safe to assume there are some MSMers in Toronto who won’t be getting holiday cards from Brian Burke:
“I don’t pick those fights,” Burke says. “The media pick those fights. My relationship with the media is excellent. With certain members of the media that, in my mind, aren’t professional, it’s not very good and it never will be. I don’t ever want to be on good terms with unprofessional people. And if that means we have a clash with people who work for the owners, then we have a clash. I’m not going to change how I do things based on who owns the team.”
That from the Toronto Star.
You guys remember Bill Watters? Well the fine folks at PPP had a funny story on Wilbur:
“On XM radio last night Bill Watters claimed that Jim Rutherford and Brian Burke had a deal in place involving Eric Staal that was on hold because of Brian Burke’s roster freeze. Bill Watters went on to claim that the deal would be completed after the roster freeze was lifted.”
Their story quotes Bob Mckenzie who went to Rutehrford who called BS.
Now let me say this. Here in Toronto I don’t listen to much XM radio hockey. While in Seattle I love it simply because it’s where I get my hockey fill. When I am there, I outwardly laugh when I hear his name as a hockey insider. Poor Bill got overpaid and overexposed. For those who miss him, you can find him there. For the rest of us, we continue to be happy that he is really only there.