The Blue Jays had a little get together Tuesday night with some of their season ticket holders. Now you may have missed hearing about it because there was something else that made the news on the same day. Which, of course was the Jay's plan, they wanted to have this happen without anyone noticing. It seems to be the way they have ran the whole off-season. Isn't that a stupid way to run a business?
I mean let's think about it for a moment. Let's say you and I open a business (you are going to have to put in the money, I'm tapped out). What do we want? Customers. Now how should we get customers? Well, we want people to talk about us. Course we'd like them to say good things about us so we have to make as good a product as possible. How do we do that? We tell folks we are good.
The Jays? They don't want anyone to talk about them. They have this event and they plan it for day when they know it won't get much coverage in the paper. Yeah, they haven't signed any free agents but why not try to get us excited about the young guys coming up. Some of us love to watch young players develop. Sell us on the talent of Travis Snider. Tell us how Brett Cecil is every bit the pitcher that David Price is and more. How Purcey, League and Lind are going to improve and how we are going to grow to love them as players. But no, instead of selling us on these kids they go into radio silence. And then they are surprised when they get bad press.
Anyway let's talk about what they did say at the event. Paul Beeston said that it ‘didn't make sense for the Jays' payroll to be at $100 million. If it couldn't be $120 million it might as well be $80 million'. Which is a world view I totally don't agree with. The Jays really need a slugging DH and if the payroll was $100 million we could easily pick up a good DH this season and a starter and we'd be a contender for sure. Another quote that caught my eye:
"We thought maybe we'd take a little step back this year," Beeston told the fans. "We have a problem with the economy. You don't want to hear that -- that's not your concern. Your concern is that we put a winning team, to the best of our ability, on the field."
I hate that step back line. Isn't that a terrible thing to tell potential customers? Can you imagine Ford saying ‘our new cars aren't as good as our old ones'? Again, why not sell us on the new guys instead of saying ‘we aren't going to be good this year'. Unless you don't like your young players.
Another thing JP said that doesn't have the ring of truth: ‘if they had signed Giambi that would have robbed valuable playing time from Travis Snider and Adam Lind'. Couldn't Snider have started the season at Triple A and get at bats, and then he could have come up when someone goes down with an injury. Travis is very young still and having him play Triple A wouldn't hurt his progress. JP did say that if is possible that someone may be picked up before the start of the season.
Cito Gaston seems to be the one that gets that they should be selling us on the season coming. He said he is looking forward to seeing the young pitchers in spring training. And he is even more optimistic about our bats than I am. He figures Overbay to get 20-25 homers, Rolen 25-30 and even more homers from Alex Rios. If he is right we ought to be in the race for a playoff spot this year. Unfortunately he also said we John McDonald will play more next year, figuring he can teach Mac to hit. Best of luck.
JP said that Casey Janssen will come into camp as one of our starters, leaving us with only the 5th spot in the rotation to fill, at least until McGowan can pitch. And he says Cecil will get a chance to make the rotation.
What I don't understand is that I can still be optimistic about the season ahead, so why can't the Jay's brass be? Or if they are why can't they show us they are optimistic. Come on guys! Sell us on our chances! Stop telling us 2010 our year, remember it would be nice if, you know, people bought tickets and/or watched the games on TV this year.