Paul Beeston was on the Jeff Blair show and, surprisingly there were some interesting things said:
About the Jays spring home in Dunedin:
We are one of the worse 5 facilities in baseball. We've been here right from the very beginning, Dunedin is a good little town. If we can pull it off, we want to pull it off. We don't want to hold anyone hostage. We need to get something done. We've kicked the tires at a few places. I like the town.
It might be better to have the minors and the major apart. We'd like (a stadium) bigger. The Phillies need us in this area (Phillies park in Clearwater is only 15 minutes away, it is easy to set up ‘B' games).
I think the team would like to stay in Dunedin, mostly because of the history there. The trouble is, there really isn't anyway to bring the minor league camp and the major league camp together. They really can't have anymore space in 'downtown' Dunedin, so they have to decide if they are ok with having the minors and the majors a few minutes apart.
On his last spring with the Jays: He figures they will let him come back down for spring training. ‘I'd like to think we welcome back anyone that works for us'. ‘I won't have an office'.
On it being "a strange and difficult winter": "It was different. It's the past. We are moving on. We have no complaints with anyone at Rogers."
On the payroll:
We have flexibility now. Later in the season, we have to prove we need it. We can have some fun this year. We have some kids that could be in the majors, or could be in A ball.
He seemed to say that if they want to add salary at the deadline, they will have to be in the race, and that's fair.
Has there been dialog, with the city, about weekend traffic?
Yes, we have worked with John (Tory). John gets it, he knows it, he's going to do something about it. They have been very very good about it. It won't come quickly but it will come.
About Rogers Centre:
It needs a major upgrade. It needs from $200 to $400 million (spent on upgrades). I don't want to lose the downtown location. You can't criticize the location. Build a baseball only stadium? If it isn't downtown, who do you draw? I think we need to do a major retrofit. It can be done. I think you will see something done at some point in time. It's one of the older stadiums in the league, one of the older stadiums in sports. We are going to play our game on April 13th, the roof is there. There are a lot of pluses to it.
He's right, the best thing about Rogers Centre is the location. Moving out of downtown would be a mistake. But then I wonder if Rogers would be willing to spend $400 million on that old building. The Cubs are doing a major upgrade of Wrigley Field, perhaps the Jays can do the same with Rogers.
They had a brief talk about the excitement of having so many good young arms, saying that they have never had so many good young arms. Paul mentioned Rickey Romero, talking about how hard he's worked and said that ‘we are all cheering for Rickey.