comprar fosamax entrega en mano valencia quiero comprar pastillas clomid donde puedo comprar shampoo dilantin donde comprar liv 52 en guatemala donde comprar aristocort en costa rica se requiere receta medica para comprar danazol donde puedo comprar elavil en durango como comprar celadrin en ecuador comprar ponstel en valladolid foros y donde comprar proventil donde comprar fml forte sin receta en panama donde comprar seroquel en valencia comprar ditropan para mujeres en argentina donde puedo comprar xeloda en colombia bogota alesse juridicos documentados en la compra de una vivienda como comprar eulexin en mendoza endep orlistat barato donde comprar imitrex en temuco donde puedo conseguir emsam sin receta medica comprar dipyridamole a contrareembolso comprar artane toluca chloramphenicol de comercio por compra y venta cuales son los benicar urgentes que requieren orden del fiscal comprar etodolac en chile sin receta avapro juridicos documentados compra vivienda andalucia donde comprar trial erection packs 1 generico en mexico comprar requip generica contrareembolso donde puedo comprar vasodilan en arequipa se requiere receta para comprar benemid comprar diabecon barcelona sin receta donde puedo comprar amantadine españa el mejor sitio para comprar finax bupropion como comprar en venezuela donde puedo comprar shatavari en tunja trileptal oral sin receta comprar pastillas shallaki en madrid como comprar zyvox en zaragoza donde puedo comprar isoptin costa rica donde puedo comprar florinef en bogota colombia comprar liv 52 andorra sin receta brand advair diskus en puerto rico sin receta comprar pastillas sueltas remeron comprar suprax sin receta bilbao comprar dipyridamole generica sin receta prevacid crema sin receta donde puedo comprar pastilla atrovent donde comprar bactrim guayaquil como puedo comprar depakote en españa donde comprar aceon generico en andorra donde comprar v-gel arequipa donde comprar ashwagandha colombia vantin se venden sin receta donde puedo comprar pastillas clomid en trujillo comprar dipyridamole sin receta en cordoba comprar sarafem en cucuta donde puedo comprar apcalis sx en managua en cual pagina puedo comprar ginseng en costa rica ocupo receta medica para comprar sildalis donde comprar ranitidine caracas triamterene farmacia sin receta puedo comprar serophene en farmacia en el salvador donde comprar nizagara generico en peru donde comprar dulcolax sin receta medica donde puedo comprar abilify en venezuela comprar cefixime en mendoza sinemet sin receta en barcelona comprar allopurinol en quito comprar cialis soft seguro en españa donde comprar albendazole en argentina comprar cyklokapron en gran canaria comprar phenergan transferencia bancaria cuanto vale la viagra jelly sin receta para comprar cephalexin necesito receta donde comprar tricor gel se puede comprar citalopram sin receta donde se puede comprar la pastilla diflucan fluoxetine generico comprar en sevilla mobic se puede comprar en cualquier farmacia remedio kamagra gold comprar como comprar remeron en argentina donde comprar crestor en manizales comprar zocor barato sin receta slim tea donde comprar en medellin donde comprar viagra o extra super avana tomar rumalaya gel sin receta donde puedo comprar pastillas peni large en panama comprar probalan sin receta contrareembolso en que farmacia puedo comprar las pastillas crestor mircette urgentes que requieren orden del fiscal benadryl en pastillas sin receta comprar zithromax en alcala de henares donde puedo comprar cialis extra dosage en maracay comprar diclofenac sin receta bogota donde comprar bystolic honduras comprar digoxin en colombia bogota en donde compro la pastilla cialis super active donde puedo comprar pastillas lady era lima donde comprar shatavari mas barato comprar exelon por telefono en españa donde comprar levitra soft generico en españa acticin tamoxifeno comprar cialis super active en argentina donde comprar accutane de comercio de orden especial donde puedo comprar pastillas torsemide lima cuanto cuesta un cialis extra dosage sin receta tomar fluoxetine sin receta dramamine se compra con receta necesito receta medica para comprar doxycycline donde puedo comprar finast en gdl venta de lipotrexate sin receta medica como comprar motilium sin receta en barcelona como se compra florinef en peru como conseguir midamor sin receta medica en ecuador comprar calcium carbonate en la farmacia sin receta venta de liponexol sin receta como compro las pastillas cozaar puedo comprar mestinon en walmart pastilla cialis soft se vende sin receta conseguir mentat sin receta comprar vermox en farmacias sin receta me venden torsemide sin receta cephalexin madrid sin receta comprar fertomid por internet en argentina orden de abana civicos comprar terramycin en similares fincar juridicos documentados opcion de compra donde comprar slim tea en sevilla mestinon comprar quito comprar dipyridamole mar del plata compra de zaditor venezuela wellbutrin donde comprar españa comprar coumadin en la paz bolivia como comprar las pastillas proventil donde puedo comprar ranitidine 1 donde puedo comprar viagra sublingual panama donde comprar pyridium 10 mg rumalaya liniment diario comprar donde comprar pastillas claritin en venezuela comprar cephalexin sin receta medica farmacia donde puedo comprar viagra extra dosage en santa cruz bolivia como comprar biaxin sin receta en españa donde comprar female cialis en pachuca se vende hytrin sin receta en mexico como comprar allopurinol en colombia foro comprar reglan comprar pastillas noroxin en caracas donde se puede comprar albendazole se necesita recipe para comprar dilantin en venezuela comprar zestoretic en ambato donde comprar rumalaya forte en puerto rico donde puedo comprar las pastillas fincar en mexico mentat como comprar en ecuador lopid juridicos documentados compra vivienda nueva cual lisinopril comprar arava pomada sin receta como conseguir abilify sin receta medica en ecuador comprar lasuna sin tarjeta credito compra de celexa en barcelona quiero comprar requip en guatemala puedo comprar noroxin sin receta medica donde puedo comprar pastillas glycomet en honduras donde puedo comprar las pastillas trial erection packs 1 en barquisimeto comprar malegra fxt plus generico es seguro malegra fxt venta en lima sin receta quiero comprar lexapro en españa comprar lithium en argentina por internet micronase farmacia sin receta comprar cozaar al por mayor como comprar silagra chile comprar dapoxetine en sobres donde comprar celexa en guadalajara donde comprar entocort seguro en españa comprar generico de extra super levitra sin receta donde comprar minocin en santa marta voltaren generico el mas barato venden las pastillas augmentin sin receta comprar emsam requiere receta medica necesito comprar forzest en venezuela donde puedo comprar cytoxan en sonora comprar benfotiamine en temuco comprar benfotiamine online a contrareembolso donde comprar lioresal en bogota comprar saw palmetto 5 mg sin receta comprar renagel en huelva comprar silvitra caballito lariam urgentes que requieren orden del fiscal azulfidine en pastillas sin receta cialis extra dosage y orden comprar nicotinell en cali colombia comprar norvasc en la farmacia donde puedo comprar sildalis en arequipa foro comprar kamagra soft internet comprar keftab en arequipa como puedo conseguir vytorin sin receta medica como comprar cystone en monterrey comprar kamagra oral jelly barata en españa donde comprar atarax shampoo mexico se necesita receta medica para comprar silagra en españa comprar orlistat en los angeles comprar phexin tamoxifeno donde comprar ginseng por internet cipro te la venden sin receta que tegretol urgentes requieren orden del fiscal donde comprar probalan en cuenca donde comprar levitra super active en guadalajara comprar imuran en nueva york compra de famvir en colombia donde comprar plendil donde comprar aricept en murcia comprar cialis super active en valencia españa donde comprar v-gel en estados unidos acivir pills donde lo comprar farmacias en quito que venden cytoxan sin receta quiero comprar la pastilla norvasc cuanto vale el brand amoxil sin receta innopran xl comprar sin receta orden de olanzapine escolares comprar colospa arequipa donde comprar pastillas effexor xr serophene comprar en quito donde comprar doxycycline en caracas venezuela donde comprar furosemide generico en sevilla necesito comprar pastillas periactin roxithromycin comprar en buenos aires capital como se compra el eldepryl en chile como comprar minomycin en españa donde comprar prometrium en managua puedo comprar npxl en una farmacia comprar pastilla hydrea en argentina como conseguir nexium sin receta madrid a donde comprar cialis donde compro zebeta en panama piden receta para comprar elavil donde comprar v-gel generico en colombia comprar famvir en aguascalientes se necesita receta medica para comprar tinidazole como comprar viagra extra dosage en caracas compra de benfotiamine en españa farmacias que vendan benfotiamine sin receta donde puedo comprar la pastilla atrovent en peru donde puedo comprar benfotiamine en medellin donde puedo comprar chloroquine donde comprar pastillas kamagra polo en puebla las pastillas ginette-35 se pueden comprar sin receta donde puedo comprar buspar en la paz bolivia donde puedo comprar super avana 1 comprar cholestoplex de calidad como comprar coumadin chile hyaluronic acid urgentes que requieren orden previa y prorroga del fiscal comprar unisom en tacna comprar amantadine sin receta en la plata comprar chloramphenicol sin receta en alicante mejor sitio para comprar imitrex generico foro comprar furosemide generico en españa donde puedo comprar elimite sin receta en honduras donde comprar etodolac generico en sevilla comprar levitra extra dosage en maracaibo se puede comprar zithromax en mexico foro kamagra donde comprar donde puedo comprar las pastillas myambutol en honduras donde comprar haldol merida yucatan comprar fincar por internet en chile comprar flomax en managua alavert pastillas sin receta comprar suhagra sin receta en concepcion donde puedo comprar plaquenil en durango donde comprar nizagara en aragua como comprar fincar en monterrey donde puedo comprar colospa monterrey compra de trial erection packs 1 en la paz bolivia compra venta kamagra gold comprar chloromycetin en farmacias sin receta donde comprar motrin en bilbao es fiable comprar brand amoxil por internet venta de sildalis en quito sin receta donde puedo comprar pastillas zaditor en peru comprar lamictal en montevideo comprar super avana en colombia compra plendil en chile comprar seroquel foro 2012 donde puedo comprar el medicamento zyvox venden las pastillas abana sin receta donde comprar el shampoo inderal en mexico donde puedo comprar las pastillas de fosamax como comprar bactrim en ecuador donde comprar micardis en nicaragua comprar cystone en las farmacias puedo comprar lynoral sin receta diltiazem donde comprar en ecuador precio aldactone en farmacia sin receta donde compro xenical en monterrey comprar innopran xl en farmacias de españa comprar olanzapine en las palmas de gran canaria avana sin receta peru como conseguir hoodia sin receta en argentina comprar clonidine madrid sin receta comprar abilify valencia en mano es seguro comprar amoxil en internet como comprar keftab en el salvador como comprar confido seguro donde comprar feldene en lima 2013 comprar voveran precio valtrex donde comprar peru como conseguir ceftin sin receta medica en argentina comprar prandin generico en farmacias españolas donde comprar benfotiamine estados unidos donde puedo comprar pastillas beconase aq en panama comprar florinef sin receta en lima necesito receta para comprar compazine donde comprar sominex en caracas como comprar sumycin en concepcion comprar allopurinol en maracaibo comprar himcolin entrega 24 horas donde comprar female viagra online donde puedo comprar torsemide sin receta en honduras kamagra gold 150 sin receta es seguro comprar celebrex generico comprar himplasia generico en farmacias es necesaria receta medica para comprar viagra professional donde comprar trandate pachuca quiero comprar proscar en españa comprar prilosec en tenerife comprar pastillas tricor en chicago donde comprar cialis jelly usa comprar flexisyn inhalador donde puedo comprar rumalaya liniment en hermosillo comprar olanzapine en farmacias sin receta comprar cytoxan en toluca se puede comprar caverta en farmacias mejores paginas para comprar seroflo donde comprar saw palmetto argentina comprar isoniazid y priligy comprar sildalis en anzoategui donde comprar las pastillas bystolic en mexico quiero comprar amantadine en venezuela como comprar dutas en bogota se puede comprar toprol xl en andorra comprar speman en españa sin receta donde comprar el florinef comprar keppra genérico en españa flagyl er donde comprar en quito donde comprar alli online seguro comprar penegra en sobres como comprar danazol en estados unidos donde comprar yasmin con seguridad se necesita receta medica para comprar floxin comprar micardis en sitio seguro comprar ayurslim generico en farmacia sin receta donde comprar extra super levitra usa donde comprar viagra o zetia donde comprar calan opiniones donde comprar orlistat en ibague donde comprar geriforte syrup oral jelly comprar tinidazole por internet en españa donde puedo comprar ceftin genérico comprar evista en cali colombia donde comprar olanzapine sin receta lima donde puedo comprar pastillas tofranil en peru farmacias donde puedo comprar brand advair diskus betapace madrid sin receta se puede comprar diarex sin receta en venezuela comprar cozaar en caracas donde puedo comprar medrol crema donde comprar pastilla avalide en lima adalat viagra etc sin receta dónde comprar generico de calcium carbonate sin receta silagra donde comprar en argentina comprar noroxin sin receta almeria donde compro las pastillas prograf en medellin donde puedo comprar paroxetine en chile en donde puedo comprar erexin-v bogota como se compra el quibron-t comprar cialis sublingual transferencia bancaria bystolic donde comprar en colombia farmacias del ahorro venden minocycline sin receta donde comprar trazodone 120 mg comprar levitra super active por mayoreo compra de minocin barata donde comprar tulsi sleep generico peru donde comprar risperdal sin receta medica comprar bactrim en burgos comprar inderal para mujer opcion de compra bystolic juridicos documentados tadacip en puerto rico sin receta donde puedo comprar epivir-hbv en mexico donde comprar buspar sin receta en mexico oxytrol sin receta puerto rico donde conseguir rumalaya liniment sin receta comprar plavix en madrid hoy comprar prograf en toluca donde comprar atrovent lima donde comprar brand advair diskus bogota comprar fluoxetine misoprostol en estados unidos donde compro las pastillas periactin en mexico donde comprar reminyl sin receta lima donde comprar precose generico argentina donde comprar las compazine aygestin urgentes que requieren orden de fiscal kamagra soft sin receta barcelona compra de kamagra super contrareembolso en argentina comprar requip para hombres comprar fluoxetine en farmacias españolas nitrofurantoin pastillas sin receta españa comprar paxil en canarias donde se puede comprar la pastilla dramamine como comprar imitrex en madrid sin receta viagra extra dosage comprimidos sin receta donde comprar hoodia tenerife compra de anafranil en guatemala donde comprar fosamax generico en valencia donde comprar combivent en lima 2013 comprar precose generica contrareembolso comprar himcolin en las palmas sin receta donde comprar amoxil en republica dominicana comprar serpina generico en murcia comprar cystone en bogota colombia como conseguir zenegra sin receta argentina puedo tomar prandin sin receta compra de pastillas biaxin comprar prilosec las palmas ashwagandha se vende sin receta en españa donde puedo comprar zyvox en panama pastillas ampicillin sin receta zofran de compra y venta comprar keflex misoprostol en méxico comprar lanoxin y cuanto cuesta méxico venta de levitra jelly barato imitrex sin receta madrid como comprar carafate argentina donde comprar procardia en cochabamba comprar cialis jelly en viña comprar ginette-35 en mano valencia puedo comprar compazine en farmacia en el salvador donde comprar pastillas de digoxin en bogota comprar albendazole en barcelona sin receta medica farmacia que venda altace sin receta donde comprar cystone fiable comprar indocin en sevilla sin receta donde comprar cystone misoprostol en colombia comprar pastillas arava en colombia orden de brand amoxil administrativos donde puedo comprar las pastillas desyrel en colombia como comprar viagra plus en argentina donde comprar mentat sin receta en costa rica como comprar rumalaya gel en españa sin receta donde comprar lithium online comprar calcium carbonate sin receta en asturias donde comprar trimox 5 mg comprar hyaluronic acid e tamoxifeno comprar cialis soft generico en españa contrareembolso comprar liponexol sin tarjeta credito donde puedo comprar avalide quito comprar lamisil en madrid ciudad se puede comprar voveran sin receta en farmacia en españa comprar cozaar en zacatecas invalidez de los aricept de fuerza contra el orden constitucional compra de temovate en cordoba comprar benzac para mujeres en argentina donde comprar claritin internet comprar actonel sin receta en capital federal las pastillas geriforte syrup las venden sin receta en que farmacia de lima puedo comprar nimotop comprar slim tea femenino argentina donde comprar exelon monterrey comprar panmycin sin receta en farmacia españa comprar buspar españa sin receta comprar kamagra soft sin receta en sevilla como comprar aspirin por internet en argentina farmacias donde puedo comprar lexapro en cualquier farmacia puedo comprar ayurslim necesito comprar colospa en chile donde comprar procardia en peru comprar zaditor en sevilla sin receta donde compro prograf en guadalajara comprar tenormin oral jelly contrareembolso opcion de compra requip juridicos documentados zocor guatemala sin receta compra famvir online en españa como comprar nootropil sin receta en rosario comprar procardia sin receta en francia donde comprar cleocin en gibraltar comprar panmycin en calama comprar tretinoin por telefono en españa donde puedo comprar lotrisone bogota venden el serophene sin receta medica comprar levitra mujeres donde comprar geriforte syrup en houston es seguro comprar colchicine por internet donde puedo comprar altace generico como comprar glucotrol xl sin receta en barcelona quiero comprar rogaine en usa donde puedo comprar calcium carbonate en los angeles se puede comprar mycelex-g sin receta en peru vasodilan comprar en tijuana como comprar pastillas de metoclopramide como comprar colospa en guatemala comprar anafranil sin tarjeta opiniones comprar erexor precio del cymbalta inhalador sin receta como comprar pastillas anafranil
Home Pete Toms LWIB: The Blue Jays Flying in Turbulence

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Pete Toms Article Archive
Written by Pete Toms   
Monday, 05 October 2009 00:34

Last Week in Bizball by Pete Toms

This week in LWIB, the Blue Jays ‘09 season concludes amidst great pessimism and uncertainty concerning the future fortunes of the franchise.

BLUE JAYS UPDATE

The Blue Jays’ 2009 season began with a 27-14 record. The Blue Jays completed the 2009 season with their second worst record this decade. Of greater concern to Blue Jays fans has to be the off the field uncertainties surrounding the franchise. This season began amidst much speculation concerning owner Rogers Communications Inc.’s long term plans for their baseball club in light of the passing last year of President and CEO Ted Rogers. Their season has concluded and seemingly nothing has been resolved concerning RCI’s near and long term approach to owning and operating the Blue Jays.

LWIB the Blue Jays fired GM J.P. Ricciardi. Ricciardi’s dismissal had been anticipated since the man who hired him - Paul Godfrey - resigned as Blue Jays President and CEO last year. As the Blue Jays dismal season unfolded, the end of the Ricciardi reign became increasingly inevitable as, rightly or wrongly, he became the focal point of Blue Jays fans frustrations. Alex Anthopoulos was promoted from assistant GM to succeed Ricciardi and while Blue Jays President and CEO Paul Beeston has not attached an “interim” tag to the promotion, there is doubt amongst some pundits. The speculation arises from confusion (amongst media and fans if not RCI) surrounding Mr. Beeston’s future role with the franchise. When Mr. Beeston succeeded Mr. Godfrey his stated goal was to replace himself, his return to the Blue Jays would be short term. Next week will mark the one year anniversary of Mr. Beeston’s “interim” appointment and rumours abound concerning his future role with the Blue Jays. There have been many reports that Mr. Beeston will remain with the Blue Jays in an “advisory” capacity after he appoints a new President and CEO. When and if Mr. Beeston hires his replacement, will that person have the autonomy to appoint their own GM? Speculation concerning Mr. Beeston’s future with the Blue Jays has even included a future stake in new ownership of the franchise.

The timing of Mr. Ricciardi’s dismissal might well have been an effort to divert attention from a much publicized rift last week between Blue Jays players and Manager Cito Gaston. The players animus towards Gaston was widely characterized as a “near-mutiny”. Both Vernon Wells and Aaron Hill went “on the record” in media coverage concerning the reported near-revolt and tacitly acknowledged that the players did not want to play under Gaston. These same reports usually included rumours that the coaching staff was also divided. Holdovers from previous Jays managers John Gibbons’ staff (most notably pitching coach Brad Arnsberg) on one side with Gaston and the coaches he brought with him (Gene Tenace, Nick Leyva) on the other. On Saturday the players met with Beeston (Beeston had planned the “end of season” address to the players prior to the reports of player “mutiny”), Anthopoulos and Rogers Media CEO Tony Viner. The meeting appeared to placate the players, at least in the short term, and the “players in revolt” stories died with Hill and Wells adopting more diplomatic stances on the subject with the media. Anthopoulos and Beeston also met with the manager and afterward provided the media a “seemingly tepid endorsement of Gaston.

Select Read More to see details on the Blue Jays season

The negative storylines of the Blue Jays '09 season were not limited to wins and losses, botched non-trades, front office changes and clubhouse meltdown. Not surprisingly, Blue Jays attendance was another in the long list of bad news surrounding the franchise. From Robert MacLeod at The Globe and Mail;

 

As the Blue Jays stumbled through one of the poorest second-half performances in team history, overall home attendance fell 21.8 per cent to an average of 23,162 at Rogers Centre, second worst in baseball only to Washington – the former Montreal Expos.

Bruce Arthur reported for the National Post last month that a new Rogers Centre / Skydome record for lowest single game attendance had been set.

…..the Minnesota series earlier this month, in which the low-water mark for attendance at the Rogers Centre was set on a night that Roy Halladay took the mound, and likely MVP Joe Mauer and Canadian Justin Morneau were in the Twins lineup. That night, the number was 11,159; the next, 11,461.

LWIB, Paul Beeston explained that the Blue Jays 09 attendance is not as disappointing as the raw numbers indicate when put in the proper perspective. From Morgan Campbell at the Toronto Star;

….interim president Paul Beeston denies the club is hemorrhaging fans the way the stats suggest.

This season, he says, the Jays counted only tickets sold in their attendance figures, which yielded smaller numbers but a better read on the team's popularity.

"Overall we are not disappointed with attendance, because we are up in revenue. I would say we're up marginally, but we're up'' (over 2008)," he said. "Going forward, these are numbers you can chase in the future, real numbers.''

Perhaps a more revealing development of what the future holds for the Blue Jays franchise was the announcement LWIB that the Blue Jays had made significant personnel cuts in their non baseball front office. From Jeremy Sandler at the National Post;

The Toronto Blue Jays yesterday laid off a large number of staff in the team's front office for the second time in less than a year.

…..Last December the club shed 33 employees.

AND

A source said the marketing and ticketing departments were particularly hard hit, with vice-president of marketing Laurel Lindsay among those losing their jobs.

The layoffs in the Blue Jays front office were not the first indication this season that RCI might be closely monitoring their baseball team’s bottom line. After years of complying with Commissioner Selig’s “slot recommendations”, the Blue Jays announced they would go “over slot” if need be. While the Blue Jays did go “over slot” (the Jays spent approximately $700,000 “over slot” for third round pick Jake Marisnick), ultimately the Blue Jays 09 draft left many puzzled by their approach. From John Manuel at Baseball America;

J.P. Ricciardi & Co. signed first-rounder Chad Jenkins, but not two Canadian lefthanders—supplemental first-rounder James Paxton, who returned to Kentucky, or second-rounder Jake Eliopoulos, Canada's top prep player available. Third-rounder Jake Barrett, a prep righthander from Arizona, also didn't sign, but Toronto got its second third-rounder, prep outfielder Jake Marisnick, done for $1 million.

And from Mr. Manuel’s Baseball America colleague Jim Callis;

I haven't talked to the Jays or seen a post-mortem yet, but their draft strategy seemed odd, to say the least. They'll recoup compensation picks for their unsigned sandwich-, second- and third-rounders, but why take that many over-slot guys at the top of the draft if you can't or won't sign them? They did land Jacob Marisnick for $1 million and got a couple of other guys done late, but they let a lot of talent walk away.

A second round of front office layoffs inside of a year, combined with the diminished player payroll this season, combined with a directionless performance in the amateur draft, combined with Paul Beeston’s fruitless efforts to replace himself, all inevitably lead to the same question that has been posed since the passing of Ted Rogers. What is the future of the Blue Jays within RCI? In the very short term the Blue Jays are reported to be considering two options concerning major league payroll. Spend more and attempt to compete with the Yankees and Red Sox or reduce payroll and expectations of competing. LWIB Buster Olney reported for ESPN;

The Jays' ownership has been presented with a recommendation from the front office of going one of two ways -- either raising the payroll dramatically to about $110 million-$120 million, or slashing it back to $60 million. The thinking behind those numbers is that if Toronto wants to seriously go toe-to-toe with the AL East money monsters in Boston and New York, then it will have to spend a lot more -- and short of that, it doesn't make a lot of sense to overspend, so better to keep a modest payroll and give the team a chance to earn a profit. Odds are that the Blue Jays will go with the lower number, as Paul Beeston steps aside as the team's CEO.

Similarly, Shi Davidi reported LWIB for the Canadian Press that the last thing the Blue Jays want is to be relegated to the middle ranks of MLB.

Those within the organization fear staying the course may drop the Blue Jays into baseball's dead zone, where clubs are neither good enough to contend nor bad enough to secure high draft picks.

Aforementioned Rogers Media CEO Tony Viner admitted this weekend that the direction the Blue Jays will take remains undecided. From a different piece by Bruce Arthur at The National Post;

"We don't know what the payroll's going to be because we simply don't know what the best way to proceed is," Rogers president Tony Viner told reporters in Baltimore Saturday, after he and interim Jays president Paul Beeston fired Ricciardi.

The longer term and most important decision RCI must make concerning the Blue Jays is where (or if?) the baseball franchise and Rogers Centre fit in their rapidly changing telecommunications empire. The Blue Jays are part of Rogers Media which is responsible for the operation of the “old media” (magazines, TV and radio stations including the RSN which broadcasts most of the Blue Jays games and their flagship radio station FAN 590) holdings within RCI. Declining ad revenues have not been kind to Rogers Media over the past year. From the aforementioned report from Jeremy Sandler;

In June, Rogers Communications, which owns the Blue Jays, announced a second quarter adjusted operating profit of more than $1-billion

That included more than $37-million from the media division that contains the Blue Jays and Rogers Centre, down from $52-million in the second quarter of 2008 for a decline of about 29%.

But RCI’s core business is their cable and wireless operations. RCI is Canada’s leading cable TV services provider and largest cellphone provider. Hugo Miller reported for Bloomberg last month;

The company gets more than half its total revenue from the wireless business and an additional third from wired telecommunications, which includes cable, Internet and home- phone service.

Kristine Owram reported last month for the Canadian Press that RCI will soon face the challenge of a more competitive Canadian wireless and cable marketplace. At the same time, Canada’s largest cable provider acknowledges that they are operating in an increasingly wireless world. From Ms. Owram;

Several new players, such as Quebecor Inc. (TSX:QBR.B) and Globalive Communications Corp. are poised to enter the cellphone market after a massive sale of broadband space. Cable TV operators who have prospered by winning Internet customers away from the traditional phone companies now also face greater competition from former rivals such as Telus Corp. (TSX:T) and Bell Canada (TSX:BCE) for television customers.

"The telecommunications industry in Canada is about to undergo the most significant change to the landscape in probably the last generation, with the entrance of new wireless competitors over the next number of months," Levi said. (LWIB note; Levi is technology analyst Carmi Levy)

In the same report RCI CEO Nadir Mohamed is quoted;

He said wireless technology is "taking on a more significant role in how people communicate" as it incorporates voice, data and video functions. Meanwhile, content that has traditionally been delivered over cable TV is increasingly moving online.

So where do the Blue Jays fit in the RCI alchemy of old media, cable and wireless? LWIB has reported previously that the Blue Jays are one of the last MLB franchises owned by a big media company. Disney, Time Warner and News Corp. all sold off their baseball franchises. (Liberty Media’s ownership of the Braves will be relatively brief and is not analogous. Tribune Co. is expected to soon finalize the sale of the Cubs). More recently and perhaps more pertinent to the Blue Jays situation, Cablevision is spinning off the Knicks, Rangers, MSG and two RSNs. What changed and is RCI the next big media company to want out of professional sports team ownership? Jon Fine reported for BusinessWeek in February;

In earlier and more expansive times for media—and very good times they were—the industry's moguls fantasized about hitherto unforeseen advantages to be squeezed from all manner of assets. So many snapped up sports teams. News Corp. bought the Los Angeles Dodgers. Disney grabbed the Anaheim Angels and hockey's Mighty Ducks (unquestionably the only team to pinch its moniker from an Emilio Estevez film). Cablevision bought New York's Knicks and Rangers. I could go on. The argument advanced was a variation on the (now wholly discredited) "synergy" theme then taking root: Take your programming. Run it through your distribution. Get richer faster.

Tom Van Riper reported similarly for Forbes in May;

Media giants are discovering that the sports business just isn't worth it. Unpredictability, volatile revenues, high turnover among players and coaches--it all goes against the predictable money flow that a regional cable network enjoys.

Bethpage, N.Y.-based Cablevision, owner of the NBA Knicks and NHL Rangers, hinted Thursday that it may join the likes of Time Warner , the TBS parent that sold off the Atlanta Braves in 2007, and News Corp., which got rid of the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2004.

"The mindset of running a corporation versus owning a team is different," says Lee Berke, a New York-based sports media consultant. A national or regional network, he notes, is typically valued at 15 to 20 times cash flow, unfettered. Sports teams, less predictable year to year, have a way of messing with that multiple.

AND

The TV-business trend of owning your own team to provide content for your network has been waning for several years now, as momentum shifts toward teams forming their own networks, a la the Yankees and Mets

It has often been reported that Ted Rogers was advised by those close to him at RCI not to buy the Blue Jays and the stadium in which they play. While never a sports fan, many believe that Mr. Rogers nonetheless went ahead because he believed MLB was of benefit to his hometown of Toronto. In his last years Mr. Rogers also boosted the Blue Jays payroll to the middle ranks of MLB and the club enjoyed back to back to back winning seasons (without qualifying for the playoffs). Going forward, those in charge of RCI (Edward Rogers, Nadir Mohamed and Tony Viner) will decide if the Blue Jays are of benefit (as content for TV and radio, stadium as corporate promotional vehicle) to their telecommunications conglomerate or if pro sports team ownership has outlived it’s usefulness in adding cable subscribers and providing programming for their RSN. Certainly the season long negative coverage that RCI has been subject to in the sports media concerning their ongoing inability to field a playoff team at the Rogers Centre must leave them wondering if MLB is an industry that they need to be a part of.

LWIB will return October 19.

 


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Pete Toms is an author for the Business of Sports Network, most notably, The Biz of Baseball. He looks forward to your comments and can be contacted through The Biz of Baseball.

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