Monday, 30 January 2012
State of the Franchise Liveblog
6:30ET: Buck Martinez is the emcee. Meh. Turn off your cell phones you cunts.
6:32ET: Buck is introducing Beeston, Farrell and AA, not necessarily in that order. He's stumbled over his words once, so far. Expect more.
6:35ET: Beeston "Blah blah blah, future is bright."
Audience: *clap clap*
Beeston "But we need to win first."
Basically, same stuff we've heard from Beeston lately. Won't fast-forward, want sustainable winning, and such. Eventually, people will remember that he's said this over and over and that they're not going to diverge from that plan and they'll stop asking for Rogers to spend a cock-load of money.
6:40ET: Winter tour video?!? WTF is this shit? Get to the questions.
6:50 ET: Wooooooooo more promotional events!
Wow, so people who aren't from the internet actually realize that winning is the only thing that's going to bring fans to the ballpark? I'm legitimately shocked. Good start.
Buck starting with his own questions now: Asking about contract length, policy, philosphy, free agents, Prince Fielder etc.
Beeston (paraphrased): We'd like Fielder, he's a special talent, but was looking for 8-10 years, and that doesn't fit under our philosophy. If you change it for one guy, you gotta change it for everybody, or you lose leverage and credibility. 5-year contracts are max for this club right now. We need the ability to manage our team, and those big deals don't allow that. We want credibility inside our negotiations. Big ticket free agents tend to migrate to teams who are winning or about to win, so we need to start winning before we get those big guys to come, and keeping that credibility will help us there.
Buck: "Winfield! Molitor!"
6:53: Buck asks AA about Darvish:
AA: "We're linked to everyone, but again, we're not going past 5 years. There's a lot of guys out there in the league that we like, but we like them at a certain price. That's why we like the trade route, instead of the FA route. We could have made trades to excite fans, but some of those deals wouldn't have worked out well long-term.
Roster turnover is huge since I've been on the job, and we have guys we like right now. We're going to keep at it and try and win soon."
6:55: Buck asks about the bullpen.
Farrell: "We have more defined roles going in to spring training this year, as opposed to last year where we didn't really know who was going to close, who would set up, etc. Delays (injuries) going in to ST kind of hurt last year. This year, we have Santos to close, we have Oliver for LHB's, we have Frasor, etc. Incosistencies were probably partially my fault, and it's something I've got to improve upon this year."
Buck: "Wooo, bullpen."
7:00 ET: Alan Nicholson: "1-yr, 3-yr. 5-yr business plans, gogogogo"
Farrell through 1 year " I get a C. I've learned from my mistakes, and have ultimate optimism. We can score runs, but we need more SP quality innings."
AA, predictions for 3-yr "Trade demands, payroll, minor leagues, etc... foundation... like building a house. We're getting there now. Our oldest guy is Bautista, and he's in his prime. Our rotation is young, can get better, and we've got a bunch of re-inforcements in the minors. Guys are going to have good year, bad years, and they're going to get hurt, but day-in and day-out, I'm excited."
Beeston "We should have been in the post-season by now. Haivng said that, we've got a good team. Better than last year, and better than the year before. 5 years from now, we'd better be in the post-season. We want meaningful September baseball. Once we're in the playoffs, we've got as good a chance as the other 9 teams [note- double wildcard?!?!]
7:01ET Old man, something about Omar Vizquel
Farrell "He's got to earn a spot. He's got a good presence, and can play D. He can spell 2b/3b/SS."
7:05ET: Angry guy! Wanted Fielder. Might not be back! Good, get the fuck out. "I've only seen one trade, Wah wah." Wanted Beltran, Fielder, etc. signed, Gio/Latos traded for.
AA "Some people don't want turf, some don't want DH, some have medical concerns, some don't want to play in the AL, even for more money/years. Basically, there's a lot of behind the scenes stuff that you don't get.
It's easy to say 'I wanted you to trade for that guy' but the price was never right. We can do stuff during the season as well."
7:07ET: Old guy bitching about the last whippersnapper's question, and then asks about season ticket prices and something about the Raptors.
Beeston: "Trying to be consistent, simple. Don't worry about it."
7:10ET: Turf is an eyesore. Give us grass.
Beeston "Examining grass. It can work. But this is a multi-purpose stadium (concerts, football) so grass is difficult. Some guys don't want to play on turf, so we're looking at it."
7:12ET: Guy lying about his age. Beest-> Where's Henke on the level of excellence?"
Old, old man. "Trop has turf."
Beeston "Trop's is permanent. We're multi-purpose and can roll it in and out."
Old, old man, again. "AA, comment on the lack of Canadians on the field"
AA: "Lawrie is Canadian, you dumb old senile fuck." And then the stream died.
8:17ET: Guy -- "Fill the seats please."
Beeston "We're creating a team that you want to come see. Winning breeds asses. It takes time. Promos don't really do much."
Some Ron Guy: "Winning isn't Charlie Sheen. Winning to some is just putting a whole bunch of effort. I look at Lawrie, and I'm pleased. I look at AA, and I'm pleased. That brings me out to games."
Farrell "Our style of play in terms of baserunning, types of players, athleticism, etc. brings fans. Giving 100% -- I think you can appreciate that. That's what we encourage. We want those players, because that's how you build a World Series team. We think that the fan frustration is a positive, because that means that they want what we want. We want guys to hustle, and we want guys to win."
8:20: Howard wants winners, and wants his kids not to settle for mediocrity. The time is now to stop settling for mediocrity and dig in. Talk is cheap, let's see results: Specific reasons/players who will bring us to the top, and how are we going to get those guys if we don't have them now.
AA: We've had a lot of good seasons since the 92-93 WS, but obviously not good enough. We want elite, high-ceiling guys. We realized that we need to beef up the minors and get assets. Trading big league starters obviously makes your team worse in the short-term, but it's got to be worth it if it's for a high-ceiling guy. Everyone on this team has all-star potential. Fans aren't told about all the trade offers, and we could create the odd hole here if we really want, but we want elite talent at every position. Results will show themselves, no matter how much we talk."
8:25: Something about Latin Americans in Niagara Falls. I think he might be a scout or something, but it's too quiet. Texas signed 5 guys during the World Series, while TOR didn't have enough time... WTF?!
AA "Changes in international scouting (Paddy). Don't have much knowledge, but I'll look in to it."
8:30: "Inter-league... PHI is here again. Natural rival? Jays have a bad record in inter-league play, what's the deal?"
Beeston "15 teams in each league, always some inter-league. There's no natural inter-league rival for most teams. Some rules talk (NL rules in AL city?!?!?)."
Farrell "NL style is different, especially after 7th inning. 1 run is magnified, especially with pinch-hitters and hitting pitchers, bullpen, etc. From a fan standpoint, ruleswap (above) would be interesting. Our style is a little more well-suited for the NL play, and Kevin Cash will be an advanced scout so we can get a look at NL teams before they happen."
Buck: "We want a woman questioner."
Woman "Outfield positions and whatnot"
Farrell "Rasmus is our CF. We want him to be comfortable. If he plays to his capability, he gives us a lot offensively. His defense is great. Snider and Thames will compete for LF. Possible platoon and options with Davis/Francisco."
Other woman: "I didn't know cock about baseball 2 years ago, and now I'm a big fan. Not enough woman clothing and whatnot in the merch store. Not necessarily pink, not necessarily tiny, and not necessarily the cutest players."
8:35: Lind tailed off hard, Kelly Johnson isn't great. No cleanup hitter. Fix it.
AA" There's nothing wrong with a balanced lineup if a bunch of guys can hit 20 HR's instead of having someone hitting 50 of whatever. Kelly Johnson is good. Was above average OPS, especially for a 2B, during his stint last year. Lefty bat, good OBP, some HR's, nice guy. Body language can fool you if that's why you think he doesn't wanna be here.
Old guy: "You paid too much for Rasmus." HAHAHAHAHA. "Put Lawrie in the 4 hole."
Farrell "Sort by OBP, that's your lineup, more or less. Yunel is comfortable at the lead-off spot, and he's our guy. And we gave up some good pitchers, but Colby is going to be worth it (with a glare)." Fuck you old man.
Man: "Umpires won't allow replays on the big screen. Change that please."
Beeston "Yeah, we want it too."
8:40: Guy: "You've done a poor job of setting expectations for fans. We;re there, we're not there. We have money, we don't. Which is it? You'd rather trade, but people like Gio are harder to come by and are more expensive. Where are we going with this?"
AA: "Plan isn't to lose guys and get picks, but this was the right time (rebuild) to do that. From our standpoint, we traded a bunch of useless guys, plus two controllable guys who are pretty much fodder (depth). We approach Colby as a Yunel project. That worked, huh?
We want a 1st and 2nd rounder every year, no matter what, because that helps us sustain. Multiple picks is good, but we need to scout well. We can move depth and maintain."
8:45: Man: "Beeston, retire and give Buck your job."
Beeston "Fuck off"
Guy: "How prepared were you for the CBA, talk about Tyler Beede, and can we prevent that from happening again with the new CBA."
AA: "All we had to do to sign Beede was give him a blank check. Sometimes you can't trade for guys because you don't have the right players.... it has to make sense, and at the right price. We offered more years/dollars to two FA's who said no. Sometimes it's the turf, sometimes it's this, sometimes it's that, etc. Tyler will be fine and have a great career (until Vandy ruins his arm), but it wasn't the right thing to do."
8:50ET: "Hype about Brett Lawrie last year in ST. Is there one of those this season?"
Farrell "LF is up for grabs as far as competition... Drew Hutchison is good, has poise, etc. Not to say that he is in the rotation on opening day, but we're not going to be reluctant to call him up if need be. Gose, d'Arnaud, Deck Mcguire, etc. It's emerging more clearly."
Closing thoughts from Beeston: Thanks for Q's. There's more passion now than last year. We've got a strong front office, who works hard, never lets up, and want to improve the club. Farrell is good, and the players are good, and very proud to wear the leaf and Blue Jays uniform.
There's more than one way to do this. We're committed to a plan. Come along with us, it's going to be fun.
If you have questions that you didn't want to ask tonight, call me. E-mail AA. We'll get back to you and fast."
Now they're giving out some raffle prizes or something. At some point in time, it became evident that I live in PEI, and not in the Eastern timezone.
As a whole, I don't think we heard a ton of stuff that we didn't know before. Maybe the stuff about [unnamed free agents], but we also know that there were offers made to Carlos Beltran, and presumably Roy Oswalt? Maybe someone else? No biggie.
We also know that there was one butthurt Leafs fan who cared enough to go to the State of the Franchise presser just to tell us that he wasn't coming back as a fan ever again. Which is fucking stupid, given the direction this team is going, but again, no biggie. What we really got here was a lot of the same answers from Beeston and AA, so maybe this time people will pay attention? NO 8-YEAR FREE AGENT CONTRACTS!
Good night folks!