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Letters of Intent
By Bob Elliott
As we’ve said before it is Edward Rogers’ team.
The man does have the majority share, along with his sister Melinda, in Rogers Communications, owners of the Blue Jays.
If Edward, deputy chairman of Rogers Un-Communications — we are now in day 34 under the cone of silence since ESPN had the original story a month ago at the winter meetings in San Diego — does not want president Paul Beeston in office.
Well … it is Edward’s team.
The news accelerated Wednesday when Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports tweeted:
#Orioles, #BlueJays have discussed compensation package that O’s would require for allowing GM Dan Duquette to become Jays CEO.
By noon Peter Gammons of MLB Network had the Jays sending last June’s No. 1 pick (ninth over-all) Jeff Hoffman to the Orioles as compensation.
An hour later Dan Plesac of MLB Network said that the Duquette deal would be completed in the next 24-to-48 hours.
By night fall Duquette has a conflict of interest according to MLB Network: working in Baltimore, while his heart was in Toronto.
And hours later Baltimore owner Peter Angelos said that Duquette wasn’t going anywhere.
All, the while the current Blue Jays president Beeston was representing Rogers Communications at the Major League Baseball owners meetings in Phoenix.
What we do know:
1. Edward Rogers and his good friend Roger Rai, a “sports consultant” to the Rogers empire visited New York.
There they met with New York Yankees president Randy Levine in New York looking for suggestions as to who to hire as the next president.
Levine gave the two friends from their University of Western Ontario days, a pair of names: Kenny Williams of the Chicago White Sox and Duquette.
Now, if you ran a team looking for help hiring a manager, a general manager a president or whatever … would you ask a division rival for help?
Rogers called White Sox executive vice-president Williams — without permission — and then called White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf, who is Beeston’s best friend.
And Rogers also called the Orioles owner Angelos about Duquette.
2. Duquette wants the Toronto job.
He had been out of the game nine years after being fired by the Boston Red Sox in 2002. Blue Jays assistant GM Tony LaCava turned down the O’s GM job because he was not allowed to bring a front office assistant with him. So, they turned to Duquette. He and manager Buck Showalter helped get the O’s into the post-season in 2013-14.
There is one story making the rounds that Duquette is doing the advising on whom to ask for.
When the Chicago Cubs scooped Theo Epstein from the Red Sox with time remaining on his contract, they sent former third-round pick Chris Carpenter — not the former Cy Young award winner, the reliever — to Boston. Carpenter pitched in six games in 2012, spent 2013 at triple-A Pawtucket and last year with the Yakult Swallows.
Duquette has four years remaining on his Baltimore contract.
3. Angelos doesn’t want him Duquette to have the job.
Angelos told Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun Wednesday that he “is NOT going to deal Duquette to Jays.”
“It’s not going to happen” he said explaining there have not been any change in Duquette’s status. “He is our GM and is going to remain our GM. He is concentrating his efforts to determine the composition of our team for 2015. That is the answer. Period.”
Angelos said that the Jays had inquired about Duquette … which is a nice way for Rogers to do business: looking for a president … when you already have one.
“They have expressed interest, which we understand because Dan is an exceptional GM, but we’re not in any negotiations,” Angelos said. “We are not negotiating with them in any way.”
The O’s owner said he does not believe specific players/compensation has been discussed but “it doesn’t matter, because the O’s aren’t budging.”
Now, that is either very emphatic or too emphatic, as in priming the pump to get Rogers to give up more.
Who knows? It’s his first trade.
4. The word from the Rogers campus is that they want Beeston’s current job split between a president of baseball operations and a corporate type from Rogers looking after the business side.
And general manager Alex Anthopoulos would not see his job affected. All well and good to say that … but it has to be unsettling for Anthopoulos who enters the final year of his contract while facing the possibility of working for a new boss.
5. Beeston has been telling people — as recently as Saturday — that he is staying for 2015, which would be the Jays 39th and Beeston’s 32nd.
He received a standing ovation from Jays employees at the annual Christmas party in the Jays clubhouse last month.
Beeston’s contract expired at the end October.
There are 1,001 ways to run a successful buisness.
Ah, we don’t think that treating a long-time employee this way is one of them.
Scout’s honor: A former Jays scout with pair of World Series rings observing from afar writes:
Am reading about the upcoming Beeston “departure” … if it is what he he wants to do, OK and congrats on being the Best Blue Jay during his career.
If it is not his idea the current ownership might want to venture into SkyDome (it will always be SkyDome to me, never Rogers Centre), and look at the banners placed in tribute to teams and players.
(This ownership) never had anything to do with winning. The current Blue Jay ship is constantly changing direction in the front office, player development, scouting and flying in circles.
I doubt if any, or all of this can be blamed on Paul, but that is the way the game is today.
Is this the same ownership that allowed the Maple Leaf to be removed from the logo and uniforms?