Whispers occurred over the course of the 2014 season, but coming full circle Sunday were reports of the Toronto Blue Jays actively searching for President and CEO Paul Beeston‘s replacement.
ESPN‘s Buster Olney reported Sunday morning:
With the Winter Meetings set to begin, one has to question the timing of this possible reshuffling — the Blue Jays are no stranger to in-house changes, however.
Beeston’s history with the club is a lengthy one, setting your watch all the way back to 1976. Working his way up to the executive vice-president’s chair in 1984, then claiming the title of “President and Chief Operating Officer” in 1989.
Shortly after Toronto’s rise to prominence with back-to-back World Series titles in 1992 and ’93, Beeston left to pursue Major League Baseball’s presidency in 1997 — eventually returning to the Jays in familiar fashion in 2008.
But the story doesn’t end there. Ken Rosenthal, of Fox Sports, and the aforementioned Olney followed up with these interesting tidbits soon after:
What’s the reason for this “decision”?
Well, for starters, Beeston’s contract expired on October 31st; perhaps some new-blood is on the organization’s wish-list.
However, the Blue Jays’ upper-brass were none too thrilled with Beeston’s backing of Tim Brosnan, Major League Baseball‘s Executive Vice-President, Business. Who at the time, was in the discussion to become commissioner Bud Selig’s successor.
After almost 40 years of association, it makes you wonder if an unsolved mystery will soon come to light.
Is this exactly imminent? .. Well, Baltimore Orioles‘ owner Peter Angelos chimed in with his two cents on the subject:
“They would have to contact us and ask if we’re willing to relinquish him. We’re not relinquishing him, period. He’s signed for four more years and we’re delighted by the team’s performance. We intend for him to remain for the next four years. We’re satisfied with him obviously.”
The Chicago White Sox reaction echoed the same sentiment, Rosenthal hit the wire with this:
It remains unclear what will ultimately take place. On the other hand, Beeston’s departure is seemingly inevitable at this point.
One thing is abundantly transparent — Beeston’s tenure is attached to some of the most memorable moments in Blue Jays’ history. — A name and face that is synonymous with not only the franchise, but the city of Toronto, and the entire country of Canada.
Whether through the inaugural 1977 season, Exhibition Stadium transforming into SkyDome (now Rogers Centre), the Pat Gillick era, the J.P. Ricciardi downward-spiral, or the fans love-hate relationship with current GM Alex Anthopoulos; Beeston has remained a constant figure.
Interviews were candid, and connections were fruitful — if the buck stops here, the stogie-smoking big-wig who never wears socks, will be missed.