Jays talk: Bynes, Colletti, Dombrowski, Laurence
By Bob Elliott
Josh Byrnes, twice a National League general manager, is another name mentioned as being in the mix to be the next GM of the Toronto Blue Jays.
Already Ross Atkins vice president of player personnel with the Cleveland Indians and interim GM Tony LaCava have been identified as two men president Mark Shapiro is looking at to take over for Alex Anthopoulos.
Byrnes is senior VP of the Los Angeles Dodgers after two stints as GM with the Arizona Diamondbacks and the San Diego Padres. Like Shapiro, Byrnes has an Indians background (1994-99).
First, Byrnes was GM of the Diamondbacks under CEO Jeff Moorad -- Shawn Green and Eddie Zosky’s agent -- from 2006 until July 1, 2010, when he was replaced by GM Jerry DiPoto. The 2007 Diamondbacks made post-season play beating the Chicago Cubs and losing to the Colorado Rockies.
Then, Byrnes joined the Padres Dec. 3, 2010, was promoted to GM Oct. 26, 2011 and fired June 22, 2014.
Other ivory tower matters ...
_ Ned Colletti, former general manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers, was interviewed by Rogers Communications to replace outgoing president Paul Beeston in July.
Roger Rai, a sports consultant with Rogers Communications, spoke with Colletti for 40 minutes via phone. There’s no word on how far that process went.
Colletti, in town this week for the Hockey Hall of Fame induction ceremonies, led the Dodgers to five post season appearances in nine years as GM. He worked for one of the most dysfunctional ownership groups in the game: Jamie and Frank McCourt, during their divorce proceedings.
That background would have made Colletti a good fit for the fractured Toronto ownership group.
_ Edward Rogers, deputy chairman of Rogers Communications, Guy Laurence, Rogers Communications president and chief executive officer, Phil Lind, Rogers Communications vice chairman and a fourth Rogers executive interviewed Dave Dombrowski on Friday, Aug. 14.
The owners meetings were held earlier that week in Chicago. Detroit Tigers owner Mike Illitch had relieved Dombrowksi of his duties Aug. 5.
And on Aug. 19 the Boston Red Sox hired Dombrowski.
Shapiro was hired by the Jays Aug. 31.
_ We’re told our Steve Simmons was “bang on” with the $48 million additional cash that the Jays took in over and above budget in August-September-October.
Now, some people think that 2015’s profit will simply be rolled over into the 2016 budget.
Not so fast you in the back wearing the Blue Jay cap.
“That’s not the way it works with Rogers Communications or any other publicly listed company,” said a financial type. “That $50 million windfall will go back to the shareholders. It is not rolled over into the next year.”
_ Could Rogers bump next year’s team payroll? Yes, it could, The company can do anything it wants ... especially now that new WiFi has been installed.
As Edward Rogers told Sportsnet “we’ve put in a state of the art WiFi which we believe is one of the best, if not the best in all of North America for our fans, and that investment is going to keep going as we go into the future.”
We might need some help here ... were those fans jumping up and down because Jose Bautista went deep and flipped his bat or because they had four bars on their WiFi?
The Jays opened in April at Yankee Stadium with a $125 million US payroll and by year’s end after pre-deadline deals it had climbed to $138 million.
We’re told that the team payroll will not drop to $100 million as reported some places earlier and won’t stay the same. Rather it will possibly decrease $10 million or so from the $138 million closing total last year.
That said, it’s a fool’s game trying to predict the total. No one knew the payroll until the July 31 deadline this year.
_ One opposing executive discussing the Strikeout Is Just Another Out theory pointed to the top of the ninth in Game 6 of the American League Championship Series.
The Jays were down a run with Dalton Pompey on third and Kevin Pillar on first with none out.
Wade Davis struck out Dioner Navarro (as Pillar stole second) and Ben Revere before getting a game-ending grounder off the bat of Josh Donaldson.
“How on earth can you equate a strikeout the same as a fly ball or a grounder (from either Navarro or Revere)?” he asked.