Stephen Brunt sat down with Blue Jays president Paul Beeston and discussed all things baseball. Here are a few highlites:
Brunt: Are there any similarities between now and the building of the Blue Jays’ first contending team in the 1980s?
We put in Alex Anthopoulos. Alex hired the right people, much like Pat [Gillick] did. His philosophy is a little different, but otherwise he’s much like Pat. He’s entirely focused on what we want to do, which is win. It’s not just a matter of putting a competitive team on the field. It’s putting a system in place that is going to allow us to win on a regular and annual basis.
I think he’s done an unbelievable job. All of a sudden it’s happened. We went from the 29th best to the third best organization in baseball. It’s through all of those draft picks he stockpiled.
We invested a lot of money in Latin America. Those players won’t project until 2015. But we still have that nucleus that we have now, if Colby Rasmus and Kelly Johnson can do what they’ve done in the past and play up to their athletic ability. Alex has put together a hell of a team. He’s turned this team around in two years. It’s a completely different team.
Brunt: About that off-season criticism, and the heightened fan expectations…
We have to be a little bit more transparent than we were. Alex and I probably have a minor difference of opinion on what we should do. Alex doesn’t tell anybody anything. He believes that’s a competitive disadvantage, playing things out through the press, and I tend to agree with him. That said, with the Darvish situation-and that was the real killer-they said [Alex] went over to Japan to look at him and then all of a sudden we were supposed to sign Darvish.