Connect with us

Uncategorized

Blue Jays’ path forward remains in place with no Rogers sale imminent

Published

on


TORONTO — Four years ago Tony Staffieri, then chief financial officer of Rogers Communications Inc., triggered an intense round of speculation when he told a finance industry conference that the Canadian telecom giant was looking for ways to “surface value” for the Toronto Blue Jays.

The comment came in the midst of a Q&A session, after he was asked if it still made sense for the company to own sports teams. In his reply, Staffieri noted that there were pathways to rent exclusive content, such as Rogers’ NHL rights deal, and that the Blue Jays had “become a very valuable asset for us that we don’t get full credit for.”

“And so,” he added, “like some of the other assets on our balance sheet, we’re looking at better ways to surface value for them.”

Advertisement

The desire to realize the team’s worth, then, isn’t new and shouldn’t be surprising now that it’s been thrown back into the public discourse after Andrew Willis of the Globe and Mail reported Monday that Rogers was considering selling a stake in the club.

Many things have changed since Staffieri made those comments four years ago, prime among them that he’s now interim chief executive officer, after leaving amid a bigger power struggle within the company, and Rogers seeking regulatory approval for a $26-billion purchase of Shaw Communications.

Still, neither development means there’s suddenly a ‘For Sale’ sign on the Blue Jays, and two industry sources cautioned that nothing material has been done to date and that nothing is imminent, either.

A Rogers spokesperson declined to comment on the report.

Regardless, none of that will quell the persistent speculation about Rogers seeking to become a strictly telecom asset, and one way to do that is by spinning out its media unit (which includes Sportsnet and this website) and sports assets — the Blue Jays and a 37.5 per cent stake in Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment, which controls the Toronto Maple Leafs and Toronto Raptors, among other properties.

Advertisement

Sign up for Blue Jays newsletters

Get the best of our Blue Jays coverage and exclusives delivered directly to your inbox!

Blue Jays Newsletter

Please enter a valid email

Thanks for subscribing!

Advertisement
*I understand that I may withdraw my consent at any time.

An equity research note sent from one Canadian bank Monday morning pegged the Blue Jays at $2 billion and the MLSE stake at $1.6 billion, and it’s that type of value Staffieri and other Rogers executives have long felt aren’t properly reflected in the company’s share price.

While some in the finance industry might look at those valuations and see a way to ease the $20-billion debt load in the Shaw deal (which the CRTC began examining Monday), that isn’t believed to be a factor in any potential Blue Jays deliberations.

Advertisement

Rather, the ongoing motivation may be that by allowing Rogers to focus on the core telecom business and a sports spinoff to focus on the team and media, the assets would end up stronger separated than they are together.

Such a situation isn’t unprecedented, as in 2010 the Dolan family spun out the Madison Square Garden unit — which held the NHL’s New York Rangers and NBA’s Knicks among other assets — from its Cablevision Systems Corp.

In a statement released at the time of the transaction, executive chairman James L. Dolan said the move “enables MSG to freely pursue its business plan while providing shareholders with the benefit of being able to more clearly evaluate the company’s assets and future potential.”

Whether such a structure, or one akin to it, would work for Rogers remains speculative, but is surely part of any current exploration.

If there was some sort of substantive ownership change, Major League Baseball would likely prefer the team go to an individual, as opposed to another corporation, and Edward Rogers, chairman of both the company and the baseball team, has long been seen as a leading candidate.

Advertisement

Edward Rogers, also the Blue Jays’ control person with MLB, has in recent years been increasingly supportive of the club, building a strong working relationship with team president and CEO Mark Shapiro. It’s unlikely he’ll suddenly want to let go of the Blue Jays when his actions suggest ambition in the realm.

All of which makes untangling all the interconnected pieces immensely complicated.

Ben Nicholson-Smith is Sportsnet’s baseball editor. Arden Zwelling is a senior writer. Together, they bring you the most in-depth Blue Jays podcast in the league, covering off all the latest news with opinion and analysis, as well as interviews with other insiders and team members.

In the long-term, how everything shakes outs, if it changes at all, is very important for the Blue Jays, especially if the sports-anchored development project under consideration before the pandemic is to ever get done.

During his season-wrap-up comments back in October, Shapiro called the Rogers Centre, the Blue Jays’ current home, “a bigger issue that we’ve got to address,” and some sort of stadium upgrade is pivotal for them to keep their revenue streams at pace with rival clubs.

But between the pandemic pause and multiple layers of bureaucracy at play at the dome’s current site, a major project with residential and retail elements that leverage the stadium could take several years to pull off. That’s why a smaller-scale renovation of Rogers Centre, focused on reconfiguring the lower bowl, may very well be revisited as a stop-gap measure.

Advertisement

For the time being, the Blue Jays appear set on their budgetary track — as demonstrated by last week’s $131-million, seven-year extension for Jose Berrios — and there’s no indication to suggest that their plans for 2022 and beyond are about to be upended. The way their spending remained relatively unaffected through the revenue disruptions of the pandemic summer of 2020 and three-home-city 2021 would also speak to that.

Hence, no matter what conversations are taking place above them — trial balloons, exploratory discussions, actual groundwork — the Blue Jays’ path forward seems to be in place, even if the framework around could possibly change.





Source link

Advertisement
Continue Reading
Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

sixteen − 13 =

Uncategorized

NBA Insider Reveals Latest On Kyrie Irving Trade

Published

on


(Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

 

After Kyrie Irving demanded a trade on Friday, the Brooklyn Nets acted quickly, agreeing to send him to the Dallas Mavericks on Sunday.

On Monday, NBA insider Shams Charania reported that the trade was now official, and he gave the details on what Dallas gave up to receive the perennial All-Star point guard.

Advertisement

On the surface, it looks like the Mavs didn’t give up a whole lot to get a man who is averaging 27.1 points and 5.3 assists per game while shooting 48.6 percent from the field and 37.4 percent from 3-point range this season.

Spencer Dinwiddie, who was a member of the Nets a few years ago, will give them a solid point guard and 3-point shooter, while Dorian Finney-Smith will provide them with a decent defender, but neither player gives opposing teams headaches.

Advertisement

However, the Mavs are taking a significant risk here because of Irving’s off-the-court issues.

He was suspended for eight games earlier this season after promoting a documentary with antisemitic content and then failing to explain why he did so to reporters.

Last season, he refused to get vaccinated against COVID-19, which led to him missing most of the season, as New York City banned unvaccinated athletes from playing.

Some also wonder if Irving and Luka Doncic can mesh together in the same backcourt, as both are ball-dominant players.

Then there is the matter of getting Irving to sign a contract extension to keep him in Dallas past this season.

Advertisement

If it all works, the Mavs will have the foundation to become a championship contender, but if it doesn’t, they would have given up several of their limited trade assets for essentially nothing.

The post NBA Insider Reveals Latest On Kyrie Irving Trade appeared first on The Cold Wire.





Source link

Advertisement
Continue Reading

Uncategorized

Dodgers Manager Withholds A Bold Claim In 2023

Published

on


(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

 

The spring is usually the time for hope and lofty goals in the MLB universe.

It’s also the time for the “I’m in the best shape of my life” quotes by players, and the “we built a squad to compete” by general managers.

Advertisement

With that in mind, Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts may have gone a bit too far last year.

In late March, around the end of spring training, he said that he “guaranteed” the Dodgers winning the World Series.

In reality, every sign pointed at LA being extremely competitive until the end.

Time proved that his squad was historically good, with 111 wins and just 51 losses.

However, they lost in the first round of the playoffs, against the San Diego Padres no less.

Advertisement

Dodgers (and other teams’) fans blasted him for his spring training remarks.

They couldn’t believe he promised a World Series win and couldn’t even get past the Division Series.

That’s why this time, Roberts decided to be a bit more cautious with what comes out of his mouth.

“Dave Roberts, speaking to the media at Dodgers Fanfest, said he will not guarantee the Dodgers winning the World Series this season,” Jorge Castillo of the LA Times tweeted.

Talk about learning from your own mistakes.

He received so much backlash that he is trying a more conservative approach.

He knows that his Dodgers are still elite, but he prefers the team to show it on the field this time.

They might not have such a dominant regular season because the Padres improved a lot.

However, all fans want is to see them win the last game of the season.

Advertisement

The post Dodgers Manager Withholds A Bold Claim In 2023 appeared first on The Cold Wire.





Source link

Continue Reading

Uncategorized

Corey Kluber Fully Embraces His New Team

Published

on


(Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

 

Corey Kluber, one of the Boston Red Sox‘s signings for the upcoming season, has a long-standing reputation of being a baseball gentleman, a professional in all the sense of the word.

Not everybody can play for the Cleveland Guardians, the New York Yankees, the Tampa Bay Rays, and the Red Sox and still enjoy the love and respect of fans of all those franchises.

Advertisement

Those are all American League contenders and have been for the better part of the last decade.

Yet everybody respects Kluber because of the way he approaches the game, like a pro: you won’t find him badmouthing a team or a fanbase.

The 36-year-old veteran is, however, enjoying his still brief time as a member of the Red Sox.

He has updated his Twitter account to include the team on his profile.

His profile picture shows him with a Red Sox hat and the letters “K-L-U-B-E-R”, but with the same art and graphic identity as the franchise that now employs him.

It actually looks very, very cool.

Kluber finally pitched something close to a full workload last season with the Rays.

He logged 164 innings and posted a 4.34 ERA that may not look so sexy, but when you compare it to his 3.57 Fielding Independent Pitching, or FIP, you know he was much better than his ERA.

A former two-time Cy Young award winner with plenty of postseason experience, Kluber is still looking for that first World Series ring.

Advertisement

The Red Sox are not really favored to win it all this year, but stranger things have happened in baseball.

The post Corey Kluber Fully Embraces His New Team appeared first on The Cold Wire.





Source link

Advertisement
Continue Reading

Trending