So last night was the 9th annualState of the Franchise event for Season Ticket Holders and 40-game Flex Pack Holders. This year, it was held at Rogers Centre. My favourite part was arriving and realizing that the food and alcohol still was all free. W00t!
I got to have some Wings (how I have missed thee, even though they didn't make any Arizona Ranch), a sausage (which was quite tasty), and fries with chili, cheddar cheese, green onions and sour cream. Not to mention 2 glasses of wine and like, 6-7 beers.
Needless to say....I don't remember much :P I didn't bother taking notes (only because I didn't have a notebook or pen) so I can pretty much just blog what I remember. Beware, my memories are in no way going to be insightful.
I was wondering how they were going to have it set up since I am used to them sitting behind a table making it seem quite press conference-esque. But this year, since it was at Rogers Centre, they set up four comfy chairs on the Jays dugout, which I found made it a LOT more personable.
This year was MC'd by Buck Martinez, which was a quite a change from Jerry Howarth. Just hearing him MC got me into a Baseball mood.
From the vibe I got from AA (I really don't want to have to type the whole thing today), he is a much better speaker than JP, and he's a lot more approchable with ideas and all that good stuff. He talked about some of the prospects we received in the Doc deal, making us all love Kyle Drabek who was compared to the likes of Jack Morris (he'd knock his own mother down at the plate or something like that. Remember, open bar lol). AA has been talking to Boras about Johnny Damon and apparently still is. He also made a few quips about how he'll say this stuff tonight and *boom* it'll be mentioned on mlbtraderumours.com.
I hate that I like Cito. I don't want to like him. But anytime I've met him or heard him speak at the State of the Franchise events (which is only 2 but still lol), I can't help but like him...despite the fact that he still appears to have no idea who Jeremy Accardo is.
And Paul Beeston was, and always will be, Paul Beeston.
But enough about the speakers. I found that this year's round of questions in the Q&A to be VERY weak compared to years' past. Maybe I missed some good questions when I left for a couple of minutes. Is it bad that one of the best questions was asking Paul Beeston why he was wearing socks?
Buck did mention that he was surprised that with the amount of ladies at the State of the Franchise why no ladies asked any questions yet. We were sitting right in front of Cito and he started to look right at us. So my friend asked how Marcum's coming along. Everything seems good with him, which I think everybody pretty much knew already...but I wasn't in the state to ask any questions.
Piss-off Question of the Night
Of course, it had to be the last question of the night, which made it even worse. But pretty much this rich business guy who you KNOW has really good seats for the season and probably rarely goes to game asked a question that I hope came out the wrong way but I have a feeling it didn't. He complained that there's no free trip to Spring Training this year and how his poor daughter feels awful about it. Beeston responded with the fact that they decided to use the money for the flights to Spring Training and put it into the farm system to better improve the team. The guy didn't seem to appreciate that response and asked a follow-up question that I don't remember since I was angry at that point. I don't remember the response to that. I just wanted to go up and belt the guy.
Best Comment of the Night
These guys behind us (one of them seriously looked like a young, beardless Doc) were talking, and one of them made our night. I doubt he'll ever read this blog, but if he does I hope he doesn't mind that I steal it. Here is a direct quote:
"The best thing about Brandon Morrow is that he's not Brandon League."
Piss-Off Moment of the Night
We head down to possibly talk to AA after we went up to get a refreshment after the Q&A session. One of the security ladies said, "I have to ask you to leave since we're clearing the stage up." Um...alrighty then? We went back up top and a bunch of groups of guys went down and she said nothing. I guess us ladies aren't allowed to talk Baseball with anybody? Kind of conflicts with one of the themes they wanted to convey.
One constant theme seemed to be that they are going to do whatever they can to get butts in the seats, and obviously other plans haven't worked. They continually acknowledged that without the fans, there wouldn't be a team. And from that point, I believed that they are finally going to do something good again with their guest service and fan incentives. I don't want to get my hopes up, but it's just a vibe I got. And obviously the piss-off moment doesn't help.
All-in-all, it was a fun night from what I remember. I'm not the type of fan who goes expecting a huge amount of information nor intelligent questions from an unknowledgeable fan base. To be honest, I pretty much go because it gets me in a Basebally mood...and it's showing that Baseball season is coming up sooner than later.
The free food and booze help. Well, not the day after when I'm trying to write a blog....but still.