As our friend Bruce Arthur points out,
Anselmi’s primary sports responsibility under the old regime, of course, was Toronto FC.
— Bruce Arthur (@bruce_arthur) September 4, 2012
I solicited an opinion about the Rogers-Bell purchase of MLSE and what it means for the clubs going forward while out for drinks a couple of weeks ago. A cautiously optimistic baseball fan (not the Blue Jays) suggested to me that Rogers had a good track record in hiring younger, more creative minds such as J.P. Ricciardi or Alex Anthopolous to run the Blue Jays.
And, well then we get this. The major MLSE teams last season, the Raptors, FC and Leafs, won 64 games and lost 103. For some reason, MLSE thinks that shuffling the deck that doesn’t have any face cards rather than purchase a new deck is the key to sporting success.
Let’s face it. MLSE’s track record is brutal, and they’d be the first to tell you. The issue I have is not that a large entity feels the need to run things as a large corporation, but that it’s the same garbage-in, garbage-out. There’s no appetite for new information, for real change. While the Blue Jays have had limited success under Ricciardi and now Anthopolous, there’s at least a desire for combat, a stretch away from traditional thinking and into the realm of something under-explored.
The Ricciardi era brought teams that won more games and were cheaper than the ones trotted out onto the field by Gord Ash in the late 1990s. Anthopoulos rebuilt the Jays’ prospect system. The people hired by MLSE have yet to accomplish any of these things for their respective clubs, and Anselmi had plenty to do with the constant personnel and coaching changes that have yet to positively impact TFC.
If that isn’t enough, they manage to bring about the change with such contempt:
“Tom’s proven strength in operations has made him a respected leader here at MLSE and across the sports and entertainment industry,” said Tanenbaum.
If Anselmi commands respect across the sports and entertainment industry, it goes to show how one-dimensional the sports and entertainment industry is. And not a word about the fans:
“The opportunities for MLSE are limitless, and it all starts with a focus on building winning teams, strengthening our relationship with fans, and enhancing our positive impact in the community.”
Oh please. Run your basic search across the blogosphere for compliments of Tom Anselmi that don’t come from an MLSE-owned media property. As a blogosphere, we’re split on Brian Burke. The Jays’ blogosphere is generally in favour with Anthopoulos’ moves. The Toronto FC blogosphere is unanimously steadfast in their resolve to get rid of Anselmi, even to the extent of supporters sporting a giant ANSELMI OUT banner at games:
I will say, however, they make one hell of a Western chopped chicken salad.
(h/t Victor for the image)