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Fans chat with Paul Godfrey
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06/04/2002 4:25 pm ET 
Fans chat with Paul Godfrey
Blue Jays CEO discusses recent coaching changes
By John Matthew IV / MLB.com

On Monday, Paul Godfrey answered the media's questions. On Tuesday, he answered the fans' questions. (John Matthew IV/MLB.com)
On Monday, June 3, the Blue Jays changed managers, replacing Buck Martinez with Carlos Tosca. At noon on Tuesday, June 4, Paul Godfrey, Toronto's President and CEO, was in the Blue Jays chatroom to answer questions from fans about the change and the season overall.

Moderator: We will begin our chat now.

Paul Godfrey: Hello all and welcome to our chat. I am delighted to answer your questions in the available time.

RyanNB: Have Buck or Garth Iorg been offered other positions in the organization?
Godfrey: No they have not been offered positions in the organization.

RyanNB: Paul, why was Buck fired now, vs. two weeks ago or a month ago?
Godfrey: There is never a perfect time to change managers. An assessment was made at approximately the one-third mark of the season. Not only was the team not performing well on the field, but it was felt that possibly a different leadership style would help us with some of the young players on the team. We have the third youngest team in the Major Leagues and we want to improve in various areas in the balance of the year. We want this team to be a better team in September than in April.

iangarfoot: Does Carlos Tosca have a chance of continuing as manager next season if he performs well for the rest of the year?
Godfrey: Carlos Tosca is the manager for the balance of this year and a full assessment will be made at the end of the season as to who will be the manager next year.

alexgonzalez4alwayz: Any chance of the Jays drafting the two Canadian pitchers from University of British Columbia?
Godfrey: It is difficult to determine when you are the 14th pick who will be drafted before you get the opportunity. The Canadian kids look impressive but we still have to wait to see who is available at the time our choice comes up.

RyanNB: What do you see the role of Carlos Tosca (and any future manager) being? Do you want someone who will have a lot of power and influence in the way things are done, or do you want someone who will take orders from the front office?
Godfrey: Carlos Tosca is the field manager and he should work closely with the GM. They are the baseball people. My role as the CEO is to oversee the entire operation but not to interfere in the day-to-day operations of the club.

alexgonzalez4alwayz: At this point, where do you want the Jays to end up by the end of the year?
Godfrey: Stronger. It is hard to predict how many wins and losses any team will have. I want the club to be a better working unit at the end of the year than at the beginning. And hopefully with a lot less injuries.

RyanNB: Have you spoken with Buck about what he might do next?
Godfrey: I spoke to Buck yesterday. I told him I would like to sit down with him in two or three weeks, or whenever he has time, to consider what other opportunities there may be for him. I consider him a friend. I have known him for 20 years. It is never a mistake to be associated with Buck Martinez.

tdebidyal: Is it true that Jose Cruz Jr. is said to be fed up with the Blue Jays and wants out of Toronto?
Godfrey: The answer to that is no.

alexgonzalez4alwayz: What do you think will be accomplished from Tosca's individual talks to each player?
Godfrey: A new manager, in taking control of the club, must get to know his players in a much different way than he did as a coach. He is now in control. He has got to tell them what he expects from them and hopefully the players will tell the manager what they expect from him. Communicating is always a good first step.

iangarfoot: From the position we are in now, what are the targets for this ballclub for the rest of the season?
Godfrey: The target is to become stronger and to give our young kids more experience and to build a foundation to be a winning club in the future.

alexgonzalez4alwayz: Do you think that the team is playing for each other or for themselves individually at this point? If they're not playing as a team, how do you plan to create unity?
Godfrey: I would think all players play for themselves to some degree because everyone wants to achieve the highest level of success as an individual, whether it is in sports or business. Hopefully, most are concerned about team performance as well because playing on a winning team certainly makes everyone more valuable. I believe the vast majority of our players concur with that statement.

iangarfoot: What were your reasons for promoting Carlos rather than anyone else? Why him?
Godfrey: Carlos Tosca has a wealth of experience in managing in the minor leagues, where most of the players are young and lacking experience. In fact, he's managed well over 1,000 games. He's been with the club since the beginning of the season, knows the players to some degree, understands the coaches, and the learning curve will be less steep for him than anyone else.

RyanNB: Can we expect a minor league coaching shuffle in the offseason?
Godfrey: Too early to tell. That will be J.P. Ricciardi's call.

alexgonzalez4alwayz: What's going on with the rumor about Cruz going to New York for Spencer or someone else?
Godfrey: Rumors will continue to dominate the sports scene. I will not comment on rumors.

RyanNB: What type of leadership do you feel Carlos Tosca can provide that Buck Martinez couldn't?
Godfrey: We believe that Tosca can help teach the young kids to play to their potential.

tdebidyal: Is there anyone on our ballclub who can step up and be a leader, or will you go shopping for one?
Godfrey: I believe that there are several that could be considered leaders. But they are the ones that will have to step up and fill whatever vacuum that is there. Leadership cannot be force-fed. The cream will always rise to the top.

tdebidyal: Any news on Chris Carpenter's status?
Godfrey: He is rehabbing in the minors and we hope to get him back shortly.

iangarfoot: From a business standpoint, do you regret hiring Buck?
Godfrey: Not at all. I was deeply involved in the selection process in Buck's hiring and it is never a mistake to be associated with someone like Buck Martinez.

BBMOM: Usually you see a transition period with a new manager and coaches. Do you expect this transition to be less, since most of these men have worked together before?
Godfrey: Yes.

RyanNB: Was anyone from outside the organization considered to take over as manager?
Godfrey: No.

alexgonzalez4alwayz: What's up with Bob File? How's he doing?
Godfrey: Bob is back in Syracuse but unfortunately on the DL.

tdebidyal: There are many things you guys can do to make the SkyDome and the Blue Jays games more fan friendly. Why is there nothing being done?
Godfrey: Unfortunately, we do not own the SkyDome and there are many things that are not under our control, such as the concessions, parking, club seats and the SkyBoxes. We have two supposedly for-profit organizations -- namely the Blue Jays and Sportsco -- trying to drive as much revenue as possible out of the same building. We are, as a club, attempting to become as fan friendly as possible and it is a difficult task. The public, buying a Blue Jays ticket, looks to the club for answers. It is frustrating at times, when you cannot solve the problem because of the split ownership. We are continuing to work towards suitable solutions.

RyanNB: Do you feel the media has been too hard on the team and its players?
Godfrey: As a guy who has been part of the media and of course subject to some media criticism as well, I believe the media are attempting to do a fair job. What irks me the most is when they make factual errors and don't understand some of the long range plans that this club is attempting to achieve. We do deserve some criticism for our performance this year. The media have a right to criticize players who are underachievers and managers for not fulfilling their responsibility. That includes everybody, including myself.

Moderator: Thank you Paul for participating in our chat.

Godfrey: I know this has been a topsy-turvy year and sometimes when you make changes, you have to take a step backward before you can take a step forward. Our goal is to rebuild an organization that will provide a competitive team, not for one or two years, but for over the long haul.

Moderator: Thank you fans for questions.

Moderator: This chat is over.



John Matthew IV is the Marketing Producer for bluejays.com and served as moderator for this chat. He can be reached at john.matthew@bluejays.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.



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