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FORMER BLUE JAY GM GILLICK SEE MINOR CHANGES
Published November 9, 1994
Former Blue Jays' GM Pat Gillick sees major league clubs trying to save money by cutting minor league affiliates. If a new baseball agreement enables players to become free agents in four years, rather than six, there could be less incentive for clubs to develop their own players, leading to more independent clubs selling players to major league teams. Although the independent Northern League has prospered, Gillick says cutting down on the minors would be "foolish" for baseball. He believes that if minor leaguers were paid and treated better it would create a stronger bond between the team and their players, and would encourage more young people to play baseball. Gillick likes the way the game is presented in the lower leagues. Gillick: "I think there is a little bit of entrepreneurship out there and a little bit of showmanship. I think we need a lot more imagination at the major league level. I think you have to offer people a little more for their buck." Among his ideas, having pitchers warm up closer to the stands so fans get a feel of how hard they throw. Gillick: "We're in the entertainment business. I'm not saying we need to be pro wrestling, but we have to put on a little bit of a show" (Larry Millson, Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 11/9).