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Jays lay off nearly two dozen employees

Jays lay off nearly two dozen employees

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TORONTO -- For the second consecutive year, the Blue Jays suffered a round of layoffs. On Wednesday, an undisclosed number of jobs were cut across the business side of the organization.

"The number was significant,'' Blue Jays interim president and CEO Paul Beeston told the Canadian Press, adding that the losses were less than two dozen in total. "It's not a pleasant thing to do, but we felt it was necessary to ensure the long-term health of the organization.''

The layoffs come nearly a year after around 40 people were removed from the Blue Jays' sales and customer service departments. The poor economic climate was cited as the reason behind those cuts, while the latest losses are believed to be due to the team's dramatic drop in attendance.

Over their 81-game home schedule, the Blue Jays drew 1,876,129 overall, representing a significant decrease from the 2,400,416 who came through the gates in 2008. This year's figure marked the first time since 2003 that Toronto experienced a drop in attendance.

Beeston added that he believes the Blue Jays are now in position to avoid further trimming.

"I would suspect that, I would hope that and I would anticipate that,'' Beeston told the Canadian Press.

The baseball operations side was not affected by the latest layoffs, but changes still could be coming for the Blue Jays, who have not made the playoffs since 1993. The future of general manager J.P Ricciardi is uncertain and Beeston has declined to comment on that situation until the end of the season.

Beyond Ricciardi's status, and possibly changes to the coaching staff, the Blue Jays are also still searching for a permanent replacement for Beeston's position. Paul Godfrey stepped down as the team's president and CEO at the end of last year and Beeston has served on an interim basis since. A new president is expected to be announced this offseason.

Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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