How Mark Shapiro Blew His Toronto Blue Jays Opening

December 6th, 2015 | by torontosportsmedia
How Mark Shapiro Blew His Toronto Blue Jays Opening
sports and toronto

Photo from here

By TSM @yyzsportsmedia

Happy Sunday night!

Make sure you read this week’s column my Mike in Boston!

In the meantime, I had to get this off my chest as I read yet another tweet about our Blue Jays. first it was Alex Anthopolous would have made an offer to Price. Tonight it’s Price’s agent saying that Price definitely would have come back to Toronto and that the big shocker was that the Blue Jays didn’t make an offer.

Well here’s my beef and it has little to do with David Price….

Mark Shapiro blew it.

Now Ross Atkins is too.

Don’t get me wrong, the Blue Jays could win the World Series this year and they very well may name school after them.

Shapiro and Atkins could be the best duo to hit Toronto since, well ever.

However, in the world of pubic opinion they’ve blown it.

Power changes usually occur when team fail.

Power changes sometimes change when someone retires.

It’s not very often that “managers” take over teams that came within an inch; that are almost there.

This city, and to a lesser degree this country was on a Blue Jays high that we haven’t seen in years.

Maple Leaf tickets are a dime a dozen. How they are doing on the ice? Few care.

The Raptors? Unless Drake is in the house they are hovering around 500 having lost their last 3 at home. Yawn.

The Jays? Their radio ratings down the stretch looked like TV ratings.

Fan interest and passion were at an 11.


Fear, confusion and sadness.

Seriously. Those are the three common sentiments that I’ve encountered when it comes to the Blue Jays.

Let me be clear, this is NOT about David Price.

This actually has nothing to do with any baseball decisions.

The new boss has come in and said nothing.

Most Jays fans wouldn’t know him if they ran him over with Pat Burns’s car.

One thing about the Jays, win or lose it’s always been about personality.
The guy, or now guys who are in control have not inspired one person. Not one.

No one has heard these guys speak resulting in a “I believe!”

Actions, I believe speak louder than words. So tomorrow they could make a huge baseball move and all will be well.

However, in the absence of action (the baseball experts have had their say on the current moves so I will leave that alone) words speaks volumes.

In my opinion Shapiro and now Atkins should be everywhere, doing anything possible to keep the passion up and more importantly to earn the people’s trust.

From this seat it doesn’t appear that they care what the fans think or feel.

Rogers has hired a pair of suits to run their corporate sports franchise.

Rogers is a media company. Invariably there should be some smart people there who could have said, we’ve lost two of the most popular personalities in Toronto sports history in Beeston and Anthopolous perhaps we should help get these two guys off on the right foot.

Maybe they did.

Maybe Shapiro and Ross simply know better.

Maybe Shapiro and Ross simply don’t care.

One thing about both Anthopolous and Beeston, they had long running, deep relationships with the media. Not just the media in general, but those who matter.

When Rogers had it’s first run at a Coup d’Beeston the power in the sports media were more pissed than the Fans.

When the Jays were hovering around .500 early in the year, several media types were singing Alex’s praise, urging Rogers to extend the GM.

Whether features in print, video or on air guests both guys were first class with the fans and especially the hosts.

For what it’s worth, in my world it matters.

They don’t have to cater to me, but this is my opinion place so I am telling you in my feeble mind they’ve blown an easy opportunity to win over Jays nation. To make good on an awkward situation.

If the team stumbles and Shaprio and Atkins are wondering why there are pitch forks, they should remember how important their relationship with both fans and media are and how little effort they put into both, in the beginning.

These two guys have been handed the keys to a public trust.

Given what the fans have endured over the last 20 years, we deserve more.

As I said, this could end well.

I hope it does.

With a little effort it could have started better too.



  1. Neal says:

    Make no mistake about it. Within a few years perhaps months, this organization will not be running like it has in the past. Shapiro/Atkins will be not just a bit different but a lot different. It is going to be about bottom lines vs just about everything else. It is no wonder Price didn’t get an offer. There won’t be any loyalties. They’ve already demonstrated that they are willing to do things that goes against the interest of the fans. It’ll be about signing rookies to long-term contracts vs trades and free agent signings. The Indians were always about that. Us fans will just have to put up with it.

  2. Rob J says:

    Perfectly summarized, Jonh.

  3. Mclean_Deluxe says:

    So basically, they should have cozied up to and coddled, and pretty much patronized the masses of fans and media who are unable to detach themselves emotionally enough to actually look at the situation rationally and logically. Yuck. I have more respect for myself than to want that.

  4. Mclean_Deluxe says:

    Also, make no mistake, that nobody really knows exactly how this management is going to conduct business if you are basing they way they ran a team from a vastly smaller market with less resources and extraordinarily different ownership structure.

  5. Mclean_Deluxe says:

    Also, it is amazing how fans are so scared and up in arms about how they think the team will be run now. On a budget, with emphasis on drafting and development and an aversion to big money FA contracts. Also known as the exact same way AA ran the team for almost his entire tenure.

  6. torontosportsmedia says:

    Brad, while I appreciate your comments, they have proven only one thing, you clearly didn’t read (or understand for that matter) anything that I wrote.

  7. Rob J says:

    I’m no Jays’ fan but you don’t see that building off this past year towards a legit pennant run in 2016 with EE and Bautista likely leaving thereafter, and THEN maybe return to drafting-developing is the more sensible course? Come on, you’ve got me agreeing with Reid!

  8. torontosportsmedia says:

    The point Rob, is that Shapiro has done thing to establish a relationship with either the fan base or the media.

  9. Mike V says:

    Agree with Maclean. The fans and media who are asking for Shapiro to cuddle them and whisper it’s going to be alright are the first ones who will forget everything that was said in the past month if they start 3-7. There is no lasting benefit in trying to appeal only to them. Plus, it could have easily backfired if not executed properly and there’s no indication Shapiro has the skillset to pull it off.

  10. torontosportsmedia says:

    I don’t think anyone has asked for a cuddle or a whisper.

  11. Bobby G says:

    Shapiro should have probably stuck to the interior design of the Rogers Centre. He’s got to better at choosing drapes of the suites than he is at being the face of a team. If the Jays don’t win out of the gate next April, the mood in that stadium is going to be uglier than it was in the seventh inning of Game 5 of the ALDS. Rogers/Shapiro have already squandered the enormous amount of goodwill built up since late July and the only way to get it back is to win and win often. You’re right, this isn’t about Price. This is about the cool detachment of Rogers/Shapiro from the fans. This is about the departure of the GM. This is about the farcical charade of a “GM search” that wasn’t actually a search at all. If he can’t do better than this, Shapiro should probably stick to looking at fabric swatches, paint chits and worrying about growing natural grass indoors. Best of luck…

  12. Mike V says:

    Well what are you asking for? That he tells the media they can call him “Marky Shap” because that’ll stop someone like Cathal Kelly from writing an incredibly stupid article every other week? Do you have any specific examples that show he hasn’t been “first class” with the media so far?

    • torontosportsmedia says:

      I dont think I’ve said he hasn’t been first class. What I said was he hasn’t be very present. From a fans perspective he has been barely visible. It doesn’t appear that he is doing much more with the media either. i saw one feature with Brunt that was shot the day of his press conference thats it.

      So what I expected was a new CEO to be present, to actually appear to care about the fans, what they think and feel. That’s it.

  13. The Raptors? Unless Drake is in the house they are hovering around 500 having lost their last 3 at home. Yawn.

    TSM, you should have known there was absolutely no way I was going to let this one go by.

    The Raptors just played the 22-0 Golden State Warriors as close as you can, with Lowry matching Stephan Curry with an All-Star performance, and the fans were completely energized on one of the most exciting games of the year, whether Drake was there or not.

    They are 12-9, which considering they have only played 8 home games so far, and have had an extremely challenging schedule, with a West Coast trip already out of the way, is actually quite commendable. Additionally, they lost a few games on calls that the NBA agreed were mistakes, so again, their record should even be a couple of games better.

    They have a General Manager who rebuilt the team after last year’s debacle, being swept by Washington, with the personnel to play defence come playoff time and possibly advance to the Conference Finals, but I am getting ahead of myself, but the potential to do so is there.

    The Raptors may be a Yawn to you, obviously you are not a basketball fan at heart, even with your time with the Miami Heat, as to diss the Raptors, and especially when we have a Superstar, yes a Superstar, in Kyle Lowry leading us, kind of makes me sad, as you are missing out on something very special that is building this year.

    This team has heart and tenacity, and hates to lose. They have shown more character so far this year than the entire season last year. Tremendous comebacks, statement victories, and a never say die attitude. They deserve criticism for the home game prior against Denver, as they just did not show up, but that has been by far the exception rather than the rule this year.

    On the Jays front I agree with you 100%. Alex was masterful in working the press, and even when he was an Assistant GM to J.P. Ricciardi, he was often on the air, as he understood how crucial it was to connect to the media and as an extension to the fans.

    Shapiro and Atkins have certainly not connected with me, on any level yet, and I think a large part of that is coming from Cleveland and not reading the tea leaves of the fans properly and how they felt from July on. Maybe they are incapable of doing so, time will tell, but you only have one chance to make a first impression and they did not do it for me.

    2016 is a 100% go for it year with EE and Jose in their last year of control, and I am hopeful that even with this inauspicious start, the roster will be fine-tuned enough with proven talent so the Jays will be able to win the division again, but time will tell of course.

    • torontosportsmedia says:

      No Brian:

      They are a yawn in terms of media coverage. Even last year when they were on fire during the regular season they got not love. Face it, despite some gains and some blips they have not yet captured the city (or the country’s heart)… I think they will, but they haven’t yet.

      This isn’t a slight on the Raptors or the crowds that go to the games in any way. The truth is they don’t draw on tv or radio. Those are the facts.

  14. Bobby G says:

    @ Mike V
    Have you seen Mark Shapiro in the media at all except for the day he was hired and the day he introduced Ross Atkins?
    Me neither. That’s a pretty good indication that he has been inaccessible because someone — anyone — in the MSM would be speaking with him if he was. Not even Rogers has had this guy on their television/radio stations. You’d think they’d be the first to try to paint this guy as fan friendly.
    Instead, crickets.

  15. Mike V says:

    The thing is that I am not the least bit convinced that if AA had started his tenure this exact same way (coming from another org with mixed results, replacing a popular exec who had his authority usurped by ownership, passing on a big ticket FA who signed a huge contract elsewhere) that the media and fans would’ve reacted anymore positively than this.

    • torontosportsmedia says:

      Mike V- I think you either have the personality or disposition or you really have to work at it. Alex, Paul, JP, Godfrey, Gillick all had it. They were great with fans and all over the media.

  16. Bobby G says:

    You’ve got to actually speak to a member of the media so that he or she can develop a positive opinion of you. That’s how it works everywhere. If you have good personal relations with anyone, they will think more highly of you than if you hide away in a bubble, seemingly aloof. No one likes that guy, regardless of what his/her job is or what he/she does for a living. The media have always needed to speak to people. If they can’t speak to you, you’re of no use. Pretty basic PR. And while it’s no surprise tone-deaf Rogers can’t figure it out, I’m a little surprised a savvy Shapiro isn’t making more of an effort. I guess he left his heart in Cleveland…

  17. ADC says:

    @bobby g

    Mark Shopiro was on Prime Time Sports.

    Also, totally agree with mclean deluxe. It isn’t his job to placate the fan base, it’s his job to build a winning team. That includes more than just this year.

  18. Mclean_Deluxe says:

    Jonah, I understand exactly what you are saying. Shapiro has done a poor job in developing a report with the media and fans, reassuring them and gaining a level of trust. I just don’t think it is in his nature. He is a very sterile, analytical personality. He may have underestimated the passion and frankly, over emotional illogical nature of TO sports fans/media. Also, Adkins just hasn’t had the chance. By all accounts he is an excellent, engaging interview.

    • torontosportsmedia says:

      Brad: I agree it’s not in his nature. I think it’s costing him his relationship with the fans for sure. As I said in the end, if he wins it won’t matter. Right now I think it does. I am just one person…

  19. Wally says:

    I don’t understand this infatuation with having a darling GM especially as a fan. The role of this individual is build winning teams…period! Charisma with the media is secondary to what they were hired to do. All too often we see management types become too chummy with members of the media which then evolves into this uncomfortable relationships between media and GM (see: “Burkie”, “Gibby”, “AA”).

    Also I understand this site is all opinion but talking down the Leafs and Raptors on a site called “Toronto Sports Media” is quite low considering that both teams now have good structure and defined goals. Leafs are in rebuild mode and people know it. Half the teams in the NHL could have the greatest roster of players yet never achieve the TV/radio rating Leafs pull. The Raptors will likely make the playoffs once again with a team structured around defense. Toronto FC (which is never mentioned on this site) made the playoffs for the first time in franchise history and has the MVP of the league in Sebastian Giovinco (also never mentioned on this site). The Marlies are top of the standing with young prospects developing nicely. Argos are moving to BMO to try and save their franchise. All of these topics have been discussed throughout the media (some more than others).

    Yet the conversation is about 2 suits and their interaction with media members. Very weak.

    • torontosportsmedia says:

      Wally: thanks for the post. Sorry the site doesn’t meet your expectations. It’s what we’ve been doing for almost 9 years. We type about almost anything the only rule is we try to be fair, balance and not too personal. If it’s not to your liking sorry to disappoint.

  20. Bobby G says:

    @ ADC
    As I said, he was available for two days, the day his hiring was announced and the day his buddy from Cleveland was hired.
    And it is absolutely his job to make fans happy … which is exactly what building a winner is all about. So is his role as interior decorator. That’s all the job is and should be from a fan’s perspective.

    • torontosportsmedia says:

      Well said Bobby G- I think a big part of Shapiro’s job is media and fan relations. So far he is not getting a good grade on at least the fan side.

  21. Bobby G says:

    @ Wally
    Nothing weak about it. Their interaction and all aspect of the job and how they do their job is absolutely fair game. If you haven’t noticed “suits” play an key role in keeping the fan base happy. Of course, it’s important how they deal with fans and the media. This isn’t Cleveland. And someone should have pointed that out to Shapiro when he took the job. If you choose to keep your standards low then Rogers couldn’t possibly disappoint you, I guess. But I’m choosing to demand more out of the franchises I cheer for and spend my hard-earned money supporting. We all should demand excellence and highlight when these organizations don’t achieve it in all aspects of the game.

  22. Steve Jones says:

    Oh the hysteria! Outside of signing Price, which would not have been a strong medium/long term move what the heck do people want? A dinner invitation? The guys job isn’t ingratiating himself with the locals, media and fans alike, it is deciding what to do with the team. It’s a bit early to be making calls on what kind of a job he’s doing. The signing of Happ may prove to be a bad move. But man are people ever ready to jump on the case of a guy who’s been on the job for a few weeks. The funny thing is if the Jays excel next season everyone will be happy. Well, most will. Some will invariably find something wrong. It’s human nature. And the hindsight on AA is quite amusing. After 6 years and teetering on the brink of getting the boot he delivered. Now he’s being viewed as a genius. Don’t get me wrong if anyone can screw this up its Rogers. Maybe Shapiro is a disaster in progress. But geez at least give the guy 15 minutes to get his plan in place.

    • torontosportsmedia says:

      Steve Jones: As I said this isn’t about Price. It’s about his 15 minutes and he’s been office over a month. He’s been heard from 2x. His own press conference and the Atkins one. That’s it.

  23. Drumanchor says:

    I think Mclean_Deluxe has articulated a very sound point of view and I am in complete agreement. Don’t get me wrong, optics are hugely important when one is changing the guards, especially when replacing two, seemingly, popular people.

    However, we are barely into December and already it appears that many people are convinced of a return to the days of salary restraint and conservative development – which is exactly how the team had been run up until the end of this past July. Let’s be real. Just because the new regime has not coddled our own particular brand of colloquialism, does not guarantee the team is doomed to be at the bottom of the standings for another 22 years.

    As for Price’s agent – he’s an agent. It’s a job prerequisite to be able to talk out of both sides of your mouth.

    • torontosportsmedia says:

      Drumanchor: The best predicator of the future is the past. Shapiro’s been around for over a month and he’s been persona non grata

  24. Bobby G says:

    He’s had 15 minutes and he’s done nothing with them except hire another Cleveland guy. I’m certainly not saying they should have outbid Boston for Price but in the absence of big-name, high-priced signings, there are other things you can do to keep the momentum going that was built up from late July to late October… Like be available to explain why you didn’t make an offer to Price. Instead, we get nothing. Because all of a sudden, Cleveland is a good thing.

  25. Steve in Waterloo says:

    Rogers, you have a PR problem…
    All the good this year, so much has gone to crap.

    I’m not sure it is the Presidents job to be front and center in the media, nor the GM for that matter.

    But with all that has gone on since August 1, TSM is totally correct in that the corporate handling to protect Rogers image has been seemingly absent at best, or entirely ineffective at worse.

  26. Wally says:

    @Bobby G
    I do agree with you that management must have a good relationship with fans. That’s indisputable.

    But we go back to before the trade deadline last season and people were more than willing to part ways with Alex Anthopolous and move on. It wasn’t his charisma or interaction with the media that made him well-liked. It was his managerial duties in bringing in assets to create a winning team. That is why this post by @TSM is weak. These guys have been in town for all of 15 minutes yet they are the worst thing since Harold Ballard. I have no idea how these guys will fair here in Toronto (nobody does), yet you look back and see that the Indians had more playoff appearances than the Jays with a smaller budget. I think it’s incorrect to assume that the payroll will be lower than it’s been in the past few seasons. A payroll that is higher than the Indians.

    Once again, being upset at how these suits interact with media members is incredibly weak.

    • torontosportsmedia says:

      Wally: How these suits interact with the media is directly correlated with how they interact with us. So I don’t think it’s weak. It was weak when Howard Berger whined that Pat Quinn didn’t come meet the media on a trade deadline day. It’s not weak for fans to want to hear from their teams management

  27. Bobby G says:

    @ Wally
    No, what’s incredibly weak the determination by some that we as fans are wrong in demanding more from the Blue Jays front office. It is fundamentally wrong to say Anthopoulos was only liked because of his ability to manipulate a roster and draft well. In fact, he was disliked for his inability to put together a pitching staff. But he was always available to answer to those shortcomings. The answers weren’t always great but he was available. This is the off season and Shapiro has been the face of this franchise for over a month now. Yet he has been AWOL except twice and has demonstrated no knowledge of the city, the market or its fans. Toronto is fundamentally different than Cleveland and the president of the ball club should acknowledge that. That’s what’s weak. To not demand more from the Jays is weak. To criticize someone for demanding better than we’re getting is tremendously weak.

  28. Wally says:

    @Bobby G

    Those are all fair points.

    Firstly I think people are mistaking Shapiro for being the GM. He is NOT the GM he is the president. I don’t know about you but I don’t remember Beeston being in the public spotlight very often. He may have done the odd interview here or there but he wasn’t out kissing babies and meeting the townsfolk. Now there has been significant discussion on how Shapiro is more of a baseball guy and will have his say on baseball decisions, but regardless he still the president and based on other team presidents it is not surprising he isn’t in the public spotlight.

    Secondly, I was born and raised in Toronto but this idea that the city is a unique snowflake and needs to be coddled in different ways is bizarre. Toronto absolutely has characteristics that are unique to the city, but as a whole and as a fan-base we are like most other rabid fan-bases around the world. If our teams suck, fans don’t go/watch. Even the exception of the Leafs is emulated around the world. Lakers are horrible, yet they have a rabid fan-base. Knicks have sucked forever, they have lots of fans. Going around the world…Chelsea has had a horrible season and they sell out all their games. Of course you will find differences between Cleveland and Toronto but from a baseball perspective the structure and operations of the organization remain similar with the only change being personnel. So I will disagree with you in that Toronto is unique in the sporting landscape.

    Lastly I don’t think anyone (including myself) is disputing that as fans we want our teams to be better. This is part of why we are fans. But as mentioned before, the players we have are largely unchanged from last year. The GM and President being the public eye and speaking to the media has exactly 0% impact on actual performance. Like many of you I absolutely want to see the new faces acquire assets and make us better for next season but they were literally just hired. I find it unreasonable to think these newly hired execs can walk into the city and sign a big name right off the bat. Even then, I’d argue that Rogers themselves should be taking the brunt of the criticism. Fans flocked and watched in record numbers giving Rogers a huge boost in profits and now they seem unwilling to spend more on the team.

    • torontosportsmedia says:

      Wally to this point I will say, we wall want the team to win. I wish our management team cared about the fans as much as they the fans care about the team

  29. ADC says:

    @Bobby G

    He was specifically asked about Price and answered it. He basically said of course they would love to have Price back, but that it didn’t make sense at the price point. Their move was to spread the money around to more players as opposed to allocate it to one.

  30. Hugh310 says:

    I think this blog/comments need a large dose of Arash Madani and Jon Morosi ASAP!! LOL

    If the Blue Jays win the WS in 2016 AlexA will get ALL of the credit. If the Blue Jays do not win the WS in 2016, MarkS will get ALL of the blame. Am I reading this right ?

    Did anyone hear Jonah Keri on TSN 1050 this afternoon? Kudos to him – right up there with Madani and Morosi, IMHO.

  31. yaz says:

    ‘We want to build a championship team within the parameters we have been given.’ – Shapiro saying that repeatedly with or without charisma is the wrong message and speaks directly to how he will conduct management of the Jays which relates directly to their performance. All of their performance? Of course not. But it definitely affects it.

    My take from the wrong message and that pie-in-the-sky look in Shapiro’s eyes ‘of course I wish I could get David Price’ l and Price’s contract as ‘a percentage of asset value is definitely a conversation with ownership’ (that statement proved to me he never had that conversation) – he just seemed out of his league.

    Shapiro and Atkins could care a whit about building on momentum from last year – they are only worried about their own momentum beginning now with their ‘sustainable over the long term’ team. They, and Rogers, missed the mark. Our only hope is that the players can keep it together and say F owners and F the bad calls and WIN for themselves and for us.

  32. Rob In Aurora says:

    I’m not a fan of Shapiro and his new minion, only because they come fom a joke of a franchise…. But as far as being in front of the media, this is the off season. There has been nothing to talk about. (The media is beatibg the david price dead horse…iy was never goibg to happen here. Get over it everyone. )…Shapiro has and has had other things to do since day on here. I don’t remember Beeston ever talking to the media during the last few years.

    Just stop.

  33. Mike V says:

    Mark Shapiro’s comments on David Price sound a lot like AA’s comments on Yu Darvish or the five year limit in general. A lot of people appear to have revisionist memories about what was said and how before July.

  34. Anthony says:

    ‘Mark Shapiro’s comments on David Price sound a lot like AA’s comments on Yu Darvish or the five year limit in general. A lot of people appear to have revisionist memories about what was said and how before July.’

    Amazing isn’t it?

  35. Steve Jones says:

    @TSM, yes, Shapiro has only spoken twice. My question is what would you like him to say? He obviously can’t tell people who he’s chasing, if he is chasing someone. He can’t say much about Price, other than “we didn’t think he was fair value”. The last thing I want to hear personally is platitudes and rhetoric. Largely because it already overwhelms the sports speak world already. In the end I think this whole issue is a manifestation of Shapiro as villain, who pushed AA out of town. So now fans want to hear immediately what he is going to do so they can judge him and make a determination on whether he is even more dislikeable of slightly less dislikeable.

    Underlying this issue is the rebirth of the Jays as a public trust apparently. I never imagined that Toronto sports fans were so starved for something to cheer about that it would hit these heights. Take yesterday’s 4-5 call in on the Fan. 100% Jays calls. 90% of the calls were the same question over and over which Bob answered over and over. It was spectacularly bad radio. As Bob would say it was content from the department of redundancy department. So playing on this new found need to discuss all things Jays everyone seems to think the new GM should be providing content to fuel the fire. Which is odd because it is the same thing Shannahan has done with the Leafs. I guess it’s different in that the Jays are close to large success, but with the odd exception sports executives today don’t say much. Even when they are actually speaking into a mic.

  36. Anthony says:

    ‘In the end I think this whole issue is a manifestation of Shapiro as villain, who pushed AA out of town. So now fans want to hear immediately what he is going to do so they can judge him and make a determination on whether he is even more dislikeable of slightly less dislikeable.’

    Bingo…..perfectly put, wish i could articulate like that.

  37. Warren says:

    Shapiro is talking about ‘sustainability over the long run’ and ‘providing more starting pitcher depth’. This is double-speak for not going all-in in 2016 to win again.

    The public sees through the double-speak and doesn’t like it.

    I think it’s just dumb to talk that way. Firstly, he and his Indians friend should be going for it in 2016. But even if he isn’t going that route, he’s got a rabid fan base looking to buy seasons seats and new logo’d merchandise. He should be pumping those tires, filling those seats, maximizing the revenue.

    Instead he’s mostly absent, and when he isn’t he’s throwing a wet blanket on the Jays fans enthusiasm all while talking corporate-speak baseball code.

  38. Hugh310 says:

    Nowhere in any of his comments do I see Shapiro “not going for it” in 2016. I guess the fans expected the Jays to sign Price and Greinke and Zimmermann as the only proof that Shapiro is ‘going for it’ in 2016. Jeez.

  39. Warren says:

    I wouldn’t have signed Price – so that’s not what I meant. The way he talks – about long term stability and organizational depth and such – sounds like a guy taking over a rebuild.

    Who knows if they’re “all in” for 2016? Doesn’t sound like it to me.

    But either way, he’s letting the fans excitement (and related revenue) escape the balloon.

  40. WestdaleRocks says:

    I don’t care if I never see or hear a guy on air. I don’t care if he has a stone cold or hot relationship with the media. And I don’t care who he hires, as long as they do the job. But I DO care if both men have baseball smarts, can draft well, and can trade well. So let’s look at this hire, shall we?
    Indians GM 2001-2010. Usually you give a GM 4 years before his worth kicks in, and four years after he leaves for his draftees to mature….so let’s judge him from 2005-2014. One AL Central title, a wild card berth and twice named Exec of the Year. 807-813 record overall. OK…want to go back and judge him on the years he was actually GM? Fine. Playoffs in his first year and division title in 2007. Overall record of 795-825 from 2001-2010. When you describe ‘building a winner’, you would think that once the pattern is established, consistently winning from season to season would be the norm. You might not make the playoffs every year, but you’d be in the hunt. Well, from 2001-2010 when Shapiro was GM, they finished over .500 three times. THREE TIMES!! Every other year was a losing record. And for the folks who insist that a GM’s worth doesn’t kick in til year four, they had FOUR winning seasons between 2005 and 2014. Big whoop. And Shapiro wants to have control and the final say over player drafting and player signings? Based on past performance, I have zero confidence in this new regime, and I think Rogers has made a very poor hire. We shall see.

  41. Dave in Bolton says:

    I think we’re missing the point to what has happens to the Jays front office I firmly believe that the ousting of Beeston all started when Bud retired. Beeston and his buddy’s Dident back this new commish and now Beeston is gone and it’s affecting the Jays. Also makes you wonder if their was a power struggle between Beeston and Edward Rogers over this commissioner and Beston was ousted

  42. Poker Guy says:

    I think the fact that Shapiro, and Atkins for that matter have come from an organization that have been run by constraints. Now, Shapiro has a larger payroll, but he’s running like a Cleveland Indians payroll. Too bad Rogers doesn’t see or treat Toronto as a big market team. They have the cash, the power, but don’t want to play in the deep end of the pool with the other big fish.
    I am not saying that spending 210 on Price was the way to go, but the opt out clause, may have been a good option for the Jays as well.(Not sure if the clause is a team option or the player) Price, Stroman, Estrada, Dickey, looks a lot better than Stroman, Estrada, Dickey, Chavez, and what ever cheap second or third tier free agent will fill the void.
    Yes, the offense is in tact, but it’s rare when that carries you to the end. If they are mettling by July, and pieces get traded off, the opportunity to “win now” will have been wasted by less expensive, and cost creative ways to “improve” the team.

  43. Poker Guy says:

    Quite frankly, if that happens, I’ll be sick of it, because Alex did that for years. Trading for guys with “control” and “cost effectiveness” He kept drafting, and waiting. Until this past year, when he actually went for it, and traded those pick/prospects to build a winner NOW.
    Not a 3 year plan, or a 5 year plan. The results were pretty good I’d say. Interesting that he decided to go “all in” when he was up for a contract. Some may say he went for it to try and win now to save his job. In the end, he left anyway. However the approach, and end result was successful.

  44. alex says:

    Didnt toronto not support manfred for commish because he wanted to change the rules about the teams that owned their own tv channels (yes, nesn, masn)

  45. Claire A Fye says:

    @Poker Guy I think it’s pretty obvious that AA “went for it” when he knew he was leaving at season’s end. I think the Price trade was more of a toss of the dice and he wasn’t worried about losing all those prospects because he wasn’t going to be here anyway. The fact that he chose to leave even after the success that followed bears that out to me. If the trades were designed to save his job, he would have stayed. He’ll get another job and when he does I’ll bet he’s a little more aggressive than he was here.

  46. Poker Guy says:

    I agree. I think a lot depended on who was going to succeed Beeston. Perhaps when Alex saw it was Shapiro, and we don’t know if they had discussions prior to him coming on board. In any event, he saw that he could not co-exist with him as President. So, he made the deals, and if they worked out, great. If they didn’t, he knew he was not coming back anyway.

  47. Marcus says:

    Interesting take from Dan Shulman on PTS this afternoon. Shulman had to coin the phrase “over-villainized” to describe Shapiro’s treatment at the hands of the media and the fans. He felt that the rush to judgment was too swift and a bit unreasonable. Sidebar: When McCown started speaking about how he found that he liked Anthopoulos after he left, Shulman, without going out of his way to do it, got off a great line about how Bob likes everyone after they leave, to much laughter from everyone. It was a gentle ribbing, but it inadvertently showed that, despite his self-cultivated contrarian image, Bob puts his finger to the wind a lot before sounding off. Great stuff from Mr. Shulman. He’s certainly welcome to stay.

  48. Rob J says:

    How many jays fans does it take to change a lightbulb? 10 001. (1 to change the bulb and 10 000 to go on and on about how great the old one was)

  49. Matty Zero says:

    @Poker Guy

    I was all for a front-loaded deal for Price with the opt-out, but the Sox offer made that impossible to achieve. Even if you paid him 40M(!) for the first 2, and 25 million the next 3, that is still 75 million less than what Boston has virtually guaranteed. The only real option was to match, and if the Jays did that..well there would be no more middle of the lineup.
    And, until proven otherwise, I believe Rogers brought these 2 jokers in to revert back to a budget team. Not right away, but soon enough. That corporation is tone deaf enough to believe the money will keep pouring in, even if they put out an inferior product on the field.

  50. William D says:

    @Matty Zero

    Unfortunately from a radio and TV standpoint not so much gate revenue, money will keep pouring in despite the product, the numbers has reflected it over the crappy years. The jays are the biggest radio draw of any sports team here in Canada hands down, that said, a lot of it has to do with the fact that summer is very much a down time in the four major sports (not to mention that baseball is probably the best sports product to consume on radio), which leaves the jays to capitalize on the entire market. Two revenue streams I can think of off the top will be affected by an inferior product which are merchandise and gate, but radio and Tv may offset those losses. Radio and TV revenue kind of summarizes why Rogers bought the Blue Jays. Sorry to break the hearts of those that think Rogers bought this team to bring a championship to Toronto or to build a winner. They feel if they can put a competitive team on the field every year and sell some aspect of hope despite knowing that team will not contend for a championship they will cash in, If there is one thing the owners of the sports teams have learned about the fan base in Toronto, it’s that this fan base is very forgiving and have short memories year by year.

  51. Poker Guy says:

    @ Matty Zero

    Thanks for the clarification on the Price deal.
    If in fact you’re assumption is correct about the Jays eventually reverting back to a budget team, then they should get used to seeing 13,000 people at week night games in a couple of years down the road.
    Hopefully, this won’t happen, and Shapiro, and Adkins will continue to move this team forward. However, I did say that Shapiro could be AA 2.0 in an earlier post.
    I know they have got off to a rocky start PR wise, but let’s wait and see how the first season plays out. I wonder who will be despised more if things go wrong. Shapiro and Adkins, or Rogers for making the hire in the first place?

  52. Daniel says:

    @Andrew. Looks to me like in Men 12+, The Fan leads TSN Radio 10.9 to 1.6.

    Maybe that includes the Jays playoff run, which might explain that a bit. But even so … quite a throttling.

  53. Matty Zero says:

    @Poker Guy

    I don’t want them to be a budget team either. Just trying to read the tea leaves. And a rocky start it is, look at the simple ‘Who’s In and Who’s Out’ list.

  54. Gary says:

    I didn’t exactly take notes during the press conference but I would be surprised to find out that Ross Atkins even uttered the word “fans” when he spoke. I kept waiting for him to acknowledge the fan base in some way. My biggest frustration with this new regime is that they seem intent on building something for themselves. I’m not naive enough to assume that the Blue Jays are some sort of ‘public trust’ or anything, but man… we are the customers after all. If anything, I must’ve heard the word “process” eight hundred times followed by our new GM praising every minor leaguer he ever played with, like some wide-eyed Oscar speech. They made it seem like the Jays were an expansion franchise that needs to be organized from top to bottom! This is a team that was on the door step of the World Series. It’s not in their best interest to over-hype the 2016 team but let’s at least acknowledge the hope that we have had in 2015 and the hope we continue to have for 2016. Good grief. I’ll give these Cleveland guys some time but their first impression sucked.

  55. Not that Chris says:

    While the Jays run did benefit the Fan in that ratings period, I don’t know how anybody in TSN management can look at those numbers and not come to the conclusion that the station needs to be blown up.

  56. I have had enough time to reflect on the front office changes, as well as how Rogers itself is approaching this team and the fanbase in the wake of a plummeting Canadian dollar and it is not good.

    Firstly, they are doing their best to win in 2016 by not making major improvements that cost $, but by looking for bargains, reclamation projects, and not going after free agents who are coming off strong seasons, in fear of overpaying. Newsflash Rogers: You always have to overpay for free agents in demand, that is the way the system works. To screw it up when you are coming off of a season when free agents for the first time in the last 20+ years are willing to come here is nuts, regardless of the budget and Canadian dollar. 2016 is a year to go for it completely. You have EE & Jose under contract, and control over Donaldson. I am not saying sign Price, I was against that one, but there were other frontline starters you could have made serious offers on but chose not to.

    They should barring injuries get by due to their explosive offence, but 2017 is not looking promising at all, as I predict a major drop-off and back their old ways. For a market like Toronto this is shameful and a slap in the face to the fanbase, who have every right to be fearful of what lies ahead based on what is coming out of Shapiro and Adkins. Now is the time for Rogers to expand their budget and not shrink it, which they are, as the Canadian $ they said affects their budget.

    So many question marks in the starting rotation, if they are not addressed, I see Sanchez moving their, and the bullpen will be an issue all year long, rolling the dice.

  57. Poker Guy says:

    @ Matty

    Yep, and so, it begins…maybe.

  58. Uncle Slick says:

    There’s 2 issues here,
    1) Rogers/ownership.
    2) Shapiro/President

    What’s evident about Rogers is they don’t get the customer service thing. Never have, probably never will. The horror stories from cellular, cable, internet, users tells us it’s all about money, fee’s and controlling overhead.

    The Blue Jays are just a line item on their financials.

    Shapiro, he’s in a difficult spot, the legacy of AA; and Edward Rogers is pulling his strings.

    What I know right now is the Blue Jays still have a very potent batting lineup. Defensively they are stronger today than they were 365 days ago. And the starting rotation is better today than it was 365 days ago.

    Results from 2015 tells us that pitching depth (starters & relievers) and a left handed bat are what’s needed, and everyone in baseball knows this.

    I’ll sit tight and watch what Eddie Rogers allows Shapiro to do.

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