Alex Anthopolous Out As Blue Jays General Manager

Alex Anthopolous Out As Blue Jays General Manager

by TSM

There will be a ton more written about this later, but as my email, text and tweet feed I fills, I thought I’d give you an open thread especially as the afternoon drive approaches.

Use this as you will..

Any, and I mean any cutting of other readers will result in the comment being deleted.

I will say this on Alex, based upon everything I had heard, and tweeted and written, I am not the least bit surprised we have arrived at where we are..

More from me, maybe tonight:

TSM

COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 17
  • comment-avatar
    Steve Jones 2 years

    I’m no fan of Greg Brady. And he reinforced my opinion of him in spades this afternoon. He went off on an epic rant about the “competition” taking shots at Rogers. He trashed the TV side for getting trounced in the ratings. He trashed the radio side for not having any audience. He made a crack about carrier pigeons being a better source of information. He said “I guess people need a paycheque”. There was more. Then he moved on only to return shortly to the topic and lobbed more ratings insults. . All the while he said he can say anything he wants about Rogers too but it’s not warranted here.

    To be clear I’m no TSN defender. I just found the whole rant as defensive as you could imagine. It sounded plain angry. And you have to wonder why a guy would so publicly trash the only other company in the sports business. Guess he thinks he’ll never need another job.

  • comment-avatar
    Pants Go Brown 2 years

    Was Shapiro hired while the Jays record was below .500? If so, makes you wonder whether Rogers considered it a lost season. Hire Shapiro and fire AA and Gibby at the end. Then wonder of wonders, the Jays have an air lift of talent and come back to life and have success. This creates problem for Rogers as they had already decided AA was gone and Shapiro would get AA’s powers. Rogers looks v bad on this. They get rid of a hometown guy, who wanted to stay and was exec of the year.

  • comment-avatar
    SUDSY1515 2 years

    Shapiro was hired when Jays were in 1st place!

  • comment-avatar
    Brent 2 years

    Right…because ratings are the only measure of a person’s worth, Brady. Let’s not forget, Brady and Walker are the two clowns that I’ve seen say things like “talk to me when you’ve got a national TV show before 30”. I only know them by what I read on Twitter, hear on the radio, see on TV and based on that, they’re pretty terrible people.

  • comment-avatar
    Hans 2 years

    I think I’ll be echoing others here in saying that today is going to be a very bad PR day for the Blue Jays and the ownership. This is especially in light that today Alex was announced as MLB executive of the year.

    What I think we’re all wondering is what exactly was said during the last little while that set Alex to say he wanted out or to be more accurate he wouldn’t sign on. Did the new President tell him “My way and now get in line” or was he told by ownership “oh, you just got lucky this year. Now do things this new way with the team.” or was it something else. It does seem odd to me that it went from sounding pretty good for AA with the BLue Jays to now he says he can;t work in the new office setup any more.

  • comment-avatar
    Pudge72 2 years

    @Hans…Shapiro most likely wanted to get his fingers back in the player management side of the pie. AA had previously had final authority on all player transactions (outside of a final check with Beeston about the big trades, which was usually a formality). When the Jays/Shapiro offered the extension with the reduction in responsibility, they made AA’s decision to leave, remarkably easy.

    Only Rogers could be so utterly hamfisted with this situation. They must have (right?) known when they hired Shapiro that he wanted to have final say on player transactions. Obviously someone horribly mis-judged the situation. Way to go Rogers…when is Ted’s statue at the Dome coming down?

  • comment-avatar
    Justin 2 years

    Bobcat is on fire today. When it comes to the Blue Jays sources he’s one of the most well-connected people there is – if not the most. Say what you want about Bob being bored (It’s been noticeable) but when big news like this breaks the 1 person in the industry I care the most to hear comment on it is Bob Mccown. PTS has been fantastic listening today.

  • comment-avatar
    Alex 2 years

    That said, wasnt Bob the one that said Gibbons would be fired, a story Alex this week said was totally fabricated?

    I presume bob, being friends w Beeston and Alex, will be the Sportsnet employee most critical of Rogers?

    Also, 1050 had an interesting roundtable for anhour with arthur, simmons, macarthur with Naylor. They made a comparison between Alex and onis: both guys liked personally by the media but one was still savaged over his poor stint as GM.

  • comment-avatar
    Steve in Waterloo 2 years

    Alternative theory:

    Beeston and AA figured they were done at the end of the season.

    They blew their wad – traded away everyone for build the best team for their grand finale

    AA had no intention of resigning out of loyalty to Beeston

    Shapiro scolded AA for trading away too much.

    Beeston gone. AA gone. Prospect all gone.

    Beeston/AA leave Rogers hanging….

  • comment-avatar
    Carl A 2 years

    My theory is that AA was told he had to find a good manager and in his loyalty to Gibbons he refused. Somebody said yesterday that the only one happy in the organization when Gibbons was hired was AA.

  • comment-avatar
    Steve in Waterloo 2 years

    And a another question, first posed by Steve Simmons yesterday:

    How come there has been zero reacton / tweets / comments from the players. Not a single one found after a quick twitter search.

    Would feel that players would accept a gag order?
    #Cometogether

  • comment-avatar
    amanda 2 years

    To the comment above yeah McCowan has said they’re going to fire Gibby but yesterday he said they can’t fire Gibby because it would look bad on Rogers and Shapiro, that they need to keep Gibby around for the fans or maybe it was Eric making the point (but really if they know fans and the “Fire Gibby” train they know that fans are split on Gibby staying or going and that most fans don’t actually care about Gibby).

    Alex said he never asked Rogers for anything.
    Not term, not money, not even the autonomy that people keep talking about.

    On PTS when Bob said that after talking with several people (he said rogers people, but I think he also said other people) a source said that the negotiation was on Monday and that alex said no then and that over the week till Wednesday they were still talking (rogers) trying to get Alex to change his position.
    When this came up Alex was going around the timeline Bob McCowan set out because Alex said are you sure about the info, and wanted to know who the source was (even though I think Alex voice sounded like he might know some of these sources because it’s the same people he talks to and works with or for so I think AA has a good idea of who these leakers are and who in the media they leak to because in fact AA has the same incestuous relationship with corp and media even if he likes not to enter the fray or whatever. You can’t live in this city in the position he has and not in some way be touched by the media. It’s a Toronto/big city small group of same people in the same circles thing—“small market theatre,” said Gareth Wheeler. I personally was going to say big city with small market thought which always goes back to the whole tdot as mini NY thing). Then AA in his own words described what took place as sparsely as possible.

    This morning Gareth Wheeler said that AA ran a masterclass PR. It’s not wrong. While AA was doing all the interviews and the call and anything else coming out of his mouth (words) that I was consuming I thought “I can’t wait to hear from the horse’s mouth…He keeps repeating himself…I know you’re a private person Alex and you don’t want to burn anyone or anything but really “It’a not the right fit” is your explanation of this debacle? Please it hurts AA, your truth hurts stop stabbing us in the back in the heart with your words.”

    So really we learned nothing like most people said but actually if you’re a long time Toronto sports fan and you’ve gone through several higher ups and their press conferences, firings, even players and also corps releasing statements, you kinda get what Alex is saying between the lines. You don’t have to be clairvoyant. I mean even Dave Hodge (please listen to his comments on TSN this morning Coz/Wheeler) said you don’t even have to be close to the team to figure out the tentacles (as McCowan said) of this story. Because it’s not hard. It all requires common sense, understanding, empathy, history etc…

    Lots of people talking about AA but Arden Zwelling yesterday on one of the shows (too many talk shows) talked about how Alex has made bold moves, without money, some with money whatever and what informs the guy like who he is and moves him as a human being (so for all the people who want to understand AA’s behavior I think Arden gives a good primer and history).

    I was making the points Cathal Kelley was in his article(please read it because as Wheeler also said AA doesn’t need to talk, although AA did lol, because the media and other people—leakers—are talking for Alex) because you actually got to hear from AA’s own mouth (not just was said in a casual but maybe perceptively purposeful conversation) when he basically said the same things in the convo on PTS and other interviews yesterday afternoon/evening.

    Also the point about the “offer non offer” (wheeler) in the Edward Rogers statement about the contract. If anyone heard Alex this week you’ll know that Alex said maybe twice about how the contract was put in the public and that it didn’t come from him because that’s not how he operates. This also goes back to when Alex questioned/commented to Bob McCowan about his source about the rogers dealing and timeline (people theorize it’s Beeston because of his and Bob’s friendship, but I think McCowan knows more than one person at rogers or knows people who are very close with rogers people).

    Despite what Alex said (because AA intent with all of this talking was to provide cover for the organization (rogers, bluejays, etc…staff) and also for the incoming newbie (because AA was also a newbie at one time) and as Wheeler pointed out about the PR masterclass maybe AA’s intent was also cover from himself because if anyone heard from what he was saying yesterday and all this week Alex was already out the door and trying to sell himself or keep himself “marketable” for his next job) he was not happy with rogers.

    Alex’s unhappiness with rogers is in his “not the right fit” comments because (when did it not become the right fit and who changed to not make it the right fit. There are only so many people who can create work environments and if alex managed his team and they never leaked stuff about alex to the press or slung at him, what changes recently happened to change the work environment and make it not the right fit. In fact people can ask how alex himself changed in this time period to not make the work environment he operated not the right fit). So people can blame shapiro (lol really? My personal opinion is that he is the fall guy cover to do what is a typically Toronto screwface/job cannibalization before the whole PR spinning occurs), and yes he is a part of the story because he was invited into the story but really the creators of the story are actually the people who have had the longest relationships (or lack thereof) in the story so this is where history is important and people can read up about AA, the ownership, the chain of command as AA called it yesterday on PTS saying he’s a “change of command guy”. So you know that AA works within an order and with a process. (There are many long time Toronto media people, good/bad, that will provide you with history about rogers and it’s employees and also baseball operations. The thing I find fascinating about all of this is MLB’s relationship with Rogers and also with the team) but he’s (Shapiro) not the main guy (even though Rogers officially made him “their” guy in typical suites fashion). The guys in this story are actually the people who have been here the longest, ROGERS, AA, and Beeston (even Gibby, and other long time Blue Jays players/employees).

    Anyone who has lived in this city knows/has heard about how all of these things go down, there’s right and wrong ways but there’s actually lots of Toronto experience about people in powerful positions in this city and how they left their jobs in this city. This whole rogers saga/debacle is nothing new. It might be the newest chapter in the story but it’s not the end.

    So based on everything I have consumed, this probably goes back to the chain of command and management structure of the blue Jays. As per AAs own words, AA said “He’s never dealt with rogers” “I got to really know Ed Rogers this week” other things AA has said about this company that he deals with Paul Beeston (he deals with rogers via paul beeston) and Beeston deals with Rogers. He said he didn’t want to have contract talks until after the season. He said they would have meetings here and there but that it wasn’t about contract (his). He said Mondays meeting was like a post season tie down of the entire year and restart of what to do for the upcoming season. He said they (rogers) wanted to talk to him about contracts so they pretty much entered into those talks (remember Alex does this sans lawyer) and he said no to their offer. Alex said that he never made any requests. I mean if you’re a human being in a job negotiation you have to have some expectations. But when you think about Alex’s no, and his unequival no throughout the week and how he didn’t change from his position, you kinda have to think that all of these things were set into motion some time ago.

    And this is were that whole Paul Beeston incident becomes relevant. As alex pointed out 2x this week plus the 3rd time in the PTS convo, AA never put his contract talks into the public realm, in fact he didn’t divulge any numbers or terms. AA said many times it’s not about money. So people rightly think this is really about power. Paul Beeston was done in via a screw job of ineptitude from higher ups at rogers. Doing a reach around to fire a long time organization cog who has relationships with people at rogers, who didn’t have the balls to in his face fire Paul Beeston, but to pussy foot and go around and through people beeston knows to try and get rid of a guy who has worked for the company for so long my brain fries at the thought because I’m too young and I will never experience working for a company as long as PB did. So here’s the mistake and it opens AA’s eyes that he’s also on the chopping block and that he a long time person also in the org is expendable. So when PTS asks AA about how long he had thought about his future and his no response I think AA gave the answer he could. I mean if you’re an employee of a company like Rogers and you see them behave in this nature (nothing new for Toronto companies), what would you think? Why would you think you’re infallible? I mean these are common sense things and understandable, even some of the things Rogers did is understandable. You don’t have to be a fan to not have an opinion or to love or hate. Really it’s business in the end and some people get shived.

    Respect is only for those who take it.

    (someone can post alex’s response to the question if he had thought about his future before Monday’s meeting. I think his response was like it comes up from time to time but it wasn’t his main focus)

    When PTS asked him about his anger about the PB situation, AA provided info about what was going on in the BJ’s (not rogers) at that time, about his staff calling him asking him what’s going on, about what Paul Beeston told him, etc…AA’s comments are insightful because he’s recollecting the story and not in the moment and at first I thought he’s trying to gloss over this and not answer the question about the ‘anger’ part of the question, but it was as diplomatic and cleansed a comment and typical AA as it gets, and also you can always hear the emotion in his voice so based on his words you can tell how wrong he thought it was but you can also tell that Paul Beeston himself who has dealt with rogers forever and isn’t phased is the one who helped AA to get around/away from the situation.

    When asked about Gibby AA says he’s reached out to Gibby even yesterday and talked to him several times in the week (and if you see gibby’s response in the papers about how they texted and how he’s keeping away from the public/hoopla/fire or w/e) you can see how close AA is with his people and the respect he has for people he trusts. I think that all these people (especially if you have listened to Gibby pre/post games about media stories about operations and that type how gibby always says stuff like somethings always going on in the media they’re always saying I’m, beeston, x player is gone then we’re back and how gibbys always like you can’t take the reports too seriously), I think these rogers employees understand that rogers operates within the media through sources/leaks.

    So everyone who says the writing was on the wall are right and it’s all enforced by AA’s own words in interviews and things he has done in the last couple of months. Rogers made a decision to fire people this year (things that should have happened last season), but couldn’t. They wanted to get rid of paul beeston and hire someone to do his job but actually they were looking to get rid of AA because AA is not their guy. They wanted to address some of the faults/criticism they’ve had for long time and strengthen the company so they got a baseball guy who is also a suite who can deal with renovation or w/e corp stuff is needed at Rogers BlueJ’s Center because apparently he did the same in Cleveland.
    So really they wanted a 2 four (actually a sweep if you factor in gibby) and I think their intent was to strengthen the bj’s media platform and maybe tie in rogers new platform initiatives/plans into the bluejays. I am not a technical person so I’m missing words but a rogers guy said this on a cbc story last week (which I will get to) but basically rogers wanted more input into the bluejays and their operations and based on the way they were currently structured they didn’t have the in they needed with AA because what happened was AA was keeping the lines of chain of command being his way instead of the rogers way. The set up was wrong (for rogers not for AA). It didn’t benefit rogers because rogers didn’t get the say they may have wanted into maybe things that were happening with players. So I think the way AA structured things, maybe directly or indirectly was an annoyance for people at rogers especially maybe it came to their leverage and their brand. I think that maybe they didn’t have the control of AA that they wanted/needed and it might actually stem from that. This is why I think this is all actually a personal power internal issue which Shapiro might be involved in but that it’s not really about him. It’s about respect. Maybe with AA not reporting directly to rogers maybe there’s a slight in respect there especially when they might want something to happen and AA is not for it? And the other way it’s about respect is about the loss of power for a long time organization person to then put it on to a newbie (I’m not sure if long time org people is best way to describe AA or PB but I don’t know a better way to get what I’m saying across). It’s about respect when you put out a mandate and your employee meets it or exceeds it and still gets shafted. It’s understandable that they couldn’t change the newbies new contract/offer but it’s also typical Toronto thing to give lots of cozy powers to incoming savior types who say they will do x, y, z and then end up being burned out of the city. Rogers wanted a guy in their sports org reporting to them and there were 2 people in the way of that intent. One was an old timer who they had long time relationship with and one was an up and comer but also company established guy who from his mouth to the media said he didn’t interact with rogers.
    In the contract negotiations with Shapiro to get him to come here Rogers promised him things that tipped the balance from him. He’s someone who there’s reports about him making comments about how he wasn’t so fulfilled in Cleveland because he wanted to get back to having GM powers and Rogers gave him that. This all happened last year through negotiations and up to the signing and announcement this year. So Shapiro is someone who has had almost a year relationship with the higher ups at rogers, whereas the actual guy who’s employed by rogers isn’t having contract talks, no contract extension, there’s media reports about his being fired and all this stuff. But the guy in the organization who has relationships with rogers (however tenuous it might be based on the chain of command structure AA in his own words described) is the one on the outside looking in, who is not being schmoozed by the higher-ups at rogers to get back (because they were going to sack him). So when the deadline comes and AA gets Beeston to inform rogers about moves, and AA gets clearance/money to make moves, even though AA is the one on the rocks. The whole situation is like a movie script. It can’t be that this actually happened, but it did. It’s really a story about organization structure. So they basically promised this new guy Alex’s job, and changed AA’s job description explicit or not. So AA is seeing what’s going on around him and I’m just saying that he’s very smart. He had to know that things weren’t right. But still he went on and did his job or what he thought maybe his employer wanted, because he had been here for a long time and the same outcome every year was to make it to the WS and win. I mean that intent never changed. Maybe it wasn’t feasible every year but like I think one of the Jays player said in an interview to Wilner, they (the players) go to spring training and they go through the season every year to win the world series (I think it was a Jose interview but I think other players, JD, Stroshow,, Pillar, Revere, one of the Marcos, etc…have made the same point about the baseball season and what fuels the players/team).

    Some people think that rogers didn’t want a winning team. I never believed that because I always believed in the argument bobcat made for years that winning/success breeds more money and if there’s something companies understand it’s money. [About the money business side if Shapiro also points to rogers that he can use small budgets and create sustained progress/success, isn’t that a boost for rogers which cuts down on the amount of money rogers has to spend?] But on PTS many times over the years the point has been made that rogers is a big business that doesn’t look at the sports side as a central thing but more as a side thing because it doesn’t provide the most money for the company. That the sports side is actually a vehicle that allows rogers a platform control to disseminate it’s brand outwards.
    Last week I was listening to the radio and I heard on cbc at 5:30 and on their 6 oclock news segments a business wrap about the bluejays year post season, post trade deadline. The business side of this story, how it brought profits to downtown core (more than the pan am games it was said in the report by an agency that tracks credit transactions, abm access, and other things), interviews with bar owners, fans, new fans, bays street suites, and the best of all the story was about rogers so they had to get rogers people for the story. Someone from rogers said on the show when asked about the teams success and the benefits it brought to everything else, the stadium being full, increase in tv profits for rogers. The guy said it was amazing, it brought in several millions for rogers. It’s what they want going forward to build on this success. When he was asked about if the success this year with rogers allowing AA to spend money is what rogers going to do for the future the guy was noncommital. Then when asked about the overall picture about how rogers is a big successful company making so much money every quarter every year, and about the overall importance of the blue jays in the bigger picture the rogers guy said, the success this year and the fan support is wonderful but that rogers is a big company with many responsibilities and many (what’s the word) segments of the business and that the blue jays is only one part/a small part of the overall business.
    I mean the guy didn’t lie. He said the right things. The best part of the news piece was the roar of the fans from skydome. But the rogers guys comment stuck with me after the fact and as I said on the radio I still think about it. Not all the time but I’m trying to break down the whole thought. I am not a bell or rogers shill. I have thanked and prayed for rogers. Out in the storm this week a rogers employee was working in my area and I thought man rogers employees are the best hardworking people. We were rogers customers when I was little but then we switched to American company and had bad experience and we’ve been long time bell customers before switching to rogers again last year. So I have nothing against rogers unlike how I have personally been affected as a long time bell customer (good/bad). I don’t hate rogers.
    But as I was making the point about on the brady walker show yesterday is that this whole thing is about rogers. It’s about how rogers operates. It’s about rogers optics. It’s about rogers timing (as dave hodge put it this morning the timing was not good). It’s about these people at rogers and it’s also then since they were/are rogers employees then about AA and Shapiro.

    Rogers can’t go back on what they said/did with Shapiro because in many ways that optics and reality will be worse for business than losing AA. But losing AA is bad optics for the fans (and not just for fans but also to future employees that if you do a good job you are expendable), but then again we fans are selfish (Dave Hodge said this, but I’ve always agreed with it especially when it conflicts come up about ethics about abuses (rape, domestic violence) cases, players health and my need to be entertained, about racism-sexism in media industry I support like the film/music industry, in personal safety when it comes to the celebrity news I come across or personally consume). It’s how this sports entertainment relationship works. You entertain me no matter what and I as a fan give you oodles of money (even till I’m broke) to support your and your bosses exorbitant salaries because I’m just a simple minded fan without a brain who can compromise my personal ethics in the need for a high. It’s not really appealing but it’s the truth. FANS ARE SELFISH. I’m not sure if it’s totally a bad thing. We need selfish and people with egos around. I can’t imagine living in a sacrosanct sterilized world.

    Thank you AA. Thank you Rogers. Thank you Paul Beeston. Thank you Blue Jays. Thank you Toronto Sports media (we love to hate but what would we do without you all).

    In the end it’s all entertaining. The long suffering losing. The winning. It’s all life. Shit happens.

    (I would like to apologize to Brady if what I said caused a tipping point/meltdown because that was never my intent. I never called him a shill. I was consuming a lot of media (different orgs, stations, different tweets from NA media people) yesterday and even in the fan comments/tweets I didn’t come across the word shill a lot but a lot of talk about rogers and peoples anger about rogers (maybe brady was being attacked online but I didn’t know because I don’t follow him). In fact when I woke up yesterday and heard the news about AA I wasn’t even angry or surprised but shrugged and said to be expected, gave a typical Toronto meh shrug. I listen to the fan590 and also to other stations. I always forget that the fan is owned by rogers. As a long time listener I have always just forgotten some of the big 4/big 3 companies that own just about everything because I’ve never bought into conspiracies and blaming employees about what their corp does. I wasn’t hearing about the rogers point on the radio aside from maybe the tsn guys most (but other stations were also talking about the rogers connection) and I always forget that they’re owned by bell or rogers. I mean I don’t care. I don’t care about bell rogers rivalry so I don’t know about the internal political stuff between the organizations. So I wasn’t hearing about the rogers connection on the show and if I did it was muted. Brady kept saying he didn’t understand the anger, and I just kept thinking to myself is this person living or from Toronto? Has he never experienced the way Toronto businesses operate? Why does he keep saying that he doesn’t understand why the fans are angry when the Toronto sports fans who became/joined the bluejays long time suffering fans (I’m talking about the young people who never got to experience the dome being raised the team coming here the team starting out the team winning, etc, who only have recent history of the blue jays and only have modern day blue jays heroes who we got to see play who can probably still come back to the league) not the old timer blue jays fans who have stood by our side regaling us of blue jays lore of what was, who have lived through years of corps screwing things up. Us younger fans who have to look at the maple leafs last post season as a beacon of hope, at the raptors recent exists as a beacon of hope, or to other league teams like argos, the Toronto rock, even the marlies as highlights of success. So this lack of understanding of the emotions that Toronto sports fans have been on the past few months and that it’s only been a week to come down and post mortem the whole thing in remembrance, and for his to just keep saying he didn’t understand the fan anger just had me shaking my head, until I felt I had to call in and talk about how I felt this was a rogers thing. I didn’t know that by putting the focus on rogers I was someone denigrating /devaluing brady at his job or whatever. I mean I don’t know why people feel they need to defend the organizations they work for but hey if you feel you’re loyal to a corp then that’s your thing. Maybe it’s the way of my generation where it’s not that we don’t have loyalty to brands, jobs, politics, we just move if something doesn’t suite. It’s not that we’re not easily manipulated, it’s that we’re aware there’s manipulation and some don’t care. It’s a different ethos/perspective. I didn’t understand that by putting a whole pile of steaming poop at rogers door that I was saying all rogers employees are to blame. If all rogers employees were to blame I would definitely need more information about the internal dealings inside rogers and how it operates instead of based on what past employees of rogers have said over the years in public or check in with family members or family friends who might work at rogers. I mean I can’t remember everything and I don’t want to and especially about a company I don’t really care about unlike how I have vast opinions about Bell. So yeah sorry Brady for disrespecting you by interrupting and yelling. I felt you were being kinda condescending to me, because I thought you weren’t even hearing my point about rogers and it made me angry. After I listened more to the show and other shows on the station and flipped the dial, then I realized that oh I forgot the fan is a rogers property. So yeah. I’m crazy is the end all be all.)

    Bottom line is that the fit changed for AA, the environment and the circumstances changed for Rogers and AA and it’s because Alex built the team to win (changed the rogers game), and that rogers was already planning to fire him, that rogers had to come back with sweetened offers to try and sway AA’s decision. The only thing Shapiro did was take a job. And maybe make comments about a gm’s way before the gm was out of the door but really making a valid point about not being given optimal work conditions for the future of his job, which is another laughable situation because as a president/gm he understands that the farm and scouts system is built not for a team to be in perpetual building mode and that there comes times that players are acquired and used to make big trades to set in motion a playoff run (almost as if AA is also not from the same ethos of develop players first, perpetual building mode school of thought that he Mark Shapiro is from). The hypocrisy is hilarious. The situation unfortunate. The entertainment from rogers and the Toronto corps in their relationship with Toronto sports fans, endless torture & eternally hopeful.

    It’s not AA vs Shapiro. It’s always been and will always be about Rogers. I don’t understand why some people think it’s not about Rogers. They own the team. They bring in the people. They pay for these people. They control these people. They can fire these people. It’s their team, their say. It’s their brand. It’s their stadium. It’s their programs and initiatives. It’s their employees that interview their employees. Lol. It’s all rogers all the way down in the entertainment media sphere in the city. People who don’t understand the connection need to just open their eyes.

    Once again I feel the need to point out how I actually dislike Bell. I am not a rogers or bell shill. I am a Torontonian. I like and participate in sports. I am a long time sports fan.

  • comment-avatar
    Bob 2 years

    Amanda, would you please repeat that.

  • comment-avatar
    Antonio 2 years

    World’s longest blog comment…… ever.

  • comment-avatar
    Amanda 2 years

    To @Bobcat:

    Yeah McCowan has said they’re going to fire Gibby but yesterday he said they can’t fire Gibby because it would look bad on Rogers and Shapiro, that they need to keep Gibby around for the fans or maybe it was Eric making the point (but really if they know fans and the “Fire Gibby” train they know that fans are split on Gibby staying or going and that most fans don’t actually care about Gibby). Alex said he never asked Rogers for anything. Not term, not money, not even the autonomy that people keep talking about. On PTS when Bob said that after talking with several people (he said rogers people, but I think he also said other people) a source said that the negotiation was on Monday and that alex said no then and that over the week till Wednesday they were still talking (rogers) trying to get Alex to change his position. When this came up Alex was going around the timeline Bob McCowan set out because Alex said are you sure about the info, and wanted to know who the source was (even though I think Alex voice sounded like he might know some of these sources because it’s the same people he talks to and works with or for so I think AA has a good idea of who these leakers are and who in the media they leak to because in fact AA has the same incestuous relationship with corp and media even if he likes not to enter the fray or whatever. You can’t live in this city in the position he has and not in some way be touched by the media. It’s a Toronto/big city small group of same people in the same circles thing—“small market theatre,” said Gareth Wheeler. I personally was going to say big city with small market thought which always goes back to the whole tdot as mini NY thing). Then AA in his own words described what took place as sparsely as possible. This morning Gareth Wheeler said that AA ran a masterclass PR. It’s not wrong. While AA was doing all the interviews and the call and anything else coming out of his mouth (words) that I was consuming I thought “I can’t wait to hear from the horse’s mouth…He keeps repeating himself…I know you’re a private person Alex and you don’t want to burn anyone or anything but really “It’a not the right fit” is your explanation of this debacle? Please it hurts AA, your truth hurts stop stabbing us in the back in the heart with your words.” So really we learned nothing like most people said but actually if you’re a long time Toronto sports fan and you’ve gone through several higher ups and their press conferences, firings, even players and also corps releasing statements, you kinda get what Alex is saying between the lines. You don’t have to be clairvoyant. I mean even Dave Hodge (please listen to his comments on TSN this morning Coz/Wheeler) said you don’t even have to be close to the team to figure out the tentacles (as McCowan said) of this story. Because it’s not hard. It all requires common sense, understanding, empathy, history etc… Lots of people talking about AA but Arden Zwelling yesterday on one of the shows (too many talk shows) talked about how Alex has made bold moves, without money, some with money whatever and what informs the guy like who he is and moves him as a human being (so for all the people who want to understand AA’s behavior I think Arden gives a good primer and history). I was making the points Cathal Kelley was in his article(please read it because as Wheeler also said AA doesn’t need to talk, although AA did lol, because the media and other people—leakers—are talking for Alex) because you actually got to hear from AA’s own mouth (not just was said in a casual but maybe perceptively purposeful conversation) when he basically said the same things in the convo on PTS and other interviews yesterday afternoon/evening. Also the point about the “offer non offer” (wheeler) in the Edward Rogers statement about the contract. If anyone heard Alex this week you’ll know that Alex said maybe twice about how the contract was put in the public and that it didn’t come from him because that’s not how he operates. This also goes back to when Alex questioned/commented to Bob McCowan about his source about the rogers dealing and timeline (people theorize it’s Beeston because of his and Bob’s friendship, but I think McCowan knows more than one person at rogers or knows people who are very close with rogers people). Despite what Alex said (because AA intent with all of this talking was to provide cover for the organization (rogers, bluejays, etc…staff) and also for the incoming newbie (because AA was also a newbie at one time) and as Wheeler pointed out about the PR masterclass maybe AA’s intent was also cover from himself because if anyone heard from what he was saying yesterday and all this week Alex was already out the door and trying to sell himself or keep himself “marketable” for his next job) he was not happy with rogers. Alex’s unhappiness with rogers is in his “not the right fit” comments because (when did it not become the right fit and who changed to not make it the right fit. There are only so many people who can create work environments and if alex managed his team and they never leaked stuff about alex to the press or slung at him, what changes recently happened to change the work environment and make it not the right fit. In fact people can ask how alex himself changed in this time period to not make the work environment he operated not the right fit). So people can blame shapiro (lol really? My personal opinion is that he is the fall guy cover to do what is a typically Toronto screwface/job cannibalization before the whole PR spinning occurs), and yes he is a part of the story because he was invited into the story but really the creators of the story are actually the people who have had the longest relationships (or lack thereof) in the story so this is where history is important and people can read up about AA, the ownership, the chain of command as AA called it yesterday on PTS saying he’s a “change of command guy”. So you know that AA works within an order and with a process. (There are many long time Toronto media people, good/bad, that will provide you with history about rogers and it’s employees and also baseball operations. The thing I find fascinating about all of this is MLB’s relationship with Rogers and also with the team) but he’s (Shapiro) not the main guy (even though Rogers officially made him “their” guy in typical suites fashion). The guys in this story are actually the people who have been here the longest, ROGERS, AA, and Beeston (even Gibby, and other long time Blue Jays players/employees). Anyone who has lived in this city knows/has heard about how all of these things go down, there’s right and wrong ways but there’s actually lots of Toronto experience about people in powerful positions in this city and how they left their jobs in this city. This whole rogers saga/debacle is nothing new. It might be the newest chapter in the story but it’s not the end. So based on everything I have consumed, this probably goes back to the chain of command and management structure of the blue Jays. As per AAs own words, AA said “He’s never dealt with rogers” “I got to really know Ed Rogers this week” other things AA has said about this company that he deals with Paul Beeston (he deals with rogers via paul beeston) and Beeston deals with Rogers. He said he didn’t want to have contract talks until after the season. He said they would have meetings here and there but that it wasn’t about contract (his). He said Mondays meeting was like a post season tie down of the entire year and restart of what to do for the upcoming season. He said they (rogers) wanted to talk to him about contracts so they pretty much entered into those talks (remember Alex does this sans lawyer) and he said no to their offer. Alex said that he never made any requests. I mean if you’re a human being in a job negotiation you have to have some expectations. But when you think about Alex’s no, and his unequival no throughout the week and how he didn’t change from his position, you kinda have to think that all of these things were set into motion some time ago. And this is were that whole Paul Beeston incident becomes relevant. As alex pointed out 2x this week plus the 3rd time in the PTS convo, AA never put his contract talks into the public realm, in fact he didn’t divulge any numbers or terms. AA said many times it’s not about money. So people rightly think this is really about power. Paul Beeston was done in via a screw job of ineptitude from higher ups at rogers. Doing a reach around to fire a long time organization cog who has relationships with people at rogers, who didn’t have the balls to in his face fire Paul Beeston, but to pussy foot and go around and through people beeston knows to try and get rid of a guy who has worked for the company for so long my brain fries at the thought because I’m too young and I will never experience working for a company as long as PB did. So here’s the mistake and it opens AA’s eyes that he’s also on the chopping block and that he a long time person also in the org is expendable. So when PTS asks AA about how long he had thought about his future and his no response I think AA gave the answer he could. I mean if you’re an employee of a company like Rogers and you see them behave in this nature (nothing new for Toronto companies), what would you think? Why would you think you’re infallible? I mean these are common sense things and understandable, even some of the things Rogers did is understandable. You don’t have to be a fan to not have an opinion or to love or hate. Really it’s business in the end and some people get shived. Respect is only for those who take it. (someone can post alex’s response to the question if he had thought about his future before Monday’s meeting. I think his response was like it comes up from time to time but it wasn’t his main focus) When PTS asked him about his anger about the PB situation, AA provided info about what was going on in the BJ’s (not rogers) at that time, about his staff calling him asking him what’s going on, about what Paul Beeston told him, etc…AA’s comments are insightful because he’s recollecting the story and not in the moment and at first I thought he’s trying to gloss over this and not answer the question about the ‘anger’ part of the question, but it was as diplomatic and cleansed a comment and typical AA as it gets, and also you can always hear the emotion in his voice so based on his words you can tell how wrong he thought it was but you can also tell that Paul Beeston himself who has dealt with rogers forever and isn’t phased is the one who helped AA to get around/away from the situation. When asked about Gibby AA says he’s reached out to Gibby even yesterday and talked to him several times in the week (and if you see gibby’s response in the papers about how they texted and how he’s keeping away from the public/hoopla/fire or w/e) you can see how close AA is with his people and the respect he has for people he trusts. I think that all these people (especially if you have listened to Gibby pre/post games about media stories about operations and that type how gibby always says stuff like somethings always going on in the media they’re always saying I’m, beeston, x player is gone then we’re back and how gibbys always like you can’t take the reports too seriously), I think these rogers employees understand that rogers operates within the media through sources/leaks. So everyone who says the writing was on the wall are right and it’s all enforced by AA’s own words in interviews and things he has done in the last couple of months. Rogers made a decision to fire people this year (things that should have happened last season), but couldn’t. They wanted to get rid of paul beeston and hire someone to do his job but actually they were looking to get rid of AA because AA is not their guy. They wanted to address some of the faults/criticism they’ve had for long time and strengthen the company so they got a baseball guy who is also a suite who can deal with renovation or w/e corp stuff is needed at Rogers BlueJ’s Center because apparently he did the same in Cleveland. So really they wanted a 2 four (actually a sweep if you factor in gibby) and I think their intent was to strengthen the bj’s media platform and maybe tie in rogers new platform initiatives/plans into the bluejays. I am not a technical person so I’m missing words but a rogers guy said this on a cbc story last week (which I will get to) but basically rogers wanted more input into the bluejays and their operations and based on the way they were currently structured they didn’t have the in they needed with AA because what happened was AA was keeping the lines of chain of command being his way instead of the rogers way. The set up was wrong (for rogers not for AA). It didn’t benefit rogers because rogers didn’t get the say they may have wanted into maybe things that were happening with players. So I think the way AA structured things, maybe directly or indirectly was an annoyance for people at rogers especially maybe it came to their leverage and their brand. I think that maybe they didn’t have the control of AA that they wanted/needed and it might actually stem from that. This is why I think this is all actually a personal power internal issue which Shapiro might be involved in but that it’s not really about him. It’s about respect. Maybe with AA not reporting directly to rogers maybe there’s a slight in respect there especially when they might want something to happen and AA is not for it? And the other way it’s about respect is about the loss of power for a long time organization person to then put it on to a newbie (I’m not sure if long time org people is best way to describe AA or PB but I don’t know a better way to get what I’m saying across). It’s about respect when you put out a mandate and your employee meets it or exceeds it and still gets shafted. It’s understandable that they couldn’t change the newbies new contract/offer but it’s also typical Toronto thing to give lots of cozy powers to incoming savior types who say they will do x, y, z and then end up being burned out of the city. Rogers wanted a guy in their sports org reporting to them and there were 2 people in the way of that intent. One was an old timer who they had long time relationship with and one was an up and comer but also company established guy who from his mouth to the media said he didn’t interact with rogers. In the contract negotiations with Shapiro to get him to come here Rogers promised him things that tipped the balance from him. He’s someone who there’s reports about him making comments about how he wasn’t so fulfilled in Cleveland because he wanted to get back to having GM powers and Rogers gave him that. This all happened last year through negotiations and up to the signing and announcement this year. So Shapiro is someone who has had almost a year relationship with the higher ups at rogers, whereas the actual guy who’s employed by rogers isn’t having contract talks, no contract extension, there’s media reports about his being fired and all this stuff. But the guy in the organization who has relationships with rogers (however tenuous it might be based on the chain of command structure AA in his own words described) is the one on the outside looking in, who is not being schmoozed by the higher-ups at rogers to get back (because they were going to sack him). So when the deadline comes and AA gets Beeston to inform rogers about moves, and AA gets clearance/money to make moves, even though AA is the one on the rocks. The whole situation is like a movie script. It can’t be that this actually happened, but it did. It’s really a story about organization structure. So they basically promised this new guy Alex’s job, and changed AA’s job description explicit or not. So AA is seeing what’s going on around him and I’m just saying that he’s very smart. He had to know that things weren’t right. But still he went on and did his job or what he thought maybe his employer wanted, because he had been here for a long time and the same outcome every year was to make it to the WS and win. I mean that intent never changed. Maybe it wasn’t feasible every year but like I think one of the Jays player said in an interview to Wilner, they (the players) go to spring training and they go through the season every year to win the world series (I think it was a Jose interview but I think other players, JD, Stroshow,, Pillar, Revere, one of the Marcos, etc…have made the same point about the baseball season and what fuels the players/team). Some people think that rogers didn’t want a winning team. I never believed that because I always believed in the argument bobcat made for years that winning/success breeds more money and if there’s something companies understand it’s money. [About the money business side if Shapiro also points to rogers that he can use small budgets and create sustained progress/success, isn’t that a boost for rogers which cuts down on the amount of money rogers has to spend?] But on PTS many times over the years the point has been made that rogers is a big business that doesn’t look at the sports side as a central thing but more as a side thing because it doesn’t provide the most money for the company. That the sports side is actually a vehicle that allows rogers a platform control to disseminate it’s brand outwards. Last week I was listening to the radio and I heard on cbc at 5:30 and on their 6 oclock news segments a business wrap about the bluejays year post season, post trade deadline. The business side of this story, how it brought profits to downtown core (more than the pan am games it was said in the report by an agency that tracks credit transactions, abm access, and other things), interviews with bar owners, fans, new fans, bays street suites, and the best of all the story was about rogers so they had to get rogers people for the story. Someone from rogers said on the show when asked about the teams success and the benefits it brought to everything else, the stadium being full, increase in tv profits for rogers. The guy said it was amazing, it brought in several millions for rogers. It’s what they want going forward to build on this success. When he was asked about if the success this year with rogers allowing AA to spend money is what rogers going to do for the future the guy was noncommital. Then when asked about the overall picture about how rogers is a big successful company making so much money every quarter every year, and about the overall importance of the blue jays in the bigger picture the rogers guy said, the success this year and the fan support is wonderful but that rogers is a big company with many responsibilities and many (what’s the word) segments of the business and that the blue jays is only one part/a small part of the overall business. I mean the guy didn’t lie. He said the right things. The best part of the news piece was the roar of the fans from skydome. But the rogers guys comment stuck with me after the fact and as I said on the radio I still think about it. Not all the time but I’m trying to break down the whole thought. I am not a bell or rogers shill. I have thanked and prayed for rogers. Out in the storm this week a rogers employee was working in my area and I thought man rogers employees are the best hardworking people. We were rogers customers when I was little but then we switched to American company and had bad experience and we’ve been long time bell customers before switching to rogers again last year. So I have nothing against rogers unlike how I have personally been affected as a long time bell customer (good/bad). I don’t hate rogers. But as I was making the point about on the brady walker show yesterday is that this whole thing is about rogers. It’s about how rogers operates. It’s about rogers optics. It’s about rogers timing (as dave hodge put it this morning the timing was not good). It’s about these people at rogers and it’s also then since they were/are rogers employees then about AA and Shapiro. Rogers can’t go back on what they said/did with Shapiro because in many ways that optics and reality will be worse for business than losing AA. But losing AA is bad optics for the fans (and not just for fans but also to future employees that if you do a good job you are expendable), but then again we fans are selfish (Dave Hodge said this, but I’ve always agreed with it especially when it conflicts come up about ethics about abuses (rape, domestic violence) cases, players health and my need to be entertained, about racism-sexism in media industry I support like the film/music industry, in personal safety when it comes to the celebrity news I come across or personally consume). It’s how this sports entertainment relationship works. You entertain me no matter what and I as a fan give you oodles of money (even till I’m broke) to support your and your bosses exorbitant salaries because I’m just a simple minded fan without a brain who can compromise my personal ethics in the need for a high. It’s not really appealing but it’s the truth. FANS ARE SELFISH. I’m not sure if it’s totally a bad thing. We need selfish and people with egos around. I can’t imagine living in a sacrosanct sterilized world. Thank you AA. Thank you Rogers. Thank you Paul Beeston. Thank you Blue Jays. Thank you Toronto Sports media (we love to hate but what would we do without you all). In the end it’s all entertaining. The long suffering losing. The winning. It’s all life. Shit happens. (I would like to apologize to Brady if what I said caused a tipping point/meltdown because that was never my intent. I never called him a shill. I was consuming a lot of media (different orgs, stations, different tweets from NA media people) yesterday and even in the fan comments/tweets I didn’t come across the word shill a lot but a lot of talk about rogers and peoples anger about rogers (maybe brady was being attacked online but I didn’t know because I don’t follow him). In fact when I woke up yesterday and heard the news about AA I wasn’t even angry or surprised but shrugged and said to be expected, gave a typical Toronto meh shrug. I listen to the fan590 and also to other stations. I always forget that the fan is owned by rogers. As a long time listener I have always just forgotten some of the big 4/big 3 companies that own just about everything because I’ve never bought into conspiracies and blaming employees about what their corp does. I wasn’t hearing about the rogers point on the radio aside from maybe the tsn guys most (but other stations were also talking about the rogers connection) and I always forget that they’re owned by bell or rogers. I mean I don’t care. I don’t care about bell rogers rivalry so I don’t know about the internal political stuff between the organizations. So I wasn’t hearing about the rogers connection on the show and if I did it was muted. Brady kept saying he didn’t understand the anger, and I just kept thinking to myself is this person living or from Toronto? Has he never experienced the way Toronto businesses operate? Why does he keep saying that he doesn’t understand why the fans are angry when the Toronto sports fans who became/joined the bluejays long time suffering fans (I’m talking about the young people who never got to experience the dome being raised the team coming here the team starting out the team winning, etc, who only have recent history of the blue jays and only have modern day blue jays heroes who we got to see play who can probably still come back to the league) not the old timer blue jays fans who have stood by our side regaling us of blue jays lore of what was, who have lived through years of corps screwing things up. Us younger fans who have to look at the maple leafs last post season as a beacon of hope, at the raptors recent exists as a beacon of hope, or to other league teams like argos, the Toronto rock, even the marlies as highlights of success. So this lack of understanding of the emotions that Toronto sports fans have been on the past few months and that it’s only been a week to come down and post mortem the whole thing in remembrance, and for his to just keep saying he didn’t understand the fan anger just had me shaking my head, until I felt I had to call in and talk about how I felt this was a rogers thing. I didn’t know that by putting the focus on rogers I was someone denigrating /devaluing brady at his job or whatever. I mean I don’t know why people feel they need to defend the organizations they work for but hey if you feel you’re loyal to a corp then that’s your thing. Maybe it’s the way of my generation where it’s not that we don’t have loyalty to brands, jobs, politics, we just move if something doesn’t suite. It’s not that we’re not easily manipulated, it’s that we’re aware there’s manipulation and some don’t care. It’s a different ethos/perspective. I didn’t understand that by putting a whole pile of steaming poop at rogers door that I was saying all rogers employees are to blame. If all rogers employees were to blame I would definitely need more information about the internal dealings inside rogers and how it operates instead of based on what past employees of rogers have said over the years in public or check in with family members or family friends who might work at rogers. I mean I can’t remember everything and I don’t want to and especially about a company I don’t really care about unlike how I have vast opinions about Bell. So yeah sorry Brady for disrespecting you by interrupting and yelling. I felt you were being kinda condescending to me, because I thought you weren’t even hearing my point about rogers and it made me angry. After I listened more to the show and other shows on the station and flipped the dial, then I realized that oh I forgot the fan is a rogers property. So yeah. I’m crazy is the end all be all.) Bottom line is that the fit changed for AA, the environment and the circumstances changed for Rogers and AA and it’s because Alex built the team to win (changed the rogers game), and that rogers was already planning to fire him, that rogers had to come back with sweetened offers to try and sway AA’s decision. The only thing Shapiro did was take a job. And maybe make comments about a gm’s way before the gm was out of the door but really making a valid point about not being given optimal work conditions for the future of his job, which is another laughable situation because as a president/gm he understands that the farm and scouts system is built not for a team to be in perpetual building mode and that there comes times that players are acquired and used to make big trades to set in motion a playoff run (almost as if AA is also not from the same ethos of develop players first, perpetual building mode school of thought that he Mark Shapiro is from). The hypocrisy is hilarious. The situation unfortunate. The entertainment from rogers and the Toronto corps in their relationship with Toronto sports fans, endless torture & eternally hopeful. It’s not AA vs Shapiro. It’s always been and will always be about Rogers. I don’t understand why some people think it’s not about Rogers. They own the team. They bring in the people. They pay for these people. They control these people. They can fire these people. It’s their team, their say. It’s their brand. It’s their stadium. It’s their programs and initiatives. It’s their employees that interview their employees. Lol. It’s all rogers all the way down in the entertainment media sphere in the city. People who don’t understand the connection need to just open their eyes. Once again I feel the need to point out how I actually dislike Bell. I am not a rogers or bell shill. I am a Torontonian. I like and participate in sports. I am a long time sports fan.

  • comment-avatar

    According to wordcounter.net Amanda’s comment is 5,158 words long and 27,927 characters

  • comment-avatar
    Dan 2 years

    And not a single paragraph break. As unreadable a block of text as I’ve ever seen.