How Mark Shapiro Blew His Toronto Blue Jays Opening

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.

Now??????

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.

TSM

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