Blue Jays President: Mark Shapiro is the Best Fit

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Mark Shapiro has emerged as the latest candidate for the soon-to-be-vacated Toronto Blue Jays President position currently held by Paul Beeston. Shapiro has been President of the Cleveland Indians since the end of the 2010 season. His tenure with The Tribe began in 1992 and included roles in scouting, assistant GM and General Manager. In that time, he has brought the Indians back into the picture, developing a competitive team on the field as well as leading the Indians into the future.

With Paul Beeston retiring from the throne at the end of this season, a lot of buzz surrounds the position. The Blue Jays have been public in their pursuit of a new President, openly courting the likes of Dan Duquette, Ken Williams and Dave Dombrowski. Many executives would be excited about the Blue Jays open President position; the team is strong and built for the next few seasons, there is plenty of payroll available in the immediate future, and plans to update the Dome and market across an entire country would be very attractive.

The President position in baseball is often misunderstood and romanticized to some degree, and in Toronto it is viewed as ‘the guy who asks Rogers for money when needed’. So what do the Blue Jays need in a President moving forward and how would Shapiro fit these criteria?

Toronto Blue Jays
Toronto Blue Jays /

Toronto Blue Jays

‘Win Now Mode’

The Blue Jays are obviously in ‘win now mode’ and the new President needs to have a pedigree of excellent results on the field. The Jays are stacked for 2015 and 2016, and have lots of dry powder for 2016 and beyond. Shapiro turned around the Indians, from the butt of the Major League movie jokes to a perennial competitive 90 win team with playoff experience.

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  • The Anthopoulos Factor

    Let’s face it – we already have an amazing GM. Regardless of the results of this season, it can’t be denied that AA showed off his Ninja skills again and put a team on the field that was the envy of the league. So what happens to AA under a new President? If it’s a baseball first kind of President – like a Dave Dombrowski – then I wouldn’t expect AA to remain the GM. However, under a business first President like Shapiro, I can see AA re-signing as GM and working under Shapiro on the on-field product.

    The Rogers Centre

    One of the biggest challenges facing the new President will be the eventual retrofit of the Rogers Centre. A major facelift and upgrade has long been rumoured, and having the know-how to undertake a massive construction project is a must for the incoming President. Shapiro checks all the boxes here, having been instrumental in upgrading Progressive Field.

    A Businessman

    Most importantly, the President is a businessman and a salesman. He needs to understand how to run a company and not just a team, liaise with MLB and the Unions, and have a vision for the future of the company. And yes, he also needs to be a good salesman, so he can sell his vision to Rogers and ultimately get money from them when needed. Shapiro is definitely an impressive leader, and the Cleveland Indians have experienced a monumental turnaround under his leadership.

    I think Mark Shapiro would make an excellent President of the Toronto Blue Jays, and not just because I loved him in Moneyball. I think he’d be a great candidate to take the Blue Jays to the next level and I think a Shapiro-Anthopoulos combination would be a great gift to the fans of Toronto.

    Next: Blue Jays Players Get Lots of Love in Baseball America Honors

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