Shapiro next president of Jays, will Anthopoulos stay?
By Bob Elliott
The Cleveland Indians charter arrived at Pearson International at 6:30 Sunday night.
Manager Terry Francona was on the flight along with the likes of former Cy Young award winner Corey Kluber, outfielder Mickey Brantley and catcher Yan Gomes.
Indians president Mark Shapiro was not on the plane.
Yet, either Monday or Tuesday Shapiro is expected to be hired by Rogers Communications as the next president of the Toronto Blue Jays taking over for Paul Beeston, who ownership tried to push into retirement until a Jan. 31 announcement said Beeston could stay until Oct. 31.
There is talk that Shapiro will announce he is ending his 23-year association with the Indians on Monday in Cleveland.
Indications are that general manager Alex Anthopoulos, whose contract expires Oct. 31, will be asked to stay under the new regime. Anthopoulos was hired Oct. 4, 2009 during the Maryland Mutiny when players spoke out against then manager Cito Gaston.
Beeston arrived, fired GM J.P. Ricciardi and promoted Anthopoulos, assistant GM over assistant GM Tony LaCava, who had been interviewed for the Boston Red Sox job.
However, Beeston and Anthopoulos had a relationship based of the elder’s past World Series success and the GM’s youthful enthusiasm.
Will Anthopoulos stay to work under a former GM, a man five years removed from having the same position?
Ben Cherington didn’t stay with the Boston Red Sox when new president Dave Dombrowksi was hired this month.
Shapiro earned Sporting News’ Executive of the Year when the Indians won 93 games in 2005 and again in 2007. He became the Tribe’s president in 2010 and oversaw renovations at Progressive Field.
And much of the same will be on his plate for 2016, the Jays 40th anniversary season with $250-$400 Million CDN budgeted for upgrades
The monies are ear marked for roof improvement, suites upgrades, fixing the exterior of Rogers Centre, exploring the ability to have real grass grow inside the dome, concourse improvements, new seats, renovating the now-dormant Hard Rock Cafe and erecting a statue of Jays Hall of Famer Robbie Alomar outside the building.
Right now Rogers Centre has a statue the late Ted Rogers, former owner of the team, outside its gate but zero of those who played on the artificial turf inside.
Edward Rogers, deputy chairman of Rogers Communications, and his friend Roger Rai from their University of Western Ontario days attempted to hire Dan Duquette of the Baltimore Orioles and Kenny Williams of the Chicago White Sox last off season and could have been charged with tampering.
Shapiro, 48, is the son of Ron Shapiro the legendary agent, who represented Hall of Famer Cal Ripken, Jr., Jim Palmer, Brooks Robinson, Kirby Puckett, and Eddie Murray.
The Indians beat the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 9-2 in Cleveland and crossed one Great Lake to reach another to continue the 162-game trek.
Shapiro will be a president to be named later.
Blue Jays presidents
Peter Bavasi, 1978-1981
Peter Hardy, 1982-89
Paul Beeston 1989–1997
Sam Pollock 1997-99
Paul Godfrey 2000-07
Paul Beeston 2008–2015
Ron Shapiro 2015-