Dombrowski was Jays first choice as president

 Former Montreal Expos, Florida Marlins and Detroit Tigers GM was the Blue Jays first choice to be their next president. Photo: Getty Images.

Former Montreal Expos, Florida Marlins and Detroit Tigers GM was the Blue Jays first choice to be their next president. Photo: Getty Images.

By Bob Elliott

Dave Dombrowski was the first choice of Rogers Communications executives to be the next president of the Toronto Blue Jays.

Dombrowski was interviewed last month by Edward Rogers, deputy chairman of Rogers Communications, and Guy Laurence, the new CEO of Rogers Communications. 

The Detroit Tigers fired Dombrowski from his position as general manager on Aug. 4. Roger Rai, a friend of Edward Rogers, made the initial contact with Dombrowski within a week.

After the interview, Dombrowski decided he was not interested in the Toronto job as it was more making marketing and business decisions rather than making baseball decisions, according to people in the industry.

When Dombrowski, 59, was hired by the Boston Red Sox on Aug. 19 as president of baseball operations he became the first in the 115-year history of the franchise to hold such a title. 

The Western Michigan alumnus assumed responsibility for baseball operations matters, reporting directly to Red Sox owner John Henry and to chairman Tom Werner. 

With a new baseball man on board, Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington chose not to stay as the GM, although he did agree to help Dombrowski through the transitional phase.

Dombrowski served 14 seasons with the Tigers reaching post-season play five times losing the 2006 World Series to the St. Louis Cardinals and the 2012 Series to the San Francisco Giants.

Prior to that Dombrowski ran the Florida Marlins, under owner Henry for nine years, beating Cleveland to win the 1997 World Series and before that he served as GM of the Montreal Expos for four years.   

When Dombrowski declined, Laurence and Edward Rogers chose Cleveland Indians president Mark Shapiro, who they had initially received permission from Indians owner Paul Dolan to interview in July. 

Shapiro was hired Aug. 31 by Rogers Communications. He takes over for Paul Beeston, when the 2015 season ends. After playing football at Princeton University, he joined the Indians 24 years ago, climbing to GM, taking over from John Hart Nov. 1 2001 until Oct. 3, 2010 before becoming the Indians president. 

Cleveland beat the New York Yankees in the 2007 American League Championship Series in four games before losing Game 7 of the AL Championship Series to the Red Sox. 

Marketing and business? We get the business?

But how different is does this year’s Jays marketing plan in April and May differ from say August and September’s? The reason that the Rogers Centre is sold out is because the Jays are winning. People comes to see winners.