Sports: Blue Jays CEO Mark Shapiro provides insight into the evolution within the game - - PressFrom - Canada
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Sports Blue Jays CEO Mark Shapiro provides insight into the evolution within the game

23:10  19 october  2019
23:10  19 october  2019 Source:   mlbtraderumors.com

Scott Stinson: Toronto Blue Jays' bosses promise better times ahead. Just don't ask when

  Scott Stinson: Toronto Blue Jays' bosses promise better times ahead. Just don't ask when TORONTO • The end of Year Four of the Ross Atkins-Mark Shapiro era would have been an odd time for the leaders of the Toronto Blue Jays to start giving straight answers. Instead, as the general manager and team president each met the media on Tuesday for a year-end session, they talked about the future of the franchise in much the same way that they have done since their arrival in town: vague expectations of good things to come, abundant hedging when asked for specific commitments, and promises that the Blue Jays will definitely look to spend significant money at some uncertain point in the future. By now, it would have been a shock if they had said anything else.

Mark Shapiro wearing a suit and tie © Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

Mark Shapiro, the president and CEO of the Toronto Blue Jays, covered a variety of topics while speaking with Arden Zwelling and Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet.ca (audio link). Shapiro provides insight into the evolution within the game, the process of identifying talent and the breakdown of responsibility in front offices. 

He also speaks in-depth about the process of player development as the best opportunity for gaining a competitive advantage.

He uses the Washington Nationals and their recent NL pennant to examine some of these team-building strategies in context. Shapiro starts by citing the all-important playoff axiom: “Just get in.” It’s interesting that Shapiro says this has been a point of contention for him throughout his career. Common baseball discourse stalls on this idea every trading season in divvying up baseball’s 30 organizations into buy/sell/hold buckets.

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  Former Blue Jays skipper John Gibbons wants new manager job Former Toronto Blue Jays manager John Gibbons is throwing his hat in the ring for the many managerial openings across Major League Baseball.Gibbons last managed a major league team in 2018 when he led the Toronto Blue Jays to a record of 73-89. It was the final season of a six-year stint in Toronto during which the Blue Jays went 488-484, winning the AL East with a 93-win season in 2015. Toronto came within two wins of reaching the World Series, falling in six games to the eventual World Series champion Kansas City Royals in the ALCS.

Those in the “anything can happen once you’re in” camp haven taken a hit as recent postseasons have gone chalk. The last three World Series champions were hardly long shots: 103-win Cubs, 101-win Astros and 108-win Red Sox. The Nats, in fact, are the first wild-card team to make the World Series since the 2014 wild-card showdown that featured two second-place clubs playing on the game’s biggest stage. That season, the 88-win San Francisco Giants defeated the 89-win Kansas City Royals in seven games.

The “imperfect” Nationals check a couple of boxes on Shapiro’s postseason team wish list: Frontline starting pitching and players in a variety of career stages. Shapiro has “always been a big believer in looking at the different segments of the player population and feeling like when you’re ready to win you need representation from all three.” Young cores rising through farm systems together have been the en vogue team-building philosophy after the success of Chicago, Houston, and Boston, but to Shapiro’s point, the Nationals are succeeding with a mix of young, mid-prime and veteran players.

Gregor Chisholm: How the MLB free-agent market might appeal to Blue Jays this off-season

  Gregor Chisholm: How the MLB free-agent market might appeal to Blue Jays this off-season The Blue Jays missed the post-season for the third time in as many years but some of their former players have been taking centre stage this month. Daniel Hudson is closing games in Washington. Josh Donaldson has taken on a star role for Atlanta while J.A. Happ and Edwin Encarnacion have advanced to the American League Championship Series with the Yankees. Even Russell Martin got in on the action this week with a key home run and double for the Dodgers in what might become his farewell season.Some familiar names are competing for baseball’s biggest prize but in Toronto the focus has shifted to 2020 and beyond.

Mark Shapiro wearing a suit and tie © Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

The Nats field not only the oldest player in baseball — reliever Fernando Rodney IS 42 — but the oldest roster in baseball with an average age of 31.1. Veterans like Max Scherzer, Howie Kendrick and Ryan Zimmerman have keyed the Nats' postseason success. True to Shapiro’s “need to have a balance,” however, the engine of this Nats roster is their young superstar duo of Juan Soto, 20, and Victor Robles, 22. 

The steadiest production will usually come from those players in their prime — Anthony Rendon, Trea Turner and Stephen Strasburg are some of the players that qualify in this category. Shapiro sees all three brackets as vital to team success: Energy from the youth, reliability from those in their prime, and the strongest desire to win coming from those veteran players.

The full podcast is worth a listen as Shapiro speaks directly to rumors about different job opportunities. Notably, he listens to all inquiries, but has not been interviewing for outside opportunities. Given his comments here and before, Shapiro continues to be a good candidate for an extension this winter.

Gregor Chisholm: The Blue Jays are on the powerhouse Astros’ flight path — to a point

  Gregor Chisholm: The Blue Jays are on the powerhouse Astros’ flight path — to a point The blueprint for a successful rebuild can be found in Houston, where the Astros have gone from a perennial bottom feeder to a potential dynasty within a matter of several years. Houston went through a lot of pain before becoming a team that advanced to the American League Championship Series in three consecutive seasons. The organization tore apart its foundation and started over with a renewed emphasis on drafting, signing international players and hitting the open market when the time was right.The result has been three consecutive seasons of 100-plus wins and three division crowns.

Related slideshow: Great MLB players who struggled in the postseason (Provided by Yardbarker)

Head trainer Nikki Huffman leaving Blue Jays, opening up key medical role .
Head athletic trainer Nikki Huffman is leaving the Toronto Blue Jays to start her own business, the most significant of several changes made to the club’s high-performance department since the season’s end, according to multiple industry sources. The post Danielle Kang takes one-stroke lead into third round in Busan appeared first on Sportsnet.ca.Huffman, the second woman to ever serve as head athletic trainer by a team in one of North America’s four major sports leagues, spent two seasons in the role after joining the club in December 2015 as its first ever physical therapist and rehab co-ordinator.

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