Short, Scribbled Thoughts on AA

Now that everything has been fleshed out and digested…

My first memory of Alex occurs in the summer of 2009. It was – if memory serves – during a weekend series at Tropicana Field. Alan Ashby had taken a few days off, so Jerry Howarth invited AA to sit in on a couple of broadcasts. The young assistant GM (at the time) sounded confident and wasn’t shy behind the mic. Looking back, this was a primer for what was to come.

When this current chapter of Blue Jays history is written, the starting point – or ground zero – revolves around two individuals: Jose Bautista and Alex Anthopoulos.

AA had a talent for keeping things quiet. That’s what made most of his moves so Earth-shattering. They just popped out of nowhere, giving him that ninja persona as Mr. Wilner once described it. Nobody saw the trade with the Marlins coming; ditto for Josh Donaldson, Tulo and David Price (though I was praying for that trade for a year!). Nobody expected fan favourites like Brett Lawrie to get dealt either.

He wasn’t perfect and there are certainly moves that haven’t/didn’t/aren’t working out as well as we hoped. But in the end, he successfully put together a team that produced a playoff appearance for the first time in over two decades. The 2015 AL East banner will fly from the rafters and AA played a role in making that happen. That’s what makes his departure so shocking.

Based on the information I’ve gathered and heard what was said (and not said), there came a point in the last few weeks when AA decided his ability to do his job became compromised. It’s a sad and upsetting end.

I’m not in the mood for pointing fingers or blaming people. Nevertheless, I’m disappointed with how things turned out yesterday. The timing is terrible and sends a bad message. Yes, a new President coming in tends to lead to changes; but the way things were conducted stings.

So now Mark Shapiro has the task of fixing this little PR mess. People are unhappy right now. Not the best way to start a tenure; though we don’t know what exactly happened and will likely never know.

Of course, if the Jays continue to succeed on the field, all of this becomes a moot point.

ER

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