Earlier this week Mark Shapiro was quoted as saying “I’ve said it all along, if we were just running our team without fans and it was an intellectual exercise, we probably would’ve hit the reset over a year ago.”
Instead of hitting the reset button, they went out and overpaid for both Kendrys Morales and Steve Pearce, and in so doing added yet another two aging players to an already old roster. I admire that Shapiro is listening to the fans, but the truth is, he was hired for this job because he’s the expert with the adequate experience to run a big league franchise. Someone probably needs to reiterate to Shapiro another quote, “if you listen to the fans, you’ll be up there sitting with them.” Every fan is opinionated, and because there are so many fans, with so many differing opinions, if you try to appease them all, you’ll find yourself being pulled in a hundred different directions and wouldn’t make any progress.
In 2015 and 2016, for the first time in 21 years, the Blue Jays were a post-season team and Shapiro obviously wanted that run of good fortune to continue. The problem is, even though Toronto still has many of the same players from those playoff teams, they’re most certainly not the same dominant ball club they once were. Considering that Toronto’s front office made an effort to continue their winning ways last season and failed, why is it then they believe they’re still a legitimate contender heading into 2018?
It’s important to listen to your fan base, but at the same time, as the President of this team it’s important to do what you feel is best for this franchise. Shapiro needs to have a better understanding of this. Many fans have a tendency to think with their heart, and because of that, sometimes their opinions aren’t exactly what’s best for this team. As difficult as it might be, Shapiro and Ross Atkins need to start doing what they think is best for the Blue Jays. Even if that means making unpopular decisions (e.g. trading Josh Donaldson).
Toronto still has a decent team, with a solid starting rotation, but even with that they’ll be lucky to contend next year. What the Blue Jays need to understand is that 2-3 years from now they can be right back to where they were in 2015. To do so however, they have to stop playing things so safe and start making the extremely difficult decisions that will make them plenty of enemies at the moment, but in time will have been the right calls to have made.