Giancarlo Di Peco and Jalisa Massiah
Toronto Blue Jays General Manager Alex Anthopoulos said Thursday the team is no longer the right fit for him going forward.
But he did not give fans a reason why.
“This decision is solely mine and Mark [Shapiro] gave me every opportunity to return,” Anthopoulos said. “It’s not an easy one, everybody knows how I feel about the organization and it’s hard to leave the staff.”
Anthopoulos’ departure comes months after the news Shapiro will be replacing Blue Jays President and CEO Paul Beeston.
At the press conference, Anthopoulos wouldn’t go into specifics when asked about his relationship with Shapiro.
Anthopoulos said Shapiro and the team wanted him to return as general manager.
Beeston released a statement before Anthopoulos addressed the media.
“On behalf of all the employees of the Toronto Blue Jays, players, front office, scouts and player development staff we wish him good luck in the future and thank him for a job extremely well done,” Beeston said.
However, analysts and fans on Thursday were skeptical of Anthopoulos’ reason for leaving.
“It’s a tough one,” George Halim, a news editor at The Score, told Humber News. “I have little doubt this has something to do with Mark Shapiro being hired as president.”
Halim added Anthopoulos made logical trades for all of these great players, so it’s easy to see fans feel betrayed.
York University sport marketing instructor Vijay Setlur said there were some warning signs something was amiss.
“It’s a situation where when the deal wasn’t done, followed by the end of the year, [there were] some warning signs that there maybe something amiss between the club and [Anthopoulos],” Setlur said, adding a new president tends to bring his own philosophy.
Anthopoulos arrived in Toronto in 2009 and made a number of high-profile trades that kick-started the team’s first playoff appearance since 1993.
Humber Jays fans react
“There’s a big team behind him, so I’m not to hung up on the one guy leaving,” Sonia Klisz, a hospitality and tourism student, said.
Shawn Docouto, a fitness and health student, said Anthopoulos “built a really core team, down to the minors.”
Humber News spoke with students inside the athletics building to get reaction.