Blue Jays' Mark Shapiro shoots down reported rift with team owners

Yahoo Canada Sports
Mark Shapiro and Ross Atkins (Getty Images)
Mark Shapiro and Ross Atkins (Getty Images)

Remember when the Blue Jays were winning and everybody was happy?

Yeah, that’s usually what happens when the team is doing well, but after two long years of struggle in Toronto, people seem to be turning on the team’s brain trust. And if you believe the reports, those people may include the team’s ownership group.

Reports have been swirling around that team president Mark Shapiro is currently at odds with the Blue Jays owners, Rogers Communications, but Shapiro has denied any reports of a rift.

“I’ve received nothing but strong support,” Shapiro noted to reporters at a press conference on Friday. “I probably have a level of operational day-to-day trust and empowerment that if not unparalleled is among the best in Major League Baseball.”

Shapiro has also been linked to the New York Mets’ general manager vacancy, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post. Sherman stated that there is enough bad blood between ownership and Shapiro that it wouldn’t be a shocker to see the former Cleveland Indians president leave the Blue Jays before his contract runs out in 2020.

And while he answered questions about the speculation, Shapiro really didn’t put the rumours to rest.

“This is where I want to be, this is where I am, this is what I’m focused on, and really don’t need to think of anything else,” Shapiro said.

He never confirmed or denied if the reports of his name popping up in the Mets’ search for a GM were valid, only stating that he likes it here. So, essentially, brace yourself for anything.

Seemingly everything the Shapiro and Ross Atkins regime has done in Toronto has been questioned by fans and pundits. Recently, Blue Jays upper management has been criticized for their decision to keep Vladimir Guerrero Jr. in the minors for the remainder of this season.

Toronto has seen one of the largest drops in attendance in 2018: Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reported that the team has lost roughly 10,442 fans per game since 2017.

With that being a fairly good indicator as to how fans feel about the team, the three-year plan Atkins has in place to make this team competitive again may prove to be intolerable for not just the fans, but Jays’ ownership.

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