Results tagged ‘ Mark Shapiro ’
Transcript: Cleveland Indians President Mark Shapiro and Owner Paul Dolan discuss Shapiro taking Blue Jays president job
Shapiro Opening Statement:
So I did get a live notification from MLB.com before I walked up here to listen in live and hear Mark Shapiro talk about the Blue Jays CEO/President job, but that’s not what I am here to do. I’m here to talk about Cleveland, to talk about 24 years and a decision I had to make and what is meaningful to me in that decision, which certainly is the opportunity going forward. But the majority of my remarks today and the answers to my questions will be more about the time I have had here.
I am going to initially acknowledge my wife Lissa. I have had opportunities before but it’s only because of her support and her belief that I can even consider this one. I’m not going to look at her, but thanks to her and my kids for being so open to something so big, exciting and new. Without them and their support, I wouldn’t be here today. I wouldn’t have even had to consider it.
It’s hard for me to believe, but about 24 years ago or a little less than that, my little brother and I loaded up a U-Haul truck and drove down Ontario Street and I pointed out to David, ‘Hey, that’s where Jacobs Field is going to be.’ There was one more building that was getting demo’d the week I was in my plush, temporary, downtown housing – executive housing is how they sold it to me. So began the construction of Jacobs Field, but more for me, began an incredible juncture in my life marked by unbelievable relationships, marked by championships, marked by rings and marked by celebrations, but really more by friendships made and bonds that were created, both in this community and certainly within the organization and beyond. Those relationships, those bonds, are what made this decision so incredibly difficult and painful at times for me over the past weeks. The team, the community, the culture of this organization that I believe so incredibly deeply in, the values that brought this group together — that our team demonstrates on the field day-to-day – those are the things that kept me here through so many other junctures and alternatives in a lifetime in professional baseball.
The opportunity to steward this organization and go forward doing that was not one that was unattractive to me. It was one that I enjoyed every single day that I was here. The decision really came down to two things: one, just how compelling and unique the opportunity in Toronto is. I feel like through all professional sports, this is one that fits my skill set and fits what provides fulfillment to me on a daily basis. When I think about who I am as a person – and for those of you that know me – I’m a lot about wanting to become better, wanting to grow, wanting to develop. To do that, you have to be challenged. To do that, you have to take on new challenges and sometimes be a little uncomfortable. This opportunity for me would be the right challenge at the right time of our lives and of my life. It’s with mixed emotions because of that history here and how I feel about Cleveland that I am also excited to take on this challenge and this opportunity.
I feel good about the leadership in place – extremely good about it. It is a strong group of people who are mature, who understand the challenges in place and have committed both to the values that bond them together and to the strategies that are going to help them overcome those challenges, and most importantly the challenge they are going to overcome to bring a championship to the city of Cleveland. I think that foundation is in place and when that championship happens, regardless of where I am, I will celebrate with you. There will be a piece of me that celebrates with this organization and with the city.
The city, our friendships that we shared, this organization, wherever I am and wherever I go it will always be a part of me. Twenty-four years does not get set aside, it becomes what you carry with you every day. I met my wife here, we raised our kids here. I’ll leave with this being part of my personal foundation and my professional foundation moving forward.
Just a couple minutes to indulge me on a few thank yous. First, to Larry Dolan who is not here and to Paul Dolan, who put tremendous confidence in me and an opportunity to lead this organization at two of the highest levels, at two different junctures. I can’t repay that and I can’t thank them enough for that. Secondly, to two gentlemen that are not here. John Hart and Dan O’Dowd. Lissa said when we walked in that it doesn’t seem like that long ago we sat in this exact spot with the announcement that you’d be taking over the Indians from John the following season. Those two guys showed unbelievable confidence in me and empowered me to a level frankly beyond expectation and belief for a kid at that age. From the time I was 24 years old and joined the organization, I owe a lot of my professional development but certainly owe my start in this game and in this organization to both John and Dan. Too many people in this organization to think about and when I do, I will clearly not be able to answer questions or finish to Johnny Goryl to the hundreds of people who have come through the building and left a lasting imprint on who I am both as a person and a professional. Finally, to Chris Antonetti because I am both a better executive and a better man for having worked with him.
Opening Statement from Paul Dolan
Mark sits here by my side today as he has both literally and figuratively for the last 16 years. He has done so as a leader, as a mentor, as an adviser and mostly as a friend. Today, first and foremost is a sad day for me, as it is for my family and our whole organization. It should be understood that Mark leaves us with our blessing and our complete support. We wish him well and the best of luck except when we are playing Toronto.
We are able to do this in part because Mark leaves us with an organization that is widely regarded throughout Major League Baseball as one of its strongest, which is probably why Toronto wanted Mark. Any strong organization is more than just the person at the top. Mark has assembled and built a very strong leadership team that is very capable of taking this organization forward, which is why I will look to this team to lead the organization going forward. I will not look for external replacements for Mark. Rather, we will take our time and settle on the best internal structure to run this team going forward with complete confidence that the foundation that was laid by Mark will be the foundation upon which we can build a successful organization on and off the field.
What are you most proud of?
SHAPIRO: I really spent exactly half my life here. That’s incredible.
I think just the people that I have had a part in playing some small part in their development and their life experiences. I don’t want to say that I played a huge role in their development but just to think about the strength of the people that we have assembled over the years that have gone on elsewhere and that remain here. To think about how they then cascaded their influence down – the strengths and the values that bound those people together, the driving sense of urgency that we are going to wake up every day with the mandate to get better, improve and grow. The understanding that we were going to do that in a culture where credit and blame were not a part of it and that no energy would be spent in those things – those were inefficiencies – the universal understanding of that throughout the people that work here now and that have worked here in the past. I think more than any superficial accomplishments, award or recognitions, those relationships and those people are what I am most proud of and will continue to be.
What has been your biggest challenge working in the Indians organization and whatyou’re your relationship with John Hart meant to his career?
SHAPIRO: The biggest challenge is probably the Major League Baseball system and how that relates to a market of Cleveland’s size. So, it’s no one’s fault, but I think the challenge is not that dynamic, the challenge is to never let that be an excuse. The challenge is to create both a structure, a process for solving those challenges and a group of people who don’t readily fall back and rely on that as a reason why we can’t win championships and be successful. I would say that would be the overarching challenge. John, there are so many different things about him. It’s taken me different junctions in my career, and I have expressed this to him personally, to recognize and be aware just how special the level of empowerment he gave me at such a young age was. From the simplest thing of bringing me in when they handed me the farm system after only having worked a few years in professional baseball. I told John my ideas for the player development system and planning process for players. To have him just go, ‘Hey, you’re our guy, I’m with you, let’s go.’ A lifelong baseball guy who played and coached and was in a big league uniform, for him to tell me that and his belief in me, I think created both a platform for me to believe in others and understand the power of that level of belief and empowerment. John and Dan (O’Dowd), the understanding of what level of preparation can be a difference maker, and his high expectations and standards, clearly he had them. Those two guys together, they complimented each other well and they both established a clear pathway for me to be a leader and did it at a level at an age that to me is remarkable. I have tried to pay that forward every step of the way with the people we have hired here and even when I am not directly involved with the hiring, I have tried to pay that forward in the understanding that every single person is important and that contributions can come from anywhere and are good if they come from everywhere.
How disappointing is it to not win a world championship?
SHAPIRO: I don’t tend to dwell on those things. The only productive place that disappointment plays is as fuel to move forward and accomplish those goals. As I depart Cleveland, regrets are not a big part of my life, they are not a big part of my vocabulary. I leave here with a group of people who are going to end that disappointment and move the organization forward. I believe that they will do that. That being said, there are plenty of times that I wake up and think about 2007 and how close we were. I think Chris (Antonetti) and I just talked about it the other day. Then you let it go, because you have to move on and move forward and dwelling on that, unless there is something to learn from that the next time you are there, dwelling on that is completely inefficient and not productive.
When did the talks with Toronto begin and what was your initial reaction?
SHAPIRO: I do not remember exact timing, sometime probably in late July, but they obviously called and asked permission.
DOLAN: Mark and I have had a dialogue since the day he started in this role and he said almost from the day he started that there would come a day when he sort of built an organization that he would no longer need to be a part of. When he first brought up the idea that Toronto was an option for him, we had not talked about it in a while so I might have been a little surprised, but overall not surprised and very supportive.
In taking over as president, how will your duties change and will you be involved in any baseball decisions?
DOLAN: I do not recall saying that I was taking over as team President. I’m not sure that we will fill that role, but de facto, Mark’s direct reports will report to me as CEO and owner and I am not sure that will affect any real change other than I will do what I can to support our leadership team so that they can do their jobs. Mark uniquely, as a President, brought a great deal of baseball experience and knowledge, so I think he is a great adviser to Chris (Antonetti). I will not be able to play that role for Chris and if he needs help because of Mark’s absence, he will go out and get it.
SHAPIRO: He doesn’t need any help.
Was this a compensation (i.e. players in return) issue with the Blue Jays?
DOLAN: My relationship with Mark was such that he had the ability to do this when the time was right for him. It was not a compensation issue.
Any conflict with the Indians playing the Blue Jays this week?
SHAPIRO: I’m not conflicted. Until I leave this building, which is not going to be until the end of September, I am a Cleveland Indian and it’s probably going to take a long to feel any differently. The day I strap on a Blue Jays uniform, all my energy and all my focus will be on the Toronto Blue Jays, but that is not happening for a month or maybe longer. When I watch the game tonight, I will certainly be a little more interested in the opponent than I have in the past, but I will be a Cleveland Indian. I think there will be a part of me that, if they are not playing the team I am working for, I will always be a Cleveland Indian.
On Terry Francona and his opt-out clause:
DOLAN: I think Terry has actually spoken directly to that, but I’m very confident that he is happy here and that he looks forward to being the Cleveland Indians manager for a long time.
SHAPIRO: I can build off of that. Having sat with Chris and Terry a lot in the past week, he may have come here because of his relationship with both Chris and I, but the relationship he has forged with Chris over the past few years is one of the most unique ones I have seen in my time in the game. I would say there is zero question about Terry. He is here, he is committed here and committed to his partnership with Chris.
How has the relationship between the fans and team changed?
SHAPIRO: There is really nothing new to that story. I think what is underlying and what is consistent is the passion of the fan base and what has maybe fluctuated has been the attendance. Those things are driven by so many different variables that it is hard to concisely tie them into a short conversation and frankly, we have had that conversation so many different times that today it does not feel like it is worth having again. There was an alignment of conditions in the mid-90s that were probably unrepeatable that created an incredible era that we celebrate of Indians baseball. What was the heart of that era was the passionate fan base that is still there today and that was there before that period, even in the old stadium. We appreciate our fans, we appreciate their passion, their desire to win drives us and we always want more to be here, but we understand the dynamic.
Will you be considering anyone inside the Indians organization for Toronto?
SHAPIRO: Paul, Chris and I have talked openly about that. Right now, I’m not considering anyone. I still care deeply about (the Indians) organization. If that’s a conversation going forward, it’s one that I’ll have with the utmost respect for what’s being done here. My web in the game is pretty deep, runs deep. They’re doing well (in Toronto). My nature is to go in and meet the people there, understand their own challenges, the structure, the process, who’s there, and after that we can see if there will be any changes.
(Current Blue Jays GM) Alex Anthopolous has mentioned you in the past as someone who he’s leaned on for advice. Can you speak to your relationship with him?
SHAPIRO: I’ve had this conversation with (retiring Jays CEO) Paul Beeston. Out of respect to where they are as a team, what they’re doing, how special it is right now … and out of respect to Paul Beeston and his incredible tenure, I will not have situation specific comments about Toronto. Now’s not the time.
Terry Francona is one of the managers in the game that has a bigger say in how the team is run. Does this change his voice in the organization?
DOLAN: Absolutely not.
The perception of the fans today is one of the reasons the Toronto opportunity is attractive to you is that they don’t operate under the same financial constraints that you’ve had here. Can you address that?
SHAPIRO: While I can understand why that might be the impression from the outside, I can assure you that played very little, if at all, into my decision-making process. Every situation has its own challenges. They play in a division with the Yankees and Red Sox. You can’t look at pure payroll as a driver for the change. It truly is a leadership position that I feel is a unique one for a lot of different reasons that’ll talk about in a couple months. It’s an incredibly different place that will allow me to grow and develop. There’s no contrast between Cleveland and Toronto. I love and celebrate Cleveland and there are things I’m excited to learn and celebrate in Toronto.
How come a championship has not happened yet?
SHAPIRO: If I could answer that, we’d have already won it.
You said this is just the right time for you to move. What made it that right opportunity?
SHAPIRO: Internally, organizationally and professionally, even though I’d been in one place for 24 years, if you look at my career trajectory, I’ve had different jobs. I’ve always had the opportunity to be challenged and grow. When I became GM, I matured and the opportunity to become president intrigued me because I wanted to learn about the business side and Major League Baseball. I was incredibly fortunate to have that confidence put in me here. At some point, I outgrew any role here unless Paul wants to hand the team to me from an ownership perspective. It just became, ‘how do I continue to grow and develop?’ This afforded a greater opportunity to even expand my leadership beyond what it is here. For us personally – the ages our kids are at, the dynamic of that city and what it could bring to our lives – my wife and I sat down once the kids demonstrated openness, it was the two of us saying, could we envision ourselves living here and are we open and up to the adventure? We might not create the incredible community and life that we have in Cleveland, but maybe we’ll find a new one that will help us grow in some ways as a family.
You mentioned hesitations. How much did not winning a World Series play into that hesitation?
SHAPIRO: It’s on the list of considerations. I want to be here when it’s done and I believe it’s going to happen. The biggest challenges for me in weighing it were, I’m not unhappy here. There are a lot of really great things here, most importantly people I love deeply and care about and respect. There’s a culture that we’ve collectively worked hard to put in place and there’s a life we feel good about in our community.
How much will your experience with the Progressive Field renovations help you in Toronto?
SHAPIRO: I will have a laundry list of things to get acquainted with. Their stadium is a mature stadium that is in need of redevelopment. I think process, more than particulars, will be helpful in leading that process.
Do you have a timetable on finding a replacement for Mark internally?
DOLAN: I don’t think we’ll have a replacement per se. Mark’s direct reports will report directly to me; that’s a more traditional baseball alignment anyway. There aren’t many teams that have presidents that functioned as Mark did and will. Internally we’ll look at it to see if there’s a gap we need to fill but right now our plan is to move forward as is.
Cleveland Indians statements regarding Mark Shapiro being named Blue Jays and Rogers Centre President, CEO
The Cleveland Indians today provided statements from Indians Owner PAUL DOLAN and departing Indians President MARK SHAPIRO regarding his decision to become Toronto Blue Jays and Rogers Centre President & CEO this November.
Mark Shapiro Statement:
Through my 24 years as part of the Cleveland Indians, I have developed a deep emotional and civic attachment to the Indians organization and the Cleveland community. The root of those ties is in the personal relationships that my family and I have built. While weighing those bonds carefully and seriously, I feel the unique and compelling nature of the Blue Jays President/CEO position warranted my consideration. This position represents a unique opportunity for me and one that I felt was the right new challenge to undertake. With mixed emotions, I will assume the Toronto Blue Jays CEO position upon the conclusion of the 2015 season. As the Indians organization moves forward, I am confident the current leadership represents a strong foundation to field a championship caliber team moving forward. The relationships we have enjoyed here will be lifelong bonds and will ensure that I will always be a fan of the city of Cleveland and the Cleveland Indians organization.
Paul Dolan Statement:
Given the person that Mark is, the significant leadership and values that he has brought to the organization and with everything he has helped us accomplish, it will be extremely difficult to see him leave. However, I hope that this new challenge brings happiness and fulfillment for Mark and his family. As we move forward, I will not be seeking an external replacement for Mark and will continue to rely on the existing strong leadership group to guide us forward. Mark and I are confident that moving forward through this transition, we have a very strong foundation in place to build championship level success on and off the field.
Jason Kipnis, Terry Francona, Trevor Bauer, Francisco Lindor, Danny Salazar, Roberto Perez and more all stopped by The Corner on Wednesday after the Indians beat the Tigers — all for a good cause.
The players participated in an event to raise money for VeloSano, a Cleveland Clinic fundraising bike ride that supports cancer research. The Indians, led by owner Paul Dolan, are founding partners of the event, which raised $1.7 million in its first year in 2014.
–Photos by Dan Mendlik
Terry: skipper AND bartender? pic.twitter.com/xzmXn9t8a0
— #VoteKip #VoteTribe (@Indians) June 24, 2015
— Jensen Lewis (@JLEWFifty) June 24, 2015
🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥 What can't this guy do? pic.twitter.com/a3351wTxSs
— #VoteKip #VoteTribe (@Indians) June 24, 2015
The guys are enjoying this! pic.twitter.com/eowF2NDVIe
— #VoteKip #VoteTribe (@Indians) June 24, 2015
Francona, Kipnis, Lindor, coaches and more to appear post-game June 24 at The Corner to benefit VeloSano
Paul Dolan, Mark Shapiro, Chris Antonetti scheduled to appear at charity eventC
Cleveland, OH— The Cleveland Indians will play host to a celebrity bartending event to benefit VeloSano following the Tribe and Tigers Noon game on Wednesday, June 24. The event will be held at Progressive Field’s “The Corner” in the Right Field District, which has become one of the hottest spots in Cleveland featuring nearly 40 beers on tap.
The Indians celebrity bartending lineup includes:
- Manager Terry Francona
- President Mark Shapiro
- GM Chris Antonetti
- 2B Jason Kipnis
- RHP Trevor Bauer
- RHP Carlos Carrasco
- RHP Danny Salazar
- RHP Bryan Shaw
- LHP Marc Rzepczynski
- SS Francisco Lindor
- 3B Giovanny Urshela
*All celebrity bartenders subject to change
Fans are encouraged to attend the Noon game vs. the Tigers and stay post-game to support the cause, with tips and 20% of proceeds going directly to VeloSano. The Indians will have a silent auction available to raise additional money. Snack items such as nachos and peanuts will also be available for purchase.
Fans not able to attend the game are still invited without a game ticket to attend the event and enter Progressive Field at the Right Field Gate near the New Era Team Shop off East 9th St. 30 minutes following last out of the game. The event is expected to conclude 3.5 hours (approx. 6:30pm) following the last out.
The Indians partnered once again with Cleveland Clinic to support VeloSano, an annual charity bike ride event, held this summer July 17-19 in Cleveland. The Indians will also field a team of nearly 60 riders, including Indians Chairman and CEO Paul Dolan and other members of the Indians front office.
VeloSano, Latin for “swift cure,” is a major community fundraising initiative, where 100% of dollars raised by VeloSano participants directly benefits cancer research at Cleveland Clinic. At its core, it’s a cycling event where riders commit to raise a pre-determined dollar amount by requesting support from personal contacts.
Tribe manager Terry Francona and President Mark Shapiro chatted with Indians Season Ticket Holders in the club’s annual Town Hall meeting on Monday, at ideastream at PlayhouseSquare.
Photos are above; here’s the broadcast schedule, all on SportsTime Ohio and beginning this Friday night at 7PM. Set you DVRs now!
- Friday, 1/30: 7PM
- Saturday, 1/31: 7:30pm
- Sunday, 2/1: 10pm
- Monday, 2/2: 9pm
- Wednesday, 2/4: 6:30pm
- Thursday, 2/5: 3pm
- Saturday, 2/7: 7:30pm
- Monday, 2/9: 7pm
–Photos by Dan Mendlik
This year’s Tribe Fest has a full slate of fun activities on the KeyBank Main Stage! Here’s a schedule:
10:10AM-10:40: “Chat with the President,” with Mark Shapiro, hosted by Tom Hamilton
10:40-11:10: Noon-12:35PM: “Progressive Field Evolution,” with VP Andrew Miller
11:25-12:25PM: “Minute to Win It,” with players and hosted by Tom Hamilton and Jim Rosenhaus
12:40-1:40: “Glory Days in Tribe Town,” with Tom Hamilton and Terry Pluto
1:55-2:55: “Toeing the Rubber,” with players, pitching coach Mickey Callaway and hosted by Jim Rosenhaus
Mark Shapiro joined WTAM’s Bill Wills Show on Monday morning to discuss the organization’s Mentor of the Year Awards, and the importance he sees in recognizing and honoring strong mentors in our community.
Take a listen below!
For more information on Mentor of the Year and information on how to nominate click here. The nomination deadline is this Friday, Dec. 19.
Members of the Cleveland Indians front office, including owner Paul Dolan, President Mark Shapiro, GM Chris Antonetti and more served Thanksgiving to nearly 300 people on Sunday afternoon at Progressive Field.The event was made possible, for the fifth straight year, by the Tribe’s partners at Delaware North Cos.
Folks from five area charities — Our Lady of the Wayside, Shoes and Clothes for Kids, Boys and Girls Clubs of Cleveland, Ohio Guidestone and City Misssion — enjoyed a Thanksgiving meal prepared and served by members of the Indians front office. Slider and the hot dogs also made an appearance, as evidenced by their lack of help serving in the video below!
–Photos by Dan Mendlik
2014 Season in Review: August — Hammy/Thome honored, ballpark renovations, Carrasco’s return, and walk-offs
We’ll review the 2014 season with monthly recaps on TribeVibe throughout the next month or so … Past installments:
Aug. 1 – Tom Hamilton honored: Hammy was celebrated before the game for 25 years in the Tribe radio booth, and shared the night on the field with his family.
Aug. 1 – David Murphy goes off in 12-2 win: Murphy went 4-for-4 with two doubles and two singles in the Tribe’s win over his former team.
8/2 – Giambi gives up No. 25 for Thome: At the end of a pregame ceremony honoring Jim Thome – statue unveiling, Thome retiring as a member of the Indians and more – Jason Giambi gave up his No. 25 as an homage to Thome. Pretty cool.
8/3 – Brantley hits second walk-off homer of the year: The Indians completed a three-game sweep of the Rangers on Brantley’s walk-off in the 12th, his 16th homer to that point.
Aug. 7 – Indians unveil Progressive Field renovations: Indians President Mark Shapiro unveiled major enhancements to Progressive Field aimed at improving the fan experience. The project includes an expanded Kids Clubhouse, new social spaces and better connection to the city and players.
Aug. 10 – Carlos Carrasco returns to rotation, starts amazing second half: Carrasco, who started the year in the rotation but moved to the bullpen, returned to the rotation and pitched five scoreless innings to start a remarkable second half of the season. (more…)
Shapiro: On appealing to young professionals, ballpark renovations and leadership as part of #CLEYPWeek
Editor’s note: Indians President Mark Shapiro spoke with a group of Cleveland’s young professionals at the Terrace Club at Progressive Field on Thursday. The event, which was a part of Engage! Cleveland’s “Young Professionals Week,” provided 20- and 30-year-olds with the chance to hear about Progressive Field’s recent Master Plan and its improvements for the young professional audience.
Q: Tell us about the renovation and how it’s geared at young professionals.
A: [Shapiro looked at the view from the Terrace Club.] It’s a great backdrop; it beats any PowerPoint slide. As someone once told me, our scoreboard’s outdated, which I have never seen it next to another scoreboard, so you don’t realize that. If this is the ballpark you’re watching 90% of games in, you don’t always think, ‘Well, it’s 21 years old.’ While it’s still immaculately kept, it’s not the modern way that people interact with entertainment or sports entertainment or baseball games. It certainly didn’t provide that targeted experience for every person. It was kind of like we built it at a time when the real difference was where you sat, not how you watched the game. The reality is, people want to watch games differently. If you look at the ballpark and you’ve got that mezzanine area, the Kids Clubhouse, you’re going to have a real family-targeted area there. As you go below that, the wood fence is going to be taken away. A two-story bar with a rooftop deck in right field is going to have indoor-outdoor capability. If you liked the center field bar on 70-degree days in the middle of July, we’re going to have indoor-outdoor with heating and fan capability, roll-up garage doors and a rooftop deck for when it is that 70-degree, sunny day.
I think the connection to the city, the connection to what’s going on down here, to the fact that so many of you are living downtown now, we wanted to have an experience that was more targeted to different places of the ballpark, to different segments of our fan base. We wanted it to be clear that that opportunity is here to watch the game, yes, to interact with the team, yes, but to do it in a way that’s more consistent with the way we want to do that.
It started with us just getting Wi-Fi throughout the ballpark at the beginning of this year, which is hard to believe. Any of you that understand the magnitude of that effort—that was a huge effort. That wasn’t a small effort. I was shocked how much of an effort that is; it’s not just laying a wire. It’s thousands of antennas that had to get constructed and tested and put in this entire ballpark to ensure that everyone had cellular and Wi-Fi capabilities in the ballpark.