CLEVELAND -- The Indians announced Monday that team president Mark Shapiro will assume the same role with the Blue Jays at the conclusion of this season. Here are some thoughts from Shapiro and Tribe owner Paul Dolan from the news conference in Cleveland.
Dolan, asked if he tried to convince Shapiro to stay:
"I didn't try to talk him out of it. I've been with Mark for 16 years. I know how he thinks. I know how he wants to progress and develop, and I knew he was at the right place, and the organization was at the right place. I was asked whether I was surprised. Yeah, because I hadn't thought about Toronto or this moment, but with five seconds of reflection, yeah, this is the natural progression for where Mark has been and where he's going."
Shapiro, on his 24 years in the Indians' organization:
"When I think back to climbing those stairs of Gate A in Municipal Stadium for my first day of work, and walking down that hallway and sitting down in that cubical outside John [Hart] and [Dan O'Dowd's] office, it's hard to imagine the path it's been or the journey it's been and how great that's been, really. And, how appreciative I am for everything I've learned from all the people around me."
Shapiro, on the free-agent contracts given to Nick Swisher and Michael Bourn:
"Those two contracts, we knew the risk we were taking when we did them. They were important to this franchise and this team at that time. Most of you probably applauded them when we did them. They didn't turn out. I think when they don't turn out, you look back and try to learn from that and make better decisions next time. One of the learnings for us is: that level of free agency is probably not the one that we can afford to frequently play in under the operating parameters of this team. We stepped outside of our character on those and it probably wasn't the wisest thing for us to do."
Shapiro, on his biggest challenge in Cleveland:
"The biggest challenge is probably the Major League Baseball system and how that relates to a market of Cleveland's size. 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."
Shapiro, asked if having a larger payroll in Toronto played a role in his decision:
"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. ... It truly is a leadership position that I feel is a unique one for a lot of different reasons that I'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."