A.A. to L.A. and why it’s a brilliant move for the former Blue Jays general manager


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By L.C.

Okay Blue Jays fans y’all can stop with the bitterness.

Just kidding you have the right to officially be as bitter as you want but only for a limited time. It has an expiry date.

Most of the Toronto sporting world supported the Blue Jays and their wild run to the playoffs, a feat that hadn’t be accomplished since 1993. Finishing with a record of 93-69 and clinching a division title in the process was a team constructed by the man in charge named Alex Anthopoulos. He brought with him the swagger and willingness to go for it all; something that hadn’t been seen in quite a long time in Blue Jays land.

Russell Martin, Marco Estrada, Josh Donaldson, Troy Tulowitzki, David Price, Ben Revere, LaTroy Hawkins and Mark Lowe are all players (all of them good ones in fact) that were brought in last year to help Toronto make a run at a World Series. On top of that, the Blue Jays and their fans were able to witness the second most memorable home run in team history thanks to Jose Bautista’s bat flip

seen round the world which clinched them the ALCS. Yes, times were good.

But then they quickly turned sour after the Jays were beaten up by the Kansas City Royals and eventual World Series champions. Anthopoulos’ contract was a hot topic and Mark Shapiro, formerly the Cleveland Indians team President and GM, was hired as the fresh face in the 6 after long time Jays team president Paul Beeston announced his retirement at season’s end. In a true turn of events, AA declined to return to Toronto – the organization he had been with 2003 – and stepped down as general manager. It caused havoc. Media outlets buzzed, fans screamed and cried and a ton of people wanted to know the answer to the simplest yet most debated question.

Why?

No one truly knows other than AA himself and his close family. Maybe Shapiro has an idea too. But the truth of the matter is, Anthopoulos probably made the right decision if his most recent promotion was a possibility before he declined to return to the Blue Jays.

On January 12, 2016, it was announced that AA had been hired to be the Los Angeles Dodgers’ vice president and director of baseball operations. It was actually reported before that he had accepted a role with the Dodgers but the position wasn’t specified. Well now we know and if people were expecting him to accept a scouting role with LA they were wrong. Big time.

Anthopoulos being hired by the Dodgers isn’t surprising. He has maintained a good relationship with current President of Baseball ops Andrew Friedman and fellow Canadian and current Dodgers GM Farhan Zaidi. The Dodgers, you should know, have a crowded front office loaded with roles filled by fairly well known and accomplished individuals, which is why the Anthopoulos hiring isn’t at all out of the woods. The job presented him and his family the opportunity to move from Toronto to LA all the while working for one of the most prominent and historic franchises in sports. Similar to Price signing in Boston for record breaking money, who could say no to that?

I will not for a second chastise and say that Anthopoulos getting hired by the Dodgers is a bad move because it isn’t. Were the Jays perfect under his guidance as general manager? No. Did all of his decisions and moves work out? No. Is every GM perfect? Never. Was this past season memorable? It sure was. Fans should embrace what he accomplished during his time here, respect it and move on. Shapiro and current Jays GM Ross Atkins are in charge now and it’s probably best to give them time to see what can be done to help continue on the path of success.

Anthopolous’ decision to go to LA is a great one for him and his career moving forward. The man had a terrific past season in Toronto, didn’t get what he wanted and moved on. For Blue Jays fans, you all have a right to be at least a little mad (even bitter) right now, but in time you should all get over it.

What’s done is done. Let’s move on.