A porous record and rumors about manager John Gibbons being fired at the end of the season were't enough drama for the Toronto Blue Jays.
According to Sportsnet radio host Bob McCown (h/t colleague Shi Davidi), there may be tension between Blue Jays CEO and president Mark Shapiro and his superiors. Shapiro is in his third season with Toronto, and the team has experienced a massive decline since their 2016 ALCS appearance.
McCown added that "there is a level of uncertainty about the relationship with senior executives that he (Shapiro), deals with at Rogers and that he answers to at Rogers." Shapiro would not comment on the matter, per Davidi.
Amid the reports, Blue Jays chairman Edward S. Rogers sent out this tweet to voice his confidence in Shapiro.
Very confident with the leadership and vision for the future of the Toronto Blue Jays under Mark Shapiro @MarkShapiro, President and CEO of the Blue Jays.— Edward Rogers (@EdwardSRogers) August 10, 2018
Davidi noted the massive decline in attendance (averaging just 29,985 this year, compared to 39,554, per ESPN.com), and the club "seeking money to renovate aging Rogers Centre to better generate revenue," which could be the causes of heat between Shapiro and team ownership.
It's tough to envision Blue Jays ownership firing Shapiro and general manager Ross Atkins, who have done a phenomenal job building up a farm system that now ranks third by Baseball America.
Blue Jays ownership hasn't given their front office the green light to spend as much as AL East rivals in the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees, so Shapiro and Atkins have had to devote most of their work to the farm, rather than trades and free agent signings.
The Blue Jays are full of past-their-prime veterans who are struggling to stay healthy and carry too much money, such as Russell Martin, Troy Tulowitzki and Kendrys Morales. And yet, Shapiro and Atkins continue to build up a strong farm system in what's been a miserable 2018 season.
It surely sounds like Gibbons is on his way out the door, but we may not be able to fully discount the idea of Shapiro and/or Atkins following him.