The Indians and Mark Shapiro make it official, make statements about Shapiro going to Toronto

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The Blue Jays won’t have a press conference or an official statement from Mark Shapiro until after the season because they don’t want to distract from the playoff push. But this morning the Indians and Shapiro made it official from their end of things, with each party releasing a statement about Shapiro moving on:

Mark Shapiro’s statement:

Through my twenty four 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.

Owner Paul Dolan’s 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.

Dolan not seeking a new President to replace Shapiro and, instead, taking over Shapiro’s duties himself is a good way to save a few bucks at least, right?

Royals outfielder Gordon to retire after 14 seasons

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Kansas City Royals outfielder Alex Gordon, the former first-round pick whose rollercoaster career took him from near bust to All-Star and Gold Glove winner, announced Thursday he will retire after the season.

Gordon was the second overall pick in the 2005 first-year player draft following a standout career at Nebraska, where he won the Golden Spikes Award as the best amateur in baseball. He made his big league debut two years later and, after a few years shuttling back and forth to the minors, moved from third base to the outfield and finally found success.

He wound up playing his entire 14-year career in Kansas City, joining only George Brett and Frank White as position players with that much longevity with the franchise. He heads into a weekend four-game series against Detroit with the third-most walks (682), fourth-most homers (190), fifth-most doubles (357) and sixth-most games played (1,749) in club history.

The three-time All-Star also holds the dubious distinction of being the Royals’ career leader in getting hit by pitches.

While he never quite hit with the kind of average the Royals hoped he would, Gordon did through sheer grit turn himself into one of the best defensive players in the game. He is the only outfielder to earn seven Gold Gloves in a nine-year span, a number that trails only White’s eight for the most in franchise history, and there are enough replays of him crashing into the outfield wall at Kauffman Stadium or throwing out a runner at the plate to run for hours.

Gordon won the first of three defensive player of the year awards in 2014, when he helped Kansas City return to the World Series for the first time since its 1985 championship. The Royals wound up losing to the Giants in a seven-game thriller, but they returned to the Fall Classic the following year and beat the Mets in five games to win the World Series.

It was during the 2015 that Gordon hit one of the iconic homers in Royals history. His tying shot off Mets closer Jeurys Familia in Game 1 forced extra innings, and the Royals won in 14 to set the tone for the rest of the World Series.

Gordon signed a one-year contract to return this season, and he never considered opting out when the coronavirus pandemic caused spring training to be halted and forced Major League Baseball to play a dramatically reduced 60-game schedule.

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