Life, Learning, and Baseball: An Interview With Mark Shapiro
In society, so many of us have our set of responsibilities, as we contribute our time to making ends meet. But making ends meet isn’t always why we wake up every morning, is it? For some of the lucky ones out there, they get to wake up every day and do what they love to do. And sometimes for others, they feel stuck in a dead end job that leads to nowhere, hoping that change is around the corner. Either way, each one of us helps to gently spin this ol’ earth around in whatever way we can. It doesn’t matter how you contribute, just as long as you contribute.
This isn’t some ‘Horatio Alger’s Ragged Dick kind of nonsense’ that I’m typing up here, it’s just that hard work is kind of what it takes in this world – as most of us already know.
And listen, of course, life isn’t supposed to be some easy ride, or some kind of fun little trot around the bases. Sometimes waking up and going to work is hard. And most of the time, all the hard working people out there don’t make enough money to live a life without worry. Sometimes people are only a two-week paycheque away from the streets. I know what it’s like to make the wrong decisions, to take a detour, but I’ve always stepped up to the plate. As long as you are willing to get into the batter’s box, sooner or later you’re going to get on base.
And the reason that I’m typing up whatever these thoughts are with some lame baseball clichés is because I would have never imagined when I started this little ‘hobbyist’ Blue Jays blog journey of mine, that I would end up interviewing, Mark Shapiro, the president and CEO of the franchise. He, like the rest of us, puts one pant leg on and then the other. He is no different than anyone of us. He has a hard job that has a slew of responsibilities that take up a lot of his hours during the day. He has a family, friends, some time on earth, and wakes up every morning so that he can do the best that he can in every moment that awaits him in each passing hour.
He is not some evil American corporate person who was hired by big bad Rogers to ruin the lives of so many Blue Jays fans. He’s here to do quite the opposite, and it’s someone like Mark Shapiro who understands what it takes to be successful.
Lately, he’s been under what I’d call unfair criticism by some in local media, who continue to type up thoughts that attack him and his way of doing things. Sure, I understand that he holds a position where he is exposed to that kind of thing, and I’m sure that he has a thick skin after years in the baseball business, but the noise from the media beat recently often hasn’t been right – or just, for that matter. But at the end of the day, Mark Shapiro is one of the lucky ones in this world, who gets to do what he loves, so I’m sure he is quite good at cancelling out all the surrounding noise.
Heading into this interview, I had all my questions prepared, but I really wanted it to kind of not feel like some sort of forced conversation. I think you may find what we had to talk about interesting. I decided to break the interview up in different sections, so hopefully there is something of your interest in what we discussed.