There is really only one Blue Jays story getting all the interest of baseball writers.
I find myself agreeing with most of what Buster Olney writes here. Buster feels that Mark Shapiro and Alex Anthopoulos should talk again and that Alex should be the Blue Jays GM. He feels that the two men came away with different impressions of the conversations they have had to this point.
..... many people who are friends with both men have said privately they cannot believe this didn't work out. Shapiro is well-liked and respected by his peers for his knowledge and humor, and Anthopoulos is highly regarded for his relentless work ethic and self-deprecating ways. This seems to have been a case of two people who, for whatever reason, initially talked past each other, causing the same words and events to be interpreted differently by each.
The way this played out was ugly, and it left the Canadian-born Anthopoulos out of the job he wanted and Shapiro in a precarious political position moving forward, swimming upstream against the public perception that he drove Anthopoulos out of the job just days after the Blue Jays, a late-season phenomenon, reached the postseason for the first time in 22 years.
If I worked with either Shapiro or Anthopoulos, this would be my advice: Before you move on, push the reset button. Start over, and talk again.
Buster might be right, it might all be a misunderstanding. Alex, quite understandably, may have felt a 2-year offer from Shapiro was an insult.
Of course, it is quite possible that Shapiro meant it as an insult and that Alex was perceptive of the situation. Alex is a pretty bright guy, he's smart enough to be able to read the situation. And Shapiro isn't dumb either, he'd have to know how things were playing out. He doesn't seem the type to allow Alex to come away with the wrong idea of a meeting. It is kind of a stretch to have us believe these too bright men would misread each other so much.
I get the feeling that Alex was tired. He works very hard. I think he was maybe hoping for a pat on the back, hoping he would be told what a great job he did and when he didn't hear that, he decided why should I be doing all this work if it isn't appreciated. And it is also likely, that Shapiro wanted to make sure Alex knew that he was coming in to be the boss, that he wasn't there to just be a sounding board, that he would have a hand in player decisions.
If Shapiro feels Alex came away with the wrong impression of the meeting, Shapiro should call him and set things right and offer Alex his job back. It is up to Shapiro, he'd have to take the first step, but, if he really wants Alex as GM, he could likely get it done.
Steve Simmons, over in the Sun, tells us that Alex made a lot of money for the Blue Jays. As well as talking about money, Simmons has this:
My Reader's Digest version of why Anthopoulos left: He met with the new president. Shapiro offered him a two-year contract, which he took as a mammoth insult. From that moment on it was clear in Anthopoulos' mind that he couldn't work with someone who didn't want him or respect him. The rest of the story is pretty much blue and white noise.
It is as good a guess as any.