Stephen Brooks Out As Blue Jays’ VP of Business Operations

Mark Shapiro
Photo Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports (Not Pictured: Stephen Brooks)

The Jays are down an executive — and one that fans, at least those on Twitter, have become quite familiar with lately — as Shi Davidi of Sportsnet reports that Stephen Brooks, who had been functioning as the club’s head of business operations, no longer works there.

Or, to be specific, Shi writes that he resigned. (The URL, which says he was “dismissed,” and the headline, which says they “part[ed] ways,” aren’t typically done by the reporter, so we’re going to go with “resigned,” accept that this is just how these things get spun, and roll our eyes at any conspiracy theories about how it was disseminated).

It’s not a move that’s terribly surprising, given that Brooks was a high-up from the old regime with similar duties to what it’s believed was in Mark Shapiro’s portfolio in Cleveland. Brooks — aka @SBrooksBaseball — was the point man on Twitter for the organization when it came to everything related to the stadium, including the turf changes of recent years and this winter’s project of installing a dirt infield, for example. In fact, the timing of this move might simply be due to the fact that he was finished overseeing that one, last big project.

But I’m speculating, of course.

The decision has certainly caused some Jays Twitter ripples this afternoon, mostly because Brooks was engaging and seemed about as transparent as could be expected in his dealings with fans online. But, not to be too flip about it, it’s not like the next person can’t do that — or as though Brooks was going rogue when he did all that, either. So… who knows what it means?

Our good friend Drew Fairservice doesn’t! And he has some fiery (and not-incorrect) takes on the whole situation, it turns out:

Pretty much. Though I might go slightly farther and say that it’s also an indictment of the parent company that all that was necessary for one of their executives to stand out and be well-liked was for him to provide a basic level of engagement with customers about his job and how it impacts them.

Gregor Chisholm tweets that Brooks was the driving force behind a lot of initiatives — presumably the dirt infield being one of them — which I don’t doubt is true. But not knowing what wasn’t done, or what else was possible, or what his responsibilities were, or precisely who could never seem to be able to break the grips that Aramark and AB InBev have over the facility, what can we really say here?

Bluebird Banter’s Minor Leaguer tweets that at last week’s Pitch Talks event, Mark Shapiro “made it clear he didn’t like the way the Blue Jays priced tickets,” which is certainly something Brooks seemed to have a hand in, based on what he’d tweet about (if not, y’know, his title). Sooooo… yeah. I dunno.

Godspeed, Brooksy.

  • Barry

    The temptation is to be outraged, because we liked him.

    And the things we liked him for are all good things.

    The problem is that these good things we liked him for are likely not in the job description of a Senior VP of Baseball Operations. That doesn’t mean it was bad that he engaged with fans, was active on Twitter, etc. Those remain good things. But those good things don’t factor into whether he was a good VP of Baseball Operations.

    I have no clue if he was good at his VP job. I’d like to think he was; I’d like to think this was his decision; I’d like to think that he’s leaving on good terms and that the Jays will hire a suitable replacement. If that person happens to be good on Twitter, that will be a nice bonus. I’d be curious to hear from someone who knows if any or all of these things are likely to be the case.

  • DAKINS

    “all that was necessary for one of their executives to stand out and be well-liked was for him to provide a basic level of engagement with customers about his job and how it impacts them.”

    This is really all we ask for.

    Well, other than spending every last dollar earned on the Jays payroll.

  • BackinBlue

    Interesting, that the 2 most senior executives that reported up to Beeston, who ran the 2 segments of the club, Baseball Operations and Business Operations, have both left under the new CEO.

    In a business sense, not terribly surprising to see senior executives hired by a former CEO, depart under a new one. Quite often you see a pack of 2 or 3 guys in contention to be named the outgoing CEO’s successor, and if they don’t get the job, they soon leave. Don’t really think this is the case in professional sports though, given the differing skill sets between baseball and business execs. Considering AA nor Brooks were really in contention for the CEO job, I wonder if its “fit” thing again, that we heard when AA departed. Maybe Shapiro wanted someone with ballpark ops experience. Maybe Shapiro wanted himself to be the ballpark ops guy, given his experience with Progressive. Maybe Brooks sucked at his job. Who knows. I know the easy thing is to blame Shapiro, and Rogers, but all in all, in a corporate sense, its not too surprising at all.