There were smiles around the room Thursday as Indians president Paul Dolan announced that current GM Mark Shapiro and current assistant GM Chris Antonetti were being promoted to club president and general manager, respectively, at the end of the upcoming 2010 season.
Both men have worked very closely over the last decade in their current roles, and have a great deal of respect for each other. Below is some of the best comments from the press conference's introduction:
PAUL DOLAN during introduction:
"Ten years-plus ago when we purchased the Cleveland Indians, we told people that not only did we buy a baseball team, but also a strong leadership team. That's been affirmed for us over the last 10 years many times...So when we have the opportunity as we do today to retain some of our best people and provide them an opportunity to grow within the organization, we're delighted."
"Mark, as president, will be responsible for the strategic vision of the franchise and for aligning the baseball and business objectives - and see day-to-day operations."
"Chris, as general manager, will run our baseball operations and report to Mark and Dennis Lehman. As executive vice president of business, Dennis will continue to lead our business operations, reporting to Mark."
"With those three, I strongly believe that we have a very very solid leadership team that will be the core of this franchise and ensure its viability for years to come."
MARK SHAPIRO during introduction:
"On a personal level this means a lot to me...This is the only major league team I've worked for and the only place I've ever wanted to work. For my family, having lived here for 20 years, Cleveland is my home. It's the place my wife and I are proud to raise our family, a city we believe in and a city we're excited to continue to be able to live in...I remain committed to bringing a championship to Cleveland."
"This transition allows to retain one of the best and brightest minds in baseball, in Chris...What often gets overlooked is that Chris has taken the time to build his skill set as both a leader and an executive to only be a general manager, but an impact general manager. I've been very excited to watch him grow."
"Stability and continuity are competitive advantages in sports. And in providing us with the opportunity to retain and sustain leadership and a strategy, Paul has helped us continue to ensure that we continue to be one of the best organizations in major league baseball."¶
CHRIS ANTONETTI during introduction:
"Cleveland is home for me. My wife is from here, we met here and we raise our family here. It's really exciting for us to be able to continue to live and work in this community."
"The Cleveland Indians organization is a special place to work. It's special because, beginning with Paul and Mark and the culture they've created, this is unlike any other place in baseball. It is why we all want to work here. We've all made choices to be here because of how special it is and how unique it is to work in this environment and with the people that are here."
"On a personal and a professional level, it's hard to describe what (Shapiro) has meant to me. It's rare that you get to work in an environment that someone is so vested in you and contributes to your development as actively as Mark has. I can say without question I wouldn't be sitting here today without all the time and energy that Mark has put into my professional development that Mark has to prepare me for this opportunity."
"I've been part of the organization for 10 years. I've been living in Cleveland for that time and I fully understand and embrace the challenge that we have. But I have no doubt, and I am completely confident, that I will work tirelessly to bring the city a championship it deserves."