The Blue Jays have hired a well-known Toronto baseball columnist as their new head of baseball media, according to multiple reports.
According to John Lott of the Athletic, Bob Elliott of the Canadian Baseball Network, and Jaren Kerr of Canadaland (among others), the Blue Jays have hired former Toronto Star baseball columnist Richard Griffin as their new director of baseball media. Griffin himself has yet to confirm the hire.
Griffin’s position is a new one, having not been held by anyone else prior to this hire, per the Blue Jays’ official front office directory at MLB.com. However, it is reasonable to assume that the position will involve an overarching focus on public relations, marketing and athlete relations.
Griffin, who has been with the Toronto Star since 1995, served as the publicity director for the now-defunct Montreal Expos from 1978 to 1985.
Having also served as a radio analyst for TSN, Griffin’s work has been a staple of baseball in Toronto ever since he began writing for the Star.
He voted in this year’s National Baseball Hall of Fame election, revealing his ballot to contain Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Roy Halladay, Todd Helton, Edgar Martinez, Fred McGriff, Mike Mussina, Mariano Rivera, Scott Rolen and Larry Walker.
Many industry professionals, including the Star’s Laura Armstrong and Steve Buffery of the Toronto Sun, praised Griffin, with the latter saying that he “certainly understands both ends of the business”.
With experience in journalism and public relations, this hire should work out well for the Blue Jays, who haven’t made any significant additions to their front office in some time. According to the aforementioned directory, the team has seven individuals in the communications department.