Stick a fork in the Blue Jays, says Cito and J.P Riccardi

The good news is that JP is alive. The bad news, if you are Ted Rogers, or anyone else on the ownership team is that your GM and Manager have, in essence thrown in the towel for the 2008 season. No matter how you spin this, it just can’t be good.

All the major dailies have the story, but in essence here is what has been said:

“We’re still going to play hard and see what happens,” Gaston said earlier Tuesday before the Jays took to the field for the first of a three-game series against the Baltimore Orioles at Rogers Centre.
Cito Gaston observes his team during the three-game sweep in Seattle.

“There’s a lot of teams to get over the top here,” Gaston continued. “We’re certainly not going to quit. But if you look at our scheduling the rest of the way, it’s a pretty tough schedule.”

JP adds:

“My job is to have expectations,” he said. “And our expectations are that this team is not as bad as it’s played and hopefully will play a little better.

“Now, does that mean we’re going to be a playoff team? No, chances are probably not good that way. But that doesn’t mean we can’t hold out hope that we can play better.”

The problem, Ricciardi said, is easy to pinpoint — .238 — Toronto’s pitiful average when hitting with runners in scoring position.

“That’s it in a nutshell,” he said. “That’s why they put scoreboards up. You got to score more runs than the other guy and we’re not.

“It doesn’t mean the guys aren’t trying. It just means they’re not doing it.”

The problem for JP is that A for effort doesn’t lead to bums in the seats.

As I stated yesterday, no matter how you spin it, this is team without a plan, or a hope. There is nothing to hang your hat on and no reason to buy tickets.

The above quotes come courtesy of the Globe and Mail….

They only get better over at the Post…

“Season’s done, folks. And to think there are only two months, 19 days, and 72 games to go.”

“He sent out a call for trade offers: “We’ll have to see if people are interested in some of our guys.”

He speculated on September callups for four minor-leaguers: pitchers David Purcey and Brett Cecil, catcher J.P. Arencibia, and outfielder Travis Snider (“That’s four young guys who could possibly help us going into next year”). And he sort of called out the guys whom he is paying almost US$100-million and who responded with a 42-47 record in their first 89 games.

“We’ve got a [first baseman who’s a good hitter], a second baseman who’s a good hitter, a third baseman’s who’s a good hitter, a centre fielder who’s a good hitter, right fielder who’s a good hitter,” Ricciardi said. “They’re just not doing what they’ve done offensively. So I find it hard that you can blame anything on coaches all the time when it doesn’t go well. You’ve played a lot of baseball, at some point you’ve got to figure out, ‘this is what I’ve gotta do.’ We’re just in a collective slump as a group, and it’s just not fun to watch, for anybody.”

Come fall, JP had better be gone and a plan in place or the Rogers Center is going to start looking a lot like the Olympic Stadium, and we all know how that story ended.

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