Media VS. LT- JP Ricciardi Must Go! Toronto Sports Experts

You have read LT’s argument on why he has photo’s of JP in his bedroom. Steve Simmons has a retort in today’s Toronto Sun:

” Gord Ash was fired after finishing third four consecutive times with the Blue Jays. And nobody argued it wasn’t the time.

J.P. Ricciardi, in his eighth season in Toronto, will finish no better than fourth out of five in the American League East for the second consecutive year.

And, should he be fired, no one will argue about that, either.

It does get old, all these seasons of spinning wheels, going nowhere.

Ash was on the job seven years, and left behind Roy Halladay and Vernon Wells, Alex Rios and Orlando Hudson for his successor. Twice Ash finished fifth with the Jays, fourth once and four times in third place.

Ricciardi will leave behind Adam Lind and Aaron Hill and Ricky Romero for his successor.

In eight seasons, his Jays have finished fifth once, fourth twice (we’ll include this season), third four times and once in second place, and led the league in excuses just about every season.

The timing on Ash’s firing was appropriate and necessary.

The time to get rid of Ricciardi is now.

This and that

Ricciardi is outraged because somebody breached confidentiality in the Rios waivers scenario. And well he should be. Ricciardi, for example, would never breach confidentiality by going public with trade demands, or making certain large news agencies are aware of his every move, or hanging his most popular out to dry by revealing private conversations. Nope, he wouldn’t do that … ”

Me? I am with Simmons.

I had 2 interesting talks with what I will call Toronto Sports “experts” this week. The discussion was the Toronto Blue Jays. It seems that there is varied opinions on what Rogers will do with this team. One seemed to think that the current Rogers executive team has little interest in keeping the Jays. The other suggested that there is much intrinsic value in having the team and the dome that they are in a hold position. Further, this person said, very few teams actually make money in baseball and that the losses suffered by Rogers on the Jays are a drop in the bucket. Both agreed that irrespective of who the owner is, beyond luck (read Tampa Bay) it will be tough to compete with a 200 million payroll. One suggested, with admittedly no factual basis behind it, that perhaps interim President Paul Beeston could put together a group to buy the team. The other suggested that Beeston has made numerous attempts to hire his replacement but has thus far been unsuccessful. On Beeston, one source said, there is only 1 full time job that interests Beeston, and that is currently held by Richard Peddie! The most interesting dialogue was on the topic of JP Ricciardi. One expert said that in his experience with several teams in MLB, the role of GM is almost equal parts luck as it is skill. The amount of luck in drafting, trading and signing is unlike any other sport, the expert told me. Pat Gillick was viewed as a genius for making the Robbie Alomar, Joe Carter deal. The deal, he said was as close to not happening as it was to happening. Gillick’s management team was split on whether they should make the deal or not. Gillick finaly decided to make the deal and a genius was born. This isn’t a knock on Ricciardi. Ricciardi’s biggest problem one of the expert’s suggested (and I concur) is his ego. He comes across as an arrogant ass. It’s hard to sell the team with that.

More to come from these talks in the days ahead. I leave you with this question. Could you imagine a MLSE hierarchy that looks like this?

Paul Beeston
Brian Burke Bryan Colangelo


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    In my view, these are different arguments. My argument is that JP is not as bad as the critics suggest. That said; i have no issue with them dumping him and going in another direction – if for no other reason but to get someone out front with a persona that can help drive interest vs. animosity (like Burke has done). The Jays likely need a likable character even more than the Leafs did. While legitimate, this is a different argument.

    But let’s be clear. The new guy will have the same issues that JP had….When it’s time to take the team to the next level to compete for the division title, mid-market payroll isn’t going to get it done in the bourgeoisie division…unless they get lucky (Rays).


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    Strangely enough I never had a problem with JP personality, I respect him for his Wednesday with JP show with Wilmer on the post game show on the radio. Media types complaining about his ego or personality seems more like the spoiled whiny media members who are angry that he doesn’t go to them on scoops but maybe goes to a national media in the South with it.

    I do have some major compaints with JP, like signing Frank Thomas I thougth was a bad move right off the start, and exchanging Reed Johnson for Shannon Stewart was a major head scractcher for me, on any level I don’t have any idea how you choose Stewart over Reed.

    But your right, it’s almost impossible task to compete with the YankSox, especially NYY because they can make any mistake and they have the biggest eraser in the world to correct it. Randy Johnson didn’t work out, it’s okay we’ll get AJ and CC. No other team can erase their problems away like that.

    I’ve always been a little surprised ownership doesn’t get more heat. They somehow convinced a huge company like Rogers is somehow labeled as “small market/ownership” and can’t compete payroll with the YankSox.

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    I think JP has done a good job overall, he’s made some great moves and there are plenty of good young players to look forward to for the next few years. His failing is that he has never made a knockout deal or signing that took the Jays from an 86 win club to 96 or so. And payroll probably had a lot to do with that. They really weren’t that far off from 06 – 08.

    I’ve got to believe the Jays hold significant value to Rogers. The Jays are a very strong draw on both radio and TV, and Sportsnet and The Fan essentially get it for no rights fees. Not to mention that on the broadcasts and at the dome we’re inundated with Rogers ads. Hey, even in this terrible season, attendance has been creeping back to near respectability.

    By the way, the Red Sox have a payroll of 133 million, so I’m not sure why the Jays would need a 200 million payroll to complete. Even last year the Jays payroll was at 100 million. If they could bump it up to 120 million (which Beeston has previously said was a level they could spend) They should be able to give Boston and NY a run if they’re smart about it.

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    You’re right about ownership, FMT. Rogers hasn’t quite seemed to get that if they spend more, the Jays probably get better, and then more people come to the Dome.

    One cool thing about this year, is that the fanbase has seemed a lot more passionate and vocal than in previous years. I think the lack of direction from ownership and the Halladay trade mess has finally started to really piss people off. Which, I think is good!

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    I would say JP hasn’t necessarily been terrible in his tenure….but I think he made two major errors which should cost him his job…The Wells deal…which was too much for him based on his numbers for a team that was not yet competing…I would say there was not enough evidence to reward him with that huge a deal…and then a second mistake was not leaping on the chance to improve the team this yhear after a great start. You only get so many shots at title and not strengthing the starting rotation with experienced talent this year caught up with them and sank all the momentum they had gained…