So there seems to be some confusion with respect to J.P. Ricciardi’s accountability for words he may or may not have said with respect to when his team would win. Many J.P. haters refer to the J.P “5 year plan”. The common theory is that J.P said that the team would win in five years (from the point he made the comment). Now, semantics aside, those, especially one on the radio, seem to be of the belief that he never said such a thing, and instead it is an urban myth. I say semantics because, I think we can all agree that those who say he didn’t in fact say it aren’t referring to the use of the specific words ” I have a five year plan”. The point is, did J.P. ever refer to a year in the future in which his team would win or be competitive? The answer is yes. It is no urban myth:
“”We could win next year, we could be in position to make some moves to expedite this process. But realistically you’re looking at 2005.”
That was a quote in the Toronto Star on September 4, 2002 by J.P. Ricciardi. So it wasn’t really a 5 year plan, it was shorter. It was later extended. The funny thing is that CNNSI.com wrote about the quote a few days after it was made as part of a piece singing J.P’s accolades:
“So who will be the next AL team to show us how a team should be rebuilt on the cheap?
The guess in this corner is the Toronto Blue Jays, ranked 21st in this week’s Baseball Power Rankings. And it may not take them nearly as long as it did the A’s and Twins.
At 80-82, their first losing campaign in four years, the Blue Jays were a long way from horrible last year under rookie manager Buck Martinez. But when they stumbled to a 20-33 start this season, new general manager J.P. Ricciardi didn’t hesitate. He canned Martinez and replaced him with third base coach Carlos Tosca.
The transformation has been remarkable. The Jays are 48-48 since Martinez was fired, 34-29 since the All-Star break. Two weeks ago, they took three out of four from the Yankees in New York. A six-game winning streak ended Sunday with a 7-4 loss to Tampa Bay. ”
It seems so long ago that J.P was the boy wonder doesn’t it? The Jays were almost the talk of the town again. J.P. was the next young bright GM….
“A big question is whether Ricciardi will be around to see it. He’s a native of Worcester, Mass., and despite his contract, speculation is rampant that he’ll take over as general manager of the Boston Red Sox before next season.
But even if Ricciardi is pulling the strings at Fenway Park in 2003, it appears he’s laid a solid foundation for the Blue Jays’ success. ”
If only we should have been so lucky….
In any event. Semantics aside, there is proof that in fact, J.P. did look into his crystal ball and predict success down the road, first 4 years then 5. Did he call it a 4 year plan or a 5 year plan? Maybe not in those exact words, however we all got the point. Now, the easy thing to say is which GM doesn’t point to a time in the future and try to predict success? That, my friends isn’t the point here. The issue isn’t should he have said it, the point is he DID say it.
the cnnsi article is here