JP Ricciardi: Blue Jays Can Win AL East


Former Blue Jays GM, J.P. Ricciardi, took time from his advising of the New York Mets to sit down with Bryan Hayes of TSN Radio to discuss the playoffs and the Blue Jays.

If you are someone who puts a lot of stock in the comments of a former GM who has been the lightning rod for much criticism, you might be interested in what he had to say.

Firstly, J.P. says that the American League East is not what it used to be. He cites a shift in power for this. The Red Sox and Yankees don’t have the run of the division anymore. he is quick to point out that it wasn’t like that 10 years ago, which just happens to be when he was the GM. OK, things were harder for you, J.P. We get it. *eye roll*

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But, he may have a point. Recently, the so called “Toughest Division in Pro Sports” has been anything but. Even though the Orioles ended up running away with it, the division was close for most of the season.

The rest of the talk was the most interesting. J.P. was asked about balancing short term versus long term success. This is a fair question, one that gets debated frequently. To build or to “go for it”. His response was “Long term plans only work if your short term plans are good.” That is to say building is fine for a couple years, but then you have to make a commitment. You have to make a push. If you’ve done the building part, you have to shift to winning now. He cites examples of him following this philosophy. He uses the period where he signed B.J. Ryan, A.J. Burnett and traded for Troy Glaus and Lyle Overbay. He mentioned the jump in payroll they took on to “go for it”. These were his versions of what he called “good baseball and economic decisions”. Funny, he never mentioned the absolute Shambles he left the farm system in.

J.P. went on to say that Alex Anthopoulos has done similar work in his time as GM. He did a great job building the farm system, expanding the international scouting side and waiting for the right time to strike.

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  • Then, Alex decided to go for it and swing the Miami deal. What is interesting is that J.P. glosses over the

    R.A. Dickey

    deal with his very own Mets. The Blue Jays took on payroll and “went for it”. J.P. seemed to think this was a good idea. That might be why it didn’t work.

    Ricciardi also said that as a GM, you shouldn’t ever leave a mess for the next guy in the name of winning now. He doesn’t think you should go nuts to win now and say “Meh, the next guy can clean it up.” Really? Wasn’t one of the first things Alex had to do was clean up the mess of the Vernon Wells contract? And, fix the farm system? Just saying.

    In this day and age in sports, we’re always looking for a vote of confidence when discussing managerial positions. It would appear John Gibbons has it from AA. AA has it from Paul Beeston. Now, we can add J.P. Ricciardi’s name to that list. But, does it make us feel better that he supports the moves made up to this point?