Perhaps operating under the delusion B.J. Ryan came to Toronto to pitch relief on a pro bono basis, Blue Jays GM J.P. Ricciardi responds to calls for his head by essentially telling the Canadian Press that his resigning or being fired would solve nothing. From the Candian Press :
“Let me make this clear: It doesn’t matter if J.P. Ricciardi is the GM, or Joe Blow is the GM. Two years from now, five years from now, seven years from now, the reality that we face in Toronto is the division is not going to change,” Ricciardi said in an interview this week. “The Red Sox and Yankees are not going away. If the Yankees want to, they can take their payroll to $300 million.
“The biggest thing that people forget is that when Toronto won the World Series, they had the highest payroll in baseball. There’s a direct equivalent to that. If we’re going to play in the big man’s division, and we’re not going to spend that money, it’s going to be really hard for us to compete with those teams.”
“I don’t wake up every day and say, `Oh my God, I’m holding on,”‘ said Ricciardi. “That’s working in fear and I’ve never done anything in fear. I’m proud of what we’ve done here and if it’s not good enough, it’s not good enough. There’s too many good things going on here that we made good decisions on to shake my confidence.
“I get this feeling that people are dying for me to lose my job, they think my world is going to come crashing down. I’m not built like that.”
The uncredited CP reporter cites “the vast inequities” in the AL East, a circumstance that didn’t stop the ’08 Tampa Rays from advancing to the World Series (with a payroll substantially less than Toronto’s). If playing in the same division as Boston and New York is an unfair competitve disadvantage, how does that compare to signing Alex Rios to a guaranteed $70 million contract? Or signing A.J. Burnett to a contract that allowed him to opt out of the deal after 3 years? Were John Gibbons and Cito Gaston each appointed as manager because other candidates were offered more money to work for New York or Boston? It seems the Jays should at least manage consistent 3rd place finishes before anyone takes Ricciardi’s poorhouse claims seriously.