FIRE JOE MORGAN: Rough Year For J.P. Ricciardi, Huh?


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Thursday, June 19, 2008


Rough Year For J.P. Ricciardi, Huh?

The Toronto Blue Jays are third-to-last in the AL in runs scored, with only the hapless Royals and the haplesser Mariners cushioning them from the absolute cellar. GM J.P. Ricciardi has already kicked Frank Thomas to the curb, A.J. Burnett's openly talking about playing for the Cubs, and in a cruel Bizarro World twist, the Tampa Bay Rays are making a push for the AL East crown.

So what do you do if you're Ricciardi, you're calling into The Fan 590 to talk shop, and Kevin from Halifax pisses you off a little? You say Adam Dunn hates baseball, that's what you do.

“He’s a lifetime .230, .240 hitter that strikes out a ton and hits home runs,” Ricciardi said.

These are not the arguments to use against Adam Dunn. He's a butcher in the field and there are legitimate concerns, I think, that he's at least partially a creation of Great American Ballpark -- there's a damn near 70-point swing in his career home/away OPS.

You say he's a .230, .240 hitter (it's actually .247) -- I say he's a career .382 OBP hitter. Compare that to, I don't know, the quintessential table setter, the most professional hitter in bat sports, my nomination for first man to walk on Mars, Derek Sanderson Jeter -- career .386 OBP hitter.

Yes, Dunn hits home runs. He has 18 this year. Your Toronto Blue Jay home run leader this year: Matt Stairs, with 8.

“Do you know the guy doesn’t really like baseball that much?” Ricciardi said to the caller. “Do you know the guy doesn’t have a passion to play the game that much? How much do you know about the player?

I know that on the list of Career At Bats Per Home Run, All-Time, Adam Dunn ranks fifth. Fifth! The men ahead of him:

Mark McGwire
Babe Ruth
Barry Bonds
Jim Thome

This is skewed because Dunn hasn't gone through his decline phase yet, but still: fifth!

Can you imagine being that good at something and not caring about it at all? That must be fun. If Adam Dunn would just show some fire out there, the least he could do is pass Bonds and Ruth on this list. But no, we all know what Dunn's true passion is: his world-renowned team of trained swallows. (NB: Do not, I repeat, do not, perform a Google image search of "trained swallows" (no quotation marks).)

“There’s a reason why you’re attracted to some players and there’s a reason why you’re not attracted to some players. I don’t think you’d be very happy if we brought Adam Dunn here …

Dude, again, I'm not saying you should definitely trade for Adam Dunn. He's not a savior by any means. But your current leader in OPS is Rod Barajas, at .821.

Current Adam Dunn, despite his piss-poor .227 BA, would lead your team in R, HR, RBI, OBP, SLG, and (of course) OPS. But you're not "attracted" to him, naturally, because he's such a passionless turd.

I actually have some sympathy for Ricciardi here. You know who sucks on the Blue Jays this year? Everyone. All of them. Vernon Wells sucks. Alex Rios sucks. Scott Rolen sucks. David Eckstein...well, Eckstein is awesome. And a lot of these guys simply shouldn't be sucking as much as they're sucking. I don't know that it's completely fair to pillory Ricciardi for the same reason that I don't think Mark Shapiro is a miserable GM because Victor Martinez, Travis Hafner, and Jhonny Peralta have been absolute black holes for a third of a season.

“We’ve done our homework on guys like Adam Dunn and there’s a reason why we don’t want Adam Dunn. I don’t want to get into specifics.”

Adam Dunn is a North Korean spy. There. I said it. Are you happy? I'm gonna get shot now. I hope you're happy, Kevin from Halifax. I call in to The Fan 590 looking for some softballs, trying to be nice to you people, and now you've just made me sign my own death certificate. Hey, intern guy, could I get a Coke Zero or something? This is unbelievable. [gunshot, sound of a body falling to the ground]

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posted by Junior  # 3:10 PM
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