FIRE JP RICCARDI! sign now

We the undersigned do here by demand that the Toronto Blue Jays fire JP Riccardi immediately. As Loyal fans of the club we have tolerated his incompetence for far too long. The following is a list of the reasons JP Riccardi should be fired.



1. Blue Jays Record under JP



As of May 14th, the Blue Jays have a combined record of 413-433 under Ricciardis command. During this span, the closest that the Jays have come to a playoff appearance has been nine games. Not one time during JPs tenure have the Jays been in a playoff race at the start of September.





2. Five year plan for playoff contention



Upon taking office, Ricciardi laid out his five year plan for playoff contention. We are now on year number six, or as some refer to it as, five year plan plus one. Seven of the remaining thirteen American League teams have made a post-season appearance since JP took office in November of 2001.











3. Lies, Lies, Lies



The following quote from JP is taken from Tim Browns official Yahoo Baseball Blog, and is regarding the BJ Ryan situation:



Its not lies if we know the truth,



This about sums up how Ricciardi feels about Toronto Blue Jays fans. The premise for the lie? To keep reporters off of Ryan, and to help him avoid questions pertaining to his arm. I still havent figured out the logic of this lie. Reporters still hounded Ryan, asking daily hows the back? Regardless, he was under questioning. This topic has been covered to death, so Ill leave you to your own opinion.







4. JP = Media Whore



When it really comes down to it, who is the face of the Toronto Blue Jays? Is it Roy Halladay? Perhaps Vernon Wells? Or is it JP, mugging for the camera, crying poverty, and blaming bad luck. Outside of Billy Beane, Theo Epstein, and Brian Cashman, Ricciardi is the highest profile GM in baseball. The difference between JP and the group of names above? Theyve been to the playoffs, while JP hasnt come within striking distance.





5. Not playing the payroll game.



Upon hiring Ricciardi, Paul Godfrey announced:



We will not and cannot compete with the likes of the Yankees and the Red Sox in terms of skyrocketing payrolls



Today, it certainly appears that the Jays are trying to competeon a smaller level of coursewith the payroll power of these clubs.



The large payroll can create a number of problems. Firstly, it gives JP a quick fix of talent, thus allowing him to shift his focus away from a strong minor league system. Secondly, it can lock the Jays into a number of long term contracts. Also, a team with a large payroll and a non playoff clubwhich is what the Jays will be yet again this seasonwill forgo Luxury Tax profits. If Rogers is content that the advertising that the team brings off-sets the financial losses, then this will be a mute point. One would have to figure that eventually, Rogers will grow tired of losing millions upon millions of dollars, and will bring about future budget cuts to the club.







6. Reliance on Back loaded contracts



From a 2005 interview with the CBC:



Five years ago, we were trying to get rid of contracts. Now, if you look at our club, we have very few diminishing returns, said Ricciardi when asked about the make-up of his ball club.



History repeats itself. Of the current roster, the Jays are locked into long term, high valuation contracts with Roy Halladay, AJ Burnett (opt out clause), BJ Ryan, & Vernon Wells. Shorter, yet still high valued contracts include Troy Glaus & Frank Thomas.



The combined contracts of all of the above will equal more than $70 million in 2008. Very few diminishing returns JP? I think not.







7. Trade History



JP lost out on Chris Carpenter, a future CY Young winner.



He has brought in some decent bullpen help throughout the years, acquiring Justin Speier, Jason Frasor, and Jeremy Accardo for Mark Hendrickson, Jason Werth and Shea Hillenbrand. These were good deals. However, other deals such as sending off Eric Hinske (with a bag full of salary money) and giving away Paul Quantrill for a broken down Aussie stand out. Acquiring Overbay for Bush & Gross is a push at best, and a loss to some when considering the high value of starting pitching. The Glaus for Hudson/Batista trade is looking more foolish by the day, as Glaus is once again battling injuriesas he has throughout his careerand Hudson is amongst the league leaders in RBI, all with gold glove defense and a salary that is approximately a third of Glaus.



For a proclaimed moneyball man JP has at the very best broken even in his trading ventures. When competing in the AL East with payroll juggernauts such as the Yankees and Red Sox, breaking even plainly isnt good enough.







8. Focusing on the system



We believe that to have a good organization, you need to work from the ground up and thats what were going to do here in Toronto, added Ricciardi, a native of Worcester, Mass.



Then why JP, why, has the minor league system gone to hell? Baseball America, the number one source of minor league information & analysis, has the Blue Jays minor league system ranked #25 out of 30 in their 2007 prospect handbook. Below is their organizational quote:



The Jays are J.P. Ricciardis franchise, and his stamp has been diminishing returns from a farm system that used to be one of the industrys best models. The publication goes on to give the Jays a grade of C in terms of impact players and a grade of D in terms of depth.



We all know the budget increase that Ricciardi has been given. Yet, after the 2006 season, Toronto announced that they are canceling their rookie league minor league affiliate in Pulaski. In 2007, the Jays are the only team in baseball operating just five minor league affiliates. Is this action in line with the promise of building a team from the ground up?







9. Draft History



First round picks include Russ Adams, Aaron Hill, Zack Jackson, Ricardo Romero, & Travis Snider. Of this group, Adams is considered a bust, Jackson was a traded to the Brewers (essential as an afterthought), Romero has disappointed greatly (6th overall, ahead of top level prospects such as Troy Tulowitzki, Michael Pelfrey, Maybin, McCutchen, & Jay Bruce, all taken within the next six picks). Only Hill, who has converted to 2b due to defensive difficulties & Snider are considered successful picks.



Until last season, JPs draft philosophy has been to take low-ceiling, low reward college players to mitigate risk & minimize signing bonus. In-fact, before the uncharacteristic drafting on Travis Snider in the first round of the 2006 draft, the highest high school player drafted by the Jays under Ricciardis reign was with an 7th round pick.



Just in-case, dont let the Snider pick fool you into thinking JP has realized his mistakes and changed his ways. The next high school player taken by the Blue Birds in the 2006 draft was way back in the 13th round.



Conversely, in the five years prior to JPs hiring, the Jays drafted the following high school players within the first five rounds of the draft (1997 2001);



Alex Rios, Brandon League, Dustin McGowan, Vernon Wells





10. Winning



The last point is the same as the first. While everything in-between points two to nine is valid, the be all and end of all of any team is its ability to win. The Jays are now on year six of the Ricciardi experiment and are no closer to obtaining a playoff spot than they were when he started. For this reason, and all of the above, the Blue Jays should fire JP Ricciardi.

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