The End of the J.P. Era

After all the turmoil in the Blue Jays clubhouse these past few days, the last person I expected to get fired was J.P. Ricciardi.

Yes, the writing was on the wall for J.P. and he was on his way out the door anyway, yet it was surprising to see him turfed so soon.

Ricciardi received a lot of flack over his eight years as General Manager of the Toronto Blue Jays. Not everything he touched turned to gold, but he did make some good trades and free agent signings throughout the years. I’m not trying to be a J.P. Ricciardi apologist, however each GM makes mistakes.


In a lot of ways, J.P. can’t really be blamed for some of the things that happened with this team. Someone has to be held accountable though, and just like John Gibbons was let go when the Jays struggled, Ricciardi was the sacrificial lamb this time around.

For the time being, Alex Anthopolous fill step into the General Manager’s shoes and look after the day to the day operations of the Blue Jays? But how long is that going to last? Is this the first phase of the changes that will be coming this off season? I for one certainly hope so.

It was a necessary move, yes, but it seems like things aren’t flowing naturally here. If the Blue Jays were planning on cleaning house, Paul Beeston should have announced the new President, who would then hire the new General Manager, who in turn would hire a new coaching stuff. Instead, they are going about this whole thing ass backwards.

Even though Cito Gaston was in the eye of the storm of controversy, I guess it doesn’t make much sense to let go of the coach with just three games to play in the season. Paul Beeston probably wants Cito to leave on his own terms and let him ride out the rest of the year.

If firing Ricciardi was in fact a move to appease the fans, it was a move to appease the wrong type of fans. It would be the type of move to appease the fans that called for J.P.’s head every single step of the way, regardless of all the positive things he brought to this club.

If that’s the way the Toronto Blue Jays want to run this club, they might never make those people happy. Instead, they could just be be abandoning the intelligent fan base that the Blue Jays so desperately need.

J.P. was the first domino to fall, which means there is most certainly others to fall after him. We’ll just have to wait and see what happens next.

Ian Hunter

Ian has been writing about the Toronto Blue Jays since 2007. He enjoyed the tail-end of the Roy Halladay era and vividly remembers the Alex Rodriguez "mine" incident. He'll also retell the story of Game 5 of the 2015 ALDS to his kids for the next 20 years.

6 thoughts on “The End of the J.P. Era

  • October 5, 2009 at 12:52 am

    This probably makes the most sense from the standpoint that JP was likely to go (not that I am totally fine with that, but not so bad), and it makes the organization look like it is responsive at a time when it will still get a reasonable amount of reporting. I think letting Cito go wouldn't have mattered for the 3 ball games he'd have missed – more simply that he is viewed more positively than JP by a larger number of fans, and that, as you point out, letting him go on his own terms will be far less messy. I think Cito says some whacked-out stupid stuff, and it would have been worse (and all gotten reported) if they abruptly dumped him during the season.
    Remember, he's been vocal for years that he is a great manager and no other team has ever figured this out — now the Jays are going to say he can't manage. Watch out.

  • October 5, 2009 at 1:21 am

    Oh yeah, J.P. was out of the door before next season for sure. I think they had to bump up the date because of the whole Cito-gate thing.

    The fans and the players wanted something to happen, and that it did.

    If Cito got canned instead of J.P. on Saturday, there would be a complete shitstorm. The last time the Blue Jays fired Cito, it wasn't exactly pretty – so I think this time would actually be worse. I hope Cito talked to Beeston and has agreed to step down – that way he retains some of his image, rather than just look like a complete asshole.

  • October 5, 2009 at 5:36 pm

    You are one stupid motherfucker. No intelligent fan wants JP retained. What have we won in 8 years?? Nothing! We haven't even sniffed the playoffs in 8 years. You can make all the excuses you want about payroll and Boston and New York but JP had money and he has used over 40 million dollars in paying off players who didn't play for us.

    Either you believe that the Jays can one day make the playoffs or you believe it is impossible with Boston and NY. If you believe they can then clearly JP was not the man.

    Eight years and he still couldn't develop a catcher or a short stop.

    He was shit.

  • October 6, 2009 at 12:37 pm

    Anon, yes the Blue Jays will make the playoffs but the MLB also needs to do something about the schedule and make it more balanced for teams in the AL East. It's not an excuse, it's a fact – the Jays play the Red Sox and Yankees too many times.

    I think J.P. had the right pieces to the puzzle in 2006, but they needed a couple of more free agents to put them over the top.


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