August 01, 2009

More J.P. Ricciardi Goodness

I've just begun to read Rob Bradford's 2004 book, Chasing Steinbrenner: Pursuing the Pennant in Boston and Toronto. Literally. I'm on page ix of the acknowledgements; the first page of the book. (You knew it was only a matter of time before I read a book with "pennant" and "Toronto" in its title.)

Found in the third paragraph of said first page is the following nugget, which put a smile on my face, and which I must share with you:

"Topping that list [of people to thank] is John Paul Ricciardi, the former scout who used to go out of his way in the Fenway Park dining room to talk basketball with a fellow high school basketball coach who carried no weight among a room usually full of baseball power. In the cutthroat world of media, scouts, and other executives, there is no more genuine person in any business than J.P."

Rob Bradford is clearly my new favourite author.

As for Ricciardi, it's amazing that even after he trades a Scott Rolen who asked to be dealt out of town, he can do nothing right in the eyes of so many.

Look, the trade wasn't about Edwin Encarnacion and his underperforming bat (he'll fit right in), and horrendous defence. It was about money, first and foremost, and the arms of Josh Roenicke and, especially, Zach Stewart.

I love Scott Rolen. We all do. The impact he had on Toronto's baseball fans, in only a year and a half wearing the best baseball jersey of them all, was nothing short of profound. #LONGLIVETHEGBOAT.

But Ricciardi did the right thing. He traded, for youth, a Scott Rolen who will be banking $11.625 million as a 35 year old in 2010; who has played more than 115 games in an MLB season once since 2005; and who seriously contemplated retirement late last season. J.P. sold high. And isn't that what a general manager is supposed to do?

For more on Rolen, Ricciardi, and the "utter disgrace" that is Kevin Millar, hit up my man Drew - LTB at Ghostrunner on First. And for more on the new guys, allow yourself to be filled in by the great Jon Hale at The Mockingbird.

Enjoy and appreciate Scott Rolen, Cincinnati. You'll never see it done better at third base.


QJays said...

Que sera sera - Eyeb,
Good post, but I don't think that the people who have decided they don't like Ricciardi will like him no matter what he's done. There will always be mistakes and "lies" to point out, and he will only be responsible for the failings. To be fair, a lot of us who like him point to things like "bad luck" too.
The one thing I can appreciate is that to win over the masses, it's necessary to win -- at some point that will have to happen.

Anonymous said...

Glad to see you're already enjoying the book. As for J.P. and the Rolen trade, I can't bash it. You know how I LOATHE J.P., but this was a good trade.

Bitey said...

I really like this trade. Losing Rolen sucks, but he sold high on an injury prone player and got what should be 2 pretty good bullpen arms.

I am terrified at the prospect of watching Encarnacion play 3B, though, so hopefully that doesn't last long.

Junior said...

I don't follow baseball close enough to have an informed opinion anymore, but I love your dedication and loyalty, eye. You are - I believe the term is - a rudey.

William said...

Your post is full of good sense. I overreacted even though I knew Rolen asked for a trade. J. P. did good on this one. Still not sure about the Halladay thing.

Bubbles said...

I am still not a fan of the trade. I didn't quite take into account the 5+ mil we will be saving next year. But even with that savings, where is JP (and whoever else has a hand in FA signings) going to spend it on? There will not be a mega bargain 5 mil player like Dunn and Abreu were this offseason.

I am not bashing JP on this one, but I think there could have been another team or two where we could have gotten more than E5, and 2 bullpen prospects. Unless we turn around and do as the Cardinals did and trade the "closer of the future" for a player to help in an area of need, then I will be more in favour of this trade.

Was this a bad trade? No. Was this a great trade? No. But only time will tell if this trade was good or mediocre.

Bubbles said...

Starting pitching and defense wins championships. If we are to make a serious run next season, this may have been a step back. We have the arms in our rotation to compete on a nightly basis with the best of them. We had one of the best defensive infields in all of baseball. A lot of our young arms need that presence at the hot corner. Our bullpen is just needs to be managed better.