"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."
August 01, 2009
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:
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.