ricciardiface

It’s a hell of a strange thing seeing J.P. Ricciardi as the wise centre of a piece on the state of 2014 Blue Jays and the bizarre off-season this club, and its ownership, has just taken fans through, but that’s how I felt watching the just-released Stephen Brunt narrated video essay from SportsnetAlex Anthopoulos: State of the Franchise, which is the second of their four part series Blue Jays In Focus.

Most likely it simply comes down to presentation and his lack of a vested interest to protect, or maybe that those of us who follow the minutiae have seen all of the other stuff before ad nauseam, but it’s the former GM who, for me, gave off the clearest signal of any of the interview subjects in the piece, standing in stark contrast to the noise emanating out of the typically coy hypertension of his successor, and the doddering of Paul Beeston.

It’s not entirely fair to place so much of my focus in reviewing the piece on Ricciardi, who has comparatively little screen time, and not Anthopoulos himself, who — along with the way Brunt’s interviews are woven together to make a compelling story out of the club’s disaffecting winter — is the star of the show. But it’s awfully telling about how things are going for the Blue Jays right now that a man once so vilified in this market can appear so much the calm, thoughtful veteran sailing through thick seas swirling with Anthopoulos and Beeston’s usual shtick.

Or at least, in certain moments, that’s how I saw it. For example, when Beeston confusingly hailed his new GM — absent even the smallest grain of rye-soaked context — for having  the “rare” combination of both “intelligence” and “smarts.”

Huh?

But then we’re cut immediately to Ricciardi making concrete what Beeston looked to the ether for, explaining that “there’s a fine line to walk there, if you’ve never been a guy to get a locker room, whether it’s never playing, or scouting, or coaching. So there’s a fine line — guys still look at people like you’re an outsider coming in — but I think Alex really handled that part of it well.”

It may have entirely been my own nostalgia, but there was a sharpness and a forthrightness to Ricciardi’s words that stood out as refreshing. At one point Anthopoulos, harried and sarcastic, attempted to explain ways that business simply cannot be done, blowing past any notion of actually trying to make a club better – ”Tanaka wants $175-million? Let’s give him $200-million! It doesn’t matter,” he deadpanned. “We’ll backload it, we’ll defer the money, we’ll do ten years, we’ll all be gone by the time — you can’t do it that way just because we want to create some buzz and some hype.” Ricciardi later countered with a window into the reality of the position:

“As a general manager, you may only have one chance to go for it. And that one chance is probably going to come from an ownership directive,” he explained. “And if you don’t take your chance you’re going to sit there and always say to yourself, ‘Jeez, I had that one opportunity to may go out and trade guys and do things.’ So I was really excited for him [last winter].”

It is, of course, a crazy thought that for all the building and work that GMs do, Ricciardi thinks ultimately that it’s ownership directive that will bring about the real game-changing moments — but then we’re taken back to Beeston, and straight into the most maddening part of his sales pitch so quickly that we almost forget what we just heard.

“Everyone’s lost perspective of the fact, that was not a one-year venture,” Beeston admonishes. “That decision was made for a sustainable period of time to put us to where we want to be. We have the support, this team wasn’t built for one year. And there’s nobody who didn’t think it wasn’t great moves at the time. So, what, all of the sudden it became dumb? All of the sudden he lost his initiative? That’s not Alex.”

These would be truly emphatic and inspiring words if anybody actually believed that Anthopoulos had lost his initiative to make the club better, or if the idea that everybody thought the moves of last winter were unequivocally, unconditionally great at the time wasn’t a load of horseshit.

The day that Marlins deal broke, November 14th of 2012, here’s something I wrote:

More impressively– aka the kicker, if you’re Rogers, or the thing that will haunt your dreams, if you’re a fan worried about Rogers one day suddenly reneging on this spirit-buoying burst of goodwill– is the fact that Buehrle’s deal escalates to $19-million for 2014 and $20-million for 2015, while Reyes goes to $16-million in 2014 (making him and his turf-beaten knees the highest paid position player on the club), then $22-million in each of 2015, ’16, and ’17.

Yes, one of the most amazing things about Rogers’ decade-plus of stewardship of this club is that even on a night like this– a night of tremendous optimism for the franchise and fans– we can’t get away from questions about how long this commitment might last. Without question, Rogers has earned that doubt. And putting their money where their mouth is only stems it so much. But I’ll say this: today, for once, those are some difficult words to stammer out, and that’s fucking huge.

So huge, in fact, that it papers over a lot of warts we might otherwise be seeing all over this deal. Johnson has big health red flags, having missed much of 2007 with elbow trouble, 2008 with Tommy John, and 2011 with shoulder inflammation; Buehrle is aging and expensive; Reyes, though mystifyingly seven months younger than Escobar, may not age well on turf and costs about a bajillion dollars more; and the prospects headed Miami’s way still have a great deal of upside.

Would have been real nice to have been wrong about those reservations, eh?

There are certainly more highlights to the piece than the few I’ve picked out — one of them being J.P. Arencibia’s full-on egotism shining through as he spoke kindly of how Anthopoulos handled his contract situation following a disastrous 2013, explaining, “A lot of the players said there’s no chance you’ll be non-tendered, it wouldn’t be smart. But… I know there was a lot of upset people in that clubhouse when that happened.” — and it’s well worth a watch (which you can do at the bottom of this post). But Ricciardi stands out as a perfect foil here for the current regime, and that’s a hell of an interesting and uncomfortable thing to think about, isn’t it?

I’m probably in the minority on all that — as I am, and always was, on my entire view of Ricciardi and his work as GM of this club (at the time I conceded that his firing was necessary, but “as much a PR move as a baseball move,” largely because of “how completely any faith in Ricciardi’s abilities has been, rightly or wrongly, destroyed in the minds of much of the fan base”) — and for the pangs of wistfulness I feel seeing the man who is now an assistant GM to Sandy Alderson, helping to build the pitching-rich New York Mets. But as was made abundantly clear by the central point of the entire piece, things can change very quickly in this business. What was being hailed a year ago — perhaps in less hazy terms than Beeston might use — can be now viewed as extremely suspect. What would have felt impossible — admiration more for the wizened Ricciardi than his ninja successor — is turned on its head.

All of it is illustrative of what a pivotal moment this is for the Anthopoulos-Beeston era of this franchise, and it’s only too natural that above the fray sits the smirking Ricciardi, understanding far too much for anyone’s good about gasping for air, trying to run a baseball team from inside the dunderheaded Lennie Small grip of the corporate whim.

Comments (86)

  1. Why doesn’t the video ever work on the sportsnet website?

  2. Man oh man, I can’t remember the last time you didn’t post a not-stupid looking picture of JP.

  3. Nice post. I didn’t think too much of the Ricciardi bits. He did speak truth and spoke clearly, but this to me was just a function of him being the only guy in the video without any skin in the game anymore. Of course he spoke the most freely and the most pointedly – there can be no repercussions for him, and he has nothing to defend or hide. It’s like how the minority candidate in a political debate that has no shot of actually winning is always the only one that tells the truth and answers questions directly – they have nobody to whom they are beholden.
    The JPA bits at the beginning were hysterical in their deludedness, and the scenes with Beeston, as I said in an earlier comment, reminded me of a retarded version of the Philip Seymour Hoffman character in Almost Famous.

    • He spoke pretty freely when he was GM, too. Remember how Adam Dunn doesn’t actually like baseball?

  4. Re: JP, you wrote: “… his firing was necessary, but ‘as much a PR move as a baseball move,’ largely because of ‘how completely any faith in Ricciardi’s abilities has been, rightly or wrongly, destroyed in the minds of much of the fan base’”

    How close are we to getting to this point with Anthopoulos and Beeston?

    I don’t think we’re THAT close today, despite the awful offseason, but a bad year probably sends things in that direction, doesn’t it?

    • If the Jays are out of it by mid-summer, the fans will be calling for their heads for sure.

    • I think we’re still pretty far from that, from the PR side of things. Ricciardi had a bunch of years to linger after the money went away. It was after the President who hired him left that his time was really up — and I suspect that, unless they’re both shitcanned at the same time (which I doubt Rogers would do, given the love people have for Beeston), it might play out the same way. I’d be all for Anthopoulos heading up a rebuild, if it actually comes to that, but I can see how that would be tricky too, given the relationships built and promises made, so if it comes to that, it’s probably going to be easier to let someone else do it, unfortunately.

      • AA heading up a rebuild? This is the same guy that gave away Gomes and Syndergaard? Best moves he’s made was tie up Bautista and EE to extensions. His track record for assessing young talent sucks!

        • You’re an idiot, though.

        • You think Alex assesses young talent himself? There is a reason that he has a team to help him with decisions for trades and player development. He has scouts, coaches and assistants who all contribute in assessing a player and his value. It’s pretty unfair to pin the Gomes and Syndergaard losses primarily on Alex in my opinion.

          • Not only that, it was exactly the strategy he said he was going to employ, and Syndergaard was a piece that didn’t fit the new timeline. It’s not like he didn’t value him, he valued him tremendously, just felt that having a Cy Young winner immediately was a better fit for where the roster was.

            Let’s also not forget that between him and Gomes they have about half a season of big league time so far.

            • Except that AA completely misjudged how good dickey was. AA said he was going to get even better in the dome. If he knew dickey would be a 4 era pitcher he never makes that deal.

            • Think that how the strategy played out was an unmitigated disaster which AA should be held accountable for –> while giving this team a chance this year to win as is.

              Would have been a lot safer bet to spend the resources on FA when the team was ready to contend rather than trading the prospects built up for expensive players. Ya I know trouble signing FA here etc etc and maybe Beeston’s dinosaur policies prohibited this by not allowing signings of elite FA talent (although didnt stop them from bloated long term Reyes contract). Money and years/risk would get the job done and If they let the rebuild and development play out as it was instead of jump starting it with the trades players would have wanted to play for the Jays in a couple years with young talent like that because it would have been a solid recipe for success – the one they I think were originally planning

              Think Bautista and EE emergence made him reconsider the timeline but also think it would have been more prudent to stick to the original timeline while trading Bautista and EE at peak value last or this off season (and maybe Escobar, Lind, Jansenn) to supplement the wave of young talent coming up then in the 2015-2016 time frame go all in with FA signings (or at least pull the trigger on trades for minor league prospects once there was a young wave of talent already in MLB).

              If they thought the original plan was a receipe for success (and the fan base bought in) then trading emerging Bautista and EE would only make it more likely to be successful. Instead they seem to have changed the plan midway through to one that has proven less likely to be successful and are in no mans land hoping things break right and the team as constructed wins

        • dumb. Think about all of the talent he got into the organization such that it had a top farm system within a couple years. It is not as if AA thought that Noah S. was no good, so he would trade him to the Mets.

      • Completely agree. I think AA would be able to maximize his assets in a rebuild and it’s not his fault the team played the way it did last year and his hands have been tied this off season. Let’s hope the team surprises the haters and it doesn’t come to that.

        That being said if the team falters again the media will not doubt be calling for changes at the top and the herds will follow.

  5. I think it’s safe to say that Beeston has burned up all of the goodwill he accumulated in the glory years with Gillick et al. Far from his days as a leading baseball executive, it’s pretty clear he has been reduced to no more than a shill for the corporate masters at Rogers.

    • I’d bet he still has a lot of blind defenders who aren’t as informed as people reading stuff on the internet like we do here — or at least ones who read it and actually pay attention. Where is RADAR anyway?

      • Totally – I’m sure there’s a lot (a majority?) of fans who think of Beeston as a Cito-like figure.

        Perhaps more realistic wishful thinking might to be wonder if Beeston retires if things don’t turn around (or maybe even if they do to a degree). There were reports in the winter of 2012 (pre-big moves) that he’d signed on for two more years, if I remember right.

        I’d be curious to see if an Anthopoulos regime without Beeston there is any different, or if it’s really the owner that’s pulling the big strings.

        • His son works for the Red Sox…. maybe we can send him there with Farrell?

        • Agreed, although I’d say Beeston has even more rope than Cito. At least there were people in the media who rightly criticized Cito for his decisions, Beeston’s been a pal of many in the media for 30+ years. Gets very little heat, in part, because of it.

    • I’d be really interested to get some insight on what his responsibilities. It seems to be that the biggest fuckup in AA’s regime has been misjudgement of the available funds. That really seems to me to be Beeston’s responsibility but ends up making AA look pretty aweful.

    • I think Beeston should move to Montreal and become a recluse, only coming out often and fleetingly enough to make people think they’re seeing the drunken ghost of Mordecai Richler.

    • Don’t think Beeston is a corporate shill per say nor that he is a liar covering up for ownership not providing money. Do think that he is doing a bad job in his role and that he has dinosaur policies that don’t work in today’s MLB and has not kept the vision they had at the expense of the long term success of the organization.

      The organization was doing a great job building talent from within and on course to do a proper rebuild and would have had the funds to supplement young talent once it got to MLB. Beeston and AA had a vision, it was working and they had out of nowhere surprises of Bautista and EE as a huge bonus. But then they did a 180 when the prospects of acquiring Johnson, Reyes, Buehrle, Dickey came up and jump started the rebuild to contention which seems like it was a mistake now. Had they stayed the course and potentially even doubled down on the rebuild trading the current vets – then in a few years bumped payroll either by trades or FA it could have played out a lot better. Beeston as President should be responsible for maintaining that vision and staying the course and he failed there. Even if they had stayed the course it may not have worked anyway since Beeston has the policy and they likely couldn’t have signed elite FA in a couple years in any case – at least then they could have traded low minors guys while they had good young assets in MLB.

  6. Not sure I quite understand that GMs may only have “one chance to go for it.” It seems that the GMs who have the patience to build a farm system (Beane, Friedman) and develop often stay GMs the longest whereas the ones who gamble and “go for it” and it does not work out, are gone much sooner.

    The back loaded contracts make me very nervous and I think next off season will tell fans how committed Rogers is to profit or performance on the field.

    • You think it’s mere coincidence that those two GMs can do that while operating in the markets that they do?

      • That’s fair. I hadn’t thought about the fan base and demographic but those likely do contribute quite a bit. Maybe Mozeliak is more of a fair comparison in terms of market. Then again who knows what resources he has over the Blue Jays.

        • It’s an interesting question, for sure. Cashman is outside of the scope of what Ricciardi is saying, too, but there are definitely a lot of guys for whom what he’s saying is right, I think.

  7. Is it possible that ricciardi is re hired as GM of the jays? All rogers has to do if give an edict that they want an experienced GM and who else is available with experience?

    • Nothing is impossible. But that would be a pretty close second.

      • The question is if AA is fired who replaces him that could do better? lacava? there’s not much talent in the system.

      • I can’t help but admit I’ve spent some time thinking about who the next Jays GM could be, since it does seem like a possibility (I’ll let you give that possibility odds) that Anthopoulos/Beeston don’t make it through the year.

        There’s internal options like LaCava (I wonder what he thinks about his decision to turn down Baltimore’s GM job today) and Dan Evans, and while externally you could pick from hundreds of names, the Canadian Assistant GM in Oakland (Farhan Zaidi) would definitely creep into conversations. Kind of feels like dreaming on prospects, though.

        • @bird down
          “… there’s not much talent in the system.”
          Sanchez, Stroman, Nolin, Wagner, Jiminez, Burns, Smith Jr., Norris, Cardona, Labourt, Osuna, Nessy, Lugo, Tirado, Nay, Thon.

          Those last 7 or 8 are way down in Lansing but there is talent in the system.

          That’s part of the problem of being a GM and building a team the right way: It takes time before your drafts get to the bigs where they can help you.

    • I think Jim Bowden’s available too. I would honestly hope Ricciardi is preferred to Bowden.

  8. Testing to see if Stoeten is responding to all posts – a la Rob Ford

  9. In today’s “Globe and Mail” article indicating how Rogers is basically having to use one segment of their organization to finance the others

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/rogers-needed-nhl-deal-to-stem-losses-exec-tells-crtc/article17875365/

    It happens all the time in large organizations, which is pretty much why I’m sure sports organizations do not want corporations becoming owners.

    Also why AA’s hands were tied.

    • I don’t think I’d be quite so quick to take Rogers’ word on anything like that.

      In fact, this article is basically screaming about how valuable the Blue Jays are to Rogers, of course without ever saying it.

    • They are not so much transferring money from division to division as using what one division has (Sportsnet – live sports) to drive demand for other division products – cable and now CItyTV for the most part.

      To that end the decisions with regard the Jays are a bit puzzling, as unless the Jays finances are way worse than everyone guesses the best thing Rogers can do is increase viewership – which in turn increases demand for cable.

      If I had to guess one of the biggest problems the Jays had in this off season was that there was not much quality available on the free agent market, so the average players who were available were (in general) able to command salaries in excess of what they are worth.

      Also worth noting that anything said in a forum like the CRTC has multiple meanings – it is somewhat clear that Rogers (and likely soon BCE and Shaw) is warning the CRTC that the old system is collapsing and the CRTC better prepare for some massive change.

  10. The word wizened has more to do with wrinkles than wisdom.

    Glad to see a post about this, thanks. I was wondering if you’d catch it since you view via mlb.tv.

  11. 15:14. Beeston: “If you thought *garble (Jiminez) was going to give us a better chance to win, then thats one thing. If you guaranteed Jiminez was going to win us for.. would be there and that.. you know would still be pitching for us.. That’s another issue. Ok? So thats what you have to do. But thats why Alex gets paid the big money to do it. To make those decisions.”

    First who knows.. but it seems he’s saying its one thing to say a player gives them another chance. Its another to guarantee that this player would take them over the top.

    This may be my entire problem with the way Beeston (at least – and probably Rogers) approaches running this team. In what delusional world could any person GUARANTEE that ANY player could take a team “over the top”. Anyone who watches this sport for more than one year knows that you can’t predict things in that way.

    The whole notion that you don’t sign anyone expensive until you’re already a championship contender is ludicrous. Teams that are not “contenders” at the start of the season often contend late in the season. In what way have the handicapped this baseball team by having this all or nothing approach? Its so dumb!

    • Not the first time he’s alluded to needing to ‘guarantee’ an outcome to Rogers. It remains absurd.

      • So Rogers are as idiotic as the mouth-breathers that call in to Wilner! It all makes sense in that light.

  12. Thanks Stoeten, I was hoping to hear your thoughts on this after I watched it, you did not disappoint.

  13. The turn around to Riccardi love isn’t that surprising. When AA is pulling off good trades and having success his silence is intruiging, mysterious, ninja-like. When he’s making bad deals, deals that don’t pan out or no deals at all silence is just annoying. It’s natural to want answers

  14. Ricciardi had a pretty poor draft record, but its not looking so bad now that we’re a few years into AA’s tenure. I don’t think the 10 solid years of draft futility by the Jays can be called a small sample, and until they address it (scouts? minor league coaching?) I don’t see how the Jays will be able to contend on any kind of sustained basis.

    • There’s no arguing about Riccardi’s draft record and I’ve commented about that plenty of times in the past but I’ve also admitted the he gets a pass to a certain degree simply because Rogers wasn’t investing in the draft to the level they needed to. No scouts, drafting the safe picks and passing on guys who were going to be expensive.

  15. The ridiclulous thing for me is that it’s ultimately more counterproductive to operate like they have especially if they truly believed it wasn’t a one year kind of deal.

    It still seems impossible to separate who is or was responsible for putting the clamps on the upgrades. Did the buck stop with Beeston and his refusal to go to the mat for more money because he wanted a 100% gaurantee that said players would push them over the top? As ridiculous as that seems his comments about Ubaldo certainly seem to point in that direction.

    Of course it could easily be the bean counters under the direction of the new CEO who Beeston ultimately takes his marching orders from. With their wireless division not performing like it used to and now articles about parts of their media division floundering it’s entirely believable the CEO would lock down everything he could to look good for shareholders and his board.

    Either way the organization looks dysfunctional if not bush league when the players are offering to loan a financial behemoth money to sign a player.

    It’s one thing to give direction to someone and tell them that these are the conditions the need to operate under. However, there aren’t many people that are going to be able to do an effective job for you when you change the parameters half way through.

    Building a ball club really isn’t all that different from any other large capital project that corporations are used to taking on. There are always going to be variances and cost overruns simply because shit happens. Corporations don’t stop work when those happen on a small scale so I don’t see why it would be any different for a ball club that had a record amount of injuries.

  16. Yankees TV broadcasters this aft are citing the “sticky clay mound, not like any others” at the Rogers Centre as contributing to David Robinson’s injury.

  17. Personally, I liked J.P. I appreciated his going on the radio with Mike Wilner and his ability to speak his mind. Having said that, it was his unique ability to put his foot in his mouth that was a good part of his undoing, Combine that with the fact that Richard Griffin used his column to help run the guy out of town and J.P. was doomed to fail. Richard Griffin’s ability to influence the thinking of the average fan is greatly underestimated.

    • Yeah, it was good of him to go on the radio. I enjoyed it. But actually, he and Wilner spent so much time talking down to people and acting like arrogant dicks in general, that it was probably a bad move, PR-wise. I think it kind of influenced Wilner’s attitude for a while, maybe still. I still like his show though.

    • I liked that about JP. Addressing the fans upfront was a good way to show that he did care somewhat. Regardless of what anyone says about his radio updates on the fan 590, you can’t say the same thing about our current GM. I like how AA doesn’t make undue noise about transactions until there is something concrete. Would like to hear him and Wilner discuss this team and interact with the fans. From what I hear, a lot of the other GMs don’t like dealing with him now because he’s supposedly been flaky. He calls teams to inquire about potential trades with players only to turn an about-face and yank the rug from under which pisses them off. Don’t know if it’s entirely true but guys I know who follow other teams have echoed the same issues about him.

  18. For what it’s worth, JPR’s teams from 2005-8 had Pythagorean wins of 88, 86, 87, 93.

  19. I miss Stoeten’s Sam the Eagle pic.

  20. I like what Navarro brings to the party, but why is he slotted fifth again?

    • Cause the bottom of the lineup isnt hitting very well, which is also probably why lind is batting second and is in the line-up versus a lefty.

    • might be that Lawrie, Rsmus, Goins, insert SS here, are all worse options right now.

  21. I like AA and think he does a fair job and has a passion for what he does but can we go over what amazing moves hes done in the past ….

    Traded Vernon Wells probably the hall mark of his moves and people were amazed that the Angels would take such a bad contract. I think we need to take a second look as I could probably sell my shitty cell phone contract to the angels. They are willing to take almost anything or were at the time

    Traded relievers for Colby Rasmus considered a steal at the time but in hind sight maybe the cardinals had a fairly good grasp on what value he brought to their team. They have done pretty well sense and us ….. not soooo much

    Traded the farm for a high priced marlins team…. Looked amazing at the time not looking so great now

    Traded some great assets for Dickey……. Not sure as of yet what those will be in the future but certainly Dickey hasn’t blown us away.

    Free agent signings ????? Not much to talk about

    Extensions…. Considering every team seems to lcok up there stars before free agency in today’s world maybe we shouldn’t praise his abilities too much former scrubs offered 10 s of millions is a win for player and agent. These guys also kind of fell into AA’s lap.

    I think he is decent but he’s had some amazing luck which has been followed by getting may swindled by other GM’s while also allowing the Angels to do what they do best and take on super shitty contracts

    • “Traded relievers for Colby Rasmus considered a steal at the time but in hind sight maybe the cardinals had a fairly good grasp on what value he brought to their team. They have done pretty well sense and us ….. not soooo much”

      I’d say trading relievers for a CF that has given you 6 fWAR in two full seasons with the club is actually fairly valuable; I’m not quite sure what more you’d want in that kind of deal?

      “Traded the farm for a high priced marlins team…. Looked amazing at the time not looking so great now”

      Reyes is our most dynamic player, Buerhle our 2nd best pitcher. Johnson didn’t work out of course (to historically bad proportions that no sane human being could have foreseen, ditto with Bonifacio when you look at him in KC and now, SSS admitted). Henderson Alvarez still throws 96 and strikes out less guys than Buerhle somehow, Hechivaria hits as well as our other middle infielders and no one wanted Escobar. Have the “prospects” sent to Miami contributed yet?

      • The only “bad” from then so far is really the Dickey deal…and even there neither Syndaargard or D’arnaudt have actually become Major Leaguers. One’s been hurt more games than he’s played in the majors and the other is a pitcher, always at risk to be done (or simply not pan out). What about the Melky deal? Not bitching about that now that he has his entire spine for use in his swing?

        • While Dickey didn’t win the CY Young last year, he wasn’t terrible either. The guy pitched through an injury in the first half, and his splits pretty clearly show a different pitcher in the second half. He’s pitched two games so far this season, so I think it’s premature to judge the deal as a success or a failure at this point.

      • Reyes is a glass noodle. Great players are players you can count on. For god sakes Reyes is a ticking DL bomb. AA loves him. I want to love him but he no play today.

  22. taking 3 -3 from the astros would make me feel way better about everything.

  23. Santos.mentioned a physical in Dallas. All I have heard is that the team was Oakland. Was it Rangers? If so, who?

  24. From Griff: The trio of Houston starters in this series will make as much as Blue Jays Thursday starter McGowan, just over $1.5M.

  25. I’m pulling for McGowan, but what happens if this doesn’t work?

  26. Ricciardi wasn’t half as bad as people think, even if he had to go when he did just to appease the frothing masses. His drafts sucked, his mouth got him in trouble, and his three-year-window (’06-’08) came up about five-ten wins short. That makes him about average overall, I’d say.

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