Sunday, October 25

ITM to Theo: Don't Give Ricciardi Any Real Responsibility

News broke yesterday that the Red Sox have a standing offer to former Blue Jays GM J.P. Ricciarddi. Sure, he's a Worcester boy, was a Sox fan growing up, and has a great last name (in my book), but I really hope the Sox don't give him much responsibility.

Riciarddi spent eight years in Toronto, trying like hell to make the Jays relevant in the best division in baseball. A division that also has two teams with some of the highest payrolls in baseball.

While in the Great White North, Ricciarddi struggled to expand payroll, sign the right players, and put together the right balance of pitching depth and quality hitting.

He is best known for two outrageous deals to Vernon Wells (still owed well over 100 million over the next 5 years), and Alex Rios, a player who they rushed to make their franchise cornerstone, only to have to ship him to the south side of Chicago after a horrible year. (ITM note, I wasted a high pick on Rios for my fantasy league, I was drinking the cool aid as well).

Wells and Rios aside, Ricciardi was highly criticized for his handling of the recent Roy Halladay discussions, with many GM's calling his demands completely unreasonable. After letting other great starters go, he had a chance to completely reshape his team for the future and provide some direction. Instead, he's left the team no better off.

And don't even get me started on the Frank Thomas deal. Talk about signing a real tool bag.

Over the years, he's been close to competing, but has managed to fumble it in the red zone with terrible financial decisions that ultimately handcuffed his flexibility.

In the end, I want to like this guy, and perhaps he was never given the right (or enough tools), but if Theo brings him to Boston, they better keep him clear of the payroll, or any significant responsibility.

PS: if my fantasy football team doesn't win today, I'm going to start a blog about how terrible the "Naked Bootleggers" are. Man up.

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