I’m sorry Dick; I can’t let you get away with this one. In something I don’t want to make a reoccurring gig, I have to point out a few concerns I have with your latest mailbag. To go through the whole thing would be too time consuming and painful but there are a few things I absolutely have to point out.
My comments in bold.
Picture taken from Drunk Jays Fan.
Q: Given the Jays continuing mediocrity, you are probably right that Gibby will be sacrificed this winter to exculpate J.P. Ricciardi and give season ticket holders a reason to believe next year will be better. I'm interested in who you have on your top-five list as replacements, and why. Thanks.
Donald Bruce Wright, Los Gatos, CA
A: This has never been a call for John Gibbons' head on a Blue Jays platter, but merely a statement of what seems to be the obvious progression of this team.
Hold on a second. That is a bold face lie! You lied Dick, you lied.
For general manager J.P. Ricciardi, you can't fire a whole team, especially when it is handpicked by you. In fact, it seems an exercise in futility to start picking a top-five of potential managers without knowing who will become available from among the current crop of guys still with jobs. Just look at the situation in Houston. I would not hesitate to consider a guy like Phil Garner, with intensity, heart and a track record of success that even includes a World Series appearance.
Phil Garner!!!! Jesus Christ Dick, you could do better than him. His moves have been so puzzling it’s amazing he wasn’t fired years ago. Actually the reason he wasn’t fired years ago was because they play in a shit division and Beltran and Clemens got super hot for two months. In 15 seasons as a manager he has never won a division and has a career .483 winning percentage. If this question was asked in July you would have said Sam Perlozzo, in June, Mike Hargrove.
I was impressed by the job Ernie Whitt did as manager of Team Canada at the World Baseball Classic.
Not to take anything away from Ernie but a four game fucking sample size? Come on.
He deserves a chance to manage in the big leagues, but his profile doesn't seem to fit what Ricciardi would be looking for as a replacement for Gibbons.
Read; Ernie Whitt = Gibbons lite.
My No. 1 choice for the job, if the decision needed to be made today, would be Cito Gaston. The man has won two World Series and has become more and more of a legend in Toronto sports with each passing year. The team that Ricciardi has put together includes the type of veteran players that respond well to Cito's belief that his players are all grown men and deserve the right to be treated as such. Gaston still has a desire to manage, but is too proud and has been burned too often – most recently by the White Sox when they hired Ozzie Guillen – to apply for the post. They would have to ask him and that won't happen as long as J.P. is there. But Gaston would be a good choice.
I’m not going to slack Cito but have some fucking imagination Dick. The guy asks you for 5 potential managers and you give those fucking three names. Did you research that shit. I mean, where in hell did you find these candidates? It’s that kind of not thought out shit that made Buck Martinez manager.
Alex Rios Question from some guy in Chicago deleted because it was a waste of time to read.
Q: Hi Richard,
I'm just wondering who on the Blue Jays roster is a free agent at the end of this year. Who do you think the Jays will re-sign and who should they go after on the free agent market.
Binh Ha, Cornwall, Ont.
(Some shit on Matt Stairs’ price tag deleted)
What the Jays could do, though, is sign a veteran free-agent second baseman like Mark Loretta, a man they tried to get several years ago. Then they could move the versatile Aaron Hill over to shortstop and have a solid double-play combo for the three years of a Loretta deal.
Mark Loretta for three years, hmm. I need to check out a pecota player profile for this one. Let’s see, below average defender at 2B and a 20% chance at being a regular by 09. Sweet!
Q: Hi Richard, love your column!
I'm sure this question has been asked before, but I have never seen the answer here. What is Scott Downs' ritual when he arrives on the mound from the bullpen? It looks like he writes something on the mound with his finger. Any idea what he's doing?
Kevin Smith, Toronto
Okay, Kevin Smith; Genius (to get your question answered by throwing out the complement) or Douche Bag (by loving Dick’s column). Based on the fucking dumb ass deduction that your lame ass question was asked before I must go with Douche Bag.
A: I believe he is paying tribute to his two children by scrawling in the dirt with his left index finger just before he attacks his first hitter. Downs is a man of ritual.
Thanks for the answer Dick. Solid answer. I’m actually surprised you took the time to do a little research and find out the answer. There isn’t a hidden agenda behind you picking this question, is there? Oh, wait. Yup, there it is.
He has taken to not speaking with the media, seemingly as a good luck charm, and has a daily routine at home games where, just prior to the team stretch, he brings a sign in from just down the left field foul line that says, "No media or photographers beyond this point" and places it in on the edge of the warning track in front of the dugout. It seems to be working.
Glad you got that in.
Shitty Frank Thomas question skipped, Dick points out the horrible signing and says no one in their right mind would trade for him.
I wish the Toronto media would lay off of A.J. Burnett a bit. It seems that any time he's mentioned, it's 'he's not performing to his contract.' It seems like all the Jays' problems are being pinned on him. In reality, he pitched six solid innings (vs. Oakland Wednesday, Aug. 22), got into a bit of trouble in the seventh and his defence let him down big time. Everyone suddenly forgets his previous two starts in which he was stellar. Not to mention only having a one-run cushion to work with.
I wonder what the media would say if it were Doc Halladay on the mound. Anyway, I realize that with a contract comes expectations, but it seems that the media is expecting him to fail and making it seem that a lot of the Jays problems will be solved with him being traded. What are your thoughts on this matter?
Rob J., Markham
Right now I am fucking freaking out he is answering this question!
A: A.J. Burnett has little respect for media, fans, or anyone not in uniform. It's hard to offer any back.
This says it all, right here. I know we’ve known it all along but the fucker god damn admits that this shit is personal. Thanks for all the skilled analysis and discussion over the years dickwad. Marty York’s job at the Metro might be available soon, get your application in pronto.
The lack of respect is clear by the way he interrupts the TV networks in their attempt to provide insight to their viewers in post-game interviews with his shaving cream pie-to-the-face of guests. It's also clear by the way that whenever he's injured and on the DL, he brushes off media requests for an update on his situation, saying "Later", then rushing out to shag fly balls in the outfield.
Nobody gives a shit what you say anymore.
And, by the way, he's not performing to his contract. At the end of this season, he will have earned $22 million of Ted Rogers' money. Thus far, with six starts left this season, he has chipped in with 17 total wins.
Actually the contract is slightly back loaded so if he does opt out the Jays have him for 3/30. You got me with the wins though. That’s what separated Storm Davis and Bob Welch from Jimmy Key and Dave Stieb.
Next part of answer is boring and contradicting but the last line is another blatant Zinger.
Besides, trading Burnett would just free up more money for J.P. to make another mistake somewhere else. Better, the overpaid underachiever that you know...
You lost me at Richard Griffin; BASEBALL COLUMNIST.
Q: Should Ted Rogers do a Raptors with the Jays; i.e. hire a proven GM – someone who has consistently kept his team in the playoffs or in the playoff hunt until the last week in September – and make him the President/GM? The Jays need a sound baseball guy with credibility in MLB at the top. I don't think the Godfrey/JP combo is working.
Chirantan Basu, Ottawa
A: Somebody like Dave Dombrowski of the Tigers.
Mr. Rogers had that opportunity to hire a proven GM back in '01 with Dombrowski, but at the time the Jays didn't need a president and they wanted a GM who would cut payroll and make the Jays competitive on a $50 million (U.S.) budget. Dombrowski got his start with the Expos in the late '80s, making them competitive on an even tighter budget than that. He was interviewed by the Jays and was one of their final candidates for the GM job in '01 but the Tigers offer included the role of president and, eventually, GM (after he fired Randy Smith) and gave him the chance to spend more money. It was infinitely more appealing.
Double-D bailed on his final interview with Paul Godfrey and headed to Motown, guiding them to the World Series within five years. Hey, that sounds like a five-year plan. But, yes, at this stage of the Jays' history, a GM of vision and charm would help. It would have to be someone with a track record in baseball and not an unknown like the just-fired Tim Purpura of the Astros.
Hmm, Dick it is funny you say that. Dave Dombrowski, you think the Jays should've hired Dave Dombrowski? I actually remember you wrote an article stating as much around the time JP called Toronto journalist morons (way to prove him wrong) and you took up that personal vendetta. As they say hindsight is 20/20. But wait, after that first article you wrote a follow up article. That’s right, it was an article you wrote for the Star on July 1, 20003. The tittle; “Ricciardi was the right choice for Jays”
I believe the article stated what the title suggests. Here is an excerpt from that article.
“Last night's meeting between the Jays and Tigers was a tale of two cities going in opposite directions. Since the last time the Jays visited Motown, May 31, 2002, the Tigers have had a record of 53-136. The Jays since that date are a solid 107-87.
[Ricciardi] is far in front. The last time the Jays came to drab Comerica Park, it was two months into both GMs' first seasons. The Jays featured a losing manager on the hot seat, Buck Martinez.
The following day, during the Subway Series in New York, it was revealed that [David Dombrowski] was to become president of the Tigers. Nine days after the Tigers announcement, the Jays settled on Ricciardi.”
Unfortunately the story is archived but if you want to pay for the article you can read about Dick’s take on how Dombrowski would have been the wrong choice for the Jays. How he done a shit job with the Tigers who are on their way to 100 losses. How, in retrospect, JP was the better hire. Interesting read.
Skipped Q and A on how the Jays are not the worst, but pretty bad defensively.
Q: Hi Richard,
I love your columns and your mailbag. I read them religiously. My question is, when I read about other teams and their players having Tommy John surgery, I always hear that the recovery time is a minimum of 12 months and from what I've seen, it's typically is closer to 15 months before the pitcher is back to form. Why do the Blue Jays continue with their 10-12 month when they talk about B.J. Ryan?
Robert Hodges, Bangor, ME
Robert Hodges; Genius or Douche Bag?
A: The Jays insist on going with the old exchange rate, in which 10-12 months Canadian equalled 15 months U.S. (rim-shot).
(Rest of answer skipped, Dick’s point, don’t rush a BJ. I concur )
To wrap, in this edition of the mailbag Dick stated he has never called out for John Gibbon’s head. That he slag’s AJ Burnett because he doesn’t like him. Cito Gaston (who hasn’t managed in 10 years) should take over. That JP is an idiot and that Dave Dombrowski would have been a better choice even though he wrote that he wasn’t a better choice after he first wrote that he would be better.