I have posted a couple of times in the past about J.P. Ricciardi and whether he should be fired. First I complained about a couple of stupid moves that he made. Then I decided that he definitely should be fired. The last time, I was questioning my previous decision. Then when they let Burnett go and did nothing else in the off-season, I decided (though I guess I didn’t post anything to this effect) that Ricciardi’s time was over. Now they’ve started the season (a season with zero expectations) at 10-4 and have looked seriously awesome. Lind, Hill and Rolen are all hitting above .325, while Overbay, Wells, Snider, and Scutaro are all above .280. Everybody listed above has at least two homers after 15 games, and everybody listed above except Wells was acquired or drafted by Ricciardi. Ricky Romero, another Ricciardi draftee, is 2-0 with a outstanding 1.71 ERA and 1.10 WHIP. Shaun Marcum (also drafted by Ricciardi) and Dustin McGowan are out for the season because of injuries, but injuries aren’t J.P.’s fault and if those two were healthy, the Jays would have a pretty impressive rotation. So maybe Ricciardi does know what he’s doing.
Obviously this is really early in the season, and for Romero at least, very early in the career, so it may not mean anything. The Jays are on pace to win 115 games. Do I think that will happen? Not a chance, but I’m certainly enjoying watching them right now.
Then again, the only team with more wins than the Jays are the 11-1 Florida Marlins, and the World Series Champion Phillies are under .500. Last year, Tampa Bay won the East and the Yankees didn’t make the playoffs. All of these put together make a compelling argument that the end of the world is very close at hand. Sinners repent.
There’s been a lot of talk over the last year or two among Jays fans, many of whom think that Ricciardi has had his chance and deserves to be fired, since the Jays are no closer to the pennant now than they were when he took over. J.P. originally said that he had a plan to make the Jays contenders in five years, and we’re now into year eight. But has Ricciardi really done a bad job, or does it seem like that because he gave us a hard deadline that he didn’t meet? What would we think had J.P. not said anything about how long it might take? Well, as I posted before, he’s currently the longest-serving GM that hasn’t seen the playoffs. And it’s not like we’ve been close – the Jays haven’t had a sniff of the playoffs since 1994. So I think that even if J.P. hadn’t given any time deadline, we’d still be calling for his head. But given the awesome start to this season, I’m willing to give him just a little more rope. But unless the Jays get to the post-season this year, he’s done. In fact, if the team isn’t still in it by the All-Star break – and by “in it” I mean within 2 or 3 games of first place in the East – then that should be it for J.P., and the Jays should start looking for a new GM, preferably someone named Brian.