The New Ballard? J.P. – it’s no contest!

Those familiar with these musings will recall that last month I posed the existential question: ‘who is most likely to qualify as Toronto’s next Harold Ballard – Brian ‘Testosterone’ Burke of the Loafs or J.P. Ricciardi of the Jays ?’

As the Jays limp towards the golf courses of October for which they have been clearly pining since early July, the answer is clear. It’s J.P all the way.

Ricciardi the fellow who managed to finish fourth last year in the A.L. East when Roy Halladay and A.J. Burnett combined for 38 wins, has simply outdone himself in 2009. Alex Rios? Gone..for nothing. That’s NOTHING as in nada, zilch, S.F.A. B.J. Ryan? A  franchise cornerstone who is out of Major League Baseball three years into a multi-year contract. Vernon Wells? Well unfortunately the Jays still have him, but he’s a burnt out husk; the most expensive failure playing everyday in major league baseball. It says here Wells will never again actually amount to more than the fourth outfielder on a good team.

Ricciardi has been kind of circumspect this year. I miss the days when he would come on the radio to routinely insult Jays’ fans for their lack of intelligence. Remember last year when he went off on a caller who wondered why the Jays would not go after Adam Dunn when they were still close enough to compete for the Wild Card? J.P. dismissed that fan and insulted Dunn for “not really liking baseball”. This year to date Dunn has disliked baseball enough to hit 38 home runs. That is 8 home runs more  than the spent Wells and the similarly unproductive Lyle Overbay combined.

You are a terrific judge of talent and character, J.P.!  For all of this and more, I happily reward you the title of Toronto’s Next Ballard. Only you could reduce Blue Jays’ attendance to 11,000; only you could dangle Roy Halladay in July like stale bait when the Jays had the same record as the still competitive Minnesota Twins. Take a bow, Dude. Then get back to Boston on October 4 and never return. Please. Pretty please.

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